Let’s just be honest from the outset. Kids are going to like some celebrities as they grow up. Now, there are good celebs and not-so-good celebs that they can like. As a parent, your job is to hopefully steer your kids away from the bad ones and toward the good ones.
But it can be tricky. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all Hollywood celebs are bad due to the constant whirlwind of bad press around a lot of them, but a lot of them are pretty good in reality. There are a lot of female celebs out there who stand up for powerful causes like body image, women’s rights, and even health and education for people everywhere. These kinds of people are the ones you want your child to look up to. The ones that are making life impacting changes in this world, the ones who have dedicated their lives to making this world a better place for not only themselves, but for the next generation after them.
Since it can be hard to wade through the world of celebrities, especially if you don’t follow a lot of the younger ones yourself, we’ve gone ahead and gathered twelve of the most respectable female celebs that you can be comfortable with your young ones emulating.
12. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres, well-renowned comedienne and now host of an afternoon talk show, is an excellent role model for kids. Not only that, but you can sell her to them because she was the voice of that crazy fish they loved from that one movie. You know the one. She’s always doing charitable things on her show, much like Oprah used to do, and in some ways even going beyond it. She’s given a suffering family a better life for their unborn child, she’s making people’s dreams come true, and much more. All of that is even trumped by her charity work. She is a massive giver to charity, and she’s also promoting causes that are of issue to youth, such as bullying.
11. Michelle Obama
You can’t get much higher in the US than the first lady. Some first ladies have done a lot for this country and Michelle Obama is one of them. She has used her platform to address major issues with the country, and the world as a whole. Ms. Obama’s big cause seems to be childhood obesity, admittedly a largely increasing problem in today’s society. She has also backed causes to help women receive a better education. She’s also a fashion icon, devoted mother, accomplished lawyer, and a writer. And she’s proven that the first lady can stand on her own without having to be in the shadow of her husband.
10. Malala Yousifazi
Malala might not be someone your kids are familiar with, but they really should be. She is an incredibly outspoken advocate of female rights and education in the Middle East. She became famous after she survived an attempt on her life, and now she’s living in the UK and is continuing her fight to get her fellow girls a proper education. She has since extended her cause to not just the Middle East, but for girls all throughout the world. She has even bravely stood in front of the United Nations to make her voice heard. She is the textbook example of someone parents want their children to idolize.
This New Zealand-born singer born Ella Marija Yelich O’Connor, has been rapidly gaining in popularity since her big debut just a few years ago. Only 19, she’s become a huge proponent of positive body image for women. Her work has also landed her a spot in one of Time’s “Most Influential Teenagers Of The Year” list. She has been known to post images of herself before and after photoshop, drawing attention to the fact that the little flaws don’t make us any less beautiful. “I was just thinking it’s so unhealthy for girls to be listening to, you know, ‘I’m nothing without you.’ This sort of shirt-tugging, desperate, ‘don’t leave me’ stuff. That’s not a good thing for young girls, even young people, to hear,” she said about her music.
8. Katy Perry
Katy Perry may have some shock value to her, with the crazy outfits and slightly sexualized behavior, but all in all, Ms. Perry is a role model. She promotes things like the strength of women with her music, and she has even joined UNICEF to help the welfare of children. She went to Madagascar to help with kids, and she’s even done some crazy stuff to raise money to fight diseases like cancer and AIDS. Remember when she had those casts of her breasts made? That was for charity. With her huge charitable heart, she is deserving of her spot on this list.
7. Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton is the embodiment of everything girls love watching in movies. She’s that regular girl turned into a princess by marrying her one true love who just so happens to be a prince charming. More than that, she’s also the perfect role model just because of her attitude. Full of the grace and poise you’d expect from someone of her status, she seems to be setting out to become a “people’s princess” much like her mother-in-law, Princess Diana. Her sense of style is also making waves throughout the world, even during her well-publicized pregnancy. She is every bit the princess you want your little girls aspiring to be.
Beyonce Knowles-Carter is the perfect modern-day example of a popular singer that you can have your kids look up to. In fact, she’s just one of the best role models a young woman could have in general. She’s the embodiment of a powerful woman, and she just keeps pushing herself to be stronger. She’s of course also managing to balance her career and home life, still managing to be a mother for her child despite the touring and whatnot. She’s also one of the most successful performers in recent years, managing to keep her nose clean while living that life.
5. Emma Watson
Of course, everyone remembers the not-so-young-anymore Emma Watson, for her work in the Harry Potter movies. But she’s managed to do a lot more growing since then and even managed to become someone we can respect as an adult as well. Which is really saying something, since it can be quite hard to look past someone’s previous famous character. Emma is currently attending Brown University without a declared major, saying she wants to try out and learn as many things as she can. As a parent, you should be pointing to Emma to encourage your little ones to try new things.
4. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence probably seems an obvious choice for this list. In recent years, it’s difficult to think of someone famous her age that does as good of a job at being a role model. Her performance as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series has shown what a strong girl should be like. Not to mention, her sense of humor off the set is absolutely amazing. She’s an incredibly well-humored individual, and she really just seems like that person you’d really love to hang out with for an afternoon. She’s a perfect model for what girls are really like, and not just how they’re portrayed in sappy romance movies. Just her being her is doing a lot to further the cause of women.
3. Demi Lovato
In her Disney days, Demi was an easily-accessible role model for young girls throughout the world. Her shows on Disney Channel provided a platform for her to entertain kids all while encouraging them to be better people. After Disney, she’s carried on her image as a role model. She’s had her problems for sure, but she’s been very up front and honest about her struggles with bulimia, self-harm, and body image. She’s become a beacon of hope for all young girls struggling with similar issues and has handled her own with grace. When your little girl is having problems being comfortable in her own skin, point her to Demi.
2. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez, much like the last person on this list, is a former Disney star. She starred on Wizards of Waverly Place as a funny, snarky teen that made millions of kids laugh regularly. Aside from all that, though, she’s been an amazing role model in her life outside Disney as well. But hear it from the fans themselves. Fans wrote in an essay for Billboard’s fan army contest: “Honestly, we wouldn’t be the people we are today if she didn’t come into our lives, because she taught us so much in life. She taught us how to feel beautiful, how to love ourselves, how to respect and help others, because strong people lift others up, and never bring them down. She taught us that we are perfect exactly the way we are and we shouldn’t change for anyone, she taught us that what makes you different is what makes you beautiful. She just taught us all the things that no one cared to tell and most importantly… She inspired us, and these are the reasons why we love Selena Gomez.”
1. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is possibly on of the most age-appropriate singers in her generation. Her songs reach out and speak to an entire generation of young girls trying to find their way (and no, we’re not talking about those break-up songs, but that’s a thing that happens too). She’s never allowing herself to be over-exposed, even on the red carpet, and she’s always openly displaying her quirks and flaws for the world to see. Some people might disagree with her position here, but the fact is she remains a powerful force that your young girls are likely going to admire.