Female Icons to be Thankful For

Being a woman in this world isn’t always easy. We have a lot to be afraid of, a lot to live up to, a lot of molds that we’re expected to fit, and when we don’t meet society’s standards, we’re made to feel like something is wrong with us. And on those days, when we just don’t feel like we’re right, like we’re enough, there are women out there using their platforms to make sure that we know that we are perfect exactly the way we are. When being a woman feels like a curse, like a burden to bear, they remind us that it’s a blessing.

 

1. Emma Watson

 

Unwittingly starting her feminist career at a young age by playing Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, Emma Watson has taken that educated, girl boss energy with her off the screen as well. In 2014, Emma spoke at a UN, advocating for gender equality and criticizing the narrow-minded expectations that both men and women are forced to meet. She started a campaign called HeForShe, which is defined on their website as “an invitation for men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.” So far, 1,963,673 people have made the commitment to gender equality (you can visit their website and join in, too!).

 

2. Rupi Kaur

On the first day of my feminist rhetorics class, our professor asked us all to name our favorite feminist was, and I proudly told them all that mine was Rupi Kaur. She’s a poet known for her two books, ‘Milk and Honey’ and ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’, which are full of deeply personal, raw poems, all from her personal experiences as a person and as a woman. She writes about love and heartbreak, shame she once felt about her body and how she grew to love it, and the journey to finding inner strength and happiness.

 

3. Stephanie Beatriz

 

Best known for her role as Rosa Diaz on ‘Brooklyn 99’, Stephanie Beatriz not only plays the role of a bisexual woman in the show, but is also one in real life, and an outspoken supporter of bi visibility. She recently married a man, but was quick to make a statement saying that it doesn’t change the fact that she will always identify as a bisexual woman. She’s proud of herself and her journey, and uses her story of coming out and coming to terms with herself to help other people who feel the same way feel seen, as they so often do not.

 

4. Little Mix

 

First and foremost: Go listen to their new album ‘LM5’ because it will change your life. They recently left Simon Cowell’s management company, Syco Entertainment, because they felt their voices weren’t being heard and their visions and message weren’t being realized in their music. They’re some of the hardest working and most talented women in the business, using their music to empower women. Their songs are about not needing men and doing just fine on their own, as well as the unbreakable bond between women building each other up. If you’re ever feeling down, listening to Little Mix is a sure-fire way to instantly feel like a badass again.

 

5. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

 

The world of comedy has historically always been a place for men. That is, until two hilarious and groundbreaking best friends turned over a new leaf for comedy. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have  written countless relatable, empowering lines for their girl-boss characters in their respective, very successful TV shows, ‘Parks & Rec’ and ‘30 Rock’, as well as shutting down sexist reporters questions together for years. One of their most iconic moments was an SNL skit where they decided that women should take back the word “bitch”. Amy and Tina are role models for strong female friendships, and are constantly reminding women of how ridiculous societal expectations are, how ignorant men can be, and how everything we’re going through is something every woman deals with - and we’re going to be just fine.

 

6. Hillary Clinton

Regardless of your political leanings, no woman can deny the important strides Hillary Clinton made for women everywhere. The first woman ever to be on the ballot in the primary elections for the President of the United States, she reminded women everywhere that they are just as strong as men, just as smart, and just as powerful. That we can hold our own in any field we want to, that there are no prescribed roles in this world. She received criticism and hate for what she was trying to do, but she broke down walls and took all of the harsh words with grace. You can hate Hillary Clinton or you can love her, but you can’t ignore the fact that she’s a woman who made history, and made us feel like we could do anything.