For kids growing up in the 21st century, it can be hard to find good role models. Whether it’s celebrities or sports figures, many of them have fallen prey to the ever-changing nature of social media and gone from being a positive role model to a cautionary tale in the course of just a few years. But, for every bad role model that becomes popular, there’s a silver lining: a chance to see somebody who inspires you to become better. Enter, Rob Pattison. The British actor and model recently posed for the Pedia magazine with an array of dazzling teeth. The resulting photo series, titled ‘Inner Beauty’, aims to spark a change in the way young people see themselves; not as a mere reflection of the fashion trends of the day, but as individuals with a unique inner beauty that is inspired by their passions, hobbies and the people they love. While many adults might be quick to judge the 30-year-old actor and model for setting a bad example for kids, it would be a shame to deprive them of the opportunity to learn from somebody whom they look up to and, in many ways, consider a role model.

Why Are Kids Looking To Role Models?

Even in the most humble of beginnings, children are taught to value respect and honesty. These values form the basis of ethics, which is a set of moral principles that govern our dealings with one another. While many of us adults might want to believe that ethics no longer matter in today’s world, research has shown that people tend to behave more ethically when they believe that the people they are interacting with value honesty and respect as well. This makes sense: in a world full of bullshitters and hypocrites, maybe it’s best to look to those you trust to be truthful and ethical.

With the advent of social media, it has never been easier for kids to find people they can relate to. People born after 1995 know exactly what I’m talking about: instead of looking for somebody who most resembles them, they now have a chance to see how other people live, how they behave and what their values are. But, while this might be an opportunity for kids to learn and grow, it can also be a landmine, full of pitfalls and traps. The fact that these are role models, rather than simply people they encounter on social media, makes it even more dangerous. Why? Because, while we might not always want to admit it, we’re often more likely to value what we see and learn from other people rather than those we consider role models.

Teeth Are A Symbol Of Innocence

There are so many examples of this, but I think we can all agree that teeth are a symbol of innocence. Nobody has sharper teeth than a child and, in a perfect world, adults would help protect children’s teeth as well as teach them to be patient and respect their elders. Unfortunately, the world is never perfect and children are forced to grow up fast. Adults might not always like to admit it, but kids need to learn to become independent as soon as possible. This often means making the adult world a less perfect place and, in some cases, that means letting go of our own good manners and protective instincts in order to make things simpler for children. For example, we might let our emotions run wild and yell at a child for seemingly no reason. But then again, maybe it’s just the sugar that makes us mad.

So whether it’s celebrities and their shocking behavior or just the way some people sometimes throw their coffee mug at the wall, I think we can all agree that there’s a lot to learn from a role model’s missteps as well as their successes. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that, while teeth might not be permanent, they are very much representative of one’s character. This makes them a symbol worth teaching and a treasure to behold. Perhaps then, kids will value their teeth more and, in turn, be less likely to lose them.