April 6, 2020,
Imagination aside, were there more role models in societies during the past?
Especially in the neighborhood, where you felt safe.
The most important role models that we have are our parents. They can have the greatest influence on our values and future behavior.
The team at lancaster.unl.edu educate, “Parents are a child’s first teachers and role models. And usually children are more affected by what their parents do than by what their parents say. They learn how to behave by seeing how their mothers and fathers behave and by following their example.”
We also have friends and their parents too.
In our circle when Natasha was growing up, she came from a troubled home.
Her friend Aralia resided in a very stable home with a loving mother and a stern but fair father.
Aralia’s family observed birthdays, holidays, went on nice vacations and had regular wonderful simple dinners. Natasha was always happy to tag along and spent more time there than her own home.
Now an adult, Natasha credits Aralia’s family with helping her to stay off of drugs and engage in excessive pre-marital sex that she observed other teenage girls succumb to when their homes were troubled.
Given the breakdown of the traditional family where many young people are growing up in unstable or single parent homes, role models are more important now than ever.
Fortunately the influence of a role model is expansive.
A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.
“I think it’s important for little girls growing up, and young women, to have one in every walk of life. So from that point of view, I’m proud to be a role model!”… Sally Ride
The term role model is credited to sociologist Robert K. Merton, who coined the phrase during his career.
Mr. Merton hypothesized that individuals compare themselves with reference groups of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires.
Teachers, because of the large amount of time spent with children, have such a huge impact on children that they’re being advised to be likeable in order to build strong emotional relationships with their students.
An example being the way young fans will idolize and imitate professional athletes or entertainment artists.
Major corporations are aware of this and that is why they choose their brand ambassadors very carefully.
The ever-widening reach of the media in popular culture has elevated certain celebrities to worldwide acclaim.
This boom of media coverage and constant exposure to these individuals resulted in a change of mindset toward celebrities in both adults and youth alike.
“I know that being seen as a role model means taking responsibility for all my actions. I am human, and of course, sometimes I make mistakes. But I promise that when I fall, I get back up.”… Jennifer Lopez
According to a survey of teachers in the United Kingdom conducted in 2008 by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, young people most frequently chose sports stars as role models, followed by pop stars.
One of the most popular and sought after brand ambassadors in female sports in Ms. Serena Williams.
Serena is an American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women’s single tennis.
Drum roll please.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf.
Ms. Williams holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active players.
Her 39 Grand Slam titles put her joint-third on the all-time list and second in the Open Era: 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She is the most recent female player to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously (2002–03 and 2014–15) and the third player to achieve this twice, after Rod Laver and Graf.
She is also the most recent player to have won a Grand Slam title on each surface (hard, clay and grass) in one calendar year (2015).
Earning almost $29 million in prize money and endorsements, Serena was the highest paid female athlete in 2016.
She repeated this feat in 2017 when she was the only woman on Forbes‘ list of the 100 highest paid athletes with $27 million in prize money and endorsements.
In 2019, she was ranked 63rd in Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list.
In the early 2000s, Serena wore Puma apparel and footwear on court. She used the Wilson Hammer 6.4 Stretch Power Holes racket.
She also has endorsement deals with Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Audemars Piguet, Aston Martin, Pepsi, Beats by Dre headphones, Mission Athletecare, Berlei bras, OPI Products, OnePiece, IBM, Mini, Intel, Tempur and Chase Bank.
Serena is the current CSO (Chief Sporting Officer) for British luxury automobile manufacturer Aston Martin. She accepted the contract in June 2015. Williams then posted her first experience on social media service Twitter, and said: “I’m loving my first day on the job as Chief Sporting Officer and Director of Fun!” stating her optimism on the job as the CSO.
Ms. Williams is also on the Board of Directors at SurveyMonkey.
Recently she decided to work with another partner to promote their brand.
As reported at tennisworldusa.org they share, “23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is the latest brand ambassador for P&G’s Secret Deodorant, teaming up with the brand to promote gender equality in sports. Speaking to WWD, the 38 year old Williams says, “[Secret] has a history of supporting women’s issues and fighting for women’s equality.”
The brand also released a Super Bowl LIV commercial that focused on gender inequality in sports by highlighting talented female football players.
That in itself is setting a great example to follow.
In the ways that we can, perhaps all of us can be role models.
By keeping our personal standards high, participating in community activities and setting a fine example by how we take care of our home and ourselves, we too can be one of the most important role models that a young person may have.
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