15 great role models to raise brave girls
Being a young girl in a society that expects you to fit into a pre-existing concept of gender roles can be challenging. Do you remember when you were little and had the courage of a thousand knights and the bravery of a thousand princesses? But not long after, you were introduced to a world that expects you to grow up fast and meet the expectations of the gender stereotypes that are expected from you according to the views of a society that has lost its sense of what a girl should be. Girls are strong and beautiful, but they are also more than that. Brave girls become independent girls. But as a parent, how can you help your little girl flourish into a strong independent woman?
As a parent, our instinct is to protect our little princesses, but even though they look beautiful in their pretty dresses and elegant tiaras, there is something far more important that we should be teaching them. A quality that is more valuable than royalty. The power to be independent and brave little girls, that one day will change the world. Little princesses will one day turn into amazing queens and be an inspiration to other little girls. As a parent, you can help her to achieve just that.
How To Raise Brave Girls
You may not realize this, but your little girl is watching your every move. Children are big observers, and everything that they are exposed to will shape them into who they will be one day. That’s why it’s important to raise them with the help of role models that will encourage them to be brave and strong young ladies. Gender stereotypes used to define what girls can and can’t do are also incredibly damaging to a girls’ development.
Allowing them to believe in gender roles will never permit them to embrace what they truly are and become the best version of themselves. By implementing examples of great role models into your child’s life, you will encourage them to be their true selves and release them from any misrepresented value as a girl.
What Are The Dangers Of Gender Stereotypes & Gender Roles When Raising Brave Girls?
Allowing little girls to be raised with the same beliefs and views of a society that prevents them from being who they want to be will only turn their dreams into dust. Girls should be able to dream big, reach for the stars, and beyond. Allowing gender stereotypes and gender roles to impact their development will only cut their wings and keep them from achieving the places they are meant to reach.
Brave girls are girls that are allowed to dream out loud. Girls have the courage to fight for what they believe, and you are the anchor to that courage.
How To Prevent Gender Stereotypes From Placing Limitations On Children?
A gender stereotype is a belief that your gender will define who you will be and what you can accomplish. Gender stereotypes represent certain expectations of what the world expects from you. Although not many see the dangers of raising their children by bonding to those views of what’s expected from them. As a parent, you are the primary influence in your child’s perspective.
There are a few ways you can stop gender stereotypical behavior:
- Allow them to pick their favorite color
- Encourage them to acquire the skills that they are interested in developing
- Teach them to accept their physical attributes
- Implement the share of chores in the house no matter their gender
- Use strong and independent women that had an impact in history
- Help them to build strong self-esteem
- Encourage them to follow any career dream, no matter their gender
At what age do kids become aware of gender roles?
Children’s development can work differently, and while some children will find their gender role quite fast, others might take a little more time. However, it’s understood that by the age of two, children become aware of some of the physical differences between girls and boys. And by the time they reach three years old, most children can identify themselves as girls or boys. But it is only after their fourth birthday that most children acquire a greater sense of their gender.
Gender roles, however, are introduced to them through their family, media, and society. It is believed that this recognition will begin as early as the age of four. That is why it is important to introduce them to inspiring role models even at a very young age. This way, you will ensure that the right values surround their development.
Why are great role models important to raise brave girls?
Girls are affected by what goes around them every day. Being exposed to bad and good examples is a part of life. However, little girls need to be reminded that they can achieve and do whatever they strive to achieve because even if society tells them that they cannot, there are successful examples that prove otherwise.
Role models are important for a little girl’s development because those are the people who will affect the way that girls see their true potential. Those are the ones that can help motivate them to build their confidence, be brave, and shape their lives in the way they see themselves truly.
Implementing great role models into a young girl's life will help to:
- Give them a different perception of life
- Build their personality
- Help them to not be afraid to own her attitude
- Will inspire them to express themselves
- Allow them to be ambitious.
15 Examples of Great Role Models to raise brave girls
A role model is a natural leader, who respects others, someone kind that never stops fighting for their dreams. Role models are also a way to motivate your little girl to see that there are no limitations when it comes to chasing your dreams, no matter how big it may seem.
As a parent, you are the main role model. So we couldn’t start this list without mentioning that parents are the reason why girls gain the courage to flourish into extraordinary brave girls. Making sure that you are an example is crucial as a parent. It would help if you highlighted how brave girls are strong. This will shape their confidence, encourage them not to be misrepresented, stand up for themselves, and encourage them to follow their dreams. Your example will motivate them to believe in a girl’s leadership and gender equality. It would help if you remembered that most girls would be affected by how their parents view gender roles, so you must convey to them how brave girls are beautiful, courageous and can change the world from a very young age.
Brave girls have the power to be their true selves and to inspire others to follow their example. You are not only raising a strong and pretty young lady; you are raising a strong and independent woman. As a parent, you have the power to help them overcome the limitations placed on them when it comes to gender stereotypes. You are a role model too.
2. Malala Yousafzai
Malala is a great role model for young girls. She is a brave and fearless young lady that has been fighting for education equality for girls. Malala is a passionate advocate for women’s rights, and there is no doubt that her fight is not yet over. Not even after being shot in the head made this brave girl frightened to stand and fight for other girls.
Malala’s mission is to ensure that every girl should have the right to be educated and achieve a successful future. Gender stereotypes are still an issue that we must deal with, but Malala is an exceptional example of how we should stand against it. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest girl to earn a noble peace prize. She is a great role model for any other girl.
3. Michelle Obama
Michele Obama was the first lady of the United States, and as a woman, she is a great role model for anyone who wants to live in a better world. Michelle was brought up in a very humble home. Nevertheless, her parents had bigger expectations and believed in their children. Michelle thrived in school and graduate law school at Harvard.
Currently, Michelle is a big influence on many young adults’ lives. She emphasizes how important hard work and a good education is to achieve a bright future. Michelle Obama is involved in big issues such as poverty, healthy living, as well as education.
4. Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler is one of the most funniest people in the world of celebrities. Her talent is undeniable, and her contagious good humour is not only for the camera, because Amy is just as cheering and caring in real life. She also stands for great causes and makes her own opinions known in many topics related to gender stereotypes. She inspires young girls to have confidence and to do it with a smile.
In 2013, Amy Poehler traveled to Haiti with the Worldwide Orphans Foundation to bring some joy and love to the children who don’t experience much love and affection. Amy is also an author of the book “Yes Please”, which is full of true stories and good humour, still this book is also inspired by Amy enthusiasm in encouraging young ladies to transition into the ‘real world’ of adulthood.
5. Emma Watson
Emma Watson is an incredibly strong and beautiful woman. After being a part of the magical Harry Potter movie as a young child, Emma is now an independent and brave young lady. Emma was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2014. Her job has been centered on female empowerment as well as amplifying education equality around the globe. One of her primary duties as a Goodwill Ambassador is to raise awareness of important issues that impact women worldwide.
Emma stands strongly when it comes to her beliefs. She lives her life as beautifully and gracefully as she sees the world. She is changing the world by fighting causes like eco-friendly fashion, where chemicals that can harm the environment are not involved in creating clothes. Emma is also involved in notable causes, such as ending child marriage. Emma Watson is an inspiration to empower any girl to be a role model and achieve greatness. Emma challenges the definition of gender roles with her bravery and determination.
6. Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe is an example to so many girls out there. As the captain of the women’s football team, Megan is able to inspire others to pursue their passion even if the world is not ready for it yet. She has been fighting for women to be paid fairly in football, women are being paid noticeably less than men due to the genre stereotypes. She is an advocate for women’s rights and how harmful the idea of gender roles is on young girls.
Megan also stands for racial equality, she made a few public protests by kneeling down during a national anthem and refusing to sing along, in protest of the racial inequality in America. Due to her bravery, Megan empowers girls for gender equality. She’s an example to follow for her ambition and courage for standing up for what she believes.
7. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez has the talent of a goddess and a heart of gold. Her kindness is contagious, and the way that she addresses her fans is just as beautiful. Selena loves to encourage others to love themselves for who they are. She is also an advocate in spreading kindness no matter where she goes. One of the reasons why Selena is such a great role model is because she is an extraordinarily strong and talented young lady and her very real-life struggles.
Selena battles with physical and mental health issues very openly; she empowers anyone who struggles with self-esteem to love themselves. She encourages anyone to keep fighting for their dreams. Selena is a great role model for little girls because she is a reminder that you should never give up and live your life to the fullest. She empowers girls to embrace themselves.
Alecia Moore, or mostly known as Pink, is an image of living life on your own terms. Pink is intellectually and physically powerful. She may seem a little tough, but her heart is soft and sweet. Pink is an extraordinary example for little girls; she is living proof that a girl can do anything. Pink inspires girls to write their own story and not wait for anyone to write it. One of her most defying songs, ‘Stupid Girls,’ addresses that beauty is not everything. Strong is the new pretty-her advice to girls: behave smart.
9. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato can be labeled as a perfectly imperfect role model. Her battles with addiction and mental health are well known throughout the media, so why should Demi be considered a role model? Because a role model is not a perfect model, role models are meant to show us that it is possible to overcome adversity. Demi Lovato is far from a perfect example, but this is why she should be a role model for many girls because no matter what we want, our children will make mistakes, and they need to know that it is possible to bounce back and try better.
Demi is an example of people making mistakes, and how things are not always easy, especially if everyone expects you to be perfect. She is also an advocate for self-love, and her songs are truly inspiring.
10. Serena Williams
Serena Williams is a remarkable tennis player, a thriving businesswoman, and an example for any young girl. Still, what sets her apart from others is how she continues to be herself no matter her success. Serena embraces her body and has no time to listen to haters. She learned how to accept her curves and encourage every girl to do the same thing.
Even though Serena has a busy schedule, she still managed to create a foundation that provides college scholarships for disadvantaged students. Serena empowers girls to be themselves and accept their bodies, no matter how many curves they may have.
11. Ashley Graham
In a society where girls look to media and celebrities to decide how their bodies should look and how they should dress, Ashley is a glimpse of hope. In 2016 when Sports Illustrated portrayed Ashley, a plus-size model, to represent their cover model, it changed how people see their bodies. It created many waves worldwide, with lots of disagreeing that a plus-size model can represent a healthy topic.
That did not bother Ashley, and she proved that no girl needs to be size zero to be beautiful. Ashley empowers girls to embrace who they are, no matter their size, and not apologize for being pretty and strong.
12. Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour is one of the worlds’ most successful international reporters. She is courageous and fearless. She reported remarkable history pieces, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Gulf War. Christiane Amanpour has become one of the most well know successful symbol journalists globally. Along with proving that gender roles do not define girls, Christiane won many awards and got the opportunity to interview presidents, primeministers, queens, kings, among many other influential people.
Christiane Amanpour isa role model for any aspiring girls who want to be a journalist or be brave. Christiane is an example that girls can be bold, kind, and compassionate. Her gender does not define her ability, and she is a symbol that girls can achieve the impossible as long as they keep pushing forward.
13. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is pretty and entertaining, but she is also the ideal role model for young women. Living in a world packed with people with similar body concerns, observing someone like Jennifer that is utterly confident in her body can be invigorating.
In a world where being thin is considered pretty, Jennifer doesn’t share those same beliefs. She admitted that she wouldn’t hesitate to miss a role if anyone would want to change the way she is. Jennifer is honest and truly real to herself. Jennifer is an ideal role model for young girls because she empowers others to embrace their authentic selves instead of being someone you cannot only please others.
14. Jazz Jennings
Jazz Jennings is a young activist and author. At the age of five, Jazz realized that her genetic gender wasn’t who she felt at heart. Born as a boy, Jazz knew she was a girl. Even though she admitted how confused and scared she was, she attended to tell her parents that she was in the wrong body. While this can be a challenge for many parents, Jazz’s parents understood that their child was unhappy and encouraged her to be who she wanted to be – regardless of society’s views on gender roles.
Jazz coped with the sensitive societal effects of being transgender but defeated them with positivity and fearlessness. Jazz Jennings represents the inspirational characteristics by expressing her harsh reality of growing up as a transgender person. Jazz conveyed strength from her agony and now spreads courage and compassion for others that relate to her. Jazz is a remarkably brave role model.
15. Amandla Stenberg
Despite Amandla Stenberg’s young age, she is not afraid to share her views on major topics such as black culture, cultural appropriation, feminism, and more. She is also an active voice when supporting the black lives matter movement. Amandla has been an ambassador for No Kid Hungry, an organization that strives to stop childhood hunger. She also often uses her social media to increase consciousness about the No Kid Hungry work.
Amandla also promotes the Ubuntu Education Fund, which implements health and educational assistance to South African children. Seeing someone so young, taking a step forward when it comes to big causes is truly inspiring. Amandla is a young girl that will, without a doubt, change the world in her way.
Brave girls are being raised in a world that not always recognizes their value. As a parent, our job is to ensure that our little girls grow up to be brave, beautiful, confident in their own skin, and compassionate. Every person can be a role model. Everyone can change the world. Enable her to express her uniqueness and encourage her to develop into a strong and independent woman. Empower her with the right knowledge to challenge gender roles. Enable her to change what gender stereotypes expect from her because the world needs more brave girls.
Welcome to Light Sleepers Books! Here you can find our empowering children’s book series LIKE A GIRL.
LIKE A GIRL is an 11 books series which presents young girls with positive role models that encourage gender positivity. Using creative descriptions and colorful artwork, the books lay out a variety of exciting careers such as being a doctor, a public servant, pursuing a STEM career and more. All books are available in hardcover, paperback and digital format. Click HERE to learn more.