10 of the Best Role Models for Young Girls

Posted on by admin | in babysitting

In a pop culture landscape awash with midriff-baring songbirds whose lyrical content sends a questionable message to young girls and child actresses who grow into very public disasters, it isn’t always easy to find quality female role models for your daughters. These ten women may not be hitting the Billboard 100 or releasing a summer blockbuster any time soon, but their lives and messages are timeless sources of inspiration for women and girls everywhere.

  1. Amelia Earhart“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” Though her story ultimately ended in tragedy, Amelia Earhart was a trailblazing pioneer for women everywhere, even those who will never sit in the cockpit of an airplane. The first woman to fly across the Atlantic solo and an avid supporter of women’s rights, Amelia Earhart was an early feminist and a strong, brave woman.
  2. Nancy Drew“I just know that any time I undertake a case, I’m apt to run into some kind of a trap.” Girl sleuth extraordinaire, Nancy Drew tooled around River Heights and the surrounding areas, solving mysteries and fearlessly forging ahead with her two best friends, Bess and George. Never mind that Bess was a bit pudgy and George bore a boy’s name, the trio solved crimes with the ultimate can-do, girl-power attitude.
  3. Marie Curie“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” As more educators and parents attempt to foster an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) classes among young girls, the historic figure of Marie Curie emerges as an unlikely, yet timely, role model. The first woman to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person ever to win the award in two separate categories, Curie helped to develop the first X-ray machine at a time when women were still struggling for the right to vote.
  4. Anne Frank“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” Anne Frank may seem like a morbid role model, but her unyielding optimism in the face of one of history’s greatest horrors makes her an incredibly inspirational figure for young girls.
  5. Rosa Parks“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” With a single quiet refusal heard around the country during a time of great political unrest, Rosa Parks gave women of color a voice that couldn’t be drowned out by the shouting of those who would deny everyone equal rights.
  6. Hillary Rodham Clinton“It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.” Emerging from a high-profile turn as First Lady of the United States to begin a successful political career of her own, Hilary Rodham Clinton may be a polarizing figure, but there’s no doubt that she’s an inspirational one for girls with budding political aspirations of their own.
  7. Carly Fleischmann“I guess what I’m saying is there’s always going to be something wrong with the world; it’s what we do about it that counts.” Autism is becoming more and more prevalent, with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that one in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder. Carly Fleischmann is one such child, one who was believed to be severely mentally challenged as well as autistic because of her inability to verbally communicate. When Carly learned to type, she was able to show what a deeply intelligent, caring girl she truly is. Establishing charities like The Six Degree Project to raise autism awareness, Carly is truly a role model for young girls everywhere.
  8. Isadora Duncan“You were wild here once. Don’t let them tame you.” Known as the mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan refused to let others dictate the way she expressed herself through her art form, and effectively influenced generations of dancers that came after her. She’s a strong influence for girls, showing the importance of adhering to your ideals in the face of adversity and never, ever backing down.
  9. Lucille Ball“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” A spitfire comedienne and an iconic part of the television landscape, Lucille Ball was more than just a wildly successful and beloved actress; she eventually became the first woman to head up a major television studio.
  10. Mom – No matter how you slice it, there’s no greater influence on a young girl than her mom. From mimicking Mom’s behavior deliberately to unconscious adoption of her mannerisms, a girl will spend much of her life emulating her mother in some way or another.

Talking to your daughters about why they should think twice about following in the footsteps of a starlet or pop princess isn’t always easy. Girls, especially tween and teens, aren’t always receptive to statements that they perceive as criticism. Rather than foisting books or articles about these ten women on them after demeaning the pop idols they look up to, find ways to work these women into conversation as important figures. You may be surprised at how much their interest is piqued when you’re not forcing them to drop the Katy Perry record in favor of a book about Marie Curie.

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