Choose your role models wisely

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When I was younger, I idolized many celebrities. In first grade, I wrote an essay about loving Danny from the band New Kids on the Block “very, very much.”
There were many others, such as singer Vince Gill, dancer and actor Gene Kelly and numerous authors who wrote some of my favorite series of books.
As we often do, we put these “celebrities” on a pedestal.
Because we think of them as our idols, we often have a hard time believing they can do anything wrong or commit basic human errors.
I remember feeling crushed when I discovered Gill left his wife to marry fellow singer Amy Grant. There were many rumors that the majority of his songs about lost love were about her.
It almost felt like a betrayal of sorts. How could he do this to his fans?
However, just because they have celebrity status does not mean they do not face the same dilemmas and heartaches we all do.
I believe celebrities, since they are in the public eye, should strive to set a good example, especially for their younger fans.
In today’s world, there is a plethora of people armed with cameras or cellphones catching these people in some sort of scandalous behavior.
It can be difficult for them to make mistakes without being subject to public ridicule.
Our own mistakes are usually go unknown and are thereby not subjected to public commentary.
I’m always on the lookout for a good role model, not just for myself, but someone I believe will be a positive influence on our younger generations.
South Mississippians have pro-football star Brett Favre.
At this moment, I can’t remember any scandal associated with his legacy.
What I do remember is the pride Kiln residents and surrounding areas felt and still feel for their hometown hero.
If you take a drive into Kiln, you are instantly greeted with “Home of Brett Favre” signage. The local gas station has a mural of Favre’s team helmets painted on the side of their building.
Picayune has a hometown hero in Chearice Vaughn, whom I interviewed for last week’s lifestyle story.
I could relate to Vaughn’s story. Growing up, I never saw plus-size women portrayed in a positive light.
But that is changing; Vaughn and other plus-size women who don’t look like the average model can now wear the latest fashions with pride.
Instead of thinking I could wear pretty clothes, I wore mostly oversized T-shirts and baggy shorts to hide the fact that I was a plus-size girl.
Now, since many companies realize that not all women are shaped the same, there are more options for every woman.
There’s that old cliché, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s true. We don’t know everyone’s story and what obstacles they face in their life’s journey.
It’s also important to remember to choose your heroes wisely.
Just because they are a celebrity or in a more elevated position than you does not necessarily mean they are someone you should look up to.

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