Regardless of who we are, we want role models who not only represent who we may become, but who look like we do. It is often not enough to have role models who merely share the same ethnicity, but who remind us of ourselves. Role models must come in every form to reflect the cosmetic look of all of society. Recently, the modeling world has come under fire for relentlessly pushing models whose physical appearances do not accurately reflect the general population. The general population is not extremely thin, blond haired with perfect teeth. We have flaws that do not come close to the images identified as the ideal. As a matter of fact, recent reports suggest that the flawless features exhibited by the models on magazine covers are not real. These "flawed" models have been air brushed or "digitally" manipulated to remove the bags under their eyes or the freckles on their face.
Images that help the self-esteem of individuals are the ones that society cries out for. Recently, a friend who has been in the woman's retail industry for numerous years revealed that the fashion industry popularizes and makes specific sizes for women in keeping the myths going. Consequently, if you are sizes 12-14 the industry popularizes sizes 6-8. This is tantamount to the "guess your weight game" at amusement parks. No matter what you do, the correct weight is illusive, because it is the ideal that is being sold, not the style!
It is natural for our ideals to be reflected in others. As social beings, we gather much of our motivation from the examples of others. One day we may believe something is impossible to accomplish, the next day someone has done the impossible. It gives us more hope when that person looks like us. This ideal crosses ethnicity. Brunettes want to marvel at the feats of other brunettes. Blonds want the same for other blonds. Dark skinned Blacks want to see other dark skinned Blacks accomplishing great things. We are specific in our affinities. The days of generalities are gone. Society has grown to the point where our desires are detailed. However, it is not necessary that we follow the same people we admire. There is no need to become a model because people say you look like a supermodel. If you are 6'6" and resemble Michael Jordan that doesn’t mean your aspirations should be to play basketball. Role models inspire us to strive for more, but we need not aspire for the exact same things they do.