#BeLikeHer – 10 Incredible Girls & Women Who’ll Totally Inspire You
GoldieBlox may be a toy brand, but they’re SO much more. Since launching in 2012, they’ve been trying to break down every wall, barrier, and obstacle that holds girls back from their dreams not just in the STEM fields, but in every aspect of life. The team at GoldieBlox knows that that girls are amazing and they can achieve even the most seemingly impossible dreams. (Hence why we’re such huge Goldie fangirls here at YAYOMG!) That’s why they’ve launched a girl-power fueled line of engineering toys, a totally awesome Life Hack series, and now, an amazing social campaign to help inspire girls to follow their dreams.
The new GoldieBlox campaign, #BeLikeHer, puts girls in the spotlight by highlighting amazing women in sports, science, and even fictional characters that show strength, fearlessness, leadership, confidence, and other inspiring qualities to give young girls female role models to look up to. They’re telling girls they CAN and SHOULD dream as big as possible. The video features incredible athletes like Simone Biles and Serena Williams, kick-butt heroes, like the Ghostbusters and Princess Leia, and more. The reality is, girls are often told that they CAN’T way more often than they CAN. We’re often overlooked not just in the job market as adults, but for everything from high school sports to middle school science teams, and everything in between.
We dare you not to cry while watching this empowering video.
Recognize some of these girls? Popular female YouTubers like Little Froggy from MyFroggyStuff and JillianTubeHD were cast to take on the iconic roles in the video. The girl you aspire to be should always be first and foremost, yourself, but you can be inspired by anyone, even your own mom! Want to share who inspires YOU? Check out the #BeLikeHer campaign page to see how you can your family can share your favorite female role models.
Using the rush of girl power the #BeLikeHer campaign video left us with, we put together a list of of 10 inspiring girls and women we think are role model worthy. While there’s plenty of amazing women out there from record smashing athletes like Mo’Ne Davis and Laurie Hernandez to do-gooders and activists like Malala and Michelle Obama, we decided to share some people you may not have heard of. Or at least, women you may not have otherwise thought could be a role model. You don’t always need to be inspired by someone popular or famous. Sure, they’re a great place to start and totally easy to find pictures of to plaster all over your walls and dream boards, but you can also easily find inspiration from the ladies in your everyday life.
#BeLikeHer – 10 Incredible Girls and Women Who’ll Totally Inspire You:
Leia might be the most iconic female in the Star Wars universe, but Rey is definitely giving girls plenty of ways to be inspired. She’s independent, courageous, and curious – three amazing qualities for ANYONE to have. She never backs down from a challenge, no matter how big. Rey has survived hard times, survived life on her own, and can totally hold her own in a lightsaber battle. And that’s just one movie! Just wait until The Last Jedi and Episode IX come out!
Want more female Star Wars heroes to get inspired by? Disney just launched Forces of Destiny, an animated series dedicated to the amazing women of Star Wars.
Isn’t she the girl with the big pink hair bow? That’s right, she is. But there’s so much more to JoJo Siwa than her bows, and that’s why we chose her. Girls are often written off just for being girls or for the way they look, but did you know that JoJo is all about helping girls feel empowered in their own lives? From her music to her iconic line of hairbows, JoJo’s message is always about being kind to others, feeling confident as the girl you are, and rising above the bullies. (Plus, she’s an immensely talented dancer.)
You don’t need to be a sports star or a math whiz to make a difference or spread a message like this. Kindness can be YOUR special talent any day of the week.
You may not recognize Marley Dias the way you do Rey or JoJo, but she’s doing some seriously amazing work in the book community to spread diversity and awareness for girls of color. Marley has always loved to read, but was getting bored of reading the books in school that were always about “white boys and their dogs”. To solve the problem, she took to Twitter with a hashtag and a mission. The goal of #1000BlackGirlBooks? To collect and donate 1,000 books that featured black girls as the leading character. The book community went crazy for Marley and her message, both support AND books came rolling in.
She’s now 12 years old and to date she’s helped collect and donate over 9,000 books and is still going strong. She even landed a book deal herself and is continuing her work to help close the gaps in the children’s book community. Her simple, yet important message started a lot of other conversations about diversity and put the publishing industry and authors under pressure to write and release more diverse books featuring kids of all races, backgrounds, disabilities, and mental health issues that have been lacking thus far. The lesson here? No voice is too small or too young to start a conversation or a movement!
Addison Osta Smith
Shows like MasterChef Junior and the Kids Baking Championship have shown us that kids as young as 6 can be just as talented as some of the most highly regarded chefs and bakers in the world. Shows like this are teaching kids that they have what it takes to learn to cook. Seeing someone their own age or from their own city take home the trophy is doubly as encouraging. There’s plenty of amazing young chefs out there, but we picked Addison Osta Smith because she was the first ever girl to win MasterChef Junior at just 9 years old.
Addison may be a trophy winning chef with a fancy title now, but before MasterChef Junior she was just like you – a girl who loved to cook at home and try new things. She’s totally fearless in the kitchen and exudes confidence in front of the camera, showing girls that confidence, strength, and dedication come in MANY forms and that they can do anything.
Kayla Barron was recently selected by NASA to become one of just 12 new astronaut candidates. On her journey to becoming an astronaut, Kayla earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering, and served time with the US Navy working on the USS Maine submarine. Kayla has also won a slew of awards and honorable achievements along the way. She embodies the definition of girl power. She’s incredibly smart, driven, and has quickly become an inspiration for girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Kayla’s hard work and intense drive to reach her dreams has landed her exactly where she wanted to be, and she’ll likely be headed to places in the galaxy most of us only dream of seeing.
In an article with Fortune, Kayla shared some fantastic advice with young girls “It’s important to learn how to fail and move on from failure. You have to risk failure in order to be successful.” If you’re too scared failing, you’ll be too afraid to try, and you’ll never be able to reach your goal.
A cartoon role model? Hear us out! D.D. Danger from Danger and Eggs is a total daredevil and thrill seeker, but that’s not why we love her. We’re inspired by D. D. because she’s never afraid to put herself out there, try new things, or explore new places. She’s incredibly fearless, welcoming to people of all races, genders, and cultures, and is starring in the most LGBTQ-friendly cartoon that’s ever existed. Danger and Eggs celebrates people’s differences, identities, and choices and encourages friendship, empathy, and support to all.
Even when it comes to her best friend Phillip, an anxious egg who’s afraid of basically everything, she tries her best to understand and respect his more cautious ways and even when she messes up, is there sincere apology and a promise to try better next time. Such simple qualities to have, and yet, people not having them leads to so many issues in the world. We think these traits are totally admirable and definitely role model worthy.
Unless you attend school with Cordelia, you might not recognize her. But that doesn’t make her any less important than a famous scientist or a celebrity. In fact, it’s acts like 14 year old Cordelia Longo’s that help make a big difference on a day to day basis. So what did she do? When she struggled to find a working or properly filled tampon machine at her high school, she started a petition to get the machines in working order. Schools provide what everyone needs to take care of their usual bathroom business, but they often do not provide tampons and sanitary napkins to girls for their periods. A menstrual cycle is as normal as taking a poop – it’s just that it only affects half the school’s population, and so a lot schools don’t deem it a priority. We ALL need toilet paper, but not everyone needs a pad, leaving girls to have to bring them from home or borrow from a friend.
In addition to her petition, Cordelia also used her allowance to create baskets of pads and tampons for girls at her school to use while the school figured out a plan. Thankfully, after receiving Cordelia’s petition, the school board didn’t just fix and re-stock the machines – they also made everything free! Cordelia is a problem solver and a go-getter who used her voice to speak up about a problem affecting her school. When her story went public, it encouraged other girls at other schools to speak up as well. Doing good and making a difference can start as small as the bathroom at your school.
Who’s Debbie Sterling? The amazing woman who created GoldieBlox, of course! (She’s an Engineer AND an Entrepreneur – totally cool.). The work she’s doing with her company is teaching millions of young girls (and their parents) that girls can be whatever they want to be. By providing girls with characters to play with who are engineers, coders, and inventors, she’s literally putting big dreams in the hands of girls everywhere. Building a GoldieBlox playset is basically no harder than building a LEGO set, but it’s teaching girls STEM techniques, terms, and strategies in a way that’s not intimidating at all. We were already inspired by Debbie’s mission, but got to experience it first hand last weekend when we spent an entire Saturday with a 5 year old girl who loves to build.
We gave our friend Riley two GoldieBlox playsets as a gift and it totally changed her life. (Or at least her weekend.) The moment she saw the box she shrieked “THESE GIRLS ARE BUILDERS LIKE ME!”. As she spent the next few hours building her Crankin’ Clubhouse and Sky-High Cable Car, she kept saying things like “You girls are so SMART!” and “Goldie likes to invent like me!”. Riley already loved building, but being handed toys that featured other girls who like to build and other ways to play truly meant so much to her. To witness it first-hand like that was amazing, and we know that Debbie’s brilliant ideas and empowering toys have caused that same lightbulb moment for millions of girls of all ages around the world, and that’s why she’s made our list!
Rosanna Pansino is the queen of Nerdy Nummies, but she’s also inspiring kids and teens all over the world to get interested in baking. Her super silly and easy to understand videos take cooking baking from being reading a long, boring recipe to a really fun and hands-on experience. Plus, most of her recipes are pop culture focused, which is a great way pique the interest of people who might not have ever been interested in baking before. Ro’s fans range in age from little kids all the way up to grown adults, but whenever she attends an event – the proof is there in the line of people waiting to meet her. She’s almost always bombarded by kids and teens who see her not just as a YouTube celebrity, but someone who encouraged them to try something new and unlock their passions. We’d go as far as to say that there’s kids competing on cooking shows today who were inspired, at least in part, by Rosanna Pansino’s silly sense of humor, bubbly personality, and most of her, her confidence when she makes a mistake.
Recipes don’t always turn out exactly as planned, and neither does life. Ro inspires girls (and boys) to give a shot anyway, which is a message they don’t often hear.
The Women in Your Everyday Life
Does your mom work hard to give you a good life? Whether she heads to work every morning or is a stay at home mom, she does at LEAST a handful of things every day that you can get inspired by. Can’t see it? Just step back an observe, we promise you that your mom is cooler than you give her credit for. Is there a girl in your class who’s always speaking up when things seem unjust or is your sister great at writing poetry? Those are AWESOME skills, give them a high five! Have a librarian who always knows what book to recommend or a teacher who has off-beat ways of teaching? Those are all things to be inspired by. There’s many ways to be courageous, strong, intelligent, driven, passionate, fierce, and empowering. You just have to take the time to notice them.
Who inspires you? Share your female heroes with GoldieBlox and the rest of the world by using the hashtag #BeLikeHer. Feeling totally empowered and ready to show the world who YOU are? Check out these 8 fierce ways to channel your inner girl power!