As we were working on the logo for GIRLHOOD, our graphic designer suggested we use a silhouette of a girl on top of the logo. She gave us several examples, but they just did not seem right. Finally, one of our creative team said something like, “The story is about teaching our girls to be brave!” And that was enough to give us the right image.
It got me thinking…..what is bravery and how can we make sure we are encouraging girls to be brave in our story? So, I did some research and came across a great TED TALK by Caroline Paul titled something like, “How to Raise Brave Girls.” Below are some of her points:
- To be for bravery is not to be against fear. Fear is important in survival. But fear cannot run our lives.
- Bravery is learned. We can encourage our girls and teach them to be brave by:
- Urge adventure! This teaches hazard-assessment, confidence and caution.
- Stop cautioning girls randomly. Studies show that parents warn their girls more than boys. This teaches them to be fearful and not brave.
- Exercise bravery. Girls must practice being brave and learn that failure is not the end of the world.
- Fear and exhilaration both feel the same. Both get the adrenaline going, heart beating faster, and heighten the senses. Encourage exhilaration and not fear. In fact, when you confront fear the result is exhilaration.
- Girls can and should master difficult tasks by themselves.
- There are three attributes to bravery:
- Calling upon your resilience
- Getting out of your comfort zone
- Building confidence in self and decisions
- Lastly, encourage girls to attack problems with bravery and not fear.
GIRLHOOD will not only have girls in the show, it will have some adult characters as well. They will certainly be played by students, but right now we have mothers and teachers characters involved in the stories and songs. The show ends with the girls graduating from high school. And, of course, there is a commencement speech.
“We have encouraged our young women to be brave, and we all must continue to do so. But, we also must let them fail. For in failure comes wisdom. And what good is bravery without wisdom!”