Role Models and Setting Examples

I have been asked questions on formspring twice recently that had to do with role models and celebrities setting examples. One was What do you think about Serena Williams' outrageous tennis outfits? Is she on the cutting edge of fashion or just starved for attention? What kind of example does this set for young girls in your opinion? and the other was Do you think Queen Latifah is a lesbian? Do you think this is bad since she is a role model for many young black girls?

You can click the links for my answers, but these questions prompted me to just do a general post on how I feel about the concept of role models and setting examples. Right now at 25 years old I don’t think I can tell you one celebrity who I felt was my role model, or who set an example for how I lived. This means one of two things, either I had some, and they didn’t matter enough to effect my life, or I never had any at all.

I feel like the influence and values of my family kept me from having any role model or modeling myself after anyone, or at least anyone who didn’t line up with my values. I strongly believe that if a young person is in a strong home where they are being filled mentally and spiritually with good values, even watching 24 hours of Nicki Minaj isn’t going to make them start wearing makeup and low cut tops. The first role models in a child/teen’s life should be their parents. A strong home life is the barrier to ill role models.

Celebrities are in a position where young people can model themselves after them, whether they like it or not. But I think it is those young people who don’t have a REAL LIFE role model that will fall to following the ways of a celebrity. Even if this is the case, while I do believe celebs have to hold some responsibility for they way they project themselves, it is more of a societal fail as a whole that there wasn’t a family member, or teacher, or counselor that was able to be a role model in that young person’s life. If Lil Wayne is a young man’s role model, it’s likely because the people in his real life haven’t offered to guide him.


  1. Vanessa is a tennis player, and their standard uniform is already very revealing when they move, so there is nothing wrong with her outfits to me and if it helps her feel comfortable to win, then I'm happy for her. I know when you are in the public eye you are a role model automatically but people need to understand that they are human too, so they should stop putting pressure on them.

  2. @Abigail - totally agree with you.

  3. I agree with your assessment.


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