Teach Your Daughter About Powerful Female Role Models: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah headshot

Oprah headshotIs Oprah Winfrey a good role model?  

Some say no; she doesn’t produce value, she doesn’t have good morals, she’s a TV celebrity which, in itself, doesn’t really do anything good for society, she’s just after the money, she sells snake oil.

Others say yes; she grew up in poverty, she overcame severe personal struggles and abuse to make something of herself and her life, she tries to unite people and move us forward as a society, she is inspirational, a generous philanthropist, and positively benefits society.

For each of us to come to our own conclusion, it helps to know what it really means to be a role model.

Mirriam-Webster defines a role model as “a person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others”.

Dictionary.com provides a fuller definition:  a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”

Has Oprah Winfrey done anything in her life that fits these definitions?

Absolutely!

Forbes magazine reached out to ForbesWoman communities on Twitter and Facebook to determine the most inspiring woman in the world.

After “mom”, Oprah Winfrey was at the top of the list and was named the Most Powerful Celebrity by Forbes in 2010.

Oprah is a successful businesswoman, owner of Harpo Productions, and a TV network.

She is a multi-millionaire and has launched the careers of several now successful people.

Oprah launched her broadcasting career at the age of 19, being the youngest person and first African-American to at Nashville’s WTF-TV.

Oprah Winfrey values education as a way to lift yourself out of poverty and create a future.

Through her private charity, Oprah has offered hundreds of grants to organizations that help educate and empower women.

Through the “Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program”, she provides scholarships to those who want to give back to their communities.  Her leadership and philanthropy is not limited to the United States.  She even created a leadership academy for girls in South Africa.

Oprah was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth…she worked hard for her achievements even in the face of severe personal struggles with childhood abuse. As a result, she initiated the National Child Protection Act in 1991 to establish a database of convicted child abusers.  In 1993, former President Bill Clinton signed the “Oprah Bill” into law.

The list of things that Oprah Winfrey has accomplished covers ten pages on her official biography website.  The list of awards she received takes up one whole page alone!  I encourage you to check it out to learn more about why many think that Oprah Winfrey is a good role model for our daughters.

Click here for more:  http://www.oprah.com/pressroom/Oprah-Winfreys-Official-Biography

Teach Your Daughter About Powerful Female Role Models

Throwback Thursday 1

Throwback Thursday 1Media mogul Oprah Winfrey

Politician Hillary Clinton

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas

Actress Emma Watson

First Lady of California, journalist, and activist  Maria Shriver

Author J. K. Rowling {who began her writing career as a single mother}

What do all these women have in common?  

They are considered to be among the most powerful, inspiring female role models of our time.  And this list could be joined by many, many more women who exhibited power, courage, and leadership throughout time.

Why is acknowledging these women {or women like them} so important to society, and more importantly, to our own daughters?  Because as mothers it is our obligation, our duty, to inspire our daughters, to teach them lessons, to provide them with the tools they will need to carve their own successful paths, to instill confidence and competence, and acceptance of their bodies.

Do we, as mothers, want to empower our daughters to make a difference in the world?  Then we have to go beyond just telling them they should develop their own power as a female and strive to make a difference; we have to show them how to do so.  It provides them with a visual or a map of what is possible, that there are obstacles, and how to overcome them.

It also counteracts the “negative” role models that are out there.  And let’s face it, part of the reason our daughters may be confused in this area is because of the mixed messages they are bombarded with through the media of women who use sex and their bodies to feed a man’s sexual appetite just to make a buck then turn around and claim to be empowered and if they can do it, why not?

Let’s explore what makes some of the women above great role models.  And remember that if we look, we can find some outstanding examples in many areas, whether they are in media, government, business, sports, art, or even just an everyday someone that you know personally.  The series starts in two weeks with the first role model.

7 Resources to Help You Raise a Confident Daughter

What is confidence? The textbook definition is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.

Confidence is trust.

But what is it in our real, non-textbook, everyday, individual life, and why is it important?

Confidence is being comfortable in your own skin. Confidence is living in the present moment and owning who you are, every part of you. Confidence is the ability to stand up for what you believe in.

It affects everything in our life, including the quality of our relationships and the success we achieve. Without it, our daughters are prone to negative things like poor body image, alcohol and drug abuse, defensiveness, procrastination, and depression.

In short, not having it sucks.

Since confidence is necessary for happiness and success in life, where can we as loving parents find good resources that give us the information we need to provide our daughters with this essential life skill?

Take a look at these seven sites that provide interesting reads, startling statistics, and great ideas to help you raise a kick-butt daughter!

Raising Strong, Confident Girls – I love their interesting take on media at the end of the article. Make it a family affair!

10 tips for raising a confident girl – Our world isn’t perfect, and filling our daughters’ heads with fluffy, pretty, candy-coated ideals isn’t going to suffice. Check out these great tips on things like preparing your daughter for sexism and helping her understand why she sometimes gets left out.

Raising Girls – A resource like this would be particularly helpful for a dad, because let’s face it, they’re not girls and they need some help figuring this stuff out.

8 Essential Steps for Raising Confident Girls – I <3 number one – tell your daughter this every. single. day.

How to Raise Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem – Have a clear definition of success as a parent. Well said Dr. Phil. Otherwise, it’s like the blind leading the blind.

Raising Daughters with High Self-Esteem – I love this heartfelt article. No matter how good our intentions, often as mothers we present what we think is a less-than-stellar role model for our daughters. But you know what, we’re still teaching them something…

Raising Confident Girls – This is the wake-up call that every parent needs. Girls are different today, and you need to learn how to adapt.

Bonus site! I absolutely love A Mighty Girl!! They curate some of the most amazing books, documentaries, clothes, and more that will help you help your daughter from now ‘til she’s pulling in social security…

Share some of your favorite resources in the comments below!

Using Reading to Inspire Your Daughter

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It provided an escape, a separate world.

I could dream, I could lose myself in the words, I could be anything I wanted to be.

I’m talking about The Secret Garden, and reading as a whole.

Growing up in a less-than-happy household was hard, especially for me, an already introverted child.

My escape was to read. One day, I was sitting in a secret garden with Mary and Colin. The next, I witnessed martians waging war on the world.

I encountered heroes, strong females, dream worlds.

It lit me up inside, and I took that magic and light with me to this day.

Want to inspire your daughter to dream, to take magic and light with her throughout her life?

Use reading to inspire her.

Read to her. Read with her. Give her a special spot that’s all her own to dream and explore and become powerful.

Provide her with books that help her grow as a person, that teach her about powerful female heroines, that encourage her to explore.

Check out the three books below to get your daughter started on her inspiring journey!

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer

A Sweet Smell of Roses

33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women’s History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to E.R.A.

I’ve just shared with you how reading helped me be the woman I am today, now I want you to share what reading has done for you in the comments below!

Stupendous Sweeties

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Many of us who have daughters are on a constant quest to find suitable role models for them.

To find women who deserve their attention.

In a world filled with Bratz dolls, sexualized Candy Land characters, and trashy toddler clothing, we’re desperately trying to find something better for them.

This is why I’ve decided to highlight a Stupendous Sweetie in the Sweet Phenomena newsletter each month.

On the first Wednesday of every month you can find a new article all about a phenomenal female who is doing her thing and changing the world.

The first Sweetie debuts tomorrow!

Not on the list? No problem!

Just head here to sign up for the newsletter and you’ll be all set to get your first issue!

Oh, and there’s a swell bonus for you too: a three-part mini-series on helping your daughter achieve her dreams! A series for her, and a series for you!

Have any ideas on who you’d like to be featured as a Stupendous Sweetie? Leave a comment below!

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