Celebrities are role models and should take advantage of the opportunity to impact their fans in a positive way

With great power comes great responsibility. Today this line is accredited as the wise words of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben giving advice to a teenager with accidental superpowers. However, it does not take a genetically engineered spider bite to give one power and influence.

Celebrities posses their own power just by the nature of their work. By starring on a hit TV show or as the lead role in a blockbuster movie, actors and actresses find themselves in a position of great power – and also great responsibility.

Celebrities get paid to sing, dance, act and sometimes do absolutely nothing. Many claim that this job description does not include being a role model. They believe the responsibility of being admirable falls on those who personally know the child. However, it is foolish to dismiss the powerful effect of celebrity behavior.

Teenagers idolize the glitz and glamour surrounding the celebrity image. They see success, beauty and wealth – things almost everyone dreams about. It is ridiculous to believe that teenagers will not look up to these successful people. No, celebrities do not sign up to be role models, but their resounding influence over teenagers makes being admirable a requirement.


Consider this, Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman is the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL. Through the power of social media, his inspiration to two young deaf girls was publicized. In an interview with ABC News one of the girls stated that Coleman shows that “anything can be done even with a disability.” Coleman did not sign up to be a role model. He trains and works to be an fullback; however, his influence puts him in a great position to provide inspiration.

Stardom is not the only career path that comes with strings attached. Students and parents would be horrified if teachers acted in a disgraceful way. Teachers are expected to be role models to students and to set an example of the appropriate way to act. Teachers may only get paid to teach, but are held to a higher standard of behavior than many other professionals because of their influence over the children they teach.

Perhaps even more important than the positive power of celebrity role models is the negative impact that celebrities can have. In a study conducted by criminology lecturer Dianne Taylor, women who see raunchy music videos can suffer from lower self esteem. The study concluded that the way women are depicted in music videos by performers such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna can affect a woman’s confidence, education and employment.

The importance of celebrity role models cannot be underestimated. Celebrities may have not asked for this task, but their resounding influence makes it foolish not to use it wisely. The great power celebrities posses comes with the great responsibility of being an admirable human being that can inspire teenagers.