Lindsay “Druggie” Lohan.
Kim “Sex-Tape” Kardashian.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather…
…are only just a few of the most prominent celebrities who are potential role models for the youth including myself today. Lindsay Lohan was of the most iconic female protagonists (in a male led industry) for every child born in the 90s; but as Lohan faded into less fame, not necessarily out-of-the-spotlight, she found herself in a series of unfortunate events. She was convicted for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) twice in 2007, refused to accept orders from her probation officer, shoplifted a department store in 2011 and was sentenced to a 90-day rehab facility program for her drug abuse in 2013.
Claudia Connell, critical writer, said it best with her article on UK’s Daily Mail: “A marriage that lasted 72 days [only, with a famous NBA star]. A TV career built on a sex tape [with another famous personality – this time, rapper]. And a derriere (buttocks) a million times bigger than her brain. She is the ‘world’s worst role model’”
Finally, there’s Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Forbes’ #1 highest paid athlete (in 2012). As you can tell by his nickname, it’s all about the money for him; nothing else, just the money. On the bright side, he is a great athlete; but in the latter part of his career – ethics, honor and respect to others walked out the door and so did any of his potential endorsement deals. Not to mention his anger management problems which resulted to accusations of domestic violence in 2012.
But what is a ‘good’ role model? According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD holder for Developmental Psychology, a good role model must have:
- Passion and Ability to Inspire;
- Clear Set of Values;
- Commitment to Community;
- Selflessness and Acceptance of Others;
- Ability to Overcome Obstacles.
All these things are what celebrities have, which make them someone worth looking up to. They have the passion and ability to inspire people through their respective craft, they have values that they believe in which others may follow or even copy and they have the ability to overcome obstacles – meaning they have done the impossible and have the opportunity to share their story of how they found themselves in the spotlight.
Unfortunately, celebrities are human too, meaning they are susceptible to making mistakes, such as believing in less than ideal values. Since they are crazy rich, they don’t need others or a community to depend on. As their pride and reputation grows, selflessness can easily consume them and they can at times be complacent with their lives, and potentially believe that they are above the law because as a culture we accept them like family – loving them no matter what, rather, no matter what crime they may commit. All these things can easily drown a celebrity’s sanity of being themselves and turning into someone who just loves money and fame, and doing whatever it is to get it.
Statistically, celebrities are bad role models because most settle in personalities that society wants them to be or what culture pushed them to be, BUT THAT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ALL CELEBRITIES. In the Bible, Proverbs 22:6 declares: “Train up a child in the way he should go, so when he is older he will not depart from it.” That being said, there are a strong few celebrities who have stayed the course of who they are and how they were raised.
As a verdict, I believe that one’s parents SHOULD be the foundational role models. Over time, as a person grows and starts learning their purpose in life, they may have other role models such as celebrities, but it is imperative that a child is guided early in life so whoever role model one sees in the future, he/she will appreciate the good and simply ‘pull the weeds’.
Jennifer “Just Do You” Lawrence.
Justin “Mr. Entertainer” Timberlake.
Steph “Strength In Christ ” Curry.
…WHO are also just a few of the most prominent celebrities who are SHOULD be recognized as good role models for the youth including myself today. Jennifer Lawrence, multi-awarded and highest paid Hollywood actress promotes body acceptance and self respect. Justin Timberlake, arguably the most successful singer-songwriter, actor and producer with countless awards in anything he does, is actually very humble and believes that hard work WILL surely pay off. Steph Curry, who is now the highest paid player in NBA history gives all glory and honor to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – declaring that with faith and hard work, you can “do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” And finally, all 3 good celebrity role models have tight relationships with their parents who ARE their role models to this day. What a coincidence.
- Frieman, R. (2014, February). 7 Worst Role Models for Teens. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richie-frieman/7-worst-role-models-for-teens_b_4679714.html