Long gone are the days of the classic male role models. You know the type: iconic men glorified for their toughness, masculinity, and general badassery. These men were idolized by youth the world over as the epitome of cool. There was John Wayne, the unflappable and universally adored Hollywood actor who defined 20th century masculinity in his dozens of roles from gruff cowboy to inspiring military commander. There was also Frank Sinatra, the lounge-singing beau who ladies adored and men vied to emulate. The late President John F. Kennedy is still revered today as a paragon of ideal masculinity.
But the days of male role models seems to be in peril as of late. So many male public figures—politicians, actors, or otherwise—are found to be embroiled in some sort of embarrassing scandal, thus invalidating their candidacy for an ideal role model. Where are the men, the public figures, who the youth can draw inspiration from? Who can we trust as male role models? Consider these three candidates.
Consider Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation. The modern day no-nonsense man, Ron Swanson will not be taken for a fool. As Parks Department Director in the show, Ron carries a quiet but intimidating presence as a government employee against big government. Ron runs his department with the quiet power you’d expect from a revered figure, and he’s not one to mince words about his feelings of distaste (particularly when it involves the government. Not exactly a playboy, Ron has survived two divorces (both of his wives are named Tammy) and maintains a hilariously endearing attitude towards women. This native of Pawnee, Indiana is definitely a top choice for a male role model—the moustache alone seals the deal.
The mouthpiece for hilarious counterculture views tempered with common sense, Jon Stewart is the intellectual male role model. As the host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has lampooned and articulately analyzed the inequalities of topical news for over ten years. His idiosyncratic journalism has earned him a number of Emmy awards over the years, not to mention acclaim from the millions of views who tune into his show on a daily basis. He has the brass to tackle policies that no one wants to talk about, not even members of our own government. And through all his satire and pseudo-news coverage he never fails to emphasize that his goal is to inform (and entertain) the people as best he can. What a guy.
In his prime Sean Connery was among the most respected and envied men alive. The vintage 007 star commanded respect with his suave manners, his wry humor, and his knowledge of all things masculine. Still a giant among men in his own right, Sean Connery could teach modern day youths a thing or two about how to be a man. From international spy to submarine captain, Sean Connery made danger look easy and alluring, all while simultaneously capturing the hearts of the ladies. In addition to being a world class actor, Sean Connery is an avid philanthropist—his website offers links to charities where he encourages fans to contribute. If anything, Sean Connery provides a valuable lesson in man’s ability to age gracefully.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.