Feminism Fodder

Who Women Worship…

On Friday, I read a disturbing article in the Mx newspaper.

According to a survey conducted with 600 14 to 24-year-old girls on a website called Bellaboobabe.com, Paris Hilton, Mischa Barton and Kate Moss are among the top role models for women (only beaten by J. K. Rowling and Cathy Freeman).

Imagine that — Paris Hilton. A role model. Somebody, please wake me from this nightmare!!!

So we have a bimbo, an anorexic and an alcoholic who are among the top role models for young girls these days. I can see where the future is heading!!

The article talked about how girls said they didn’t have enough women as role models. Apparently, the website has featured Sarah Murdoch (model), Catriona Rowntree (TV personality) and Elka Graham (swimmer) as some role models for women.

This begs me to ask the question: Why do we only need TV personalities, models or sportspersons as role models???

Whatever happened to promoting women scientists and researchers working towards finding cures for cancer or mental health issues, or even politicians like Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop? Why can’t we teach girls to look around them to find other women to look up to — their mothers or aunts or teachers? Why do we have to focus on looks or medals? Is this what we want adolescent girls to aspire to? To have their 15 minutes of fame without needing to exercise their brain or by just being bitchy? Next thing you know, we will have the likes of Zoo weekly girls being promoted as role models for teenagers! Or Sarah Palin.

What is wrong with the world? Why are the likes of Paris Hilton or the Olsen twins being promoted by the media? The cliche “any publicity is good publicity” has got to stop!

And then we wonder about the rise in mental health problems in adolescent girls or body image problems or self-harm!

Teenagers are at a stage when they soak in anything and everything the media gives them. Most of them are not capable of thinking critically. And the media capitalises on that.

It’s high time a change comes around — promote researchers or entrepreneurs or women helping the society or even intelligent politicians.

Stop the stupidity.

If only.

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  • Orhan Kahn
    17 November 2008 at 1:27 am

    I do indeed feel very sorry for some women, it is a sad state of affairs when Paris Hilton are their role models..though they’re welcome to take a page out of the book of men too. I certainly don’t mind 😉

  • Smita
    17 November 2008 at 3:51 am

    Well well…

    We all have become celebrity starved. A small piece about them gets so much publicity and the genuine news is left behind. So it is not surprising that the new generation is taking them as role model as well….all jazz no substance…

  • Psych Babbler
    17 November 2008 at 5:06 am

    @ Orhan: Come to think of it, I didn’t have women role models outside of home (for me it was my mum) but I did follow Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh and tried to emulate them in areas such as striving for your dreams and being honest.

    @ Smita: You are so right! This is the day and age where the likes of Britney Spears actually make headlines! And not for the right reasons, might I add.

  • Orhan Kahn
    19 November 2008 at 8:43 am

    You picked two very good examples of human beings 🙂

  • MilesPerHour
    22 November 2008 at 10:50 am

    I grew up idolizing pro athletes, and then in my young adult life I went on to play college and semi-pro basketball. I could not understand why people were asking for MY autograph. The real interesting thin though getting to know my teammates who had college degrees. Many did drugs. Others couldn’t spell simple words. Just a couple examples. Why people looked up to us just because of our celebrity status was puzzling. It still is today.

  • Psych Babbler
    22 November 2008 at 10:33 pm

    @ Orhan: Definitely agree with that, if I may say so myself.

    @ MilesPerHour: Thanks for visiting! I’m with you mate — so puzzling about idolising individuals that do drugs, that get into brawls etc — for both guys and girls.

  • Braja
    26 November 2008 at 8:06 am

    I agree…but not only that, what about the wealth of inspirational figures from India’s history? So many there…powerful queens, chaste women, ladies galore…where are they now? They walk among us. Unfortunately I think the values have changed and girls are rarely interested in real women….