Real Models Not Role Models

The School Run

Oct 24 2022 • 24 mins

  1. What is technology doing to our children?
  2. Real models vs role models

We need real models…

What does real model vs role model mean?

Alex Scott said after the Lionesses won the Euros, they are real models and not role models.

  • You can’t be what you can’t see
  • More women in the media, particularly thinking of sport.
    • Alex Scott
    • Alex Hartley
    • Isha Gua
    • Laura Woods
    • Denise Lewis
  • I’m ashamed to say that I googled this, to see who was broadcasting and who I’d missed, and the third result that came up was ‘the hottest 15 female broadcasters! Shocking!

Perhaps this speaks to the point that Alex Scott is talking to, as a father of two girls, I want them to have real models, women that are pioneers and breaking down barriers for participation and also careers in previously a male-dominated industry.

This leads me to social media and technology.  What is it doing to our children?

Let’s start with social media as it links to ‘real models’.  Is it real?  You look at some of the people that have the biggest followings, the Kardashians.  Are they real, definitely not, so why do they get such a following?  I think this is really toxic.  We can get so wrapped up how we look, filters on social media being used so much that people are blurring into the background and what is this teaching children? Anything positive? Further to this young people injecting botox into their faces so they ‘look better', this cannot be healthy.

Equally, if you are watching Love Island, but wouldn’t want your children going on the show, then you have to question yourself surely.  You are funding the programme, you are endorsing that careers exist following the programme.

Is this damaging the work ethic of society?  Children and young people see people making a living off of doing perceived little work and think that earning £20,000 a year is beneath them because of someone from love island making 6 figures through their endorsements…  Where are the grafters?  Are we in danger of people wanting everything now?

  • I want more money in my job…
  • Ok, great, how are you going to bring more value into the business?
  • Recruitment is so hard now, we used to get 50 applicants for a job, interview 8 and then recruit accordingly.  We learned some big lessons on what type of people we were looking for… Will vs Neil.  Sam A.
  • Now - 8 applicants, none of which want to be interviewed or watched deliver a lesson!

Back to social media…  And linking it last week’s episode about praising winning too much, we aren’t building personal skills that will make a difference to children growing up.  Depression, anxiety and mental ilnesses are at an all time high!  We are able to connect with more people than every before through the internet, but we are lonelier than we have ever been before.

Whilst I am on almost all social media, I do think it is a dangerous place if it isn’t used safely and properly.  I don’t want the girls thinking that Kim Kardishian is a brilliant role, I want to look at Alex Scott, listen to her journey and be inspired by her drive and work ethic to get to where she is today, plus she is an Arsenal legend!

Further to this, social media isn’t going anywhere and so it is pointless to ignore it.  Creators now have a vehicle to make an income without having to be signed by a management company, studio, music label etc.  So more people have an opportunity to ‘make a career’ from this than ever before and I have now heard on two podcasts this week, one with Fearne Cotton and another with Richard Osman about how they approach devices and tech with their children.  Richard Osman actually saying that he is ok with his son gaming for large period of time, because if the active interest he shows on the stuff that happens behind the scenes to create a game and that he as a child, was fascinated by TV and he would spend hours watching it, but was always interested in the credits and finding out about what jobs there are in TV.  The same now with his son potentially finding a career in the gaming industry.

I don’t disagree with any of this, I guess there just needs to be a balance.  Richard also said how he loved sports growing up, but being visually impaired found it difficult to access them.  If he were growing up again now, I would hope that provisos were put in place so that he could find joy in taking part in something that loved from a distance.  And the same for all children, we can’t solely rely on technology and gaming as hobbies for children.  They need to experience the outdoors, sports and physical activity and it is why it is more important now, than ever before for children to find something that they love and enjoy that will keep them healthy and active throughout their lives.

I feel sad that kids today aren't aren’t having the kind of experience that we did in the 80s and 90s.  It would blow their minds. In a Good way

- Matthew Marsden

  • Careful we don’t fantasise too much about the old days, but it is hard not to appreciate the childhood I had, playing outdoors, no phones, no social media
  • As I said earlier, this is the loneliest generation we have ever had, and perhaps the art of calling for a friend being lost is part of the reason…

Finally, it is 7 years ago today, at the time of recording that I lost my best friend, Luke.

  • Better Never Stops
  • Legacy
  • Charity
  • Impact on me to this day