Today, I wanted to write about my role models.
It was a classic question at school. Whether it be an ice breaker for the first day of term, the essay title for our English homework or a practice question for our French speaking exam. “Who are your role models?”
Who are your idols? Who do you look up? Who do you want to be like when you grow up? If you could be a celebrity, who would you be?
It all meant the same thing. Who do you most want to be like?
For me, I never had any real role models. If I was ever asked, I would choose a celebrity who I quite liked at the time. The last one I remember was Beverley Knight because she seemed like a nice person on TV and had an incredible voice.
Only recently did I realise that I have actually acquired some role models in the last few years. It just didn’t occur to me that they were role models. Why?
Because they’re fictional. (I always thought role models were supposed to be real people.)
But it shouldn’t matter if they’re fictional. Someone out there managed to create such a detailed and deep character using their mind (and probably their heart too). We should allow ourselves to use that character as an example for ourselves.
And besides… I don’t feel like I get to know celebrity icons enough to think of them as a role model. The wonderful thing about fictional characters is you get to know them and their story.
So. Who are my role models and why?
Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket). Always cheerful, forever optimistic. Her kind demeanor and sunny personality means her presence is enough to make someone else feel better. She epitomises the saying that ‘smiles are contagious.’ Despite everything she’s been through, Tohru always tries her best to look on the bright side, even if things are looking low. I know how it feels to be surrounded by negativity and then dragged down into it as a result, so I really admire Tohru’s outlook. It’s an outlook I try to adopt for myself.
Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura). With an invincible phrase and invincible smile, her most noticeable traits are her super cheerfulness and constant energy, which I love about her. Everything about her is full of love and kindness, wanting to be friendly with everyone around her. I love that she never has a mean thing to say about anyone and completely open-minded, never judging others. I love her fully determined spirit, her willingness to continue trying, to achieve what she had set out to do. Even more so when it concerns someone she cares about or something close to her heart.
Han Ji-eun (Full House). Equally optimistic (see the theme here?) but she’s a girl of more attitude on the outside. She isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes nor is she willing to be a pushover. She makes the most of things even if they aren’t exactly what she was hoping for. I like that she’s a fighter and she’ll gladly get feisty to protect something that’s important to her rather than staying quiet and letting it carry on. Sometimes you need to speak out for what you think.
I love these three characters for their optimism, kindness and “never give up” attitude. These were characters I looked at and thought “I want to be like her.” They are all different but they emanate a similar positive energy. But they have weaknesses too, which only makes them even more identifiable to me as characters. Tohru’s incapability to look out for herself, Sakura’s gullibility, Ji-eun’s stubborn temper and the naive nature of all three. We all have weaknesses. They aren’t perfect; no one is. But they’re being the best they can be.
Role models are important. They give us inspiration for ourselves. I like to think I’m trying to improve myself everyday, growing and learning more about myself and the world. I only have to take another look at my role models to remind myself of what I’m striving for.
And the plus of them being fictional? All I have to do is re-watch those shows again to re-inspire myself! 🙂
Final word: Credit to the writers who are able to create such in-depth characters suitable to be role models!!