By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Celebrities matter to kids. They get lots of praise and attention -- and always look good (even when they claim #nofilter). But as parents know, not all celebs are great role models. Many are famous for things we'd never want our kids known for (looking at you, Kim). Others might be attractive, have a gorgeous Instagram account, or a pretty voice -- but what do they do with their fame?
The select few who do make a positive impact deserve to be recognized. These are the ones who are willing to take a stand on important issues, give time or money to a worthy cause, or otherwise represent positivity (not always an easy feat in a celeb-obsessed culture that often skews negative). Whether you're actively seeking a role model for your kids -- or just want to stay on top of which tween and teen idols are doing good stuff -- check out Common Sense Media's picks for best media role models of 2015.
- Taylor Swift The talented singer/songwriter has won kids' and parents' hearts by rising to fame without getting (too) mired in scandal. As her career has taken off, she's given back by supporting kid-friendly groups such as Scholastic, with whom she's partnered this year to donate 25,000 books to New York City schools.
- Zendaya Kids know about Zendaya from Shake It Up and Dancing with the Stars, but they should also know her for the smart way she handles haters on Twitter. This year was full of opportunities for the young actress to call out beauty double standards -- from when Giuliana Rancic made unfortunate comments about Zendaya's red-carpet dreadlocks to when "fans" called her both too fat and too skinny.
- Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games franchise has made JLaw one of the most famous actresses in the world, but who knew she wasn't getting paid as much as her male costars in some of her films? When she spoke about this earlier this year, she called out sexism in Hollywood but also inspired regular folks to think about gender pay imbalance.
- John Cena The professional wrestler and actor might appear rough and tough, but he's got a heart of gold. This year he participated in his 500th Make-a-Wish event, bringing a little bit of joy into the lives of terminally ill kids.
- Stephen Curry The Golden State Warriors champion showed basketball fans everywhere that being a celebrated athlete can go hand in hand with being a dedicated father. His young daughter Riley Curry accompanied him to post-game press sessions during the play-offs, sending a message about the importance of family.
- Lady Gaga Singer, songwriter, and talented performer Lady Gaga has transformed over the last few years from simply a provocateur to an advocate for mental health, campus rape awareness, gay rights, and even the value of making art. She's also spoken out about her struggles with body image and encouraged others to be kind to themselves.
- Shakira International pop star Shakira used her role as UN goodwill ambassador this year to draw attention to early childhood health and education needs across the world.
Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org