When I was a child, role models were people who did something with their lives. Someone we could look up to and take inspiration from, someone who’d make us push for a dream we’d want to work towards and achieve. Unfortunately times have changed, but not by a little, but by a lot.
In my 33 years, it’s changed and now role models aren’t the likes of JK Rowling, Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Oprah, instead it’s all swamped in the world of television. And not just any television, not the kind that means actual acting, the horrible shit world of reality. Argh reality. It’s friggin everywhere!
Children believe they will find success as a celebrity thanks to shitty reality tv programs, which is all fake and scripted, but still believed to be real. There’s no denying that these “celebrities” have the power to influence people, especially the younger generation, but how they’re made famous should question why they should even be given the title “role model.”
Most reality tv shows these days give a false representation on life. It’s not all glitz, glamour and endless cash. Quite the opposite. This year’s Love Island saw 85,000 people apply to be part of the ITV2 dating show this year – more than double the number of applications received for two of Britain’s most prestigious universities, Oxford and Cambridge, according to The Daily Mail. Oxford receives around 19,000 applications, while Cambridge has just under 17,000 a year. That’s shocking isn’t it?
Most people now will do anything to get on tv thanks to tv shows like Geordie Shore, Love Island, Ibiza Weekender and TOWIE. There’s no denying that reality stars have the power to influence people, particularly younger generations. But do you think they are bad role models? Or can they do good?
On Good Morning Britain to debate the topic this morning was Love Island star Kady McDermott, who made headlines after she had sex on the reality television show. Kady was recently axed from a Christmas lights switch-on after a backlash from local mums. Residents in Welwyn Garden City signed a petition to have Kady removed from the seasonal event over worries she is a bad role model for young women.
The reality star defended her actions, saying having sex on television doesn’t ‘define’ her and that her behaviour was natural for someone who was in a relationship for a number of weeks. However, broadcaster and author Anna May Mangan thinks it’s the right move. She thinks Kady is “entirely inappropriate for the job”, stating she would rather choose “the local lollipop lady”. Kady was terribly upset after discovering she’d been dropped, stating the mums who petitioned against are ‘hypocrites’.
I hear far too many times from friends how the younger generation seem to think they’re owed something when it comes to education or work, that they don’t take life seriously enough because being an internet or TV star seems so much more realistic. Its also worrying to think how they think how to because famous is by taking their clothes off, performing acts, having sex on TV or doing anything that’s completely inappropriate is their gateway to fame, stardom and endless cash. It’s terrifying to think kids don’t believe in the real world around them instead the fake one that’s constantly shoved down their throats as what’s normal.
I’m interested to hear what other people, parents and youngsters what they think of this. I know it will forever be an ongoing debate, but it’s interesting to hear other people’s views on this.