This classic BW post from Laura dates to Saturday March 18, 2006.
When you think role model who or what springs to mind?
I see Ms. Perfect Career Mom. She’s wearing a very tailored red suit (with a mini skirt to show off her great long legs, of course). She wears those ultra killer high heels and one thick gold necklace to offset the red suit and perfectly crisp white blouse. Not a hair out of place, her nails and lipstick are a perfectly co-ordinated shade of ’bite me’ red. She drives a modest car, fuel economy and being good to the environment. People wonder how she crams all those kids, school bags, sports equipment and that family cat in there. But, she’s perfect, so she does it all, just fine.
She’s not a Barbie, she just looks like one. She can’t be a Barbie, she has to manage her small business, keep her entrepreneurial focus and get her butt motivated and making money to support those kids, the perfect house and that car. Hubby is around… somewhere.
He’s kind of how I imagine GI Joe. He is a bit gruff, busy with his career but kind of floundering when you take away the guns and stick him with a couple of kids to babysit. He gets that “what do I do with these?” look. He is out of his element. Way, out of his element, kind of like the planet Pluto waving at the Earth and hoping it gets noticed.
Sure GI Joe is a great role model for masculine grunting and whatever else it is that they do. If you were in the middle of a war, GI Joe would be great to have around. But, can he cut the grass on weekends? Can he read bedtime stories at night? Can he wake up to change the sheets when someone wets the bed cause they had a bad dream? Can he be affectionate with Ms. Perfect Career Woman when she has had a long, tough day and needs someone to listen to her unwind? Can he barbeque in summer and shovel in winter? Can he have a pleasant, little home life and show his kids and the neighbour’s kids what it takes to be a good man, a good Dad and a good husband?
Let’s skip to Barbie, the stereotypical blonde with boobs out to there and a shopping budget that makes Loch Ness look like an insignificant puddle. I’m not sure the word “we” is in Barbie’s vocabulary. She has her own horse, her own car, her own massive wardrobe and her friends. For awhile she had a gaping hole in her abdomen for a perpetual baby carrying mechanism. I don’t think I’d want Barbie as a Mother though. I don’t even know what I’d do with her as a friend. She wouldn’t approve of me. I’m not fashion conscious and I’d rather talk about science than shopping. I can’t see Barbie as my Ms. Career Mom, even though they look a lot alike.
But, if you had to pick one as a role model… which would it be?
Let’s give Barbie to the boys as a role model. She can teach them how to dress up for every occasion. They can learn about PMS too, assuming Boobs of Steel Barbie gets PMS.
GI Joe can teach the girls how to shoot to kill. That will help later when they begin dating. Hopefully they will also learn about science along the way.
Picking a role model is a dangerous thing. No one is perfect or balanced in all ways to really be put on a pedestal. Each person needs to find their own path and not spend too much time admiring or feeling jealous of someone else and what they have accomplished. If you model yourself after them you will be missing something great in yourself in your effort to be like them. Be like you instead.