It’s on the rise but do the younger generation really understand what empowerment is?
Empowerment, it’s a word we see a lot lately.
Female empowerment is on the rise and rightly so. Women have not unleashed their full potential on this world and I truly feel like there is a huge shift on the way.
Some interesting topics have been discussed in The Studio of late and one thing that concerns me and many other women is what teen girls define as empowerment.
Social media is having a huge impact on body image and attention. Pop stars and influencers are posting images that have a huge impact on our girls. These images are becoming more and more sexualised with the captions/hashtags of #selflove #feelingempowered and this is just sending out mixed signals.
Posting a pic of your body scantily dressed for likes and looks off strangers is not empowerment!
It’s not self love and it isn’t the sign of a confident person. If anything it’s the opposite in a lot of cases.
An empowered woman is someone who knows her strengths and isn’t afraid to embrace them, she is in control of her life , aware of her capabilities and ready to take on her biggest dreams. She doesn’t seek approval from others, attention or other forms of short term gratification, because she knows the only person she needs to depend on his herself. This doesn't mean she is single and closed off, in fact the opposite she is totally open to letting people in and circumstances happen without clinging on. She lets things flow out of her life just as easily learning the life lessons she needs to on the way.
My point is we can’t be truly empowered until we have experienced life. However what we can do for our teenage girls is show them how important it is to have self respect and boundaries. To treat themselves with love and compassion as they would a friend. To also be mindful of their self talk. No matter how empowered or confident someone is we have to accept that we do have down days or moments where a thought could send us off track… learning to navigate the mind around this is one of the biggest life lessons we can teach them.
5 ways we can empower our teenage girls…
- Talk about the media.
The subliminal message that companies are sending through their marketing campaigns can have a huge effect on young girls. So it’s important we show them how to look past the airbrushing and the manipulative language used in many campaigns. We want them to see through this facade and love themselves for who they are not how they think they should look.
- Talk about healthy boundaries.
It’s important for them to feel like they are well within their rights to say no to things they don’t want to do. That’s it’s ok to remove herself from situations and people that push her boundaries and to listen to her instincts. This will allow her to be independent and not seek validation from others.
- Show them that alone time is self care.
Time alone is when young girls can truly work on who they are and their interests with no influence from others. We need to show them that this is important so they can be in tune with their bodies and know how to take time to heal, replenish and centre themselves. Life can be overwhelming at times so taking time out for themselves away from drama is critical.
- Encourage their interests.
Teenagers will jump from one thing to the other, sometimes due to the influence of friends and just because they are working out who they are and what they do and don’t like. This is a good thing. Exposure to as many experiences as possible will help them to find their passions in life and shape them as a person.
- That true friendships should be cherished.
Friendship gives a sense of belonging and acceptance. Friends support each other through the good and the bad and accept that no one is perfect. However some friendships can be toxic so we need to show our girls how to recognise this and that usually true friendship isn’t about being popular, it’s about having one or two people that they can truly confide in and rely on.