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Views on the News: Rethinking Role Models


Views on the News: Rethinking Role Models

Why are politicians and policy makers so keen for celebrities to set a ‘good example’ for young people to follow? Can celebs reach the parts that parents and teachers cannot? Do young people eat more healthily, study harder or behave more responsibly – because a pop star tells them to? Or do our politicians invest too much faith in the power of celebrity and too little in the public? Are parents so degenerate and the young so dumb it really is a case of ‘monkey see, monkey do’?
What is certainly clear is that when celebrities such as Tulisa, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus step out of line, they are deemed ‘toxic role models’ and widely vilified. Yet when Marilyn Monroe played up her assets in the 1950’s she wasn’t accused of creating a dysfunctional generation.
In this WORLDbytes special on celebrity culture and role models, WORLDwrite Coordinator Niall Crowley gets to grips with a series of tough and searching questions posed by young volunteers and he argues, the whole idea of role models should be ditched.

Related topics: Debates, Social Change

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Jaclyn P. Bray said:

It seems that there are only a few short years between the time a child star makes it big and when he or she starts making salacious headlines. From Miley Cyrus to Justin Bieber, good role models can go bad. Sometimes celebrities attract headlines in such a negative fashion that it’s really hard to explain their wild antics to kids who’ve looked up them.

VS said:

Celebrities and role models are two different things completely. Celebrities are created by the media. There is no such thing as a good or bad celebrity and we only see that part of their lives that the media and corporates will profit from. A role model as Niall rightly said has a unique skill that you should respect for that skill and aspire for achieving if that’s the role you aim for. That’s the idealistic view,but reallistically, most people would like to stay with the times and it’s only from the media we see what’s cool and what’s not. It’s sad but true that aspirations are built looking at celebrities not on the poor people around you.

Sanjeeda Jalil said:

Celebrities play a massive role in society as fans are influenced by their behaviour and what goes on in their day to day lives. Obviously, parents are the most important role models on endeavouring to teach their offspring the roles of responsibility and well mannered behaviour. Certainly, young people will pursue their parents’ behaviour. However, they will also adjust to the way their idols live because the media brainwashes young people into emulating people on TV due to the way celebrities are portrayed as an altered and idolised species that is compelling in controlling their attitude and approach towards things.

Pooja said:

I think that this video was really good as it highlighted a few questions which linger over the topic of celebrity role models having a positive or negative effect on the younger generation. My view on this topic is that celebrities can have a major impact on an individuals life as they can relate to their current life stories therefore guiding them to a specific path way either good or bad as celebrities can be very influential nowadays. Despite people not wanting to follow the foot steps of various celebrities people unknowingly still do as they may not have any other role model figure to look up to to guide them through life due to celebrities being in the public domain.

Tamanna said:

As a teenager i think that having role models is a big part of our life because we look up to them to learn rights and wrongs. Without our family, friends and just society in general we would be in a big mess just full of struggles because we wouldn’t be able to make any decisions by ourselves. But i am not saying that we should have bad remodels like most of the ones we see on TV. The bad influences makes us think that we should be like that and if were not then we won’t fit in with our friends. Celebrities influence children as well as adults too and them dressing inappropriately or doing horrible stuff in videos will influence everyone to go and do the same. So overall i think if celebs want to do things then it should be done in appropriate ways and ways in which children could gain something beneficial.

Carolyn said:

Love the intro music in this. Nobody says it’s not my fault-I need better role models, nobody asks for role models either. It’s always someone who thinks they are superior who thinks the rest of us oiks need them-well I don’t frankly and neither does any one else i know. We are not monkeys!

John O said:

Apart from a bit of twerking which is hardly shaking anything more than your behind I can’t see what all the fuss about celebrity behaviour is about. Seeing how bad most of my friends are at dancing it is clear very few are copying pop stars and maybe they should.

J.Irman said:

Politicians have set the scene for this, they look to celebs all the time for credibility, such is their disconnect. However I wouldn’t want politicians as role models either. We do seem to have lost confidence in our capacity to address a younger generation. Young people too seem to be doing very little that is mould breaking. Despite all the huffin and puffin it would seem to be a rather conservative younger generation compared with the past.

Sarah K said:

Great questions and well answered, must say I am unsure about the role model thing but I do agree that celebrities should be seen as nothing of the sort.