International Women’s Day is a yearly worldwide celebration of the achievements of women around the world. While it recognizes the progress that women have made each year, it also serves as a reminder of just how far we have until we reach full equality.
With the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements appearing almost daily in the news and stories of women persevering through discrimination and sexual harassment, I thought I’d take a little time to share some of the women who have served as an inspiration to me over the past year.
*While I tried to be inclusive of race, ethnicity, background, profession, etc. I realize that I cannot include every woman who has inspired me simply because that list would be too long.*
Women who inspire me on International Women’s Day (and every day):
Reese is a powerhouse. From Big Little Lies to her production company to raising up other women around the world in such a positive way, I know that whenever I read something she writes or watch something she’s in, I’ll smile.
“I don’t know a woman alive who isn’t courageous.” – Reese Witherspoon
I really don’t have words to describe how disgusting Larry Nasser is but all I can say is the 100+ women who testified at his hearing are each incredibly inspiring and strong.
“Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.” – Kyle Stephens
Lena’s Thanksgiving episode on Master of None was incredible. I was hooked from the beginning and watched it twice in a row. I love her writing and her acting and her honesty with who she is as a person.
“You can talk all day long, but if you don’t do something, it’s a waste.” – Lena Waithe
“People ask me sometimes, when -when do you think it will be enough? When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is when there are nine.” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg While I don’t actually believe she means this literally – I do think she means it as a cry to never stop supporting her fellow women(and minorities), as their road has been proven to be much harder. They deserve the loudest cheering section. #notoriousrbg #rbg Thank you @linguafrancanyc for making this goregous sweater!!!
Everyone who knows me knows I love Kristen Bell. Not only is her love of sloths absolutely adorable, I also love how she shares real life with the world, talking about her struggle with anxiety and depression, as well as just important things going on the world like feminism, gun control, etc.
“It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they are not worthless and that they do have something to offer.” – Kristen Bell
Emma Watson has served as an inspiration to me since I first saw Harry Potter in theatres. I feel like she has made feminism less of a “scary” word (especially after her HeForShe speech) and I love her poise and determination to make the world a better place for women from all backgrounds.
“If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next. These things are so irrelevant and surface to what it is all really about, and I wish people wouldn’t get caught up in that. We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop.” – Emma Watson
Also because of Harry Potter (and her openness with her struggle with her mental health), I love JK. She has written words I repeatedly return to in my darkest times and distracts me from my feelings of depression and anxiety when they become overwhelming. The world she created is the world I escape to even as an adult.
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling
Michelle Obama is amazing. She is funny, inspirational, witty, classy, everything really. I love watching her in interviews and speeches because I feel so inspired and strong after.
“Every scar that you have is a reminder not just that you got hurt, but that you survived.” – Michelle Obama
Ellen DeGeneres is a genius. She can make me laugh til I cry or tear up at her generosity and openness with the world.
“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come.” – Ellen Degeneres
Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes upon winning the Cecil B. DeMille award was one of the most moving things I’ve ever watched. I wept pretty hard and shared it with friends and family whom I felt needed to watch it too. Just, wow.
“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again.” – Oprah Winfrey
Susan Cain made me realize that it’s OK to be an introvert. Growing up quiet, shy, and happy in solitude, I always struggled with my identity and the feeling of needing to make myself more outgoing like everyone else. Today, because of her book Quiet, I fully embrace my introversion and don’t feel ashamed or bad if I need to leave a social event early, or if I need an entire day (or two) by myself to recharge.
“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” – Susan Cain
I was never a really big Kesha fan (I don’t really listen to “cool” music. But watching her perform this song at the Grammy’s made me cry. So powerful and so inspiring and so brave.
With all the anti-refugee rhetoric out there, I thought I’d take a moment to recognize one of the swimmers from the refugee team of the Olympics. Not only should we be doing more to help all refugees, we should look to them for examples of perseverance, strength, and courage. Every time I imagine myself in their shoes, I honestly don’t know if I could do it and I don’t see how any country could turn away people who have left everything just to feel safe once more.
Which women inspire you on International Women’s Day (and every day)?