• Liliana Green

An empowered Kayleigh McEnany

Redefining the female archetype

By: Lily Green

My Woman Crush

I have always been genuinely interested in politics and am an avid watcher of the White House press briefings. This was even more true during the coronavirus pandemic. When considering a public relations professional whom I admire, the person who is on the top of the list is none other than the thriving Kayleigh McEnany. At just 33 years old she has found herself among some of the greatest in a male-dominated industry. With a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, McEnany has become a renowned political

Former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany answers questions during White House press conference. (Photo by Getty Images)
Former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany answers questions during White House press conference. (Photo by Getty Images)

commentator. She has also overcome health-related issues a woman should never have to imagine. She's also authored two books in her short life. All the while, she juggles the responsibilities of being a devoted wife and mother to a toddler. Oh, you might also know her as that White House intern turned White House

press secretary (the youngest one ever, by the way). Did I mention she is only 33 years old?

The Limit Does Not Exist

McEnany was born and raised in Florida. She went on to study international politics at Georgetown and Oxford, ultimately interning for many politicians while attaining her law degree from Harvard. She broke into the political sphere by appearing as a paid commentator on CNN in 2016. By the following year, ambitious as she was, McEnany eventually went on to be named the Republican National Committee spokesperson.

“My first time in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room was as an intern for [President George W],” said McEnany. “But then, about 10 years later, I was standing at the podium myself, which was surreal, amazing. And I know it was only made possible because Christ had that path for my life even when I couldn't see it.”

Not Embattled, But Emboldened

McEnany on her graduation day from Harvard Law School. (Photo by Kayleigh McEnany, Facebook)
McEnany on her graduation day from Harvard Law School. (Photo by Kayleigh McEnany, Facebook)

Kayleigh McEnany has been open with the public about the difficult decision she had to make with her health: electing to undergo a double mastectomy. The goal was to prevent what was an inevitable certainty for McEnany given her family's medical history of breast cancer.

“On the morning of May 1, 2018,” said McEnany. I woke up knowing that the day I had anticipated for nine years had finally arrived. It was the day of my preventative double mastectomy - the day I would attack my BRCA 2 genetic mutation head-on and take my chances of breast cancer from 84 percent to virtually zero.”

Ask any woman and they will admit, they can't begin to imagine pondering a decision of that magnitude, then actually going through with it. A procedure that would not only cause a woman to change the way she feels and thinks about her body, but the psychological warfare that ensues as well. Warfare like depression, anxiety and stress are reactions many people know well, double mastectomy or not.

Woman in a Senior Role

Kayleigh McEnany served as the White House press secretary during what could be considered one of the most scrutinized presidencies in recent history, witnessing perhaps some of the most critical moments in the West Wing. She helped communicate with the American people as COVID-19 shut down the world and violent protests plagued the nation.

At the podium, she fiercely defended against negative media coverage, consistently exposing when journalists would attempt to twist the record. She was magnificent in handling their "gotcha" questions. Her demeanor in front of the press was admirable, always perfectly polite and in control; she was not going to let herself be antagonized. The amount of preparation she and her staff had done before each press briefing was impeccable, to say the least.

“I've always wanted to be a voice for the 75 million people who I've grown to know and love,” said McEnany. “I will continue to show fidelity to these great people.”

Her quote captures the essence of what being a public relations professional means. Being honest and loyal to not only your client, but your audience is, in my opinion, of utmost importance.

Be Empowered

Regardless of your ideological beliefs, one cannot deny that McEnany represents true sophistication, intelligence and confidence; qualities I believe every little girl can have. Kayleigh McEnany is an educated and clever young woman who has overcome some hard obstacles. She has refused to allow her health to define her worth as a woman. She has persevered while the mass media attempted to knock her down. I will forever be inspired by her sharp mind, perseverance and the remarkable success she has achieved at such a young age. I look forward to seeing what she does next.

About the Author

Liliana Green is a passionate, focused and results-driven public relations professional and esteemed event industry expert in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. She graduates in May 2022 with a degree in public relations, and is ready to begin a career with an organization that has an outstanding reputation and holds their employees in high regard.