Opinion

They’re Watching Us: How To Be A Good Role Model

While the idea “somebody’s always watching you” can be quite scary, I believe that we should combat this by simply being the best we can be.

It’s rare that I get a free Saturday. So you know what I did a few weeks ago when I finally got one? I watched YouTube video compilations of all the fights from Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School. I sat in my pajamas and satin bonnet at 2:00 in the afternoon and watched two twenty minute videos of every single fight that happened between the women during the season. It was a beautiful day. Even though I no longer find the same enjoyment in reality TV as I once did, watching these videos and recalling all of the ridiculous interactions that happened between the contestants was sadly hilarious and entertaining.

The compilations ended with the season’s reunion show, where Mo’Nique gave Larissa (Bootz) and Shay (Buckeey) a lecture on cleaning up their acts and changing their behavior because “they’re watching us.” I was about 13 when the show originally aired, so the “they” she was referring to was young girls like me who had no business watching Charm School.  

Having somebody look up to you is a scary thing, and most of the time, you don’t even know that somebody does. But as a lady recently told me, somebody’s always watching you.  She told me a story about a situation that occurred when her daughter was in high school.  When she was a freshman, she looked up to and desperately wanted to be like an older girl at her school. When the older girl became pregnant, the woman said her daughter was devastated. The older student had no clue that this woman’s daughter looked up to her, let alone knew who she was, but she effected her life in a significant way.

It’s no secret that people are going to fail you. I’ve had people who I have looked up to let me down before. Like the situation with these two high school girls, most of them didn’t know I looked up to them and in some cases didn’t know me personally. I often wonder if there’s anybody out there who looks up to me. It’s certainly a scary thought, because I’m nobody’s role model for a number of reasons:

I’ll read your text, but won’t actually open and respond to it until an hour later. I like boys who don’t like me back and are mean to the ones who do. I don’t eat healthy, and on rare weeks where I do count calories and exercise, I celebrate losing four pounds by eating doughnuts and cheeseburgers over the weekend. I sometimes get caught up in the moment and make passive-aggressive social media posts like a 10th grade girl. I choose sleep over Sunday School. On a scale of 1-10, my road rage is a 20. If I drink the last of the kool-aid, there’s a 90% chance I won’t replace it. I don’t make my bed. I avoid people I know in the grocery store. I don’t say “I love you” enough. If you clap, I’m clapping back ten times harder. I blow up at people and feel bad about it five seconds later, but I’m an Aries so I can’t help it.

Bottom line is, nobody’s perfect. So if that’s the case, what makes a good role model? Like beauty, I believe it’s in the eye of the beholder. Your role model is what you want to be, or who you want to model yourself after. What you think a role model is might not match somebody else’s idea, and that’s ok. A role model is what you want to emulate for yourself and only yourself.  

While the idea “somebody’s always watching you” can be quite scary, I believe that we should combat this by simply being the best we can be. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of us, we should do our best to highlight the positives.

So I’m going to continue being persistent, compassionate, and ambitious. I’m going to hold on to my good work ethic. I’m going to keep displaying my strong faith in Christ. When my friends ask me my honest opinion about something, I’m going to give it to them because I can’t have my people out here looking stupid. When I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. I’m going to stand up for what I believe in. I’m going to continue laughing too loud, because I’ve found that my laugh makes other people laugh. I don’t care if they’re laughing at or with me, at least they’re laughing!

I’m going to keep doing me, and I encourage you to do the same. Flaws and all, there’s got to be somebody out there who is going to like and admire you.  If somebody’s always going to be watching you, you might as well give them the real thing to look up to.

X’s and O’s,

JF

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