If there's one thing we've learned from the advent of social media, it's that a person's image is now valued higher than almost any other quality.
Children and teenagers, especially, are bombarded with countless depictions of the supposed 'perfect body' and I think it's becoming all too easy to see the effects of that in our youth.
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Now, this isn't a bashing of the Instagram models of this world or anyone who is clever enough to use social media platforms as a revenue source. It's the way the world is going and by no means should they be held responsible for something they can't control.
But like most things, it comes with unintended consequences. Not only do young people develop insecurities from seeing these images, it draws them into participating in a destructive, often times vile, online culture which promotes hate to an extraordinary degree.
What it highlights is how much we need real life role models to act as a counter-balance, giving youth hope and positivity.
New Zealand pole vaulter Eliza McCartney is exactly the right person for the job.
While she probably is a role model in her own right, McCartney has the potential to do real good on a national and global scale thanks to her skill in the sporting arena, her personality and her openness when discussing delicate topics.
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To start with her sporting ability, the 22-year-old Olympic Games bronze medallist is clearly one of the brightest sparks in New Zealand's athletics future.
However, the way she has conducted herself throughout all her success must be commended. For such a young head to handle the fanfare with such humility and poise is nothing short of remarkable.
Her actions outside the sporting arena also make her an important voice for the youth to hear. After studying environmental science at university, McCartney channelled her passion for a sustainable future through several charities as well as a partnership with RE:Mobile, encouraging people to recycle old cellphones.
Finally, her ability to discuss difficult issues has set her apart from the rest, especially this past week. Just two days ago, McCartney shared on social media her struggles with injury, mental health and her future in sport.
As most will know, mental health has almost become more important in today's sporting climate than physical health, and for good reason. The pressures of the big stage can do 100 times more damage to person than a broken rib or a bung knee.
But the issues and stigma of mental health extend far beyond sport and have encapsulated society as we try to spin the many years of shame and agony into positivity.
In her post, McCartney openly discusses her use of medication which is a rarity even in modern times.
The use and effects of medication is still a very touchy subject these days and I can assure you, it's not a simple discussion to have. Provided the medication works - which is far from a guarantee - the person taking them still has to deal with any side-effects while grappling with the idea that they need medication in the first place.
To hear someone of McCartney's stature speak openly and honestly about the subject must come as a relief to some who have shared her struggles.
At the end of the day, she stands out as an almost perfect role model for today's youth. The only reason I say 'almost perfect' is because I would guess a humble person such as herself would say she is far from perfect, just another reason why she is a good role model.
Even putting aside Eliza McCartney the sports star, Eliza McCartney the person seems an ideal candidate for today's youth to learn from and follow her example.