5 Reasons Disney Starlets Are Terrible Role Models For Your Kids

Hollywood starlets don't pay for their mistakes ... but your kids might!

disney stars JJ Duncan, Eva Rinaldi, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike2.0, Philip Mansfield, Toglenn / Wikimedia Commons

I don't know about you but observing young Nickelodeon and Disney starlets growing up has been difficult to watch, especially while raising daughters.

In their younger years, the Disney starlets are portrayed as innocent little girls who could be seen as role models for their peer audience. As long as the only thing we know about these actresses is their acting roles, everything is fine.

Our daughters see them as someone to emulate, a role model. When the Disney starlet's popularity rises, the media begins to draw attention to their private life.


This is when the danger begins.

More media attention is given to actresses whose private lives don't match up to their squeaky-clean images onscreen.

This is probably not the type of young woman you want your impressionable daughters and sons to look up to.

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Here are five reasons kids should not make Disney stars their role models:

1. They are kids (or recently were) themselves

Kids "grow up" between elementary school age to graduating from high school. All of that growth includes normal development. Throw in added trauma from childhood neglect, and emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and you have a recipe for addiction and making poor choices.


Disney starlets riddled with addiction and mental health issues include Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, and Demi Lovato.

While Demi openly discusses her problems with cutting and ways to overcome depression, your child may only be looking toward self-destructive behavior for inspiration.  

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2. There's often lack of consequences for their actions

If you are human, you make mistakes. The difference is that your kids do not see the consequences the Disney starlets have for making their mistakes.

Or to be more accurate, the lack of consequences.

Because they are rich and famous, often they do not pay the full price for the mistakes they make. Unfortunately, your child most likely will.


For instance, Lindsay Lohan was charged with driving under the influence three times before she finally went to jail. For a day.

Your daughter will likely have greater repercussions for the same actions. 

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3. They crave media attention

Celebrities' income is based on fame so any attention is good attention.

Look at the activities of Miley Cyrus. At the MTV award show in 2012, she danced provocatively and nearly nude.

Within a week she was swinging and singing on a wrecking ball, again semi-nude on a YouTube video.

While Miley and other pop stars are making a name for themselves by shedding their clothes or acting provocatively in public, your daughter will likely only make a bad name for herself if she were to engage in the same activities. 


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4. They don't have a personal relationship with your child

The Disney starlets have a public presence with your child only but there is no personal relationship.

Just because Miley Cyrus affectionately refers to her mega fans as "Smilers" doesn't mean the relationship is deep or authentic. She does not talk to those fans one-on-one or share secrets.

Besides Cyrus, other Disney starlets similarly do not share their real personal lives with your child, and your child does not share hers.

Your child might have a one-way admiration for a public figure, but that is not a good role model for her.

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5. Information about the star might not be accurate

Your child only sees what the media presents to them. The stories are up for interpretation since you can't ask the source directly what she meant by her statements or actions.

It is a one-sided relationship with fantasy as a constant ingredient. The relationship is based on a fantasy that can not be confirmed. 

RELATED: What It Means When People Talk About Misinformation Vs. Disinformation

Who should be your child's role model? 

1. Someone who has a personal relationship with your child

It can be a teacher, pastor, counselor, neighbor, or better yet, you.

Parents have more influence over their kids than anyone. Other people can make a big difference in a child's life but you as a parent are the most important role model.


What you do matters to your daughter. She wants to hear about your values and beliefs.

She needs to know where your boundaries are so she knows she is safe with you. She needs you to believe in her, build up her self-esteem and be her cheerleader.

She needs your relationship to crawl, then to stand on her own two feet, then to walk, and then to run.

She needs your relationship with her to feel safe enough to grow beyond you.

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2. Someone whose behavior matches their own

Role models generally have high integrity but this doesn't mean they are perfect and never make mistakes.


For the most part, a good role model will practice what they preach. They will do what they say they will do, and will say no to what they know they won't do.

As a parental role model, it is important that you share your beliefs and values with your kids. It will be much more meaningful to them if your actions match up with your beliefs and values.

For example, telling your kids they need to keep their rooms clean and your room is a disaster is not being a good role model. You will get a better response by keeping a tidy room yourself when you deliver the message.


Kids know what you value by your actions.

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3. Someone who wants to invest in your child's success

Role models will invest time and energy into a child's life for the sole purpose of giving for the future success of the child. There is no manipulation or trying to get something back.

The purpose is strictly to benefit your child. For most kids, their deepest desire is for their mom and dad to be their role models.

A lot of parents feel insecure about being role models or don't realize how much their kids are watching their every move. The best thing you can do for your kids is to talk with them, play with them, and have time for them.


Kids want to matter to someone — it's how they learn they are important and special.

Your relationship matters with your child. Share your beliefs and values with them.

Talk to them about what is happening with the Disney starlet's lives they see or read about in the media. Teach them about love, addiction, relationships, rehab and all the ways people face consequences for the behavior choices they make.

Kids want to know what you think about things and make sure you back up your words with actions. 

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Teresa Maples-Zuvela is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and a Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist (CMAT).