Fourth annual Best & Worst Role Models for Kids

(press release)—For the fourth year, What To Do With The Kids® asked people to let us know who they think have been the best and worst role models for kids this year. Although it has never been hard to find nominees for the worst, this year we encouraged people to look outside the world of celebrities for people they think have actually been good role models. Over 900 people submitted their choices through our website and social media.

Popularity seems to play a big role in what people feel are good and bad role models. In our 2012 report, Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps were coming off great Olympic performances and were thought of as good role models for boys but we haven’t heard from them since. Paris Hilton was the number one pick for worst role model for girls in 2011 but has not been on the list since because (thankfully) she has been keeping a low profile, at least by her standards.

Many people believe there is a difference between fame and notoriety, especially when it comes to picking the worst role models. Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Chris Brown and even Kanye West were and are famous because they are talented performers but have said or done stupid things.

Since we asked people to look outside the world of celebrity for good role models, many said it was quite a difficult thing to do. Other than Michele Obama and Malala Yousufzai, there were only a handful of nominations outside of Hollywood.

Here now are the best and worst role models for kids in 2014.  Best role model for girls: 1. Jennifer Lawrence, actress 2. Michelle Obama, First Lady 3. Taylor Swift, singer/actress, 4. Malala Yousufzai , Pakistani activist for the rights of girls, 5. Mayim Bialik, actress (Big Bang Theory) and author and neuroscientist.

Best role model for boys: 1. Justin Timberlake, singer/actor 2. One Direction, band 3. Peyton Manning, football player 4. Josh Hutcherson, actor 5. Bradley Cooper, actor.

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