Thursday, 25 March 2010

Where we try to define 'inspirational' and clearly fail

Yesterday we heard on the radio that Cheryl Cole has been voted the most inspirational woman of the decade. To be fair, Eldest's attention was drawn not by the story itself, but by her parents snorting with derision in the front of the car. She wished to know what was going on, and why we were unimpressed with it. And what 'inspirational' meant.

"Inspirational means someone who makes you want to be like them, to be a better person. So an inspirational person needs to have done something pretty special - like overcoming poverty or disability to do something fantastic, or helping save lives, or writing a book, or inventing something amazing, or campaigning to change things. Cheryl Cole sings a bit, and she looks pretty on the telly. We don't see that as being inspirational. What do you think?"

"No, it's not," Eldest agreed.

"So, who do you think is inspirational? Who do you think should be voted the most inspirational woman of the decade?"

Eldest thought for a moment.

"Alesha Dixon."

We've a way to go, I think.


  1. Ah come on! They both have very very shiny swingy hair (unlike myself). The fee paid by L'Oreal is surely inspirational in itself?

  2. And besides, Alesha Dixon has inspirationally long legs ...

    I'm bashing my head against the wall today as Tall Small arrived home with the latest 'inspirational' homework - research and describe a famous sporting event. This comes on the tail of 'my dream holiday' and 'how I would spend my lottery winnings'. I'd rather like to know when we're going to get to look at cultaural or scientific based milestones - or even people who inspire us.

    Gah. The world's gone mad. And I'm officially a grumpy old bag.

  3. Grumpy old woman-dom is clearly beckoning us all!
    Must practice my tutting.

  4. I may have giggled slightly.

    Jane Tomlinson was an inspirational woman, but I am going to go away and really think hard about modern day inspirational women for our daughters' sakes.

  5. I admit I laughed too.
    I expect people you consider inspirational changes over time in much the same way that your taste in hunk changes. I'd like to think it's called maturity...
    Must see if my girls have a clue, but I'd better think of a 'right' answer first.


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