Who are the true female role models?

Who are the true female role models?

We all love to have someone we can look up to and admire and in so many ways we are influenced by the role models we choose.

Women, for example, often look to their female role models to set the trends around matters such as desirable body image, fashion, social behaviour, career, relationships, parenting and so forth. Usually a firm eye is kept on any chosen role models; in fact, our sense of connection with female empowerment and levels of self-confidence and self-worth often depend on how we measure up to them as no one wants to feel like they are the odd one out.

Conformity is often an unspoken group rule. Yet the pitfalls of this type of unity is that often we don’t give a second thought to who we have adopted as our role models and what is happening at a society level when we operate this way. Nor do we stop and consider the disconnect with our own values and what we are being asked to live by when blindly following in these role models’ footsteps. Are they even true female role models or have we given way to a portrayed level of ‘normal’ because that is what the majority have gotten used to after repeated exposure via social and print media, films, television and retail marketing?

What women find particularly frustrating about this situation is that finding true role models can be difficult, as usually they end up disillusioned because the role models they have chosen don’t stand the test of time. Sooner or later their heroes have been found to have been living by double standards in some shape or form, with often very shabby, unglamorous personal lives (drugs, alcohol, violence, corruption, greed etc) that belie the shiny carefree, loving exterior presented to the world. This scenario creates a dilemma for many women who feel their self-worth is dependent on being accepted as part of mainstream society, yet continually feel let down as one after the other their chosen role models fall off their pedestals. The cycle then continues as new role models are sought to substitute for the old ones. But is the constant searching outside of ourselves really going to yield the answers we are longing for?

As a girl growing up, for me the common female role models were women who did good deeds in the community, usually in the form of doing charitable work. I didn’t question the prevailing view that the role of women was primarily to take care of others. By the time I entered the workforce as a young woman, my role models had expanded to included women who held higher positions in the work environment. They were deemed to have ‘made it’ in a man’s world. Though few in number, they were usually tough, competitive, determined women, and I took on the belief that this was the way to succeed in life if I wanted to have self-confidence. Academic achievements were a bonus as they supposedly helped protect you from being put down or manipulated by others because your qualifications acted as a protective status barrier that placed you above many others. From what I could observe, the old phrase ‘it’s a dog eat dog world’ rang true to me, and I bought into the whole schema with gusto because I just couldn’t see any other way to survive in this world without feeling like I was worthless and being pathetic and weak. In wanting to be a strong woman, I looked for women role models that matched my perception of what it was to be ‘strong’. It was many years later before I realised what female empowerment really meant and how few women role models there were who understood and lived and breathed these qualities on a daily basis.

Social attitudes linking self-worth and self-confidence with what you achieve, your status and how you look etc., still strongly prevail in the current times. While this situation plays out differently in each woman’s life, it shows the pendulum had swung too far to one side with many behaviours out of control and often laced with strong undertones of jealousy and comparison. Looking around, for example, what can be seen is women’s increasing body image obsession with tattoos and non-essential plastic surgery, various diets, pills and boot camp exercising now common place. Justifying women’s increased drug and alcohol abuse is the adage of ‘work hard and play harder’, leaving women seeking relief wherever they can find it. What is believed to be sexy is usually sexually uninhibited high-risk behaviour and the fashion industry continues to dictate to women how they should dress based on callous corporate greed rather than on enhancing women’s natural beauty. Self-worth has become dependent on external factors rather than what’s naturally inside each woman. Subsequently, few ever question the reality that the goalposts are always moving so women can never meet the images they hold of what they supposedly need to do or look like etc.

"If I know me more than anybody else,
then by giving myself permission to be the real whole me,
I will construct the best me. When one realises this, they will say –
The world needs ME."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 188

An increasing number of women who loathe this approach to life are either covertly or overtly questioning these societal norms. Who these women really admire and want to be around are women who behave quite differently from those that the media etc. portrays as being important ‘must imitate’ role models. These women are really wanting to know how they can live more harmoniously in a woman’s body in a world that has lost its direction with all the usual touted pathways leading to dead-end or empty streets. But where can women find true role models to inspire and help guide them along the way to true female empowerment?

Though few and far between, such true female role models can be found if we are willing to stop and look around us. These women live life in a way that defines women as being natural nurturers firstly of themselves and then of all others, and they inspire others to do likewise. They live busy lives in the real world, have no special privileges and face the same challenges as women everywhere. However, each woman possesses their own unique style and moves with an ease and self-confidence that arises from inside them. It flows through their beingness rather than from any external recognition of anything they do – which is the exact opposite of what women have been led to believe when measuring self-worth. Significantly, they emphasise the importance of women connecting to their essence – that place deep within themselves where they can find their true beauty ready to be expressed through their grace and sacredness. Women everywhere are continually reminded when they are in the presence of these women that self-love, self-care and self-nurturing are both a right and a responsibility. This is clearly a very different type of role modelling to what the world is used to.

Yet as women we are missing the point if we assume that such power, authority, beauty and grace is just luck, or reserved for a chosen few.

The reality is that we are all role models – it is just a case of stopping and considering how we are living and what it is we are actually role modelling!

As mentioned above, what true role models do is reflect to us that we all equally have a delicate, loving, tender and fragile majesty at our core that, when appreciated and brought into daily living, is more powerful than any award or position we may achieve. It leaves a feeling in its wake that reminds us that true power is not rank, office or status, but a quality we live in every arena of life.

"Taking responsibility for your life is about making choices that deeply nurture and care for the way your life will be in every way.

Wow! …
Imagine those role models walking our streets?

And now many do, thanks to the Ageless Wisdom.
"

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume II, ed 1, p 246

The call for more true female role models for women in the world is undoubtedly there. Could we be one of them? Are we willing to let go of the stereotypical ‘role model’ norms that exist in our society by using a completely new marker for determining self-worth, similar to the way other ordinary women like you and I have done before us throughout the ages?

One thing’s for sure – imperfections aside, in doing this we will be setting a beautiful example of self-confidence and female empowerment for others which they are free to then take into their own lives, or leave. Now that is truly inspiring role-modelling!

Filed under

EmpowermentSelf-worthRole modelsConfidence

  • By Helen Giles, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, MMH (Family Therapy), Post Grad Cert Family Therapy & Counselling, M. EPA.

    I love that life is amazing with every relationship offering constant drops of pure gold, whether that be in my work as a perinatal counsellor or through friends, family and others I meet in everyday life.

  • Photography: Matt Paul