Last night I attended Dove’s Women Who Should Be Famous event’an evening which shone the spotlight on some real women who are strong role models. Actress and singer/song-writer, Mandy Moore has partnered with Dove for the initiative (read my one-on-one interview with her here) and was there last night to introduce each of the inspiring women being honoured.
I arrived at the event (held at The Carlu here in Toronto) to a room full of excited young girls. Something that caught my eye right away was a large white board where girls had been asked to write one word that describes their role model. (Check out some of the things that were written in the photos above and below.)
At 7 p.m. sharp the presentation began with a Moore narrating video of four inspiring women and then introducing them in person. First up was environmentalist and child activist, Severn Cullis-Suzuki who, at the age of 12, spoke to a group of United Nations representatives at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Then came Toni Blackman, a musical ambassador, educator and artist. Through her organization, Rhyme Like A Girl, Blackman teach girls how to rap, and most importantly, how to be confident and speak out. Next was Fahima Osman, Canada’s first Canadian-trained Somali physician. Osman divides her time between Canada where she practices general surgery, and Somaliland, the country her and her family once sought refugee status from. Finally, Arlene Blum was introduced. The mountain climber and scientist has ascended some of the world’s most challenging peaks, as well as carried out some ground-breaking research and policy work to prevent the use of toxic flame retardants.
After each woman’s story was shared, the young girls in the audience were able to openly ask questions. It was quite inspiring to see how curious and engaged they each were. One little girl asked Cullis-Suzuki, ‘How do you get adults to listen to you when your just a kid?’ To which she replied, ‘I’ve actually found that adults were shocked to see little kids talking about such serious issues, and so the most important thing is to get yourself educated on the issues you care about and simply speak the truth.’ Another little girls said to Osman, ‘You’re so pretty, but why didn’t you think so when you were little?’ Osman replied, ‘I thought the images in magazines defined beauty, but I’ve learned there’s more than one definition of beauty and we should all feel comfortable in our own skin.’
Who do you think provides a good role model to young women in girls today?