A different kind of role model

February 26th, 2015


Raise your hand if you watched the Academy Awards ceremony this weekend! Now, raise your hand if you have an insane crush on one of the celebrities that graced the ceremony with his or her presence this year.


If I had 10 hands, they would all be in the air. From Bradley Cooper to Kevin Spacey, I am completely enamored with pretty much any celebrity man who has exceptional acting skills.


And, I admit it – I’ve got some serious girl crushes too. Not a crush as in an “I want to date you” crush, but more of an “I want to BE you” crush.


Oh, do you want some examples? Well, let’s see here.


If I had to trade bodies with anyone on the planet, I’d pick Zoe Saldana.


If I had to trade voices with someone, it’d be with Lady Gaga. (If you’re questioning the quality of her voice, watch her “Sound of Music” performance at the Oscars, and then get back to me.)


If I had to trade personalities or sense of humor, Emma Stone would be my number one choice.


Now, I don’t spend my days living in an envious rage of these women. Rather, I just like fantasize how my life would be if I had even a single ounce of their beauty and talent.


I would say these women are my role models, but I suppose that would be false because the definition of a role model, according to, is “a person whose behavior, example or success is or can be emulated.” I can’t emulate Zoe Saldana’s face, as much as I may try. And, seeing as how I’ve never had a single singing lesson in my life, I’ll probably never be able to emulate Lady Gaga’s voice.


Perhaps, if I really, truly put my mind to it, I could emulate Emma Stone’s personality in some ways. But, still, I don’t think that’s really the point of having a role model.


I don’t look at Emma Stone and feel inspired to become a better person. Her life choices, personal relationships and career ambitions have absolutely nothing to do with me or my goals. I do love the way she presents herself as a person, but I don’t think I can achieve true inspiration from her, simply because I cannot relate to her.


In consideration of this, I find that I am hard pressed to pick just one singular person as my ultimate role model.


My dad has been a topic of conversation in many of my columns, and I can’t deny that he influences my life more than any other person in the world. I don’t envision myself as a carbon copy of him; yet, despite our tremendous differences in personalities, I often find myself mirroring his example in countless situations. His qualities of rationality, discipline and devotion to his loved ones are qualities that I strive to embody each day.


My aunt is another tremendous influence in my life. She currently lives in Denver, and I’m lucky if I get to see her twice a year. However, even with thousands of miles of distance between us, she has still managed to leave a pretty sizable footprint in my life. I honestly can’t think of a single person who represents independence, individuality and passion better than she does.


After my aunt, the list of role models goes on and on.


Unlike my celebrity crushes, these role models are people that I actually am able to emulate, and I constantly strive to do so. As I mentioned, I can certainly appreciate admiring mega watt superstars like Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston, who are usually considered role models because of their femininity and beauty. But, I think it’s much more important to identify the collection of people in your life who actually connect with you on a personal level and challenge you to become the best version of yourself.


Additionally, it’s important to identify the personality and character traits in yourself that are actually improvable. Focus on those, rather than always trying to emulate the physical perfection of superstars.


In short, inspiration can come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Be wary of the inspiration that fades with time, and be excited for the inspiration that will change you for the rest of your life.