'Younger girls need to see it's completely okay to be ambitious and driven' - Anna Geary
Rising RTE star Anna Geary said she believes in the power of self belief in young women and using her profile to spread a positive message to the next generation.
The former camogie star has landed some enviable gigs with the state broadcaster after her turn on Dancing With The Stars and is currently appearing on Ireland's Fittest Family, a fitting transition into broadcasting which utilises her extensive experience in sport and her qualification as a performance coach.
Through years of competitive sport, she grew accustomed to healthy competition and she is vocal about her desire for an evolved perception of the word ambition, especially when it comes to gender.
"I think younger girls need to see that it is completely okay to be ambitious and driven. But I'm not ruthless. I want to do well, but not at someone else's cost. I wouldn't like to see someone else getting injured or making a fool of themselves, that's not what I'm about. I want to push myself as hard as possible to get where I want to be and that's an important distinction," she told RSVP magazine.
"Often people mix them up so that saying someone is very competitive is seen as a negative thing. You hear of different words being used for men and women - a man is described as being assertive and that's a good thing. He's in control and he's a leader, whereas a woman is just bossy. Why can't a woman be described as assertive and a leader?"
Geary said that "to an extent" it is still more difficult to be a woman in sports media, saying "often you do have to work harder, be more prepared and be slicker to get the same recognition" but acknowledges that attitudes are changing across the board.
In the past, she has spoken about her struggle towards self-acceptance, but tries to "put myself in the best possible position" when it comes to her health.
"I try to at well, look after my skin and exercise because when you feel good, you look good," she explained. "Yes, I have flaws and there are parts of my body I don't like, I have bad skin days, bad hair days and those days I have to stand in front of a camera and just get through them, but that makes me tougher.
"We all have to do things we don't want to do sometimes, but for every bad day I'll have, I'll have five good days and that's how you have to look at it."