Gem in the Rough: Positive Role Models in the Hollywood Jungle

Ajibike is a 17-year-old from Monroe, Louisiana. She enjoys watching Novak Djokovic play tennis, playing tennis and golf in imitation of the pros, devouring books, starting her own novels, and dreaming about medical school.

Proud members of Generation X, think back to our childhood days. I’m sure you can also remember countless hours spent watching television shows, such as Barney. If you think even harder, you may even remember two young women prominent in Hollywood today and in the hearts of the American youth as emblems of both innocence of prowess: Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.

Over the years, Selena and Demi have changed (not only in the obvious sense: an added two or so feet of height). Working actresses, both Selena and Demi have become incredibly admirable members of the Disney family. Moving from the five minute weekly short “As the Bell Rings” where she played Charlotte, Demi became the leading heroin in Camp Rock through her character Mitchie that played the love interest to one of the famous (and rightly so) Jonas Brothers—Joe. Demi has gone on to not only play the title character of Sonny with a Chance, but to return for Camp Rock 2, which I personally can’t wait to see.

Selena Gomez, in her own right, has been a successful actress as well. Easily (maybe too easily), Selena appeared on Hannah Montana a few times to play the role of Hannah’s biggest competitor yet Miley’s best friend (yes, the dual identity is confusing). And from there Selena has since starred in Wizards of Waverly Place and a series of specials for the sho, Suite Life on Deck and Wizards of Waverly PlaceThe Movie—the best thing since Harry Potter.

And did I mention, Selena and Demi have killer vocals?

Selena and Demi are not simply positive role models because of what they have done in their industry; yes, they are very successful in comparison to others in their field and most teenagers in the country. At seventeen years old, they have extensive careers that few can rival, but more importantly the pair has not changed in one very important way: they have remained best friends since we saw them on Barney. This friendship is obvious in the Disney original film, Princess Protection Program that shows both Demi and Selena as who they really are, close friends. Although they are both great actresses, there is a natural connection between the pair that truly cannot be feigned.

Looking beyond their careers, I can truly understand why many young girls want to be just like them, and why tons of guys wish Selena or Demi would just look their way. Not only do they have beautiful features, but also beautiful hearts. Both Selena and Demi are part of Disney’s Friends for Change group. The cause works to motivate the great multitude of Disney watchers  to think about how their actions affect the planet, and to let children know that they can make a difference through songs that are very inspiring and insightful such as Send It On and Make a Wave.

Selena and Demi kick the old stereotypes of young stars to the curb. No rehab, crazy tabloid reports that hold truth, or anything more that a report of relationships—which most girls that age have. The teen actresses/singers have a long successful road ahead of them, and their awareness of this has kept them work focused, but their youth has made them accessible to all. Selena and Demi have taken a stand in their activism, showed the world their creative talents, and still kept grounded and maintained a very valuable relationship—friendship. The pair embodies the idea of a positive young role model, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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