A Rolling ModelWhen I was twelve years old, I had every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that was ever made. I had cases of the plastic figures lining the walls in my room. Posters were laid out everywhere, and my whole room was completely decorated in Ninja Turtle material. My bed, my drapes, my walls, literally everything was something about a Ninja Turtle. I spent a lot of my time watching those television shows, memorizing each tape word for word. I would pretend with my friends that we were the turtles, always fighting crime and always on the move under the streets, showing up only at night to fight the “foot clan”, the archenemy of the turtles. You could say that it was an obsession, and yes, maybe it was, but as a little child I could not realize it was an obsession, or that this obsession could make me a different person. It was intriguing, even as I grew to understand that the Turtles were made-up figures, that I still had an attachment to them. It was as if these imagined characters had become role models for me. Is it possible that something that doesn’t exist can become a role model, and continue to be one even after the discovery is made that they are only cartoons? And what effects do these role models have on people? Are they long term affects or short term?
Just what is a role model? It seems to be anything or anyone that can influence people to do things that they normally wouldn’t have done without the inspiration of the model. Role models cause others to follow their ideas or concepts. As long as the object gets a person to follow in the footsteps of the object, anything can be a role model. Even if one concept makes an impact on a person’s life, people will admire the model more, placing the role model on a pedestal. The object has become the object of admiration and thus becomes a role model. Furthermore, people can have more than one role model. As long as others move to follow ideas and characteristics and eventually change the way they think about things, there may be several role models that people follow.