The Misconception of a “Role Model” and the Relation to an Athlete

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  • Topic: Want, Need, Role model
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  • Published : March 27, 2011
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Media Studies Article Report: The misconception of a “role model” and the relation to an athlete

A role model: a noun, meaning a person whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. An athlete: also a noun, a person who is trained in exercises or contents involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill. Two entirely different words, and two very different definitions, yet one must wonder; could it be that these terms may in fact be very closely related? Thus bringing us to the much debated issue of whether or not athletes can be positive role models. Over the years, this has proved to be an extremely opinionated issue for many. The truth is, an athlete is simply “a person”, and if we have people who are our role models, then yes, athletes, being people, can be positive role models too. However in today’s society there is a huge misconception surrounding the term “role model” and therefore there are many mixed opinions regarding this topic. Firstly, could it be that our expectations of athletes that are perhaps too high, thus preventing us from seeing the “positive-ness” in them. Secondly, in such a materialistic world, people often forget the difference between what they want and what they need, and therefore if the world wants to see prefect role models, with money, talent, and beauty, then they will look for that in people like athletes, because quite frankly, people are constantly in search of that “good life” concept. Lastly, there is a reason why the word role comes before model. Our role models are only models in a certain role, or as one may say forte. Athletes are role models in our society, however only in the role of an athlete, and we often forget that. Consequently we may need to re think our definition of a role model before we determine whether or not athletes can be considered positive influences on our society.

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