$\blacktriangleright$ 3. Write an article
People often ask "Who is your role model?" - and oftentimes, you might not even have an answer for that. Some might name their relatives as their role models, which is also valid. However, the problem with relatives as role models is the one that they probably have made the same experiences and have the same background as oneself. The question is yonder you can really learn from such a role model. Sometimes, you are better off having someone completely different as a role model.
First of all, a role model is a someone who is an an example that influences others. For children, the most important role models are their parents and caregivers. Yet, this changes as soon as the child descends into puberty. Then, teenagers are highly influenced by their friends as well as by the behaviour they are exposed to on television and social media.
Role models offer some kind of direction for teenagers, they can help with the decision on where a teenager wants to go with his or her life since they show a possible future life. They are someone who teenagers can look up to and towards whom they can orientate themselves.
Also, role models show that even in a cruel world, there are good people; that there are people that stand up for what is right and good. Role models encourage and inspire.
Taking Zayn Malik or Billy Elliot into account as role models, they show that success is possible despite their modest background. Zayn was brought up as a second-generation immigrant of working-class parents and they never lived in their own house or had a lot of money to spend. Billy was the child of a single-parent mine worker and he was supposed to step in the footsteps of his father and brother who both worked in rather manly professions. Yet, both worked hard to achieve their dreams and they show that it is possible to become famous even though they both stem from a working-class background.
Also, they and their success make it obvious that hard work is mandatory in order to become successful. Zayn had to fight his way through thousands of other candidates on the show X Factor and even afterwards within the boygroup One Direction. Billy Elliot had to fight against his father who didn't want him to become a ballet dancer because that was equal to being gay. Surely, they both had to train day and night to become better and to become recognized on a world-wide basis.
In addition, their success can be regarded as a bridge between different cultures or classes. Zayn Malik is a Muslim and very religious - and he fit perfectly in the group of One Direction. He is a role model for many other Muslim teenagers as well, he is tangible for them due to his authenticity. Billy made the transcendence of the working class into the middle class, from worker to artist. This shows that your background doesn't define your future, if you only put your will at it.
Both Zayn and Billy are examples of positive values - both hold their family up high: Zayn bought a house for his parents because they were never able to afford one and Billy brought his father and brother to his performance of the swan in The Swan Lake.
Thus, they can be considered as good role models who booth offer orientation and guidance in following a specific dream.
However, not every celebrity automatically qualifies as a role model. If teenagers pick a wrong role model, they might be led in the wrong direction. If the presumed role model is taking drugs for instance, it is possible that the teenager might want to take drugs as well just because he is influenced by his or her role model. It is necessary that the teenager does not follow his or her role model at all costs but that he or she can differentiate and decide what is right and wrong.
Furthermore, orientating oneself towards a role model can arouse false expectations. Just because a teenager might have a singer as a role model doesn't mean that he or she is a great singer as well and that he or she might have the same success as the role model. Of course, the role models have worked hard to get where they are but they were sometimes lucky to be at the right place at the right time as well.
Zayn Malik / Billy Elliot
To sum it up, teenagers definitely need role models to feel guided and to have someone who inspires them. Yet, not every celebrity or famous person is suited for such a task. Hence, it is important that teenagers seek role models who are or who used to be in a similar situation as themselves.