This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.
Growing up as a girl, you are bombarded with messages about the way to be. Don’t be too loud. Try not to stand out. Be sweet, be polite. Don’t call too much attention to yourself. Girls are socialized to believe that their worth is held in the way they look, and the way they make other people feel. I’m sorry, that’s a bunch of garbage. It is time for a change, and I’m being part of the change I want to see.
Part of this early socialization is making sure that women know there are things they can and cannot do based on their age. You can’t wear certain clothing, say certain things, and you certainly cannot run a business if you are below or above a certain age. After all, women are expected to be weaker in business, we are not supposed to be able to be successful at ANY age, especially not if you are a young woman or an older woman. Young women lack the experience, older women are supposed to be doting grandmothers and attentive wives. We don’t do that at Courtney’s house! Disrupt Aging
As you know, I am raising a young lady. Her name is Reese, and I am so incredibly proud of her. Being her mother is amazing; she is intelligent, thoughtful, and not afraid to speak her mind. I always want her to be aware of her power, so when it comes to business, I really make it a point to encourage her that pursuing her interests is not something that is limited to someone who is older than her. After all, Reese and I did a campaign with American Girl. Reese is an actress with an agent and a resume. All of those qualities that make her successful in campaigns and on screen are the same qualities that make her a successful businesswoman.
Will she need more guidance than someone with more life experience? Absolutely. As her mother, it is my job to provide that guidance, whether it is my own advice, or seeking out advisors who will give her great direction. This need for guidance shouldn’t be a hindrance to her, after all, powerful people often have advisors.
Kings, Presidents, and CEOs all have teams of people who show them the
best options for their situation. We don’t expect those people to function well without them. Reese is a budding businesswoman in her own right, and she has a team of people to help guarantee that success. Disrupt Aging
Don’t limit the young ladies in your life. Youthful people have imagination, curiosity and a fantastic knack for knowing what is new on the market with technology, and the ability to run with that. If the only thing stopping someone from taking them seriously is the age, they should refer back to Aaliyah’s classic song: “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” Disrupt Aging
If you want to learn more about how to encourage women regardless of their age to achieve their dreams, take a look at DisruptAging.org. There you’re going to find amazing talks, wonderful stories, and encouraging videos. Let’s leave ageism where it belongs – in ancient history!