When Sarah Beach realized her daughters had limiting beliefs about what girls and women could do, she stepped up to the challenge and founded a magazine to provide them with role models of strong women and girls—“ordinary girls doing extraordinary things”—and STRONG: The Magazine for Girls was born. Since its founding, many things have changed: “Wonder Woman” hit the box office; Sarah’s daughters grew beyond the tender middle-school age, and STRONG, in publication for over two years, continued to stretch and grow, providing positive messages on pertinent topics to help develop well-rounded, knowledgeable, self-confident girls and young women.
While some things have changed, many things are still the same. Sarah mentions the small number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and that there is still only one female for every 2.24 males on screen. Following the golden rule of “you have to see it to be it,” Sarah is careful to depict girls and women in every capacity, from sports to a broad array of professions, and even spotlights ordinary girls who have reached out in their communities to help make positive change.
Being Empowered is Being Strong Enough to Unapologetically Be Yourself
Sarah says, “We all need to be fixing each other’s crowns.” We have to come together and should be building each other up. She says that she teaches her daughters, “Other people’s success is not your failure. That’s not how it works.” We have enough people in our society trying to put women down. The message we’re trying to promote is about, “being strong enough to understand who you truly are and having the confidence to be that person without worrying about what other people think.” It’s okay to be different. And the girls covered in STRONG make that point over and over again by traveling to different countries and discovering different cultures there, and here in the United States.
Strong Girls Become Strong Women
Sarah makes the point that with more women leaders in upper management, they will create positive change for women. When Sarah had her children, she didn’t have the flexibility to continue her job. She describes the working world as being designed for men, but even they would benefit from more flexibility to support their families.
Sarah’s dream is to make STRONG accessible to everyone—in every library, every school, in every girl’s hands. You can learn more about STRONG on her website, strongmagazineforgirls.com, and subscribe there as well. Sarah encourages everyone to subscribe—if not for yourself or your own daughters—for a nearby school or library.
Listen to this conversation to learn more about the specific sections in each edition of STRONG, and Dr. Nancy and Sarah’s viewpoints on the status of women and how important it is for us to continue to open the door to girls doing exciting things and being all they can be. That’s the true meaning of being strong.