Lauren Chassebi / The Guardian
As a child, the characters I looked up to were Disney Channel stars such as Lizzie McGuire, who I loved for her kindness and independence, or the members of girl bands such as Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls, who always struck me as strong and in control. The females who my peers and I would pretend to be in the playground were Hermione Granger from J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, or Buffy Summers, the resilient heroine of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Looking back, I can see that these role models weren’t perfect, but I can also see how much I needed them. Just seeing these powerful females showed me that I was capable, too. This is why role models matter.