Growing up, we take heed of the deeds and qualities of those we wish to be like. We strive to emulate the actions of those that we admire. We refer to these people as role models.
Perhaps people is not the correct operative word for that statement. Sure, I had quite a few role models that were people that I knew. I looked up to my cousin Michael so very much. He was the coolest guy I knew. Then, you have those people that are famous. Hulk Hogan was the be all and end all of heroes in my little eyes. But, is it possible to have a role model that is neither real nor a person? I say yes.
As a child, my number one role model was none other than the head Autobot in charge, Optimus Prime. An argument could possibly be made that he is a person. He displays very humanistic qualities; personification indeed. So, that is my case for representing him as a person. After all, isn't fiction nothing more than things that are not real, represented as though they are?