For the longest time I thought that I didn’t have any role models. And I guess that when I was younger I didn’t really think of people as that. I know that most people have parents and teachers and other relatives or maybe older friends who you kind of copy in a way, or learn how to be more mature and independent from, but I’m talking more about seeing people in the media or celebrities as role models. There of course were celebrities and singers who I liked, but I really can’t recall ever looking at them and thinking “I want to be like that person when I’m older.” I just didn’t.
Now I think I probably have more role models than I did a few years ago when I was growing up, I’m not sure if that’s different to other people. In my head I just perceived role models for a long time as things that people have when they are growing up through their child and teen years (maybe wrongly.) I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing that I never really thought of people in that way. I think having the right role models can be a positive; it encourages you to develop the most positive traits and aspects of yourself. And having the wrong role models can of course be a negative thing as at times it may encourage someone to develop more negative traits and aspects of themselves.
I’ve just always felt a bit weird about role models. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t pay much thought to it when I was younger. I appreciate how beneficial having a role model can be, and I guess everyone has one in some way, even me without realising it because they were the people I was brought up around and not celebrities.
The other aspect of role models which irritates me sometimes is the emphasis that is put on the celebrities who are so often idolised. It annoys me slightly when people are accused of being “bad role models” as I don’t think that is their responsibility. People who are looked up to by some should be able to live their lives however they want (within reason) without questioning how the choices they make will affect those who look up to them. This sounds a bit like I’m condoning anything a celebrity does, which I’m definitely not. For example though, I don’t think people should be angry at Miley Cyrus for not wearing a lot of clothes and acting provocatively because it will encourage those who look up to her to do the same thing. It’s the person looking up to these people/their parents’ responsibility to know where to draw the line with aspiring to be like your role model.
There of course are plenty of celebrities and figures we see in the media who are good role models. Nowadays I look up to people like Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Stephen Fry, because they have traits which I want to strive to have, they stand up for what they believe in which are the same things I believe in (such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift promoting feminism, and Stephen Fry raising awareness for mental illness.) They’ve all also been successful through hard work. All good things for young people to look up to.
Some (in my opinion) good role models: