7 Celebrity Role Models of 2015 You Can Feel Good About

From Taylor Swift to Stephen Curry, famous folks who give back, break barriers, and stand up to bullies make our favorites list. By Sierra Filucci
7 Celebrity Role Models of 2015 You Can Feel Good About

Celebrities matter to kids. They get lots of praise and attention -- and always look good (even when they claim #nofilter). But as parents know, not all celebs are great role models. Many are famous for things we'd never want our kids known for (looking at you, Kim). Others might be attractive, have a gorgeous Instagram account, or a pretty voice -- but what do they do with their fame?

The select few who do make a positive impact deserve to be recognized. These are the ones who are willing to take a stand on important issues, give time or money to a worthy cause, or otherwise represent positivity (not always an easy feat in a celeb-obsessed culture that often skews negative). Whether you're actively seeking a role model for your kids -- or just want to stay on top of which tween and teen idols are doing good stuff -- check out our picks for best media role models of 2015.

Taylor Swift
The talented singer/songwriter has won kids' and parents' hearts by rising to fame without getting (too) mired in scandal. As her career has taken off, she's given back by supporting kid-friendly groups such as Scholastic, with whom she's partnered this year to donate 25,000 books to New York City schools.

Zendaya
Kids know about Zendaya from Shake It Up and Dancing with the Stars, but they should also know her for the smart way she handles haters on Twitter. This year was full of opportunities for the young actress to call out beauty double standards -- from when Giuliana Rancic made unfortunate comments about Zendaya's red-carpet dreadlocks to when "fans" called her both too fat and too skinny.

Jennifer Lawrence
The Hunger Games franchise has made JLaw one of the most famous actresses in the world, but who knew she wasn't getting paid as much as her male costars in some of her films? When she spoke about this earlier this year, she called out sexism in Hollywood but also inspired regular folks to think about gender pay imbalance.

John Cena
The professional wrestler and actor might appear rough and tough, but he's got a heart of gold. This year he participated in his 500th Make-a-Wish event, bringing a little bit of joy into the lives of terminally ill kids.
 

Stephen Curry
The Golden State Warriors champion showed basketball fans everywhere that being a celebrated athlete can go hand in hand with being a dedicated father. His young daughter Riley Curry accompanied him to post-game press sessions during the play-offs, sending a message about the importance of family.

Lady Gaga
Singer, songwriter, and talented performer Lady Gaga has transformed over the last few years from simply a provocateur to an advocate for mental health, campus rape awareness, gay rights, and even the value of making art. She's also spoken out about her struggles with body image and encouraged others to be kind to themselves.

Shakira
International pop star Shakira used her role as UN goodwill ambassador this year to draw attention to early childhood health and education needs across the world.

 

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About Sierra Filucci

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Sierra is a journalist with a special interest in media and families. She has a master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and she's been writing and editing professionally for more... Read more

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Comments (8)

Teen, 13 years old written by Brianna B.

Another role model is Malala Yusafzay,(is that how you spell it?). She fought for women's rights in Pakistan and she also wrote great book, but not for younger children.
Kid, 11 years old

Why is Taylor Swift on here? She's certainly not a very good role model for kids or teens. She claims to be a feminist, but she's strictly a 'white feminist'-- someone who doesn't have a very diverse view of feminism. She is also known for twisting the media to her whims, promoting the girl-gang aesthetic, and then there's the old Nicki Minaj Twitter feud.
Teen, 13 years old written by annacoreczka

Yeah, I agree with the went through hell and battled a lot. But she isn't the best role model for kids, because her "performances are inappropriate" or whatever lol. she's mostly a role model for teens
Adult written by Pocono Chuck

Props to Lady Gaga for getting her act together, such as a fantastic performance at Super Bowl, but her early career where she put herself out there (meat dress, exposing herself, etc.) leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, it is great she's reformed herself, but others on this list didn't have to do that.
Parent of a 5, 10, and 14 year old written by TS1138

I'm really glad Lady Gaga is helping on such causes, but as long as she continues to do things such as her role in American Horror Story, she isn't going to be considered a "role model" to my young children. Maybe when they get a bit older.
Adult written by Elizjm01

Another awesome role model is Rowan Blanchard. She speakers out about feminism and empowers girls to be who they want to be, not what everyone expects them to be.

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