The best way for young girls to gain confidence is to see it live in action. That’s why Katty Kay and Claire Shipman are sharing the stories of 30 girls from around the world, detailing how they were able to build their confidence and achieve their goals.
Kay, a BBC presenter and MSNBC contributor, recently sat down with Know Your Value’s Mika Brzezinski to talk about the latest addition to their “Confidence Code” book series. “Living the Confidence Code: Real Girls. Real Stories. Real Confidence.” comes out on April 28.
Girls learn from other girls, Kay explained. So, when they have an inspirational role model who is their age, it positively impacts them. Kay and Shipman kept that in mind when they chose the 30 girls.
Today, many young girls live in a social media bubble and are under a lot of pressure, Brzezinski noted.
Rather than focusing on a perfect image online, Kay stressed the importance of girls focusing on action, which will in turn build confidence. The girls in the book are not trying to be perfect and are rising up to the many challenges they face, she said.
“We got the Afghan robotics girls team,” Kay said. “Who knew that Afghanistan had a girls team of robotics? Of course, they have come under a huge amount of flack at home. They’re actually in physical danger because they have joined a robotics team but won’t back down. They have carried on and they are now inspiring other girls to get into science in Afghanistan.”
Another story is about a teenage girl from the United Kingdom who has launched a worldwide campaign to get free tampons and sanitary pads into high schools.
“She realized that even in the U.K., girls were missing school because they couldn’t afford tampons and sanitary pads during their periods,” Kay said. “500 million girls around the world miss school because they can't have sanitary products.”
Kay said the girls in the book are also very honest about their failures.
“Guess what? If you take a risk, sometimes you’re going to fail,” Kay said.
For example, Kay pointed to an American girl featured in the book who wanted to start a little cafe in her community. However, opening night was a disaster.
“She almost gave up because she was so embarrassed,” Kay said. “But she carries on and she talks about the failures like that.”
Kay said it’s important for girls to realize you don’t have to be perfect.
“You will fail,” Kay said. “It’s normal. Mika, you’ve failed. I’ve failed. Your momma’s failed. Your teacher has failed. Everybody has. The question is what do you do about it then?”