Commentary – Young girls need ‘moms’

Katrina Owens
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching (May 15th for those who aren’t aware). I figured a gentle reminder about important female role models are for us younglings couldn’t hurt as a reminder.

I’ve learned the majority of my life lessons from my mom, who is back in Ontario with my two older sisters Keely and Korah. My mom (aka Mama Bear) always instilled in me that honesty and hard-work are two of the most important attributes a person can pride themselves on. Though she and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye during my teenager-rebellion phase, I often look back and realize she was just doing her job as a role model and as a mom. She is one of my main supporters along with my two sisters. Moms come in all shapes and sizes and don’t necessarily need to be biologically our mothers – aunts, cousins, friends, teachers, coaches, mentors – they all can play the ‘mom’ role.

And thank goodness they can because it’s been proven time and time again that young women who have a solid support system and positive role models tend to thrive more than those who don’t. It’s no secret that in a society such as ours, females even at a young age feel the pressures of womanhood. We’re supposed to look this way, we’re supposed to be ladies and not ruffle too many feathers, and we’re just biding our time until a husband decides he wants to marry us and we have his children. I was lucky enough to be taught that as a young woman, I have just as much right to get an education and that I am beautiful just the way I am. Imagine growing up without that support? I can’t.

You might not even realize you’re a role model, just the other day I told an admirable lady that she is and she was surprised. “Why?” she asked.
I told her because she inspires me and that our friendship gives me comfort in troubling times. She gives me strength which in turn gives me motivation and in my opinion, anyway, that is what a role model does…even if they don’t realize it.

It’s unfortunate that a lot of young girls think they have to compete with each other.

It’s a shame really, because girls should support girls, not tear one another down because we’re led to believe we need to be the better than the rest. But in an era where we’re taught that happiness is purely derived from male attention, I can see why so many younger ladies act like that.

My two seasoned sisters had already gone through that turmoil of adolescence and gave me a much-needed kick in the pants, as it were. Again, here is a point in time where I was lucky to have good role models. I dare say girls in high school are probably the ones who need role models the most.

I guess what I’m trying to say, without rambling too much, is that young people, male and female, need positive influences in their lives. Even we young adults need people who have a deeper knowledge about things to direct us on the right path, whatever that may be.

I was fortunate to have three of them dealing with me during the darkest of times.

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