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Meet Girl Guides' new role models

Key quote "I thought it would be wonderful for Scottish girls to have access to the thoughts and advice of women who have excelled in their careers." - Carrie Blake of Girl Guiding Scotland

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SCOTLAND'S most successful women have been signed up as role models by the Girl Guides to combat the celebrity culture's influence among teenage girls.

The movement has signed up 80 prominent women, including Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Bridget McConnell, wife of the First Minister and director of culture at Glasgow Council. It has targeted successful women who present a positive image for girls and have worked hard to achieve their status.

Earlier this month, Rowling criticised the culture of super-thin models and celebrities, branding them "empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones".

The initiative also follows a recent survey of teenage girls which revealed that 63 per cent would rather be a topless model than a doctor or a nurse, while one in four considered lap- dancing a good profession.

Only 3 per cent aspired to be teachers.

The Teen Emotional Health Survey 2005, commissioned by Bliss magazine, found that Jordan, the glamour model, was a role model for more 15 to 19-year-olds than Rowling.

The women will write about their experiences on the Girl Guides' website from 1 May.

Recruits also include TV presenters Kirsty Wark, Carole Smillie, Lorraine Kelly and Jenni Falconer, writers Val McDermid and Zoe Strachan, singers Lulu and Sharleen Spiteri, actresses Daniela Nardini and Ashley Jensen and sportswomen Julie Fleeting, Shirley Robertson and Rhona Martin.

Carrie Blake, the marketing and communications manager of Girl Guiding Scotland, said: "There are so many fantastic women out there who have got where they are through sheer hard work and talent, and who are never interviewed in any of the gossip magazines."

"I thought it would be wonderful for Scottish girls to have access to the thoughts and advice of women who have excelled in their careers."

Another recruit, Shirley Manson, the lead singer of rock band Garbage, urged girls to have more confidence in their abilities. "I could never have imagined when I was a kid that I would become a famous rock star," she said. "Rarity is a currency and gives us value. It's how we choose to spend our currency that defines us."

 
 
 

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