The Celeb Factor

In today’s celebrity-enthralled society, one might wonder, "Where are all the sane, good-hearted role models?"  Well, they’re tough to find, but trust me — they’re out there. That’s why I jumped at the chance to chat with Raven Symone a few years back.  All of this horrific celebrity-obsession has led me back to my notes to delve back into some of Raven’s comments on the subject (she’s one of Hollyweird’s classiest ladies).

Raven’s been a performer for nearly her entire life, acting and singing her way across television networks and throughout the past two decades. Her music, T.V. shows and film projects do more than just entertain the masses - they also inspire youth reach for something bigger and better in their lives.

You may remember her from her role as Olivia on “The Cosby Show,” her character, Nicole, on “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” or from her current stint as Raven Baxter on Disney’s “That’s so Raven.” Of course, these are only a few of the project’s she’s been a part of.

With so many actors and musicians making negative decisions and setting some pretty bad examples, Raven has distinguished herself from the pack. When asked about her biggest challenge as a young performer she said,

“I don’t have a problem staying myself but unfortunately, I am surrounded by a lot of people who do. I stay strong to who I am, but it can be tough being around people who struggle with that.”

Even more fascinating is her devotion to her own morals. Raven’s strength can be seen through her contributions to the community as well as her dedication to choosing film and television projects that represent topics and themes she’s comfortable with. Raven says there’s a method to her madness when it comes to choosing roles.

“I try to choose projects that can change people. I like doing things that make people think,” she says.

When it comes to the celebrity role model department, she had a lot to say.

“Whoever’s in front of you all the time will become your role model. People in the entertainment business are sometimes around kids more than the parents are. That’s the situation that comes with [fame]. You don’t say, ‘I’m going to be a role model.’ It just happens.”

Unlike many of the other stars her age, Raven acknowledges her position as a role model to millions of young people. Her reaction to it all is positive imagery, comedic remedies and a whole lot of inspiration. Raven knows kids and parents are watching her every move, so she rises to the challenge, stays true to herself and shows that success doesn’t have to mean compromising what you believe in.

In a celeb-infused world in which our youth our constantly exposed to Britney’s latest debacle one might also wonder, "Why aren’t the media covering people like Raven — good, solid role models?"  It’s time that we truly give our kids better imagery and more solid persons to emulate.  Don’t you think?