A Life Full of Anti-Role Models
In moments of discouragment and depression when I am about to give up on my dreams and hopes, I tend to look around me for a source of inspiration. I am lucky enough to find that in other women around me, although not in the form I want it. I would love to know a woman (I know she is out there) who is independent and succesful in the medical field against all odds, like I want to be one day. Someone Antonia Novello style, respected in her field in REAL life.
The sources of inspiration that usually keep me going are what I call the "anti-role model".
The women I see all around me, in the store, in the train, among my friends whom I should NEVER become. I should not become the statistic, the drop-out, the drug dealer, the cute woman that obtains everything based on her looks, the girl who feels rich yet her man owns everything, the stereotype. It absolutely stinks that all I have to become motivated is the path not to follow.
Apparently, this is a recurrent issue. I recently read how many Latinas name Kim Kardashian as their role model: WHAT?!?!?!? She's not even Latina. (Does that mean they want to make porn and get money from multiple divorces?) One author argues is because she looks like us. Another argues is that Latinas are starved for role models. I must agree with both. When I was younger I looked and looked for that woman I want to become, and found nothing. The media is full of faboulous fictional characters and just as fictional celebrities, nothing is put out there about real people whose example to follow.
As proud as I am of Shakira and Sofia Vergara for making their careers international and still connecting with their roots, they are not role models they are celebrities. I dont want to be a celebrity! I want to be a doctor.
I understand the fact that television is there to ENTERTAIN not to provide us with useful life enriching tools (i.e. role models) but given the influence of this mean, should not we be using for a good purpose? I do like a certain bloggers view that it is the job of the parents to raise their children and they should not blame celebrities for they way they choose to live, the parents should be the model. However, some people (like me) are first generation immigrants with very little family in this country and doing something (trying to become a doctor) that noone in the family has attempted (either here or back in Colombia).
Not to mention the gay side of me. I am yet to find an out and proud successful gay Latina.It's even hard to find gay latina blogs. I am looking though, I know she is out there just like I am out here.
In a society that rewards and encourages acquisition and looks, I shall keep looking for those who still stand by America's initial values: the pursuit of happinnes through hard work. I dream of the day when I can be a role model for someone else so that they don't have to use google to find one.