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Mothers not models influencing Kiwi girls

Mothers not models influencing Kiwi girls

Forget Beyoncé and the Kardashians, at the time that pressure to look good is being felt by New Zealand girls they see their mothers as better role models than celebrities and supermodels.

A study by GirlGuiding New Zealand found that mothers were mentioned most often when girls were asked to name a good female role model. Though girls were concerned about looking good from the age of nine, their mothers were named first by one in four participants and were six times more likely to be cited than Beyoncé. Mothers were also named more often than supermodel Cara Delevingne and Michelle Obama.

The study of 4365 girls between the ages of 7 and 17 also found that confidence, hard work and care for others were the traits most admired in role models.

GirlGuiding New Zealand National President Fiona Harnett said the study revealed a refreshing view of Millennial and Generation Z youth, where pop culture did not dominate their views on life.

“The results show that mothers are the biggest influence on young women, who hold them in high esteem.
“New Zealand girls aspire to be hardworking and confident, and their mothers set the example.”

Activities considered most important to girls’ lives included being with friends and family, doing well at school, playing sport and being outdoors.

“These pastimes should give us confidence in the future of New Zealand girls as strong and capable women” Harnett continued.

GirlGuiding New Zealand have a dedicated group of girls who inform internal decision making on behalf of all girl members, as well as a group who inform the organisation’s public advocacy.

“This study has allowed GirlGuiding to understand what really matters to New Zealand girls. Working with our girl members it will allow us to tailor our programmes to suit the needs and interests of modern girls”.

The What Matters study by GirlGuiding New Zealand also looked at body image, mental health, acceptance and achieving success. A summary of the research is available.


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