Girl power-A A +A
Friday, October 25, 2013
MOVE over Miley, Selena, Lady Gaga; you’ve all been misbehaving and don’t deserve to be role models to girls. There are three teenagers who are worth emulating, and they’re just 16 years old. They are Malala, Lorde and Lydia.
Though she didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai was nominated for her courage as an advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Instead of playing Candy Crush or similar addictive games, she used the internet to espouse her views through a blog starting at the age of 11.
She earned the ire of the Taliban as she started to gain headway in her campaign. On Oct. 9, 2012, she was shot in the head and neck while returning home on a school bus.
Instead of keeping a low profile, she went on to become an international celebrity, and her courage and articulateness have left so many people impressed, including Daily Show host John Stewart who stuttered at her presence. When she spoke at the United Nations, diplomats and the world listened.
“The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born,” she said.
Lorde is a New Zealander who knocked the songs of Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus from the top of the American pop chart with the highly infectious, “Royals.” The 16-year old, who remains a student in Takapuna Grammar School (North Shore Auckland), has made the rounds in top US TV shows and sold out concerts in Australia.
She started writing songs when she was 13 because, as she said: “I've always been a huge reader. My mum's a poet and we've always had so many books, and that's always been a big thing for me, arguably more so than music."
Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor is no dummy, as she speaks out her mind (in Twitter as well as in interviews). Already, there are those who have analyzed the verses of “Royals,” some call it “racist,” while others say it is about the plasticity of fame.
Then there is Lydia Ko, a 16-year old student at Pinehurst School also in North Shore Auckland, who is the top-ranked woman amateur player and no. 4 ranked woman golfer in the world. The New Zealander is the youngest person to win two LPGA Tour events.
On Oct. 24, 2013, she announced on social media (not in a press conference) that she is turning professional. (As an amateur, she could not claim the cash prizes in the tournaments she’d won).
Finally, girl power comes with new meaning and respect. With Malala, Lorde and Lydia, it’s about courage, it’s about creativity, it’s about excellence.
Not twerking, Miley.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 26, 2013.