So lately, I’ve watching a lot of Youtube, especially Shane Dawson’s channel(s). Even though he’s more sexual than my usual Youtuber (take Ashley Mardell, for example), I really like him. I think part of it has to do with his sense of humour; I think we probably have a similar or the same sense of humour. But I think there’s also more to it than that, under the surface of that humour. He has an average figure, like to eat, as expressive eyes and hilarious expressions, and a bad childhood. He’s not afraid to show himself, yet there’s plenty of self-deprecation in his videos; he even has body dismorphia issues. He has 6 million subscribers, a ship with Joey Graceffa, and well-produced videos. I hate to say this, but the dude’s an inspiration. An inspiration to ordinary people like me, to teach us that we matter, and that it’s okay to take chances sometimes.
But this also got me thinking about role models. And I’ve had my fair share of favourite actors, like Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman, but the thing about this is I think there was this assumption that favourite actor = crush, which equalled awkwardness with dad when I was looking at all Rickman’s movies. But it wasn’t like that at all.
Even Benedict Cumberbatch thinks he looks odd, but we all accept him, because we know he’s beautiful.
But here’s the thing: why are our role models always men? Why don’t we ever get inspiration from women celebrities. Mainstream media would have us model the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, etc., which just makes me think female celebrities are wrecked. But even Kristen Stewart gets the short end of the stick. For one thing, people think she’s an emotionless bitch. But the truth, when she played Bella from Twilight, she was only being true to the character. Bella was the emotionless bitch.
Jodie Foster’s article on Kristin Stewart talks more about this whole thing. But there is one more thing I should point out, which is that when Stewart had an affair with the director of that Snow White film she was in, no one blamed the married man, they all blamed the celebrity slut. Even if she chose to do that of her will, she is a victim of her own surroundings, and not nearly as culpable as the director who may well have taken advantage of her for all we know. Slut shaming and victim blaming are both wrong things to do. I’m not even a big fan of Stewart, but this article really turned me around on her.
As for celebrities I am a fan of, I’d say Olivia Wilde, Katie McGrath, and Kari Byron would be among them. I like them for their characters and convictions mainly, and yeah, I could say they’re also inspiring. But media are also more inclined to turn them into sex symbols, which is a shame, because in this case, they’re also more than that, and should be seen as such. Here’s hoping more fangirls, at least, can come to find inspiration in these kinds of role models, too.