Role Models – Generation Justice

Being a teenage girl, I know the influence of role models and pop culture on teenagers. Though being famous does not always mean being perfect, there are some wonderful people out there who I do look up to and admire, people who speak up for what they believe in and fight for what is right.

For example, when Ramin Setoodeh of Newsweek,published an  article bashing gay actors, actress Kristin Chenoweth fought back saying, “”The offense I take to this article, and your decision to publish it, is not really even related to my profession…. This article offends me because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian. For example, there was a time when Jewish actors had to change their names because anti-Semites thought no Jew could convincingly play Gentile. Setoodeh even goes so far as to justify his knee-jerk homophobic reaction to gay actors by accepting and endorsing that ‘as viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker room torture in junior high school.”” Really? We want to maintain and proliferate the same kind of bullying that makes children cry and in some recent cases have even taken their own lives?”  That’s right she’s kind of awesome.

Ethan Zohn, who I had the amazing opportunity to meet, won Survivor Africa, yes I know reality TV is ridiculous, but Ethan Zohn is not.  He took his winnings and founded Grassroots Soccer.  His organization teaches African youth the dangers and HIV and AIDS, through these young children’s idols, the soccer players.  In America, soccer ratings are not even close to football or baseball ratings, but soccer is truly the world’s sport.  In Africa these soccer stars are idolized beyond belief, and so Ethan Zohn has created a way for these role models to help Africa’s youth.

By: Abby Magnus