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Friday, 29 June 2012

Who inspires you? - A debate!

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to inspire people. I've been assuming that many girls look up to celebrities and consider them as role models, when instead we should be inspired by real women like sportswomen, nurses and others, or every day ladies like me and you who do inspiring things.

Then I got thinking about how some celebrities can be quite inspiring - take Beyonce for example. I'm not a fan of her music personally (I like it, but I'm not a fan!), but I'm constantly in awe of how successful she has become - all by being a hard working, talented woman. 

So I think about other similar celebrities who are extremely famous at the moment and extremely successful. People like Cheryl Cole and Rihanna, who personally I don't think young girls should be considering them as role models. Why? Well because whilst Cheryl Cole is extremely successful now, many people often seem to forget that back in 2003 she was charged with assault after attacking a nightclub toilet attendant. And again, whilst Rihanna is very successful and yes, many people may admire her for being upfront about who she is, not caring what anyone thinks about what she wears or what she sings about, would you really be comfortable with your daughter, for example, striving to become someone who sings about S&M and goes out wearing next to nothing? Or someone who went back time and time again to a man who beat her? I didn't think so.

Rihanna in one of her revealing outfits with her breasts on show - does this really inspire you?
But, here's where things get complicated, and here's something that I've realized lately. I'm not all all condoning the fact that the negatives I listed should just be ignored, and that you should strive to be someone like that, but sometimes it's important to remember that everyone makes mistakes.

In the past I've certainly been hell bent on expressing my opinions that people like Rihanna and Cheryl Cole shouldn't be looked up to, and instead real women should be. But who's to say real women haven't made mistakes? When I think of inspiring celebrities, for example, I think of people like Emma Stone or Ian Somerhalder (actually, I'll have you know, despite his good looks he's done a ton of amazing work for charity!) - but how do I know they haven't made mistakes? I don't. But despite that, is it really right to promote the message of looking up to people who are seemingly perfect and who have never done wrong in their life?

...however, Rihanna performing to an eager crowd ; obviously the image of success. This of course would inspire anyone.
I've come to realize that by having that attitude, it's not really any better than looking up to people who have done wrong in their past. Because we should be encouraging girls to be the best that they can be - but we should also be encouraging them that mistakes DO happen sometimes and it's a part of life. They shouldn't be striving to be someone of absolute perfection with no flaws because quite frankly that type of person doesn't even exist. I couldn't imagine having a daughter who grew up believing that, inspiring to become someone who had never done wrong, and then felt so unbelievably low when they made a mistake. Because everyone makes them, and it's not right, but it's also not right to beat yourself up about mistakes so harshly when they may have been resolved and forgotten about.

Finally ; a mixture of the two and a perfect example to my debate. The outfit? Not so inspiring - revealing, not so ladylike - however maybe acceptable for the performance but not otherwise. On the other hand, performing again to an eager and obviously inspired crowd. 
In conclusion, I won't be changing my opinion about the fact that real woman should be looked up to more than celebrities. But I will be more open minded when it comes to judging who does get looked up to. Rihanna and Cheryl may have made mistakes, but they've also shown that in spite of these mistakes, they've still managed to be at the top of their game and stay successful. Maybe you shouldn't inspire to be like them as a whole ; but you should inspire to be as successful as them or as hard working as them. And that, essentially, is where things get complicated. Should we look up to people who have clearly done wrong? Who would you prefer your children to look up to and why - Rihanna or Emma Stone? 

Let me know what you think, I'm eager to know.

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