What is a role model? What is a good role model? That second question is really the one that I find myself thinking about. Most likely by now, you have heard about Miley Cyrus’s ‘performance’ and costume and the MTV Video Awards. As much as I am not shocked by her lack of clothes and suggestive ‘dancing’, I am disappointed. I realize that this is a young woman who is obviously trying to express herself, find herself and break away from her Hannah Montana and Disney persona. I also realize that this is a free world and she can do whatever she wants to as long as she does not break any laws.
I do, however, have a problem with the fact that Miley is showing a complete disregard for her role in the media as a role model. There are many young girls that have purchased her t-shirts, bed sheets, back packs etc… that are now looking to her to show them how to act and what to “wear next”. Like it or not, she is a role model. This is sad. So, too, is it sad that Justin Bieber is a role model as well. For a seemingly “nice, unaffected Canadian boy”, he too has disappointed me. What is wrong with these kids? I realize that money and fame has skewed their views of what is appropriate behavior and what is not. However, I think that they do need to “grow up” and realize that they are being watched and followed by millions of young, impressionable kids, tweens and teens. They should some responsibility for their positions in society; show some humility and some class.
I have two young girls and I fear what and who will be popular when they are in that stage of growing up. Will the person they idolize be a star that turns into a drug addict? Who knows!
All I can do is try to expose my girls to other kinds of role models and let them try to emulate those whom I think set good examples of what to do in life.
I am not naïve enough to think that I am going to a) stop them from falling in love with the next Justin Bieber or b) not have them watch television or see a magazine with a scantily clad Miley on it. I do know that I will do what is within my control to balance these with exposure for them to people I think are good role models: their aggressive, kick-butt, kick-boxing instructor Auntie Trisha, their positive and business saavy Auntie Andrea, their creative and kind cousin Haylee, their generous, thoughtful and stylish Grandma Dianne, their supportive and loving Baba Joanne, their ambitious and talented Auntie Dani, their entertaining and fun-loving Auntie Moe, their smart and athletic cousin Jaimee and their strong and funny Great-Grandma Joyce.
All of these women in my girls’ lives are positive role models in their own ways. They are all beautiful physically, but they are also beautiful inside – which is what makes them good role models. They are all strong, smart women that have integrity and lead by example. These are the women that I want my kids to look up to. I hope that my plan to have them spend more time with them, and less watching those other “role models” like Justin and Miley, will develop them into becoming good role models to others down the road.