Kristen Horner, 18
We’re a nation exposed to brainless beauty, reality TV wrecks, and most disturbingly, inaccurate, damaging representations of women. Something’s got to change. Fast.
A question to consider: If I were to ask a young girl about who she looked up to in the public eye as a positive role model today, whose name would come up?
Perhaps Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese women’s rights activist who, after being flogged 40 times for wearing trousers in public, says she is not afraid of more corporal punishment and will continue to fight for her cause? Possibly Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl mercilessly shot by the Taliban after rightfully opposing the decision to ban females from attending school? Or, after the profound success of London 2012, surely a female sports star like swimmer Rebecca Adlington or cyclist Victoria Pendleton?
A survey of 1000 children by the BBC’s Newsround showed that, disappointingly, one-fifth chose Cheryl Cole as their role model. When asked why, many made ambiguous comments such as “her hair is gorgeous” or simply, “I love her.”
And it’s no wonder our children are viewing Cheryl as a good role model, when us adults are equally as guilty. Miss Cole was crowned most inspirational woman of the decade by the UK’s leading cosmetic surgery review website, ‘Good Surgeon Guide,’ with a landslide 78 per cent of the vote. Out of the 1178 women surveyed, one-third of them related Cheryl’s ‘inspiring’ disposition to her ‘natural beauty.’ (Doesn’t it seem a coincidence however, that the run-of-the-mill, self-absorbed user of this surgery website chose a glamorous, good-looking ‘Wife And Girlfriend’ as their icon as opposed to a woman of substantial achievement?)