A positive role model for female children and teens can be difficult to find. People have the tendency to become infatuated with celebrities and want to emulate them. Kim Kardashian is one of those celebrities, and she is not the role model she could be.
When taking a look at what makes a good role model, one must look at the values typical Americans want for their children, and, in this case, their daughters. The most significant value is self-acceptance. When a person accepts themselves, they are happy with who they are both physically and emotionally. Humility is also a highly valued trait. There is nothing wrong with being the smartest person in the room, as long as it is not held over others as a weapon.
Being honest is paramount, as is being charitable. Honesty and integrity fall into similar categories. It is good to be a forgiving person, but not a doormat. This demonstrates the strength of one’s character and integrity, which are valued traits.
Many of today’s families are blended, meaning there may be stepparents, step-siblings, and/or half-siblings. Kardashian’s parents divorced when she was 11 years old. She was the second of four children, and her mother had two more children during her marriage to Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner had four of his own when he entered into the marriage with Kris Jenner.
The model has three siblings, two half-siblings, and four step-siblings. She could use this experience to educate others as to what it was like growing up in a blended family. Moreover, she could share how she ended up with a sense of well-being. Additionally, she could discuss what it was like finding ways to get along with all of those different personalities. However, the reality television show on which she appears, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, seems only to be a gab-fest of who one knows and what one does.
The Atlantic recently published an article about the program and the Kardashian sisters. In the article, the writer talks about the model’s newest book, entitled Selfish, which is a 448-page selfie-fest, all taken between 2006 and 2014. The reality television star used only her own selfies in the book. This is another instance where Kardashian is not the role model she could be at a time when young women in the world need more role models.
While being unafraid to be proud of oneself is a great characteristic, a person can go overboard. Publishing a book of an individual’s academic, professional or even modeling achievements is an accepted practice. Self-promotion is equal to self-acceptance. Is it possible for a person be over-confident?
Other models in America have positively affected girls and women. A model who demonstrates self-acceptance in a healthy way is Jennie Runk. She is an average-sized woman who has been placed in the plus-size category simply because she is not sized smaller than six. Runk recalls the conversation with her mother after she was spotted by a talent scout: “When my mom first asked me if I wanted to try modeling, I said, no. I told her I am so much more than a face and a body, why would I want to model?” Runk was 13 years old when she had this conversation with her mother. She reluctantly agreed to try modeling and admits that being a size 10 in a room full of models who were smaller was uncomfortable. She explains, “I was not even 14 years old, already feeling big for my age, and then being so drastically different from all the other models around me was not easy.”
Being self-conscious about one’s body size and shape can be a tremendous problem for young women who are not naturally tall or naturally thin. It is so important to have the confidence to refuse to compare oneself to another girl or woman.
Another example of a role model is Jennifer Lawrence. A writer on allwomenstalk.com writes the following: “[She] is one of the best female role models for your daughter.” The author discusses Lawrence’s role in the Hunger Games, where she is a “strong female character.” In her personal life, the actress has been criticized about her weight. Hollywood executives and critics do not like those who refuse to meet their idea of what size is normal. Two additional reasons the author says Lawrence is an excellent role model are: “She is not afraid to speak her mind, and she is rarely seen out partying.”
On the other side of the coin is Kardashian, who flaunts her unclothed body for all to see. She often appears in public wearing extremely sheer and revealing clothing. Her body size is exaggerated, with large breasts, a tiny waist, and small hips. She is never photographed without first being worked over by her beauty team. This is a sad situation. Kardashian could use her positive life experiences to help other women, thereby becoming the role model she could be. She has so much more to offer than her vanity.
Opinion by Cathy Milne
Huffington Post Women: 11 Things Daughters of Strong Women Know
Bio.: Kim Kardashian Biography
Cosmopolitan: Jennie Runk, H&M’s First Plus-Size Swimsuit Model, Will Make You Love Yourself
The Atlantic: You Win, Kim Kardashian
Allwomenstalk.com: 7 Female Role Models For Your Daughter
Featured Photo Courtesy of FlashBuddy’s Pixabay Page – CCo Public Domain License
Inset Photo Courtesy of Klran Foster’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License