Powerful, Purpose-driven Girls!
10 August 2018
What messages are our girls hearing? The media gives girls a clear message that they need to be thin and beautiful. Girls are increasingly being sexualised and objectified in the media, on social media and in computer games. They are being told repeatedly that their value lies in their appearance.
Society tells girls that they can achieve anything a boy can achieve and they should compete for equal rights in all spaces. Women who achieve academic or career success are held up as shining examples. Girls are being told that to be of value they must be smart, driven and successful.
Parents often expect their daughters to be good girls, mature, compliant and peacemakers. There appears to be a level of understanding that boys will be rebellious and often need to learn from their mistakes but we expect our girls to be smart enough not to make those same mistakes. Our girls hear that they need to be good.
With all these voices telling our girls they need to be all things, is it any wonder that our girls are under ever-increasing pressure? Increasing rates of mental health difficulties, eating disorders, social difficulties, and bullying are all evidence of the pressure that our girls feel. To comply with perceived expectations, our girls often make compromises that allow others to treat them with disrespect. The messages they hear lead them to believe that they need to be submissive in order to meet the expectations of others.
We have an amazing opportunity to speak into the lives of our daughters and students. Our girls need to hear that they were created in the image of God. They need to hear that they are loved and valued for who they are, not for their looks, intelligence or achievements. They need us to support them in setting boundaries to ensure safety and wellbeing. They need us to treat them (and all women) with respect so that they can respect themselves and expect others to treat them with respect.
By listening deeply to our girls, valuing their emotions, and affirming their strengths we help to centre their sense of identity. As we intentionally communicate a wide range of attributes that we value, we help to build resilient, strong, God-filled young women who can powerfully impact their world.
What messages do your girls hear from you?
Head of Primary