Role Models: Choose Real over Fake- The Wasted Time Project
I was part of one of the last generations allowed to grow up without being glued to an iPad. I wasn’t allowed social media, except MSN (remember that?) until I was sixteen, so posting selfies on instagram- with a duck pout trying to look like Kim Kardashian wasn’t really a thing. An achievement for me as a kid and a young teenager, wasn’t to have a tiny waist, massive lips or a thigh gap (how was that even a thing, everyone has a thigh gap, just move your legs slightly apart- behold, thigh gap!) I was chuffed if I was picked for a lead role in the school play or if I won the long note competition at band- which was rare but still happened. Similarly, because I wasn’t allowed social media until my mid-teens, I spent the time learning about the world and I’m glad because the people I looked up to and admired as a kid/teenager actually DID SOMETHING to warrant that admiration which in turn has influenced the type of people who inspire and motivate me today.
It does make me a little bit sad that I’ve heard so many kids, especially young girls say that they want to be like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and the like rather than someone who has started at the bottom (ok I suppose Kim K literally started at ‘the bottom’…moving swiftly on) and worked their way to success. What these so-called social media ‘influencers’ need to understand is that they are indeed ‘influencing’ a younger generation. They have that platform to do some good, to inspire young people to take action or to motivate them to love themselves and be the best they can be. Instead they are portraying this lifestyle where looks are a ‘priority’. Instagram pictures selling waist-trainers because girls ‘obviously’ need to have an hourglass figure. Sponsored videos of stupid diet supplements and hair growing tablets, which these celebs are being paid to promote as if they’re a necessity (when in real life they probably don’t even use them), rather than promoting something worthwhile e.g. a charity, sports, mental health awareness, music education, anti-bullying, literature etc.
It’s dangerous, because I grew up not comparing myself to a stick-thin, botox-riddled twenty-something. I was a chubby banding kid, with a fat fringe and dodgy teeth but had the confidence of Lady Gaga, because I was allowed to be a kid rather than being exposed to all the fakery that is EVERYWHERE today.
So with that little rant being said, I want to talk about the people who inspired me as a young person and who still inspire me today- just in case you’re looking for a role model with more substance than Kim K.
Freddie Mercury is nothing short of a legend- there aren’t many people who can make a leotard and black eyeliner work in a classic rock band…unless Darcy Bussell collaborated with AC/DC maybe. Now the party, drugs, rock n roll lifestyle isn’t something I would particularly encourage young people to aspire to-sorry to be a buzzkill- however it is his musical ability and his artistic and determined personality that are inspirational to me.
The only musical qualification that Freddie had was Grade 4 piano. I have Grade 5 piano (not to brag) and definitely could not produce half the stuff he did, I mean he wrote Crazy Little Thing Called Love while he was chilling in the bath! I still don’t know what all the buttons do on our shower attachment, let alone write a hit whilst I’m in there! Clearly his musical ability and showmanship was something innate, but without his obstinate attention to detail, strong belief in his work and stubborn nature, hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody wouldn’t have even achieved radio air-time. Also, the way musicians can be treated in the industry can be nothing short of shocking, even in the present day, so the fact he had the strength and ability to stand up to producers, financial directors and others in the music industry who were taking advantage is more than admirable.
Carrie Hope Fletcher
Credit: The Addams Family Tour Site
I can’t even begin to explain how much this woman has genuinely inspired me. I’ve been following her youtube channel for years. Initially it was because, around the time I found her videos, she was playing Eponine in Les Mis and I’m obsessed with anything to do with that show and I wanted to be an actress when I was in my mid-late teens- so her channel really appealed to me. Now she has become much more to me than just a youtuber. Her backstage videos, showing the hard-work and enjoyment of being an actress have done an amazing job in encouraging an interest in theatre, especially for young people. This feature has been so inspiring to me in fact, that I am currently working on doing similar vlogs with banding, in the hope I can achieve a similar result through showing what being involved in brass bands is really like which will hopefully encourage more people to get involved. Click here to watch my first two vlogs.
Most importantly her videos on mental health, body confidence, accepting yourself and relationships are so important and I think every young person, especially young girls should watch them. She has met negativity, because the internet is full of it and it really impresses me how strong she is when she deals with it. Yet at the same time, it infuriates me beyond belief, because I feel she is the role model that young people need at the moment and those who spout such negativity about the way she looks (which I’ve never understood anyway, because she is gorgeous) are proof of what happens when people are influenced by these plastic celebrity ‘influencers’, as they are more interested in tearing her down because of aesthetics than admiring her hard-work and incredible talent.
For those of you who don’t know who she is, click here to go her channel- you NEED to watch.
Richard Marshall and Paul Duffy
Credit Black Dyke Band
When I was fourteen, my mum took me to a Black Dyke Brass Band Concert. Before that point, banding was just fun rather than something I tried hard to achieve with. That one concert changed everything I thought about banding. First of all, I’d never heard a cornet sound like Richard Marshall’s and I wanted to get to a level where I sounded like that.
Secondly, Paul Duffy, who was playing soprano cornet at the time, played his own arrangement of O When the Saints and I think this was the first time I actually thought brass bands were cool.- watch the video and you will see why.
Watching those two players was a turning point for me and it made me determined that one day I would earn a seat in the same section as those players.
My Best Friend
Who are your role models? Get involved and let me know in the comments!
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