Why don’t we talk about Charlie Sheen being a bad role model?

This week on Role/Reboot I wrote about the the term “role model.” I realized that, in my own head, I have a tendency to hold successful women to a higher standard, expecting them to be on “good behavior” and set the “right example” all the time, and for everyone. There are so many bad-behaving male celebrities, and we never talk abou them as being bad role models. I think in some ways it’s as simple as the fact that there are many more men in the limelight, and so the need for “role models” is not so dire.

We assume that women who seek fame or success should also be moral role models as well. We don’t hold men to that standard. Some of them just want to be rich and famous and don’t give two shits about who they influence along the way. I’m not suggesting that’s a great attitude, only that it’s one we accept from men. Maybe Rihanna just wants to be rich and famous? Being a “role model” has never seemed to be her priority, so we do keep trying to drape her in that mantle?

Screenshot_4_4_13_1_06_PMRelated Post: You guessed it, I’m a privileged white girl

Related Post: Sometimes, though, people are actually kind of cool


Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media, Republished!

6 responses to “Why don’t we talk about Charlie Sheen being a bad role model?

  1. mariasmilios

    Hi, your link is not linking to your article. I agree that men are not held to nearly as many, if any, standards as women; however, these are powerful women in the public eye, with a tremendous influence over young girls, who do look at them as role models–kids don’t know the difference between celebrity and role models–I wish they did and I wish they wanted to imitate Rachel Maddow instead of Rhianna, but they don’t. Instead, imitate these woman in every way and their parents pay hundreds of dollars to have their kids see them perform, so I do believe that they have some obligation to be a “role” model.

  2. I think that a huge factor in this is that there are so many more younger girls in the world, rather than younger boys, that look up to people to be their role models. Think about all the teeny boppers that want to grow up so bad to be like all the women they see. I’m not saying it’s rare for younger boys to look up to the famous male stars and take after them, however, it seems to be more of every young girl’s dream.

  3. Double standards exist for a reason, because men have held the reins of power so long, because they tend to objectify women, and because woman have by and large embraced this objectification by agreeing that looks are important, even though they are truly superficial instead. I think everyone should be held to the same standards, and that if anyone is famous, they are role models, de facto. I recall Charles Barkley’s famous comment after spitting on a fan, that “I am not a role model,” and I think that’s total BS. Just being in the public eye makes you a role model, and you need to be held to a standard. The same is true for Rihanna, and for Charlie Sheen, and for anyone else who has embraced that star role. And it may not be fair, but neither is the fact that my kids look up to them. But it’s still the truth.

  4. I admire Charlie Sheen’s insanity, I confess. I do NOT admire Donald Trump’s. But Charlie Sheen is like walking Id and I wish there was a woman as famously unhinged as him. Tanking, without all that swagger, doesn’t count. I want an unhinged woman to say I’m a winner, I can do what I like, and I’m better than you because I’m a super-hero from planet Tutu. Deal with it! It’s perverse, but there is a thrill to that lack of self-censorship. I want women to go wonky and NOT be sorry.

  5. Pingback: Fame, What Kind. | The Mitch Niche

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