I recognize that I have a unique position to be a role model to young girls because I am doing something that they consider glamorous, which is acting, and yet I took a time to really get my education and study mathematics, and I think math is the cat's meow.
I noticed there were so many people, especially women, who would come up to me having recognized me from TV and say, 'I heard you were a math person, why math? Oh my gosh, I could never do math!' I could just see their self-esteem crumbling; I thought that was silly, so I wanted to make math more friendly and accessible.
I went to about one frat party a year. A year seemed to be enough time for me to forget how much I didn't like frat parties, and my friends would eventually convince me to go to one. Cheap beer, guys looking for a quick hook-up, and girls playing 'dumb' to get in on the hook-up. I just never got into it.
Students never think it can be the teacher's fault and so I thought I was stupid. I was frustrated and would come home and cry because I couldn't do it. Then we got a new teacher who made math accessible. That made all the difference and I learned that it's how you present it that makes it scary or friendly.
I tell students that even if they don't like math right now, they can use math as a brain-sharpening tool - a tool that not only builds the foundation for a great career, but that also builds self-confidence, no matter what they choose to do with their lives.
You can be obsessed with makeup and hair products and, you know, your appearance and still be absolutely making smart life decisions and work on your smarts, develop your smarts by studying something like math. Then you'll make much better decisions on the brands of clothing that you buy or whatever it is that you want.