Eight Inspiring Women

Hello!

Happy Friday! Are you excited that Saturday is almost here? I have oodles of homework assignments to finish up – no fun – and a play festival to prepare for – yes please – but for today, I’ll be savoring the sunny weather, catching up with a few friends, and hopefully wrapping up Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. Weekends such as these are my favorite, especially in as long {and packed!} of a month as March.

In other news, I had this post idea in my head for International Women’s Day, but I’ve only had the chance to wrap it up now {I hope you’ll forgive, then, the absence of a new High Five}. As a proud feminist and passionate learner, I think we’re right to celebrate the accomplishments and talents of women from across the globe and of all different ages; while there’s certainly something to what you learn from your own experiences, I believe that personal growth also calls for looking to others for guidance, wisdom, and insight. To channel that thought into a post, I’d thought I’d list a few women I’m inspired by for a number of reasons: their ambitious careers, their admirable stances, and/or their courageous actions.

Before we get to the fun, a disclaimer: there are countless female figures in my life – family and friends, teachers and mentors – I consider inspiring, and all rightfully earn a spot on this list! Sharing each and every one, however, could take days, so I’ve decided to limit my list solely to women in the media :) Which actresses, athletes, authors, or other prominent figures do you look up to?

Misty CopelandFirst is Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater in New York. While I was only in preschool the last time I attended dance class, I still remain fascinated with ballet – and I have to thank Misty, in part, for fueling that interest when I read her gripping autobiography. Since then, I have followed her efforts in promoting racial and gender equality, been amazed by what she has overcome and done in her career, and have admired her take on body positivity. She is, as one magazine article recently described, “changing the face of ballet” and, with it, the world.

Rowan BlanchardYou may recognize Rowan Blanchard from a number of places: she plays the lead character in the Boy Meets World reboot, Girl Meets World, she has spoken at the UN Women’s Conference {and just this past December, was named one of two Feminist Celebrities of the Year}, and she continually makes waves on social media over issues such as human rights and the presidential campaign. Her busy schedule is an effort in it of itself to applaud, but what I’m consistently inspired by is her pursuit to achieve social equality. She challenges her fans – me included! – to think beyond our privilege and daily routines, and for that alone, I’m willing to listen to whatever she has to share.

Jessie MuellerFellow theater fans will surely recognize Jessie Mueller, the actress who took a Tony home in 2014 for her role as Carole King in Beautiful and who  is now returning to Broadway as the lead in Waitress. The musical industry may not struggle to attract people of all genders when compared to other career fields, but even still, I love that Jessie has become somewhat of a young icon in the business; even more admirable is her candid approach to the characters she plays, all inspiring women themselves. If she’s off to this strong of a start, I think her future on Broadway – and beyond! – is looking bright.

Emma WatsonI couldn’t make a list like this without sharing the one Miss Emma Watson! Emma has a long list of films to her name {the most notable being the Harry Potter movies with her role as Hermione Granger} but since the introduction of the #HeforShe campaign in 2014, she’s also associated with the push for gender equality. Her speech on the meaning of feminism – that it’s not an attack on men any more than it’s a dated movement – left a lasting impact on me, shaping, with the help of other research, my opinions on many modern issues. I continue to follow this smart cookie’s work in the field today – coming across it never fails to leave me inspired.

Tavi GevinsonI have spoken on the wonder that is Rookie again and again, but did you know that Tavi Gevinson is the name behind it all? Once a blogger at The Style Rookie, Tavi is now a writer and favored actress on Broadway; her careers might have switched, but her insightful and passionate approach to societal issues have not. Having spoken on everything from feminism to class and privilege, she continues the conversation on a variety of topics on her social media accounts. To put it simply? She was a forerunner in elevating the teenage voice, and today, she remains the absolute coolest.

Lucy LiuI could speak endlessly about the dynamic duo that is Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller in the Sherlock adaptation Elementary, but I think Lucy deserves another shout-out for doing what much of Hollywood is afraid to take on: to not only recognize its lack of diversity, but suggest a solution to fix it; at last year’s New York Comic Can, she gave an eloquent response on the subject of Asian-American representation. If you need further proof that Lucy is one talented lady, she’s ventured into directing and has long had a hand in various charity organizations. Basically, I’m one heck of a fan.

Malala YousafzaiYou’d have to ignore the news entirely not to have heard Malala Yousafzai’s story of bravery, kindness, and the importance of education by now. As someone who puts so much value on learning and schooling, it’s no wonder Malala’s story struck such a chord with me: in her tireless fight for girls’ rights to attend school, she was shot in the head by the Taliban. Thanks to modern medicine and efforts of the media, she survived and recovered to work harder than ever before for her cause. Even with a growing list of accolades {among them, the title of a Nobel Prize laureate}, Malala has remained dedicated and humble, and if that doesn’t stir you to action, I don’t know what will.

Amandla StenbergFinally, one of the last celebrity figures I admire is Amandla Stenberg, who you likely know from her role as Rue in The Hunger Games or her viral video on black culture titled “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows.” {If you haven’t already seen it, I’d suggest you end your Friday with a quick watch :)}. Along with Rowan Blanchard, Amandla was named one of the Celebrity Feminists of 2015, and for good reason: she regularly speaks out on racism and misogyny, and I think if anyone can be credited with making social activism accessible to teens, it’d be her.

Have a terrific Friday!
Bella

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12 thoughts on “Eight Inspiring Women

  1. I LOVE THIS POST OMG. misty, malala, tavi, emma, amandla and rowan are all on my list as well. i totally agree that it’s so important to have role models / people to look up to. i’ve really been able to develop my own thoughts and ideas from looking up to other people for guidance and wisdom. so thank you so much for sharing this list! it’s so empowering to learn about the amazing things women are achieving every day :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • ANNIE, you’re my favorite – thank you for the sweet comment! I think they’re all such awesome people to look up to, and I’m glad you feel the same :)

      Like

  2. I love this post Bella! And oh my! I’m drooling with those beautiful graphics! THEY’RE SO INCREDIBLE! How did you do that effect with the circle and the picture? That’s so cool!

    Like

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