Exhibit One: Miley Cyrus’ appearance at the MTV Video Awards a few weeks ago.
I won’t link to it. You’ve seen it already, or if you haven’t, it’s because you’ve steadfastly decided not to. Still, you know what happened: Miley performed an over-the-top, highly sexually suggestive dance with Robin Thicke. There was grinding, and twerking, and a foam “Cheer Finger” was used to naughty effect. It was, for most of us, crass and uncomfortable to watch.
The headlines the next day proclaimed the official “death” of her Disney character, Hannah Montana. Hanna Montana, for those of you with younger children, was a Disney TV show staring Miley Cyrus, who portrayed an average pre-teen by day, and a famous pop-star by night. Beloved of many, Miley Cyrus was considered a role model for her wholesome portrayal of an ordinary kid with a secret identity.
Exhibit Two: Justin Bieber, who went from squeaky clean teen sensation to someone whose club hopping, occasional paparazzi-scuffling antics threaten to overshadow his musical career.
Exhibit Three: Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, or any other athlete whose personal misdeeds belied their public persona.
This week, 4Mothers looks at role models. As parents, how do we talk to our kids about finding positive role models in a world where fame appears to equal integrity? On the flip side, is it possible to find positive role models in the media, and what do we tell our children when, as often happens, these people turn out to be mere mortals like the rest of us? Join us this week, and as always we invite you to join the discussion.