By: Erin M.
Young girls are in desperate need of role models and mentors. They are told to look up to pop-stars and actresses like Selena Gomez, Zendaya and Jennifer Lawrence. While all of these women are very accomplished and talented, they provide a very narrow perception of what our society deems ‘successful’ in the first place.
Not to mention the fact that these public figures are very out of touch with most young girls. These celebrities make millions of dollars, ride in limos and have wardrobes seeping with designer clothing. This is not most girls’ reality and making that the standard to aspire to is only going to set girls up for failure; fame and fortune are only given to a select few, and a select few that fit the beauty standard of society and are manufactured by their production companies and record labels to be seemingly perfect.
Girls need to be shown that it’s not just your physical appearance, money and status that matter. Their intelligence, creativity and ambition need to be fostered by others who are doing the same. We need doctors, lawyers, activists, writers, artists, scientists and more to be role-models for young women. We need to start paying attention to all kinds of women doing all kinds of extraordinary things, things that are often ignored in favor of seeing what designer Kim Kardashian is rocking that day.
Also, it’s imperative that girls understand that physical appearance is not a defining factor of your self-worth. How you look shouldn’t subject you to any scrutiny–all girls of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and they need to be told this. They need to be exposed to how society is conditioning them into dieting and squeezing into size 2’s, so that they can realize how this standard is nothing but destructive.
We need women to stand up and mentor young women. Girls desperately need real role models in their life who they know and see, can talk to and confide in. Selena Gomez is not going to be able to help her get into Harvard, but women that they know and love can. They can encourage her, give her opportunities and help her to develop her skills, talents and passions.
That’s why we need you. Think about one girl you know. Think about how you could act as a mentor or role model to her. Even just meeting for lunch once a month or helping her with her school project can have a real impact on their self-esteem and even impact their whole life. Girls are ready for role-models that aren’t just on their TV screens- are you?