Role models are important. They are visuals of what we want to be, perhaps how we want to dress, often impacting career choices, and behaviors, both right and wrong; inspiring, influencing and teaching life lessons. Due to social media, role models are everywhere, up close and personal! Many of the role models in our world today rock our world in ways that stun adults, leaving us cold! Yet our young people gravitate to the latest “trend” and partake of a world, as parents, we wish they’d run from!
Young girls are often paranoid about their size and shape before they’ve gotten old enough to know what it’s really all about. Yet, some celebrity role models can be so sensitive about their appearance, they resort to many plastic surgeries to get “just the right look.” Even those who don’t resort to surgery use diet trends to ward off any, and all, unwanted pounds (or ounces) because there is an obsession with being thin and having the ‘perfect’ measurements. This sends a message that looks at all cost, is everything.
Our young men identify with sports personalities and celebrities, as well. Yet in this arena we find domestic violence and obsession with money and the drive to win so great, they deliberately inflict pain and cruelty on their opponents.
That’s not to say all celebrities or sports personalities are bad role models. That’s far from the truth, but it seems the wackier, further out of the ordinary, or the most bizarre trends are the ones most likely to be followed.
In a world before social media, we still had role models. There were the obvious; world leaders, those who were President (or the wives of the President), those who were wealthy (and that often still applies), those who endured great travels across the country, exceptional nurses, inventors, doctors or those who could fly an airplane!
Annie Oakely was an unlikely role model! While she had a rough childhood from abuse and other misfortunes, she became one of the best sharpshooters in her lifetime, as well as, a successful entertainer! She even attempted to obtain the status of trainer for “women snipers for the US military”! She was instrumental in helping educate women and orphans through charity, who otherwise would have nothing more than their already sad situations!
I challenge you to consider your own role models and those of your children’s. How do they measure up? Do they represent good moral life lessons? Are they inspiring you to lead, be productive, positive and helpful, or do they leave you questioning if their behavior is even acceptable?