It is crazy how many lists of female role models I read that contain the likes of Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. I’m not sure about RiRi, but Kim K is about the furthest thing I could think of from a positive female role model. Yet, there she is, simply because she has a lot of money and runs some sort of business (she has an app about her own life). Female role models need to be more than rich, beautiful, and famous. They need to inspire young girls and show them that women are capable of reaching dizzying heights all by themselves.
If you’re wondering who you should be looking up to or need some strong female role models for your children, here are five badass women to get your started.
Honestly, you can’t get much more inspirational than Malala. This incredible young girl was shot in the head by the Taliban when she was 15 years old. She had just sat an exam, despite the Taliban banning girls from attending school. Believing education to be a fundamental right to all human beings, she went to school nonetheless and was shot because of her ambition. Since her recovery, Malala has continued to campaign for the human rights of girls all over the world. Even a bullet to the head couldn’t stop this powerhouse young girl from speaking out. She is a true inspiration.
Few First Ladies have ever made as much of an impression as Michelle Obama. Not for one second did Michelle take a back seat while her husband ran the country. Throughout Barack Obama’s eight years in office, Michelle used her position to promote the rights of women and to encourage young girls to shoot for the stars. She teamed up with other high profile women around the world to campaign for a better future.
Is there anything that Sheryl Sandberg cannot do? This outstanding woman has worked for the US Treasury, Google, and Facebook, the latter of which she is currently the Chief Operating Officer. In her book Lean In Sheryl advocates the education of young women and for women to stop apologising and to fight their way to the top, just like she did. As the first women on Facebook’s board of directors, Sheryl has accomplished incredible things and is a worthy role model for our children.
It might seem weird to have a fashion model on a list of female role models, but Ashley Graham is so much more than a model. She is one of the only plus-size models out there whose name is known by young women. On top of that, she was the first plus size model in history to make the front cover of the Sports Illustrated swimwear edition, a feature that had previously been exclusively for the ultra slim. Ashley has used her recognition to campaign for more to be done to help girls with eating disorders and to promote healthy body images.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda is a Nigerian author who has won the world over through her thought-provoking literature and ted talks. She is a strong, but not an aggressive, feminist who advocates feminism for everyone, not just women. She talks about raising women up in the world, rather than dragging men down and she does so in an eloquent and deeply intelligent manner. Take the time to absorb some of her work – you won’t be disappointed.