Celebrity Role Models – Who Do Parents Think Is the Best Role Model for Their Children?
In this article we take a look at the Top Celebrity Role Models voted by parents in the UK. We asked 2,000 UK parents who they think is best celebrity role model for their children. The survey was carried out in November 2019 and the results were as follows.
|Rank||Name||Occupation||% of Votes|
|#1||Richard Branson||British Business Magnate||6.69%|
|#2||David Beckham||English Footballer||5.45%|
|#3||Alan Sugar||British Business Magnate||4.44%|
|#4||Bill Gates||American Business Magnate||4.29%|
|#6||JK Rowling||British Author||2.47%|
|#7||David Attenbrough||English Broadcaster and Natural Historian||2.33%|
|#8||Holly Willoughby||English Television Presenter||1.67%|
|#9||Michelle Obama||American Lawyer||1.53%|
|#10||Emma Watson||English Actress||1.38%|
|#11||Steve Jobs||American Business Magnate||1.38%|
|#12||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portuguese footballer||1.31%|
|#13||Greta Thunberg||Swedish Environmental Activist||1.24%|
|#14||Kate Middleton||British Royalty||1.24%|
|#15||Stephen Hawking||English Theoretical Physicist||1.24%|
Our study revealed that 1 in 15 parents see Richard Branson as the best Celebrity Role Model for their child.
As you can see from the table above, Sir Richard Branson holds the top spot, receiving the 6.69% of votes from UK parents for being the Number 1 Celebrity Role Model for their Children in 2019. This is unsurprising considering Branson’s ever-growing career success, being the founder of the multinational capital conglomerate Virgin Group Ltd and also being named one of the richest men in Britain.
It seems hard work and dedication are highly regarded traits, as English Footballer David Beckham follows closely behind first spot, as he received 5.45% of votes and ranked second overall in the table of Best Celebrity Role Models for Children in the UK. As well as his role in Manchester United’s run to win treble in 1998-99, David Beckham is also the highest paid English footballer there has even been. Is anyone else noticing a pattern here?
Speaking of wealth and success, the celebrity ranking in third spot on our list is Sir Alan Sugar who has developed an abundance of affluence and successes throughout his life. He is also well known for appearing in the business style reality game show, the Apprentice, where candidates compete to be hired by Sir Alan Sugar himself. 4.44% of all votes submitted were for Sir Alan Sugar.
Although deep pockets and a history of success appear to be strong influences on parents’ decision-making when it comes to role models for their children, other factors – such as generosity and brains – appear to also play a significant role. Co-founder of the multinational technology company Microsoft, Bill Gates received a high number of votes (4.29%) from parents across the UK. Interestingly, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have been named the most generous philanthropists in the US, having given a total of over $36 billion to a variety of charities.
As well as Bill Gates, a substantial proportion of UK parents’ role models for their children are in fact American, with former US president Barack Obama reaching 5th spot in the ranks and receiving 2.84% of votes. During and after his time as president, Obama has been highly regarded by many as a positive role model for children and young people, so it’s unsurprising that around 1 in every 35 UK parents class him as a role model for their children.
What kinds of celebrities were chosen?
When we asked the question ‘Who do you think is the best celebrity role model for your child?’ we received a wide variety of responses, with 424 different celebrities all being put forward from a range of backgrounds.
But which kinds of people do UK parents most consider to be good celebrity role models for their children? In this section we take a closer look at the demographics and occupations of the top voted celebrity role models for children in 2019.
As you can see from the chart below, a staggering 73.33% majority of the celebrities chosen were male, meaning that only around 1 in 4 celebrity role models are female.
But why is there such a divide?
There are a whole host of possible reasons for this outcome, one of which being financial considerations. If wealth is the main motivating factor for parents when choosing a role model for their child, this gender difference may be somewhat unsurprising, as currently the 10 richest people in the world are male. What’s more, men tend to be paid significantly more than women throughout their careers, with women in the UK being paid an average of 8.9% less than men.
*In order to categorise each celebrity’s gender correctly, we examined Wikipedia pages and publications that mentioned them in order to discover which gender they identified as. For fictional characters such as ‘Paw Patrol’ and groups of people with multiple genders such as ‘Game Shakers’, we listed these celebrities’ under ‘N/A’.
Which occupation is most popular amongst celebrity role models? To find out we sorted the responses from our study into different occupational groups from members of the royal family to chefs and sportspeople.
|Occupation||Percentage of votes|
|TV or Radio Presenters||6.61%|
|Royal Family Members||4.29%|
|Civil Service Members||0.51%|
|Film or Game Makers||0.29%|
The occupations of UK parents biggest celebrity role models for their children.
- 1 in 5 (20.49%) votes made by UK parents were for Business magnates and Entrepreneurs, with successful leaders such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates making the Top 5.
- This was then followed by Sports people (13.81%) such as David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo, who fared very well in the ranks. The third most popular occupational category was Actors and Actresses, who received 12.28% of parents’ votes and included big names such as Emma Watson and Will Smith.
- The study showed that more parents want their children to be Actresses and Actors than Academics and Activists.
- Musicians such as Ed Sheeran and Beyonce Knowles ranked highly too, accounting for almost 1 in every 10 votes made. Politicians were also a popular choice for UK parents when deciding on the best role model for their children, with members of this category such as Barack Obama and Donald Trump receiving 7.85% of votes.
- Performance orientated careers seemed to be the most desired, with 3 of the top 5 occupations being centred around some sort of performance.
*Many of the celebrities named in this study are well-known and admired for more than one occupation (e.g – Emma Watson as an actress, model and activist). However, in the groupings above we have named just one occupation for each celebrity that we feel they are most famous for.
Here is the full List of the Top 50 Celebrity Role Models voted by UK Parents:
% of Vote
|1||Richard Branson||British Entrepreneur||M||6.6860|
|2||David Beckham||English Footballer||M||5.4506|
|3||Alan Sugar||British Entrepreneur||M||4.4331|
|5||Barack Obama||Former US President||M||2.8343|
|6||JK Rowling||British author||F||2.4709|
|7||David Attenbrough||British broadcaster and natural historian||M||2.3256|
|8||Holly Willoughby||English television presenter||F||1.6715|
|9||Michelle Obama||American lawyer||F||1.5262|
|10||Emma Watson||British actress||F||1.3808|
|11||Steve Jobs||American Entrepreneur||M||1.3808|
|12||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portuguese footballer||M||1.3081|
|13||Stephen Hawking||English theoretical physicist||M||1.2355|
|14||Greta Thunberg||Swedish environmental activist||F||1.2355|
|15||Kate Middleton||British Royalty||F||1.2355|
|16||Will Smith||American actor and rapper||M||1.1628|
|17||Albert Einstein||Physicist developed the theory of relativity||M||1.0901|
|19||Elon Musk||American entrepreneur,||M||1.0174|
|20||Gordon Ramsey||British chef||M||1.0174|
|21||Dwayne Johnson||American-Canadian actor||M||0.9448|
|22||Boris Johnson||British Prime Minister||M||0.9448|
|23||Prince William||British Royalty||M||0.9448|
|25||Mark Zuckerberg||American entrepreneur||M||0.7267|
|26||Jamie Oliver||British chef||M||0.7267|
|27||Beyonce Knowles||American singer- songwriter||F||0.7267|
|28||The Queen||British royalty||F||0.7267|
|28||Victoria Beckham||British Entrepreneur, fashion designer and singer||F||0.6541|
|30||Jesus Christ||Jewish preacher||M||0.6541|
|31||Oprah Winfrey||American media executive, presenter||F||0.5814|
|32||Prince Harry||British Royalty||M||0.5814|
|33||Nelson Mandela||South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader||M||0.5087|
|34||Simon Cowell||English talent manager and entrepreneur||M||0.5087|
|35||Phillip Schofield||English television presenter||M||0.5087|
|36||Bear Grylls||British TV presenter||M||0.5087|
|37||Jessica Ennis-Hill||British track and field athlete||F||0.5087|
|38||Brad Pitt||American actor||M||0.4360|
|39||Keanu Reeves||Canadian actor and musician||M||0.4360|
|40||Leonardo Di Caprio||American actor||M||0.4360|
|41||Stephen Fry||English actor||M||0.4360|
|42||Peter Jones||British entrepreneur||M||0.4360|
|43||Ed Sheeran||British singer, songwriter||M||0.4360|
|45||Ben Carson||American politician||M||0.4360|
|46||Gandhi||Indian lawyer and political ethicist||M||0.4360|
|47||Lionel Messi||Argentine footballer||M||0.4360|
|48||Michael Jackson||American singer, songwriter||M||0.3634|
|49||Andy Murray||Scottish Tennis Player||M||0.3634|
|50||Harry Kane||English footballer||M||0.3634|