Growing up as a girl can be confusing and scary at times, no matter where you live. Today, Oct. 11, is International Day of the Girl, a movement to bring awareness to the issues girls around the world face. The day, which started as a United Nations initiative, helps shed light not only on the issues—among them child marriage, sexual violence, limited access to education, and lack of equal opportunities—but on ways you can get involved and help make girls' lives better as well.
Families, teachers, bosses, and friends can all directly provide support—and guidance from a person who has lived through it can make a huge difference. Advice can also come from afar: Some of Hollywood's biggest names have overcome many tribulations before finding confidence and success.
To mark International Day of the Girl this year, we rounded up thoughts from 10 female stars on what they would want to tell young girls and women around the world. Some responses are detailed, while others are short and sweet, but one thing is certain: all of their words are empowering. Read below for the solid advice they imparted upon InStyle: Trust us, it's worthy of sharing with mothers, daughters, girlfriends, friends, and beyond.
Help girls around the world by buying a limited-edition InStyle designer tote in support of Let Girls Learn. Shop our collection of exclusive designs from Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, DKNY, Jason Wu, Narciso Rodriguez, Prabal Gurung, and Tanya Taylor.
1. GINA RODRIGUEZ
"It’s definitely about the journey. I was talking about this with my mother today on the ride here. We so often want the end result, but we don't enjoy the experience that gets us to accomplishing that dream. It's not going to happen tomorrow. If it does, great. If it doesn't, enjoy that journey because I swear, the experience up until this point in time has been remarkable and so worth it. So live your path!"
2. EMMA ROBERTS
"People are always going to kind of tell you no or tell you you're not this enough or that enough. And you kind of just have to know within yourself who you are and just kind of stick with that. And eventually, you'll be applauded for it. I feel like every kind of actor—especially female actor—that I admire, it has always been what makes them quirky that's gotten them to where they are. It just takes time. So I feel like just stay true to who you are, for sure."
3. CAMILA ALVES
"Trust your instincts and be yourself."
"There are so many messages telling us to hate ourselves in media, whether we consciously receive it like that, so I would just say reject those differences and find the beauty in you. Celebrate your individuality and walk tall in that. Confidence shines through. Find what it is that you’re confident in."
5. YVETTE NICOLE BROWN
"You are not your thighs. You are not your boobs, your butt, your eyes. The totality of who you are as a human being and what makes you valuable is your spirit and your soul and your character. So, instead of trying to master the perfect selfie, master grace, master wisdom, master kindness, and take that out into the world. Lead with that instead of your rear end. And I’m not trying to throw women under the bus, but I just feel like we’ve been sold a bill of goods that our only worth comes from our bodies, and our bodies are the least of us. Our hair, our faces, our bodies are the least of us. So, become one of those people—one of the women who lights a torch and says, 'I’m more than this.'"
6. JOANNA GARCIA SWISHER
"There's no limit to what you can achieve. You just have to be nice, be supportive of other women, and believe in yourself."
"Be confident in yourself, know your worth, and don’t let people stand in your way of your success."
8. LAUREN CONRAD
"Be kind. Be kind to yourself."
9. RACHEL BLOOM
"If love is making you feel not like yourself then run away. Real love is making you feel more comfortable with who you are."
10. RACHEL ZOE
"Work hard; don’t be entitled. You’ve got to work hard for what you want."
—With reporting by Brandi Fowler, Brianna Deutsch, Ericka Franklin, and Carita Rizzo