Edd’s MANtra: Girl Power

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, my youth group had its annual lock-in. For those who don’t know, a lock-in is an event where kids run around an empty church until 6 a.m., eating ice cream, playing games and shortening my lifespan.

During this past lock-in, we split the kids into groups of boys and girls and I had the tall task of conducting a rap session with the young ladies, ranging in age from 10 to about 14.

The most interesting part of our conversation was role models. We talked about women in the media they respected, and those who brought shame to the double X chromosome carriers. I thought it would be interesting to see whom the young’ns respect. Kids say the darndest things.

Role models:


Why she’s a role model:

“Because she’s rich and people listen to her.”

– Good reason, I guess.

Alicia Keys

Why she’s a role model:

“Because she’s pretty.”

– But why isn’t Kim Kardashian a good role model then? Oh yeah, the sex tape stuff.
Halle Berry

Why she’s a role model:

“Because she’s a good actress.”

– I guess the kids didn’t see Catwoman.
Aretha Franklin

Why she’s a role model:

“She’s a good singer.”

– I think the real reason is because of the hat she wore at the inauguration.

That hat DEMANDS respect. And a strong neck.

Then we turned our attention to the poor role models.

Bad role models:
Tiffany “New York” Pollard

Why she sucks:

“Because she had too much plastic surgery. And she cusses a lot.”

– Ugh, gotta agree with them on that one.

Tanisha from Oxygen’s Bad Girls’ Club

Why she sucks:

“Because she bangs pots and pans to wake people up.”

– Makes sense. Kids hate getting awakened, especially for school.

Why she sucks:

“Uhhh, I don’t know, it’s just something about her.”

– They couldn’t even give me a good reason! I guess the needless Beyonce hate starts at a young age.

Why she sucks:

“Because Chris Brown beat her up and she hasn’t said anything.”

– Wow, this one struck me. Goes to show that Rih-Rih needs to make a stand about what happened to her, and she’d better think twice before she runs back into the arms of Chris Brown or she could lose a generation of fans.

What do you think of the girls’ choices? Whom would you add to the list?



  1. LOL! i think there reasons are hilarious. And i loooove Tanisha. She was so funny to me. But she is a bad role model.

    oh and did your wife tell you she is distantly related to Tiffan Pollard. LOL?!

  2. Aretha Franklin really struck me as a bit odd lol, but the crazy thing is that I’m sitting here trying to think of someone mainstream who really can relate to young girls for the right reasons…When I was that age, I can’t remember any of my female role models being someone famous. But I’d add India.Arie as an entertainer.

  3. I think it’s a bit odd, not sure if odd is the right word, that they didn’t say anything about Michelle Obama. I think an African-American woman with her background, intelligence, and now, power and influence is someone to be “looked up to.”

    oh – I also agree with the girls. lol. I also have a “needless” dislike for Beyonce. I don’t know why. It’s just somethin about her.

  4. That’s a great point about Michelle. It’s interesting that our kids mainly see entertainers as heroes.

    I do remember asking if they considered any of their family members as role models, since they didn’t mention them. A few said yes, but not many.

  5. Keep in mind, ideal “role models” are often overlooked. Our society and media loves sex and sensationalism. “Good girls” like Raven Simone and American Ferrara are overshadowed by Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian’s sex tapes. VH-1 knocks down doors to show a dead-beat/no career-having gremlins chase after slutty women. (And keep in mind, the sluttiest woman always wins, lol.)

    The key to finding a role model–turn off TV!

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