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10 Female Pop Culture Icons We Want Our Kids to Look Up To

Women who kick butt, rock out, and break barriers are the ones we want our kids to know about. These are women who defy stereotypes and embody character traits we would like to see in our own kids: perseverance, courage, empathy, and creativity.
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By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media

"Sugar, spice, and everything nice" sounds hopelessly out of touch in today's world, right? Well, then what's with all the sexy, pouty, getting-by-on-looks-alone female celebs (looking at you, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Kendall Jenner). Women who kick butt, rock out, and break barriers are the ones we want our kids to know about. These are women who defy stereotypes and embody character traits we would like to see in our own kids: perseverance, courage, empathy, and creativity. And even though it's 2016, women have a long way to go to be equally reflected in everything from speaking parts in movies to board rooms in Silicon Valley. As actress and SeeJane.org spokesperson Geena Davis says, she can't be it if she can't see it.

So choose a few of these media and pop culture icons to introduce to your kids (and especially your daughters). Not every aspect of their careers or personalities has to be age-appropriate or fit with your perspective, but by sharing what you like about these ladies, you show your kids what you value, give them something to aspire to, and open up an opportunity for them to think about the traits these ladies share with the pop culture peeps they love (hello, YouTube stars!).

Beyoncé

Queen Bey somehow combines strength, heat, and wholesomeness into one talented package of hard work, constant creativity, and monster business savvy.

Julia Child
With a bunch of cards stacked against her (tall, old, female, and that voice!), the French Chef chopped and sautéed her way into the TV-watching public's heart with humility and charm.

Joan Jett
Feminist icon and all-around renegade, this rocker chick inspires with music that relies more on powerful energy than bared skin.

Megyn Kelly
You do not want to say something stupid when being interviewed by the Fox News correspondent, because she will take. You. Down. Her intellect and her no-BS attitude are not to be messed with.

Sonia Manzano

As one of the first Latinas on TV, Sesame Street's compassionate neighbor taught us Spanish, comforted us when we were missing a friend, and was just generally awesome for more than 40 years.

Michelle Obama
Whatever your political leanings, you have to admire the way FLOTUS seems to keep it all in check. The girls, the president, waking up early to work out, sitting down to dinner with the family each night -- oh, and there's that Harvard Law School degree.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey
OK, these are two separate people, but they have both been at the forefront of contradicting the silly idea that women aren't funny by not only creating their own hilarious TV shows and crushing it as Golden Globe hosts twice, as well as by calling out sexism in a way that makes everyone laugh.

​Shonda Rhimes
Behind the scenes, this TV writer/producer concocts prime-time gold while breaking records and barriers with her provocative content and nonstop output.

Sheryl Sandberg

As the COO of Facebook, Sandberg show us what a female leader looks like, and with her efforts with Lean In, she's paying it forward by drawing more women into positions of power.

Serena Williams
Have you seen her muscles? She could crush you. Instead she crushes tennis so hard with incredible perseverance and (when she's playing doubles with sister Venus) teamwork.

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.