Fill in the blank: A public figure who inspires me is…

By Northern Star Opinion Staff

Jameela Jamil

Nina Kasman | Contributor

A celebrity that inspires me is Jameela Jamil because I really admire the way that she spreads positivity and self-love. Jamil uses her platform to fight against companies that profit from selling weight-loss solutions to impressionable teenagers. She speaks out against celebrities who partner with these companies to market to youth through social media. She also started the I Weigh movement, which teaches everyone to measure their weight in their accomplishments and the things that they love, rather than a number on a scale. Through her efforts, Jameela Jamil has substantially affected the conversation about self-love and confidence in social media. 

Jamil’s fight for body positivity has significant positive power.

“At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.,” according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

For these people, Jamil’s work can have a very personal effect. I’ve struggled with my own weight for the majority of my life. I have been victimized by skinny celebrities trying to sell detox teas and get-thin-quick solutions to a problem that was created by an environment of hatred and judgment. I am painfully aware that the consequences of these actions fall on the consumer. 

Jamil’s campaign against these “weight-loss companies” is to protect impressionable youth like me; her voice of positivity reminds us all that our bodies are worthy of love in the moments when we forget.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Jordan Radloff | Contributor

The Rock is a public figure that is an inspiration to me because of his success in multiple careers in his life. After retiring from being a pro wrestler for WWE, Johnson decided to start an acting career. I grew up watching him star in movies such as “The Game Plan” and “The Race to Witch Mountain,” and now his presence in the film industry has become more prominent with his recent box office successes “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw.”

He is a great example for college students like myself to show it is never too late to pursue your true passions. The Rock made a bold choice to move from wrestling to acting, and this has even led him to pursue other projects like starting his own fitness training program. I am personally having difficulty deciding whether to focus solely on my music degree or pursue a journalism degree also. No matter what I decide, the Rock’s personal success has shown me that if I am passionate enough about something, there will always be opportunities for me to utilize my skills in any career path I choose.

In addition to his success, the Rock also inspires me with his positive social media presence. He posts very often on Instagram with motivational messages and stories. His influence inspires me to strive to improve my health, both mentally and physically. The interactions he has with his fans show how an ideal public figure should be using their fame to spread positivity. 

Christopher Hitchens

Anthony Parlogean | Contributor

A public figure who inspires me is Christopher Hitchens. Although he died in 2011, his words live on in his books, articles and lectures.

Hitchens had a way with words that was mesmerizing and inspirational. He was a prolific reader and writer, and used his vast knowledge to write about a wide array of subjects. He was one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th and 21st century and had inputs that were both unique and insightful.

A journalist by trade, Hitchens wrote on many different subjects ranging from the Iraq war, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance and the existence of God. He was a staunch critic of those in power he viewed as corrupt or immoral, as well as advocate for historical figures he viewed as influential. 

Hitchens was assertive in his claims and confrontational in his approach to debates. He was a polarizing and controversial figure, with no shortage of detractors.

He is well known for his employment of hitchslaps, or “the process of utterly obliterating an opponent’s entire argument, usually in one or more succinct or terse statements, orally or in writing,” according to a Nov. 2010 Urban Dictionary definition.

Historical figures that he wrote about include Thomas Jefferson, George Orwell and Abraham Lincoln. Public figures he criticized include Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger and God.