Real Role Models

 

Photo source: Enliven Coaching

Written for Enliven Coaching

It’s time to stop heralding Celebrities and Insta models as fitness heroes. They work hard and have great genetics but they aren’t elite athletes and thus, don’t endure the same struggles.
Samsung have recently launched a campaign called ‘Rethink Role Models’ and it embodies exactly what this article is about- looking to the determination and resilience of our Australian athletes for motivation instead of turning to Kylie Jenner (The face of Puma). This is not an attack on Instagram models or celebrities. This isn’t a denial of their righteous celebration of their beauty, it’s simply a statement that when sports brands are advertising to young girls, they should be using the faces of inspiring athletes, as they are supposedly selling an image of athleticism. And I’m sorry Puma, the last time I checked Kylie Jenner was not an elite athlete. She may be quick to sell lip kits, however not so much on the track.

Samsung’s campaign is in partnership with the Australian Diamonds and outlines the individual struggles of each player and how they’ve overcome these with resilience and determination to make our country proud. The campaign focuses on the Diamonds in representation of all women athletes and the qualities they possess that are worth celebrating: talent, determination, resilience, loyalty, humility and passion.
With social media rife with beautiful images of women with tens of thousands of followers, it begs the question of what qualities we value most in a role model and what examples we are setting for the younger generations of women.
We as women train to look good but we also train to be strong and therefore don’t aspire to just aesthetics. So why then are our role models predominantly bikini models on Instagram?
Young girls are incredibly impressionable in today’s society with influences of social media constantly bombarding their process of adolescence, creating images of what they should apparently look like and as the older generation we need to be showing them that there is more to being a girl than just looking beautiful in a bikini. We train to be strong and we train hard to challenge ourselves and be better for it, so our role models should be women that do this on another level.
Athletes give up and endure so much to be heroes in their chosen sports. They are constantly overcoming competition, injuries, lifestyle and social sacrifices and mental obstacles to achieve their dreams. Their determination should be what we truly aspire to in our fitness and our everyday lives, and we need to show this by supporting them. We need to rethink our role models. We want our strengths to be more than just making men weak at the knees.

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