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In the introduction it is affirmed that celebrities have positive elements needed to become role models, hence explaining why most of them inspire others. In the body section, media personalities Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey were analysed.
Angelina has strong values, which can be seen in her personal life as an international adopting parent and also in her role as a UN goodwill ambassador. Oprah’s success in her career and her philanthropic work teaches others how to be professionals and how to use their wealth selflessly.
These celebrities still have some flaws; but they have not let their past get in the way of their societal impact. In the conclusion, it was affirmed that celebrities’ accomplishments are easily identifiable to the public, as is the case with Angelina and Oprah, and this makes them good role models.
Since celebrities demonstrate what it means to be an extraordinary media personality, then they serve as exemplary role models. Angelina Jolie and Oprah are positive role models as seen through their career accomplishments and charity initiatives; they did not let their dark past defuse the change they instated in society.
Celebrities as role models
Some celebrities illuminate their position as media personalities through the right behaviour and attitude. A role model is one whose attitude and behaviour conform to that which people expect of a person in that role. Actress Angelina Jolie exemplifies this positive role through involvement in humanitarian work and her personal life. She has worked as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations for several years.
Jolie took the personal initiative to contact the UNHCR concerning troubled regions of the world. She visited several African refugee camps in 2000. As a field agent of the UN, Jolie went to Pakistan and Cambodia to do mission work in refugee camps.
These trips started after she became the goodwill ambassador in 2001. The celebrity has visited approximately thirty countries in an attempt to create awareness about the plight of refugees. She has brought media attention back to forgotten civil conflicts. Furthermore, Jolie covers her own expenses during these missions, and shares the same deplorable conditions with other UN workers.
She undertakes these humanitarian missions bravely as seen through her entrance into conflict zones (Allen-Mills, 2008). Some celebrities may refrain from visiting dangerous places like Darfur and Afghanistan, but Jolie has not shied away from these regions. Her attitude and behaviour as a goodwill ambassador are exemplary and typical of a good role model.
Celebrities can inspire others to imitate them through their values and goals. In addition to visiting refugees, Jolie has done a lot of media campaigns and lobbying work. The celebrity even made a documentary about poverty-stricken communities in East Africa. She has worked with politicians and other bodies in Washington.
Jolie launched several foundations intended on helping children in conflict zones and those in the US who are immigrants. The actress’s long list of humanitarian awards testifies to her commitment and passion for people in need. Angelina Jolie’s accomplishments in this area illuminate the positive part that celebrities can play as role models.
She has dedicated her life to making the lives of others better, and this is something that the public can emulate (McFay, 2005). Society can also draw positive lessons from Jolie’s personal life.
The actress has adopted three children from three poor countries; that is, Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia. Her international adoptions teach people how to surpass cultural and geographical boundaries in order to unite the human race. These actions reflect the values of self sacrifice and care that others can imitate.
Role models do not have to be perfect; they only have to do their best in prevailing circumstances. Angelina Jolie has had a dark past since she experimented with drugs during her youth. Furthermore, the celebrity had shaky relationships in her 20s and 30s.
Other people also claim that her humanitarian work keeps her away from her 6 children. All these imperfections illustrate that she is only human, so they do not mirror her accomplishments.
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Some celebrities inspire others through their career accomplishments, and Oprah Winfrey is one such person. Her world famous show highlighted numerous instances of goodwill and care for others. She defied numerous odds to become the richest African American in the US.
Oprah overcame child abuse, poverty and negativity to make it as a talk-show host (Avtalion, 1998). Furthermore, she has encouraged literacy through formation of her own book club. This media personality has also promoted health and fitness by launching O-Magazine as well as talking about health issues on her show. In fact, this emphasis on good health and nutrition led to Dr. Phil’s and Dr. Oz’s careers.
The latter professionals have spearheaded the fight against obesity, psychological issues and lifestyle diseases in the US. Furthermore, Oprah has taught people about the importance of spirituality. She has done this in a way that includes even the non-religious. Oprah’s role as a female entrepreneur is also inspiring to many.
The media guru used exceptional and bold tactics to buy the Oprah show and own her own network. She has created a franchise of inspirational programs and businesses. Young people can definitely look up to her when starting their careers. Many women also admire her as an influential figure in the business world.
Since celebrities make a lot of money, they can serve as examples on what to do with immense wealth, which makes them role models for others. Oprah has engaged in a lot of charitable activities. The former talk show host opened a South African Leadership Academy for underprivileged girls in 2007.
She started by donating 40 million to the charity and has given an opportunity to children who would never have gotten such a chance. Oprah has also made donations to various charities. One of the most notable ones was Project Cuddle, which focused on the plight of abandoned babies.
Furthermore, the media personality has encouraged and publicised various causes on her show and on other media outlets (Quast, 2011). Oprah’s example illustrates that celebrates can inspire others to use their wealth selflessly.
One may question a celebrity’s ability to become a role model based on his or her personal life. For instance, Oprah has never been married nor had children. Therefore, one may doubt her ability to act as a role model since families are society’s basic unit.
Celebrities have all the elements needed to become positive role models, hence explaining why most of them inspire others. Two female media personalities, Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey, have proved this assertion by their relentless drive in their careers and their philanthropic work.
Angelina’s values and use of her role as a media personality have inspired others. Oprah’s career accomplishments and charity work teach others how to be professionals and how to use their wealth selflessly.
These celebrities still have some flaws; nonetheless, their imperfections do not discredit all the positive work they have done. Celebrities’ lives are easily identifiable to the public and can thus make them good role models.
Allen-Mills, T. (2008, September 9). The other side of Angelina Jolie. The Sunday Times, p. 13.
Avtalion, O. (1998, November 8). Oprah Winfrey: A role model. The New York Times, p B8.
McFay, E. (2005). Angelina Jolie: Angel in disguise. California, LA: Icon Press
Quast, L. (2011, June 13). What career women can learn from Oprah Winfrey. Forbes, p. 4.