The Best Female Role Models for Young Girls
We recently spoke about the pressure on young girls when it comes to their bodies, and the importance of accepting our own bodies so that they can learn to see themselves in a realistic light.
Since time out of mind, young girls have looked for guidance in role models. This is an opportunity to inspire greatness motivate them to be their best. With years of societal norms chipping away the truth of what it is to be a woman, we need strong role models now more than ever.
Female role models should inspire, challenge and influence the way the world works. They must be authentic, and believe in themselves, demonstrating the importance of hard work, with good morals and positive qualities.
What Makes A Good Role Model?
A good role model must show passion for their work and have the ability to inspire others. Teachers are a great example of this, as they are always trying to give back to the next generation. At this young, impressionable age, young people, including women are easily influenced by people who act in ways that support their beliefs. This helps to cement the concept that underlying values motivate people to become advocates for social change and innovation.
Young people are also influenced by those who are committed to their community, freely giving of their time and talents to benefit people by serving on local boards, reaching out to neighbors in need and working actively in their community.
Human traits such as selflessness and open hearted acceptance of those who are different from themselves are not seen enough in daily life, and we can all become role models to those around us by incorporating these aspects into our daily lives.
In addition, young people will flourish under the guidance of everyday people who demonstrate success through simple hard-work, developing the skills and using initiative to overcome obstacles.
Being a positive role model does not require super-human ability – and yet, society is full of the kind of behaviors we are not necessarily proud of.
Less Ideal Role Models
It seems that it has become a challenge to find good female role models in today’s culture. The ‘entertainment’ news shows us more and more stars turning to alcohol, drugs and other bad choices, rather than setting a good example for the nation’s youth. These ‘stars’ are human too of course, they have just found themselves flung into the spotlight for all to gaze upon and judge.
Some celebrities are unwillingly earmarked as role models, and their falls from grace leave them shunned and attacked by the media. Miley Cyrus is one that stands out. A young girl herself, who was a household name as her childhood character ‘Hannah Montana”, before rebelling as she grew into a controversial and raunchy pop star.
There are of course many painfully thin young ladies in the spotlight too, who are often scrutinized for every pound that they lose or gain. They are under immense pressure themselves and sadly find themselves in the position where they are be envied by other your women.
Then we have the Kardashian girls Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, who are just famous for being famous, with little of substance to encourage young girls to aspire to.
Fortunately there are many women that do set fantastic examples for the young women today, and here are some of our favorites.
When it comes to the most moving, motivating and inspiring woman, Oprah Winfrey is definitely top of the list. Starting off from a poor childhood, she has worked hard to achieve her dream of being labelled “most successful women of all time”.
As a business woman and owner of Harpo Productions she is also named the most powerful celebrity. She has launched the careers of many including Rachael Ray, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Phil McGraw – now celebrities in their own right.
Winfrey’s role model status extends beyond her professional career, to her project The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, where she educates underprivileged girls in South Africa.
TV show host and celebrity icon Ellen Degeneres tackles a number of issues that relate to today’s youth. She has the ability to makes her audience laugh without being mean. She speaks out against bullying, is an advocate for animal rights and is an inspiration to women everywhere. Ellen does an outstanding job of using her media platform to try to make the world a better place, rather than just trying to use her celebrity status to increase her own profile.
Hillary Clinton is one of the strongest ladies in politics today. She has had to work very hard to be taken seriously to get where she is in the political ranks. Her unwavering presence and straight talking has taught girls that women have far more than just sex appeal.
Malala Yousafzai survived a terrorist attack on a school bus, that she was taking to attend school illegally. She has since became an advocate for female rights and education around the world. At the tender age of 18, she has authored a best selling book and won a Nobel Peace Prize.
The first lady of California, journalist and activist, Maria Shriver, is the brains behind the annual Shriver report, which looks at the state of working mothers and children. The Shriver report makes clear that the hopes of our mothers and grandmothers are being realized, that women can be or do anything we want in life.
Jennifer Lawrence’s role as Katniss in the Hunger games portrays a strong female character and her personal life shows the same characteristics. Although being criticized for her weight, she has refused to diet and become Hollywood’s idea of ‘normal’. She is not afraid to speak her mind and is rarely seen out partying.
In reality Emma Watson is also not far from her role as loyal Hermione in Harry Potter. She shows young girls that smarts are more important than sex appeal.
These women are all living a life that they can be proud of, that provides an example to the younger generation of women around the world. But of course, not all role models are rich and famous with fancy titles and personal wealth.
Many impact young people’s lives in a variety of small, uncounted ways in everyday life. We all have that responsibility and opportunity to inspire a young woman, and we know just how badly they need it.