Idols: still worth having them in 2023?

Are idols still needed? For the majority of us, no, not at all

Which person do you look up to? Who is your role model? We all have been in this situation as a kid, right? Some of us dropped our idols throughout the years, while others are holding onto them until this very day. Having an icon that ‘we look up to’ was an essential part of most people’s upbringing, be it their parents or (in most cases) a celebrity. What I mean by all this is that idols are becoming less important day by day, and in modern times, idols are being seriously questioned. Let us look at the various reasons for idols becoming less popular.

TikTok’s influencers creating false standards

These days if you scroll through TikTok, there is one thing that I’m sure most users will recognise. Glamorous pictures of almost perfect faces, whichever page you look at. The filter, supported by AI technology, gives you a perfect layer of makeup, leaving and erasing any skin irritations or pimples. Your face is left without technical glitches like most filters have, so the person you are looking at is flawless. After being released earlier this month, ‘bold glamour is the name of the controversial filter which has already been used over 10 million times.

The side-by-side comparison shows how irritating this can be to anyone looking up to their favourite influencer. These days young girls spend hours on the app, so for them to model themselves after content creators using such filters gives them a false sense of reality and pushes a harmful and unrealistic beauty standard onto them. Kylie Jenner and her sisters have been found using this filter and claimed it was just their ‘skincare routine’ which gave them such a clean look. As I just explained, having any major beauty/lifestyle influencer as your idol is a bad decision. Respectfully, the Kardashians shouldn’t be anyone’s idol in the first place, and they are a good reason for everybody not to have famous people that they are looking up to.

Andrew Tate: who hasn’t heard of him by now?

When choosing your idol or ideal role model, Andrew Tate is probably the one person you shouldn’t select for multiple reasons. Chances are, if you scrolled through your TikTok/Instagram or YouTube feed in 2022, you’ll have seen at least one video of him. He became a viral internet person and not for good reasons. He mainly rose to fame for his direct and old-fashioned views on women. So much so that he got banned from every single social media platform he was on (except YouTube since this account isn’t managed by himself). He even got the title ‘Most Hated Person on TikTok’.

Some of the things he said are borderline misogynistic:

  • Rape victims should bear some responsibility for being attacked.
  • Women belong in the kitchen.
  • And has referred to women as the ‘property‘ of men

Apart from all the hate speech, he also speaks a lot of truth (please be open-minded enough to acknowledge this at least). So many young boys and men almost ‘worship’ him, because he speaks mainly about men’s issues in a way that no one else does. He has encouraged many to do better in life and not be lazy.

  • Resist the slave mind.
  • Don’t listen to the advice of people living lives you don’t want to live.
  • I reserve the right to hold my own beliefs and practice them as I see fit, and I allow all other people the same right to believe and act as they wish.

I personally wouldn’t recommend anyone have him as a role model, since the content he puts out radicalised thousands if not millions. But it’s not his content per se that is harmful, it’s how his (male) audience interprets it.

Overall, having an idol is vital for young kids to have a person to look up to. In most cases, that will be the parents but, just as often, an influencer, sports person, or celebrity. But as you mature, I’d say the approach of finding your true self instead of modelling your life after someone you admire, is the better choice by far. So, are idols still needed? For the vast majority of us, no, not at all.

Featured image: ArtTim / Flickr

Said Onyemauwa, Gen Z Consultant, Imagen Insights

Digital marketing student in Birmingham from Austria, currently studying in the UK. Keen to work in UX/UI design and social media management after graduation. Enjoys volleyball and play for my university team (UCB)

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