Media Role Models Have a Huge Influence on Kids
* By the time our kids are in middle school, they start to look to their peers for a sense of what’s socially acceptable or desirable. * Kids choose public personas as role models, but there are no guarantees that a star will stick to a lifestyle that kids can look up to — or that parents will approve of. * Studies show a direct link between role models, advertising, and the effects that both have on our kids’ behavior. * Celebrities use the Internet to communicate directly with their fans.
Media is a gigantic super-peer
As parents, we have a natural instinct to choose who we want our kids to be friends with — and who we’d rather they not hang around. The same instinct kicks in for media role models. We like iCarly because she’s smart and kind. SpongeBob? Maybe not so much. In today’s 24/7 media environment, in which kids may be spending more time with media than they are with their parents, choosing positive role models is more important than ever. At Common Sense, we often refer to media as “the other parent” — that’s how much influence it has in your kids’ lives. Role models matter. Help your kids find good ones.
What it is
You don’t have to look much farther than the Ariel costume in your daughter’s closet or the light saber in your son’s toy box to know that kids emulate their favorite characters. By the time our kids are in middle school, they start to look to their peers for a sense of what’s socially acceptable or desirable. Parents may remain the primary influence in their kids’ lives, but the competition starts to get fierce at this age. This separation is entirely age appropriate. But when the media comes into play, the values you want to pass down to your kids may be competing against, say, Homer Simpson’s.
Why it matters
Our kids’ media environment goes way beyond television. Influencers reach out to kids via YouTube, video games, Twitter, and music — all of which are broadcast or easily accessible 24 hours a day. And as we all know, not all the characters or people who gain popularity through these channels have stellar role model credentials. Smoking is a perfect example of how media stars make things look cool. Studies show that exposure to pro-tobacco marketing and smoking in the media more than doubles the odds that kids will start smoking.
And half of kids who start smoking say they do so because they saw someone they looked up to smoking in the movies. The good news is that there are plenty of positive role models you can point to that may influence your kids to make healthy choices, learn to respect others, achieve goals, and avoid anti-social behavior. Negative role models — especially ones who don’t suffer consequences for their actions — can encourage anti-social behavior, stereotypes, and even cruelty. Help your kids choose positive media role models who embody the values you want to pass down http://girlonfire.hubpages.com/hub/Celebrity-Role-Models
Celebrity Role Models
Why We Need Role Models
I think it is an innate characteristic of human beings to look up to others and make them their role models. As children, we tend to put the people closest to us on pedestals. Our moms – or dads, for that matter – take on superhuman aspects and, usually, become our first role models. As we grow older, our elder siblings may become the ones we look up to. If that doesn’t happen, there is always the cousin who seems to have it all together. Or there is the cool kid in the neighborhood. Of course, there is also the celebrity that seems to have a god-like status, especially for teenagers. And with the way media is consumed these days, even adults have their own celebrity role models. Why do we have this seemingly innate need for role models?
I am no psychologist, but it is rather understandable that every person has this need to make himself a better person. There are a lot of different aspects that one may want some improvement on, but the bottom line is the same: we want to be better. And what better way to get to our goals than to find people who embody the traits and characteristics that we want for ourselves? Good Celebrity Role Models Exist!
Going back to celebrities and role models. I would have to admit that having a celebrity as a role model may not be the best idea. After all, don’t celebrities have so many negative things going for them? Think diva attitude. Think rock star lifestyle. Think loose morals. These are common labels attributed to many celebrities, and in some cases, they are justified. However, we have to remember that these celebrities are people as well. While some of them are definitely not fit to be role models – for children, teenagers, and adults alike – there ARE celebrities who fit the bill perfectly! This hub takes a look at a handful of celebrities who make good role models. Yes, they do exist!
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There is no doubt about it – Tom Hanks is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. He may not be the hottest hunk in town, but not a lot of actors can say they have achieved what this guy has done over the years. In this day and age where couples – non-celebrities even – are divorcing left and right, it is no mean feat to stay married for about 20 years. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been together as husband and wife since 1988, and that alone is a good reason to see them as role models. Additionally, Tom Hanks is known to be one of the nicest actors in Tinsel town, and nice is not something you find a lot these days!
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I think anyone will agree that, with her looks alone, Natalie Portman is a shoe-in for being a celebrity role model. That is, if that’s the kind of thing you look up to. This hub goes more than physical attributes though, so what is it that makes Natalie Portman a prime candidate for the ultimate celebrity role model? Her brains. They say that smart is the new sexy, and if that is true, then this actress may very well take home the cake. The fact that she has a degree in psychology – from Harvard College, no less – has been covered by practically all celeb show biz news outlets, and even though that is old news, there is no doubt that there is a lesson to be learned here: the value of education.
Top 10 Celebrity Role Models
Jun 14, 2012
Celebrities may look like they’re just having fun, basking in the spotlight and milking up the stardom. But not all of them abuse their celebrity status. Many stars have proven to be worthy idols, from overcoming great odds to investing in great causes. Kidzworld lists the top 10 celebrity role models.
No. 10: Jennifer Lawrence
Since landing the role as Katniss on The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence has been dubbed a role model. While many people have called Jennifer fat, she doesn’t buckle under the pressure to be too thin. She’s a normal, healthy weight and wouldn’t want to be any different. That confidence is worth looking up to.
No. 9: Justin Bieber
Unlike some, Justin Bieber uses his celebrity superpowers for good, not evil. On many occasions he’s surprised adoring fans or sick children to give them a day to remember. He also supports many charities.
No. 8: Dakota Fanning
In 2001, Dakota Fanning became the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. She was 7-years-old. Now, the 18-year-old beauty has admittedly become a role model. Even as a busy actress, she graduated from her high school and is now studying at New York University.
No. 7: Emma Watson
After all the fame and fortune that came with being part of the Harry Potter franchise, you’d think Emma Watson would have buckled under the pressure of her star status. Instead, she used her earnings to return to school. She attended Brown University. She also did something few female celebs do – she chopped off her locks. This brave and confident gal is definitely a role model.
No. 6: Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson has blossomed since appearing on American Idol season 3. She began her career as a successful singer and actress, even earning an Oscar for her first film, Dreamgirls. She became the spokesperson for Weight Watchers and transformed her body, empowering herself and girls everywhere to have the confidence to do the same.
No. 5: Selena Gomez
Not only does 19-year-old Selena Gomez have her own TV show, an amazing album and her own clothing line, she has also helped with several organizations, including the ENOUGH project to help the Congolese citizens and their endangered amphibians.
No. 4: Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio has come a long way from his role as pretty boy Jack Dawson in Titanic. He is now the ultimate activist, trying to educate the public about the world’s environmental issues through documentaries and his own foundation.
No. 3: Ellen Degeneres
As her name states, Ellen Degeneres has become one of the most generous people in Hollywood. She supports over 30 charities and foundations and is particularly fighting against animal cruelty. She is an openly gay woman who wears her identity proud.
No. 2: The Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers have overcome a lot. They lived quite meagrely until the bros hit the big time. And even though Nick has diabetes, he doesn’t let that get in the way of his dreams. They’re a relatable band with wholesome values, who also started their own foundation – Change for the Children.
The Jonas Brothers
No. 1: Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is a kind-hearted person who keeps clear of the rag mags by living a clean and honest life. She is the ultimate role model, not only for that, but also for the 20+ charities and foundations she’s involved with, including Children in Need, Red Cross and a campaign to protect children from online predators.
Read more: Top 10 Celebrity Role Models http://www.kidzworld.com/article/27018-top-10-celebrity-role-models#ixzz2H1q8aFaE