Taylor Swift a good role model for kids!

Good role models in pop culture are few and far between, but I’m proud that my 8- and 6-year-old like Taylor Swift.

The 19-year-old country music star writes her own songs, plays multiple instruments, always thanks the fans and those who have supported her and hasn’t become a diva or a problem child despite incredible success at a young age.

Tonight on the MTV Music Video Awards, Swift showed incredible grace and composure after Kanye West stormed the stage and took the microphone from during her acceptance speech for female video of the year. He basically said that Beyonce should have won the award. Not only did she handle the incident well, less than 10 minutes later she performed live, singing her song “You belong with Me” while riding in a moving subway car from one location to the next.

Tomorrow, I’ll be proud to let my kids watch Swift win and perform. Juxtapose Swift’s behavior with that of  Katy Perry _ another of my kids’ favorite singers _ earlier in the evening.

Since Rose loves Perry, we called her out of her room to see her perform “We Will Rock You,” which the kids love because they get to sing it on the school bus on Friday afternoon if they have been good all week.

Perry ended the performance with a gratuitous crotch grab. My husband and I both yelled at the same time “Go to bed!”

Earlier in the day, we had to tell Rose to turn off a Perry video that we found inappropriate.  Perry is obviously not a good role model, and I had a hard time thinking of any young people in popular culture who would be good role models. That’s why Swift stands out to me, and her behavior tonight made her stand out even more.

I know there are great role models for our kids in the real world – soldiers, nurses, teachers, doctors – but the reality is kids and teens focus on the stars they see on TV, in the movies and hear on the radio.

Who else do you feel in popular culture are good role models? Who do you encourage (or at least not mind) your kids listening to or watching? Who is on the NO-NO list? (A much easier list to create!)

250 comments Add your comment

JATL

September 14th, 2009
7:49 am

Yes, Kanye is a classless moron, but didn’t we already know that? Anyway -to the topic, yes, I think Taylor Swift makes a fine role model, but keep in mind that performers and singers like Ms. Perry are not performing with your small, young child in mind. Don’t remember how old Rose is, but I’m pretty sure she’s in the under 12 set. I know kids in elementary school enjoy listening to pop music and watching videos, but you can control who they see. It’s nice if a popular performer like Ms. Swift is a great and wholesome role model, but folks, please -rock, rap, pop -it’s all for older “kids” and adults! It’s always had a sexual undertone, so don’t get up-in-arms over anything. When I was 13 Madonna hit the stage. I loved her, listened to her, watched her and dressed as much like her as my parents would allow -but I didn’t act like her. At the same time, Michael Jackson was grabbing his crotch left and right. I seem to remember long before my time that people were aghast at Elvis’s swiveling crotch. Raise your kids right, and you won’t have to rely so much on “role models”.

Faith in 09

September 14th, 2009
7:51 am

@ April – My children are 7 and 9. As a parent I do not feel it is appropriate for young children to have a face book account (thier father tried to create one for them and after 20 people who may have known him that I didn’t know myself wanted to befriend them I told him no). I do not allow my children to listen to most of the current “music” and I use that term loosly in my house because when you get past the beat and listen to the lyrics it’s horrible. I block many of the chanels on the t.v. that they watch because I don’t think they should be subjected to it. We talk everyday about the choices they are faced with, their actions and the actions of others. I point out to them everyday what acceptable behavior is and isn’t. They are both straight A students and at appropriate times I select which after school activities they will participate in and will not. It’s my role as a parent. So when I say that I do not allow them to choose entertainers as role models, that’s exactly what I mean. I am often telling them abou the power of one, and use people in thier everyday life as well as those who have gone before them as role models to follow.

Parent pressure should far outweigh peer pressure. My children are not focused on having the latest and most expensive game, gadget or clothing. I am working very hard to get them to realize that it’s the character of a person that far outweighs the outward appearance. If anything, if I did allow them to watch MTV, I would use the VMAs as a tool to show how society puts people in places that thier character cannot keep them. Just because someone is able to gain the spotlight, doesn’t mean that they deserve to be in it, nor does it mean that we have to listen to them.

The higher the gloss, the cheaper the merchandise.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 14th, 2009
7:54 am

JATL — You are right — Michael and I were talking about that last night. Rose is young but she really does like music in general and that just means we are really, really going to have to monitor what she would like to listen to and watch videowise and make sure they are OK for her — many will not be. Like I said, we had to shut off a Katy Perry video yesterday for questionable language. Rose knows how to use the on demand videos on our cable so she watches the ones she likes. I always know when she’s doing it I just have a hard time understanding a lot of lyrics and sometimes don’t catch “oh wait a second, that’s bad.”

mustbmonday

September 14th, 2009
8:07 am

nice, teresa, go to the well again on a monday morning. Neil would be proud.

Kathy

September 14th, 2009
8:07 am

MJG….you had lunch at my favorite Italian restaurant and didn’t invite me?!?!?!? : )

Sarah

September 14th, 2009
8:11 am

I think everyone’s mouth dropped open when Kanye ran on stage. I was so disappointed in him. Shame on you Kanye!

jay

September 14th, 2009
8:13 am

There are certain standards for everything in life, including behavior. It is the ‘behavior’ of a few that is hurting the African American most of all and not the color of skin. K West’ behavior was rude and he will bear the consequences. Serena Williams was rude and she will bear the consequences – in a major way! Wake up people and be a little nicer and kinder to your fellow man/woman. It is not all about you all the time!

Jason

September 14th, 2009
8:15 am

Kanye has this bone in his head that keeps him from thinking beyond ignorant.

motherjanegoose

September 14th, 2009
8:16 am

@ Kathy
Oh jeepers….you actually WANT to go to lunch with me? READER alert…just a few folks do like me!

Briscoe

September 14th, 2009
8:19 am

Kanye West is a racist. Dont apologize for what you say, but for how it makes someone feel. He wouldnt have said it if he didnt mean it. So dont try to make it better by sayn your sorry. Boycott his music. If that’s what it is. Some people say its not about racism, then you fail to see the whole picture. If Kid Rock did the same to Beyounce, he wouldve been jumped before he got off stage. Congratulations Taylor, you soooooo deserve this award. And as far a class, I would have loved to seen her shove that award straight up his A**, so far that it would get lodged in his nostrials.

Blaqdoll

September 14th, 2009
8:28 am

What Kanye did was totally tacky and disrespectful. I think he is still holding a grudge when he lost to Brittany Spears a few years back for Video of the Year. He is always talking about unity and unity among the artists; but shows his natural a*@ on television. Regardless of what he believes, Beyonce had already stated on the red carpet that out of the 9 nominations she had, she wanted Video of the Year the most. She got what she wanted, and I am proud to see that she let Taylor have her moment. She deserved it.

Becky

September 14th, 2009
8:41 am

Thank you Patrick..I’m white and I agree that as there are (probably) a lot of black people that don’t listen to what is considered white music and vice versa..I don’t know that much of what Kanye sings, I just know that I don’t like the things that I have heard about him..

As for Taylor, I don’t really like her voice, but I do like her songs..I know that sounds contrasting (sp). I do think that she appears to be a really nice, very hardworking young woman..I hope she has a very long succesful career..Kudos to Beyonce for being so classy..

LADY E, ATL

September 14th, 2009
8:41 am

JUST DON’T INVITE KAYNE WEST TO ANY OTHER SHOWS. HE HAS SHOWN HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO ACT IN PUBLIC. PEOPLE LIKE HIM YOU HAVE TO SHOW HIM THAT HIS BEHAVIOR WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. I SAY JUST BLACK BALL HIM FROM ALL AWARDS SHOWS.

Rodster

September 14th, 2009
8:48 am

It was a classless thing to do. KW is trash.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 14th, 2009
8:51 am

Beyonce was classy! it was very sweet and genuine!

Tyree

September 14th, 2009
8:53 am

The male version of Serena Williams. Just because you are a celebrity it does not give you divine right. He should make an apology to Taylor Swift and his own fans.

BB

September 14th, 2009
8:54 am

His lack of professionalism is apparent every time he opens his mouth. Consumers need to tell him we do not like his actions by not buying his music. The racist people in this country are making fools of themselves here lately….Joe Wilson, Kanye West….the rest of us need to ignore them and keep our equality values alive.

Jennifer

September 14th, 2009
8:55 am

People, please get off the how he was raised topic. This man was raised to know better, as he’s stated before. His mother was an Engligh Doctorate and professor at a University. HE KNEW BETTER!!!!

I’m a black female. This has nothing to do with race. I was disgusted and embarassed. I applaud MTV for making him leave; however it should not have taken until the end of the show for Taylor to get her moment. He HAD a chance. He HAD a mother who cared for him and loved him. She tought him how to be a man. He’s now CHOOSING not to follow.

I think the most important thing in all of this, is he lost his mother tragically and way to soon in life. He’s still fairly young as adults go. I’m 29. If I lost either of my parents now, I would be shut down mentally. He needs help, in all seriousness. I see a suicide coming. Before there’s another Michael Jackson type revalation of how we turned on Kanye, someone who loves him i.e. Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rhianna, needs to get him help QUICKLY! Don’t feed off his fame and do shows with him, but not get him the help he clearly needs. If Jay’s supposed to be his big brother role model type, I want to see some help like he ran to Rhianna.

ed

September 14th, 2009
9:08 am

Kanye West and Serena Williams are both undermining the good images that other African-Americans, like Beyonce, have built up.

Ben Dover

September 14th, 2009
9:12 am

I think kanye is an idiot…… I wish somebody would jumped up there and broke his face….. He cant even sing, and cant win an award so he does that…. Taylor should have said nobody can understand you, open your mouth retard…….. Kanye is the worst singer,rapper, everything…. he should have been aborted from birth………. GIVE NO RESPECT- GET NO RESPECT……….

JJ

September 14th, 2009
9:16 am

Taylor Swift could be a role model to some adults!!!

She handled that whole situation with grace. Kanye is such a loser. Good thing his momma is gone so she wouldn’t have to witness such childless behaviour.

JJ

September 14th, 2009
9:16 am

I meant Childish behavior.

YUKI

September 14th, 2009
9:17 am

I think Taylor Swift is a nice role model for young girls….at least someone out there is. As far as that idiot Kanye, he got exactly what he was looking for- a bunch of attention today. I didn’t watch the awards because I can’t stand those shows, but I heard about it on the radio this morning. The man is a total moron. That poor little girl standing there not knowing what to do… I agree, Beyonce showed a lot of class in what she did at the end.

jw

September 14th, 2009
9:26 am

I will stand by my older post and add one more thing – since these are awards shows and FAN voting is allowed, maybe Mr. West needs to learn how to use some of that green to vote for Beyonce a few more times, that way he can jump up on stage and really impress her – I voted for you 150,000 times at .99 a pop – girl you owe me big -

BB

September 14th, 2009
9:27 am

These celebrities that we make rich need to be held accountable for their actions. They have the best job in the world and we put them there so do not buy their music. If you can not handle the fame do something else. What if we went to an award show related to our job, showed up drunk and acted like that…..how long would we keep our job? The entertainment industry is out of control just like Wall Street was….with all the money consumers put in their pockets you would think they would have more respect for us and act like civilized professionals.

jct

September 14th, 2009
9:29 am

We have tried to instill that entertainers and athletes are not role models. Children should be looking closer to home. Role models should be aunts, uncles, counsins, local people that you can actully meet.

MTV, BET, VHI were blocked in our house until our son graduate high school. We did not want him watching videos all day long. While we did not ban any type of music (1. we wanted to hear what he was listening to and 2. banning doesn’t work), we did speak about his musical choices and why he like certain types of music.

Certainly kids will follow fades (remember cutting your sweat shirt so it would hang off the shoulder like J. Beals in Flashdance!). I think that is fine and healthy. It is their journey to figure out who they want to be in the world.

However, Kanye’s behavior last night was deplorable. I truly do think he has a mental illness. He lacks any type of filter. Even if he thought Beyonce had a better video, he should have kept that to himself. Thank goodness Taylor and Beyonce so class and compassion in this incident.

What a loser

September 14th, 2009
9:37 am

Kanye West has no respect and is a big crybaby. He IS a racist. I want to say I won’t buy his music anymore, but I never did in the first place. If you can’t see racial undertones, you are blind. To say white people aren’t penalized is a joke. I heard that idiot apologized on his blog this morning like he didn’t know what he did. That is funny.

I will say that I am really impressed on how Beyonce handled the situation. Very classy on her part.

pffft

September 14th, 2009
9:41 am

id like to see someone have a little, ahem, talk with kanye so they have to wire his stupid mouth shut permanantly.

KDMack

September 14th, 2009
9:42 am

Best comment award goes to JCT! I hope your son makes you a very proud parent. Kanye has some serious issues doesn’t have anything to do with race.

Bloggers please understand that one person doesn’t speak for the African-American race it’s are a very, very diverse group. I can’t understand why it’s so hard for everyone to understand.

rickyboooby

September 14th, 2009
9:45 am

I think Taylor Swift is an outstanding and talented musician, and it shows in all the work she does! As far as Kanye West goes, Ive honestly never liked the guy since the whole saying “Bush doesnt like black people” and now this, this guy is nothing but trash, Ive never spent a dime on his music and never will. I enjoy r&b/rap music, but Kanye doesnt have any original style, go home Kanye and get your shine box, your not welcome in the music world, show some class!

lottiegottie

September 14th, 2009
9:49 am

I totally agree with Ricky, Kanye is nothing but trash, and yes “he” really brings race into it in a behind the scenes kinda way. Beyonce is awesome and talented so is Swift, but Ms. Kanye West just showed how much class and respect he has by making that stupid remark, what a punk!!!!

EW

September 14th, 2009
9:49 am

Congressman Wilson = Classless, Kanye West = Classless…EVEN..

pop music is bad music

September 14th, 2009
9:51 am

I tell my son that most popular music is garbage and that if you want to listen to anything good, you have to search for it. Same thing with television, movies, and every other aspect of pop culture. Most of it is garbage.

yungbuck

September 14th, 2009
9:54 am

EW, what does Congressman Wilson have to do with this? He was actually right on his comments, but went about it by blurting it out which was not classless but just rude. kanye has made rude comments and blurted out like a little kid a few times before, none of which was geared towards anything but race and total nonsense. Comparing kanye to Congressman Wilson is like comparing apples to donuts, no comparison.

rickyboooby

September 14th, 2009
9:57 am

My friend Jeff has a job opening at his business for a shop sweeper/errand runner, kanye would be perfect for this, oh wait, forgot, he prolly couldnt keep his mouth shut. Nevermind.

EW

September 14th, 2009
10:00 am

yungbuck…You just made the comparison..both were right, “but went about blurting it out which is not classless but just rude”…

Scott

September 14th, 2009
10:02 am

This clip shows what kind of person HE is and what kind of person SHE is. Quite a difference. She should not apologize for winning. And I guess being half dressed and shaking your a$$ around makes for the best video of all time. Why not make a video showing your singing talent rather than your “other” talents.

lady kiki

September 14th, 2009
10:07 am

… i wonder how jack@$$ kanye was treated at the after parties…

Lili

September 14th, 2009
10:10 am

Beyoce showed amazing grace and class. That was wonderful of her to acknowledge Taylor during her moment….

Shame on Kanye…he is such an ass and proves it over and over…I will turn my radio, TV, etc. off anytime his on…he will not receive my money or support….what a punk!

Robin Geaney

September 14th, 2009
10:15 am

David Archuleta and Taylor Swift are the only two my kids get to watch or listen to. I grew up listening to music and it has always been a big part of my life. My dad’s room mate in college was the manager for the Allmand Brother’s and we even spent time with the group at times. Not the best role models in the world, but it did give me great appreciation for all types of music at an early age. I think it is up to the parents to decide who your child listens to at an early age.

Kevin

September 14th, 2009
10:15 am

I did not see the show and am reading about it this morning. I tend to listen to primarily country music and contemporary Christian so my selection of a role model would be limited to these genres. I would suggest Brad Paisley as one example.

Truth Hurts

September 14th, 2009
10:16 am

@ Sheineekwa… I am sure Kanye (and the other numerous “baby daddy” you have) already know your ghetto legs are wide open 4 business!! What trash cans Kanye and you are !!

Peachy

September 14th, 2009
10:20 am

Everyone who’s blurting out that Kanye West is racist needs to stop. This man obviously has a problem because this is not the first time he has done this. We cannot put the blame on his mother’s death because it has happened a few times before her demise (and I’m quite sure she’s turning over in her grave right about now, RIP). I think vast majority who were watching the VMAs were shocked and flabbergasted by what he did, which I will agree was very rude, classless and immature. Regardless of whether he was right in his feelings or not, there is a time and a place for everything and stealing the spotlight from Taylor Swift, which she deserved, was dead wrong, period!!! I think that all races, blacks, whites and other were appalled by his actions…so lets not take it there.

As far as comparing him to Congressman Wilson, the only comparison is that what they both did was disrespectful and unnecessary…that’s it, so lets leave him out of it.

I do give Beyonce kudos for being a class act and allow Taylor Swift to have her moment that was taken away from her. I respect her so much more now than I have in the past.

Once again, Kanye West needs help. That is not to excuse his behavior, because he should have known better, but anyone who has a habit of this type of behavior obviously needs some type of counseling and him holding a Hennessy bottle on the red carpet definitely did not help matters and somewhat explains what he did, but it’s still no excuse. I’m going to pray for him and I hope many will do the same.

lottiegottie

September 14th, 2009
10:20 am

I agree with BG, kanye needs a good but kicking! He needs his clock cleaned!

Cee

September 14th, 2009
10:22 am

I agree that Kanye was OUT OF LINE. He was clearly intoxicated as well. There are rumors that this was an MTV set up and I wouldnt be surprised because look at their last few awards shows (for ex: Eminem storming out after Bruno landed in his lap) It was very childish of Kanye to do that but I do not believe he is a racist. Look at his blog – everything he posts is far from urban. Do you think he would be working for GAP or Louis Vuitton if he was a racist? Matter of fact, did you all see his girlfriend – SHE IS WHITE. Amber Rose is WHITE! I am not justifying his actions at all but let’s not use the race card. He is very arrogant and ignorant at times but I doubt a racist.

Also, Kanye won an award but they gave it to someone else (I forgot which category) but I think he deserved that as a punishment plus they cancelled his performance which was good because there was no way he should be allowed on stage after that. He’s gotten better with his “ego” but I guess he let that bottle of Henny get in the way of that at the show.

Melissa

September 14th, 2009
10:23 am

Kanye displayed a total lack of respect to everyone, especially Taylor Swift. Sad to say, he probably does not realize or care what his actions say about his own character. Kudos to Beyonce for her show of class and empathy towards Taylor. Apparently, Kayne is not able to conduct himself properly in public. Who carries a whiskey bottle around for the night? He should be banned from attending such events. He is a complete embarrassment for so many reasons.

Denise

September 14th, 2009
10:26 am

I am embarrassed that Kanye showed his @$$ last night, and not just because I am Black. He is a jackass that needs to sit down somewhere. I have never and will never buy any of his music. I believe that until he suffers some serious consequences he will keep acting that way. I say hit him in the pockets. And he needs to never be invited to any awards ceremony ever again. Certainly never get nominated or win an award.

Gary

September 14th, 2009
10:28 am

Don’t care for the VMA’s because they always try to make a spectacle out of it and of course my favorite genre isn’t taken seriously as the events of last night show, but I saw everything on the headlines this morning and caught a video of the events.

First off, let me say that although I am a country fan, I am not that big a fan of Taylor Swift. The girl is sweet as can be and is an all around good kid, but she is a one subject song writer/singer and I do think country radio overexposes her just a bit. Liked her first 2 or 3 songs, but after that is became repetitive. However, with that said, she definitely deserves her accolades because she has worked her arse off to achieve it and have achieved chart topping success. What happened to her last night was sick and demeaning not only to female artists, but country music in general (which is why I don’t watch the VMAs or Grammys because of the anti-country bias those two shows have). She handled it with grace even though I would not blame her one bit for breaking down on stage and crying. I also wouldn’t blame her for jap-slapping Kayne West so hard he fell off the stage. Kudos to her for the award and how she handled herself. If I was her father, Kayne West would be sitting in a hospital this morning and Taylor would be bailing ole dad out of the city jail. And a standing ovation to Beyonce for the class act she showed with inviting Taylor back on stage at the end. Beyonce is what role model truly is. Graceful even in victory.

Dr. R

September 14th, 2009
10:35 am

This is what our culture has come to: If you think it, say it, and do whatever you want regardless of who it hurts. We see it in entertainment, in politics (like the bozo who hollered during the president’s speech), in sports. Civility, decorum and just being polite no longer count in our lives of self-indulgence. It’s all about us and not the people around us. This is the same petulant child who called out the president at an earlier awards show for “hating black people” because of Katrina response. He either is dumb as a bag of hammers and doesn’t see the irony here, or he’s just so locked into his own school of thought that he can’t see his own lack of compassion. Probably both. He ruined a special moment for the young lady, but I’m guessing he won’t really get that, either. If only we could raise our kids to think of others instead of focusing on their “self-esteem.” I think our self-esteem is too damn high and it’s time someone took Mr. West’s generation down a couple of pegs. Does Miss Swift, perhaps, have an older brother who plays football?

confused

September 14th, 2009
10:47 am

Black, white; white black…whatever. It was wrong what Kanye did. Period! Would’ve been the same to me if the male was white & the female black. Oh, by the way, I’m african american, not caucasian american. Not all of us are the thuggish racists that some want us to be. Some of us are actually quite intelligent. So, don’t judge a people by what some do (I don’t judge all white ppl by the actions of the KKK or other white supremacists).

Anyway, what most seem to forget to mention is that Beyonce’ gave Taylor her time to shine. She graciously gave up her moment to this young lady. Kudos to Beyonce’ for it. Personally I’m confused at how Taylor beat out Pink and Lady Gaga (two white women). I don’t listen to her music, but I guess she must be pretty talented to win over those two & Beyonce’. Congrats to her.

As for Taylor being a role model…she nor anyone else asks to be. But, that’s what they are. If one doesn’t want their child to think of an entertainer, sports or political figure, etc. as a role model, then do something to prove yourself worthy to be one. Wouldn’t it be better for the child to look to the parent as a role model? Just a thought.

Also, great job to MTV & Janet for the tribute to the King of Pop! We miss you Michael!!