As a parent to a lovely daughter, the internet scares me. Seriously, it scares me on a regular basis, because it’s out there, and I know that as much as I tried to shield her from its ugly side, she’s going to run into it sooner or later.
One of the main worries I have is how some images of women are portrayed and celebrated in online media, and whether it’s Miley Cyrus riding around on a wrecking ball in her birthday suit or Kim Kardashian’s selfies, I don’t want my daughter thinking that this kind of behavior is normal. I don’t want her to think that her worth as a woman is based on how she looks in a bikini (or less).
Whatever path she chooses, I want her to be dignified life, to make a positive contribution to her community, and to know that she can achieve her goals through hard work and making good choices. It breaks my heart a little to know that she’s going to stumble on Kardashians and Cyrus’ sooner or later, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
But let’s think about what I can do. One of the things parents can do is to teach their daughters and sons about some positive female role models. Throughout history, there have been some amazing women who have done incredible things and overcome incredible obstacles through their bravery, ingenuity and perseverance. These great women can show our children positive examples of what women can do and how they can be successful and dignified at the same time.
5 Great Kids Role Models
Kids Author JK Rowling
JK Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series of books, might be one of the richest women in the world today, but she didn’t always have it like this. Her life story is really one of tragedy and triumph. When writing her first Harry Potter book, JK Rowling was a struggling single mother, and in her own words, her and her daughter were “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.
However, she kept on writing and fighting for survival, and, eventually, she managed to get Harry Potter published, and in time became one of the most successful authors in history.
Amelia Earhart was a famous pilot and author, and pretty much a real-life female Indiana Jones. She was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and she set many other world records in airplane flying.
She was also a best-selling author, writing many books about her travels, and went on to work are Perdue University. Not only was Amelia a brave adventurer, she did this in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, at a time when American women were expected to be just housewives and mothers.
A tennis champion and great role model for little girls all over the world, Serena Williams is widely regarded by many as one of the best American athletes of all time. While this is a special feat in itself, we have to remember that Serena must have overcome huge obstacles as an African American competing and a sport that is dominated by Caucasians.
Serena also shows a younger woman a good example, as she is confident, beautiful and very cool despite not having the typical small-waist body type that the advertising industry tells us all women should aspire to.
Mary Curie was a brilliant scientist who conducted pioneering research and experiments in radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and as if that wasn’t enough, she is the only person (yes, person) to ever win Nobel prizes in two different sciences.
Marie made an incredible contribution to science, which was then and still is a male-dominated industry, and showed the world that women can succeed in any area they set their sights on if they put in the hard work.
A young Pakistani woman who has been campaigning for equal rights and education for women, Malala was actually shot by the Taliban, who wanted to put a stop to her activities. She survived, but rather than respond with anger or violence, she was continued to campaign peacefully for the advancement of women’s rights across the globe.
She now lives in the UK, and has even addressed the United Nations on the plight of women in various parts of the world.