Updated: Mar 8
Even some of the most glamorous women in the world can teach us about female empowerment. Here are the four lessons that you can learn from Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is one of the most remarkable actresses of our generation.
Yes, we all know her as the stunningly attractive star who lights up the screen whenever she appears. But it’s when she plays against type that she truly excels.
Take the brilliant Max Max: Fury Road as an example. While the movie carried Max’s name, it was Theron’s turn as Furiosa that really stole the show.
But her most remarkable role must surely be Monster. In this movie, Theron plays the notorious serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Theron is almost unrecognizable in the role from a physical perspective.
However, it's the transformation in her personality that's the most compelling thing about the film. Theron goes from charming actress to an absolute monster.
Now here’s what so many don’t know about Theron.
There may be a reason why she was able to make this transformation.
Theron has a tragic story that shows us that anybody, no matter how difficult the circumstances, can rise and achieve.
Charlize Theron’s Tragic Story
Today, Charlize Theron projects the movie star image that so many young girls aspire to.
But life wasn’t always so glamorous for the star. Raised in South Africa, Theron was an extremely sickly child. She contracted jaundice, which left her with a yellowing complexion that made school life difficult.
The hardest part about the condition was the effect that it had on her teeth.
Theron says that:
“I had no teeth until I was 11.”
“I had these fangs because I had jaundice when I was a kid and I was put on so many antibiotics that my teeth rotted.”
Just imagine how difficult it must have been for her to go through school during this time. Taunts from children and awkward yearbook photos may still live in her memory.
But her struggles with jaundice seem almost easy when compared to the true tragedy of Theron’s childhood.
She and her mother suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her father, Charles Jacobus Theron. A large man who had a horrible temper after drinking, Theron doesn’t say if Charles assaulted his wife and daughter. However, he verbally abused them constantly, destroying their self-esteem in the process.
The abuse came to a head in 1991.
After a particularly heavy night of drinking, Charles made his way back home alongside his brother. Theron’s aunt called the home ahead of time to warn them of the incoming issue.
As Theron recalls:
“Nature gives you instinct and I knew something bad was going to happen.”
Charles turned up at his home with a shotgun. He shot through the front gate and kitchen door before making his way to his daughter’s bedroom. While banging on the door, he screamed that he was about to shoot Theron.
He leveled the gun at the door and shot.
This was the final act of violence and abuse that Theron’s mother could endure. She pulled out her own gun and shot Charles dead.
The incident sent Theron into a deep depression that led her to quit dancing.
Thankfully, her mother escaped prosecution due to the shooting being an act of self-defense. And somehow, Theron managed to overcome this tragedy to enjoy the amazing career that she has today.
What Can You Learn From Charlize Theron?
Like many disadvantaged women, Charlize Theron came from a background that left deep emotional scars.
But she’s risen above it all to become one of the most successful actresses of her generation.
These are the lessons that any woman can learn from her.
Lesson #1 – Embrace Naivety
Often cast as a negative personality trait, naivety suggests that someone’s too willing to trust others. Many use it as an insult to say that somebody isn’t worldly enough.
She says that naivety can be an advantage on both the personal and professional levels.
“I had no idea how people became actors.”
“If I really knew what Hollywood was about, and how hard it was to become an actor, I would have never come out.”
The lesson here is that knowing too much can stop you from taking risks in the first place. Theron had no idea how difficult it is to become an actress. That naïve viewpoint is what gave her the courage to try it in the first place. It meant that she didn’t have the fear that prevents so many people from achieving great things.
Sometimes, trying to learn everything about something that you want to try is a bad thing. Embrace the unknown and learn as you go. You may just experience successes beyond your wildest dreams.
Lesson #2 – Break Free of Your Comfort Zone
It’s so easy to live a comfortable life.
Some women squander their potential because they go for the easy option. Perhaps they take a job that they don’t love because it provides them with security.
Or, they allow external forces to make their decisions for them. Their fear of the unknown stops them from trying the very thing that will bring them true joy.
Theron’s advice about naivety helps here. But women also need to make a conscious effort to move outside of their comfort zones.
As Theron puts it:
“I don’t think you can create anything interesting from a comfort zone. You have to work from a place of fear and failure.”
You could argue that the mind desires comfort. It wants you to feel safe and secure at all times.
That’s a mental barrier that you will need to break through to achieve anything remarkable. People like Charlize Theron don’t get to where they are because they took the easy route. Theron tries new things and accepts that failure is always a possibility.
Embrace that same mindset. And remember that every failure is just an opportunity to develop as a person. You’ll learn more from failing than you ever will from staying in your comfort zone.
Lesson #3 – Always Fight For What You Believe in
Charlize Theron is an unabashed feminist who’s always vocal about women’s rights in the workplace.
“We just need to put our foot down. This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way.”
There are two lessons to take away from this.
The first is that it’s okay to fight for female empowerment. Yes, some people may try to label you or claim that you’re doing something wrong. But the fight for equality is certainly not over yet. And it needs dissenting voices to ensure the movement keeps going forward.
The second lesson is that there’s no reason to feel ashamed about fighting for something that you believe in. If you know something’s right, make your voice heard. Don’t let others silence you just because the right thing shakes up the status quo.
Use your voice to empower yourself and others so that you have the strength to take action.
Lesson #4 – Don’t Worry About the Small Stuff
There are so many small things that we allow to affect our lives.
Perhaps somebody you’ve never met insults you. Or maybe a friend does or says something that you don’t agree with.
These are the small things that make us anxious. So many of us feel stressed out by them and, at worst, we allow them to control how we think and feel.
Theron says that the small stuff doesn’t matter. When you’re working towards a huge goal, you should just brush that nonsense off:
“When we're young, we're just filled with p*** and vinegar. Now being wiser and older, I look back and I think of all the times in my early twenties where I was sweating the small stuff.”
“Just chill. Don't let people affect you in that way.”
When you worry about the small stuff, you give power to other people. You show them that the things they say and do can affect you on a massive scale.
Just forget about it and move on.
You can achieve amazing things in your life. The small things aren’t the biggest challenges that you’ll face. Save your energy for the obstacles that need it.
Overcome Your Own Tragedy
Charlize Theron overcame tragedy and became an inspiration to millions of women. She’s empowered, intelligent, and one of the most driven people in Hollywood.
But it could have gone another way.
Millions of women experience tragedy in their lifetimes. And many struggle to pull past that tragedy so they can achieve their potential. It weighs them down to the point where their entire lives become tragedies.
I want to help every woman that I meet to avoid this fate. My goal is to empower women to achieve the amazing things that I know we’re all capable of.
And I’d love to have the opportunity to speak to you about my ideas. Book me for your upcoming event today and help me to share my message of empowerment.