Recently inspired by an article in the Daily Mail UK, it dawned on me how far we’ve come, but how long we still have to go as women influencing young girls to look through the lens of real women.
The article written by Margot Peppers is a great account of a mother who shunned a Disney Princess ideal to dress her daughter up as five REAL heroines of history. Brave move for a mum who’s young girl is no doubt consumed (as we all are) with society’s addiction to viewing women through the lens of glamour, chic and sex appeal.
Nothing wrong with that, we are gorgeous female specimens after all, but where is the line in the sand, and how young is too young for girls to evoke mis-intepreted societal ideals about who women really are today?
Moving away from old-school feminism, the trend nowadays is aimed at educating young women to grow and become aspirational and beautiful from within. It’s only now more women are truly being recognised as equal heroines, masterminds, entrepreneurs and leaders of our modern world.
Admittedly, international gender equalisation is still a ways a away. When I look at an example of the mixed messages we still send our young girls, I refer to the banner advertisement flashing on Margot Peppers’ Daily UK’s article webpage as pictured here.
Followed by this image of young Emma dressed up as aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart which at first glance, does’t naturally appease to our conforming eye…
Group that with the sideline column media coverage of who’s wearing what with who’s boyfriend in Hollywood, and you have a cataclysmic stream of female ideals and perceived values, all on one page.
This was a well-initiated article providing relevant publicity toward the ‘re-perception’ of women, although it’s evident our media continues to portray a dichotomy of what are real women values. This may never change, but educating our young girls on what real women represent needs to, and requires us to speak ‘from the same page’.
Female collaborations and not-for-profits focused on young girl education continues to grow exponentially. It’s these initiatives which create platforms for young women to voice themselves under real women values and ethics. Enlighten Education, Girls for Gender Equity, Diane Wilcox (recently voted Momentum Australia’s Most Inspirational Woman 2013), I speak to them specifically because I love their work.
The transition to young women as leaders, and helping our young women move from good to great as quickly, and as comfortably as they can is an important development. Young women mentoring circles are critical, and it’s our real women in business who lead and pioneer this front.
Like never before women organizations catapult the good to great female ideology. However there are still some women who fight and frown at the seeming ‘need to’ label these organizations as ‘women helping women’. There are also women who are afraid to associate in fear of being labelled feminist. This passive, old-school mentality is a belief system women must eradicate. As modern day female activists, we need to accept the facts:- this is the direction women’s leadership is heading, move with the times and #getonboard.
Accepting ourselves as women in a man’s world is also an important attitude to have. It allows us to shake off the ‘fight’, and move into a more progressive ideological realm of real women, real values, real leaders. Take this as an underpinning, and we obtain unequivocal leverage into a less hostile man’s world.
Women organizations creating this leverage are snowballing by the day. Here are some of my favourites-Project Eve, 85 Broads, Scrappy.Women. Working Women, The Woman Effect, Wowe – Women of West Africa
All reputable and credible platforms with varying philosophies, and all helping to create a ripple effect in the ‘female industry’. There are so many more out there, so if you’re not on board, #getonboard!
Women as women, we must capitalize on the journey to increase publicity, and continue to pour gravy from the sides of the train, currently chugging the choo choo toward women as leaders.
We must continue to evoke ourselves as the beautiful, eloquent, nurturing, grounded, dynamic, intuitive, strong and perceptive leaders we are, and show our young girls how well we do it. We must continue to step above what is considered reasonable, so heroines and heroine-esses alike are given ongoing credit and recognition for the impact they make.
Jennifer Sibel Newsom takes being unreasonable to new heights with her soon to be released documentary MissRepresentation. The documentary addresses the disturbing way women are shown in media. Click here to watch the preview. Let’s hope we see more of this type of entertainment.
As working and living women, we often forget how inspirational we are, and how much young girls have to learn from our contributions to the female revolution. If you’re an organization, or even an independent with a goal to seeing young women develop as leaders (and real women), I invite you to further share your ideas, projects, ways to collaborate, creative out -letting, expressions and solutions. Let’s also ensure we support each other in unifying all these great initiatives. The more we do, the better our female leaders of the future will be. #getonboard #womenleaders for #youngwomen – Ana Marinovic Twitter: https://twitter.com/MizAnnieM Website: www.anamarinovic.com
Ana is a Coach, Consultant & Speaker. She works with individuals & groups to align consciousness with innovation, leadership and social responsibility. Also an athlete, Ana has played sport across most continents. She’s President/Co-Founder of a social impact program in Guinea West Africa, and is an advocate for young women and children aspiring to dream.