Girls today can look up to any number of remarkable women: elected officials, business leaders, athletes and yes, a few celebrities. But if a girl is going to reach her dreams or even change the world, she needs a woman in her corner to help her see her full potential. This woman is not in the spotlight. You won't read about her in a magazine or see her on television, yet she has the power to change the world. She is a mother, a doctor, a teacher. She is a positive role model.
We sometimes think that being a celebrity is the same as being a role model. But a role model is actually someone you can touch, talk to and dream with. When you think about that, you realize it is critical that we celebrate positive role models and the work they do: being present in girls' lives, sharing the moments of the day that shape ideas and opinions on the world and pointing out opportunities and possibilities that girls might not see on their own.
I've been working with the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem recently to shed light on the beauty of positive role models. These women not only help girls achieve their goals, they help them shed fears and insecurities that can hold girls back. Consider this: When girl's feel bad about their looks, 60 percent avoid normal daily activities like raising their hand in class or even going to the doctor. That means that girls do not show up for life when they don't feel good enough or pretty enough. A role model can help girls see beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety.
Some women may think they haven't done anything extraordinary that merits the attention of a girl in their life. But here's the thing: everyone has the opportunity to make a difference in a girl's self-esteem. This weekend, over 250,000 girls and their moms will gather in Washington, D.C. for Girl Scouts Rock the Mall, a sing-along that celebrates friendship and community service. You can watch the event live on Dove.com. I'm going to be there to introduce four remarkable women who represent women everywhere -- they are accomplished, but they have also overcome obstacles and self-doubt to forge their own path in the world. By sharing their stories, I hope to remind women everywhere that they, too, can inspire a girl in their life. All they have to do is reach out to one girl.
This exciting program will shine a light on positive role models everywhere. Starting this weekend, moms can access videos with stories of amazing women on Facebook.com/Dove. Moms can watch these videos with a girl in their life and start a conversation about girls' goals and dreams using an accompanying viewer's guide. Throughout the summer, women can also share stories of other amazing women the world should know about. The idea behind this effort is that all real women who are positive role models should be famous.
I like that idea. I think it is time we celebrated the real work that goes into shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation of leaders. Someone wisely said: "Girls cannot be what they cannot see." So let's celebrate the women girls see and interact with everyday who set a positive example. If you're in D.C. this weekend, join me for Rock the Mall, and please check out the stories of some amazing women you will certainly want to introduce to a girl in your life.
And speaking of role models, I'd like to give a special mention to the woman who truly inspires me and helped me become the woman I am today: My mom. From a very early age, she sacrificed a lot to help me achieve my goals of acting and singing. Her example taught me that, regardless of age, we should listen to people and encourage their dreams.
To my mom, and to positive role models everywhere, I say thank you.
Mandy Moore is a singer, songwriter, actress, and humanitarian.
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