FIRST THOUGHT: Embracing the Flight of Fancy
There’s a children’s book series that I love called Fancy Nancy. The main character is a little girl who has a sassy personality and a penchant for extravagance. She’s a fan of feather boas and ruby slippers and fancy words like “parasol” and “bonjour.”
This larger-than-life girl stays true to herself always, and doesn’t ask for approval. As a girl, and heck, a woman, it can be overwhelming to really find ourselves and revel in who we are. The next time you’re feeling cautious about truly expressing yourself, just ask yourself, “What would Fancy Nancy do?” She’d go for it!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 53 Percent
Ladies, as we all know, girlhood isn’t for wimps. There are a ton of unrealistic pressures put on girls, especially these days, from how they talk to what they wear and how they look. The sad reality is that an astonishing 53 percent of girls report being unhappy with their bodies by the age of 13. As if that isn’t bad enough, by the time girls reach the age of 17, 78 percent are super down about how they look.
One great theory on how to combat this depressing statistic is to set a good example for the girls in your life. By the time girls become women, 91 percent of us hate our bodies. Let’s change that. Instead of verbalizing self-loathing to our daughters and other girls and women, let’s embrace the fact that, aside from knowing that beauty is only skin-deep, we are far more than our bodies. We are strong, competent, ambitious females who can do anything we put our minds to!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Heather Stark, Founder and CEO of Grace & Grit
Our Woman to Watch for today, Heather Stark, knows firsthand about the agonizing feelings and thoughts girls endure. For 15 years, Heather worked as a school counselor, providing guidance for girls between the ages of 10 and 14, many of whom struggled with body-image issues and lacked self-confidence. That experience led Heather to create a special company that teaches girls essential life skills and confidence in a really cool way.
Heather’s company, Grace & Grit, is a totally awesome customized-box monthly subscription service for girls, with one major goal: to inspire young girls to live their dreams. Each month, subscribers receive a package that includes a variety of challenge activities and inspiring lessons, as well as a gift. What’s super special about the Grace & Grit boxes is their themes. For instance, one month, the theme was courage and featured intrepid abolitionist Harriet Tubman, with a gift of a North Star necklace, an ode to Tubman’s courage to free slaves and also to remind the recipient that there’s always a light in the darkness. Another Grace & Grit monthly box featured Audrey Hepburn and focused on the theme of selflessness, and included the gift of an engraved bracelet made in an underdeveloped country and sold using fair-trade practices.
Heather notes that when girls are 5 years old, they believe they can do anything. But by the time they turn just 10 years old, societal pressures often negatively influence girls and create seeds of self-doubt. Heather refers to this as a crazy phenomenon in which girls define themselves by what they are not versus what they are. But through Grace & Grit, Heather is helping girls find and feel comfortable with their spirits because, as she says, no girl should waste time living a life of doubt.
We are in awe of Heather’s dedication to inspiring the next generation of female pioneers full of a little grit and a whole lot of grace, because we know the most important thing a girl wears is her confidence!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote from Margaret Thatcher goes out to all the girls. She said:
“Don’t follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.