Next week I turn 24 years old. As I’m growing older I’m trying to figure out the best way to become the person that I want to be, how to ground myself in what I really want so that I can grow into a truthful, open, happier, person. I think that that’s all possible, but it wouldn’t be without some of the women that I look up to in my life.
This isn’t a ranking as in who is more influential than who, because there’s value to any and every type of way another woman has impacted my life. It’s also not a comprehensive list of all the women I think are amazing because, well, I don’t know every woman on earth’s name.
On that note, here we go, my top ten inspirational women!
- Adrienne Mishler of Yoga With Adrienne
Adrienne is one of the most popular youtube Yogi’s with good reason. When I first started wanting to practice yoga I had no idea where to start. I chose a random video about back pain and instantly felt comfortable with her. She is great about acknowledging that everyone’s body is different and we each have different areas we need to focus on. She lets you know that you are okay no matter where you are in your yoga journey and reminds you to make this practice be for you and you alone.
Lizzo came into my life over the summer and let me tell you it felt like a whirlwind. I listened to Cuz I Love You on repeat for months! I just found there was so much power in the vulnerability, passion, and sexuality she expressed in the song. Songs like “Like a Girl” where she says “The only X’s that I care about are in my f**cking chromosomes” or her other songs”Juice “,”Tempo “ which features none other than Missy Elliot, or my other favorite “Good as Hell.” She exudes confidence as a black, plus sized, female performer, and owns her power. Her performances and the energy that she brings to them are amazing, and her instagram is one that I would still follow even if I deleted 90% of everyone else.
- Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher was the first female role model in my life. I grew up watching and rewatching her play Princess Leia in Star Wars. She showed me a sarcastic, strong (physically and mentally) leader, and then years later showed me that again in her autobiography, “Wishful Drinking.” I recently had to do a speech for a class on someone whom I most admired, and I chose Carrie Fisher. She struggled with substance abuse and mental health. I found a lot to draw from within her struggles. Reading her book definitely changed my life, and I’m grateful that she was able to inspire me even after her passing.
- Heather Ramsdale
Unlike most of the people on this list, this isn’t someone famous. Heather is the sculpture professor at Kutztown University, and she is one badass lady. She is the only teacher for all sections of sculpture, which is an intense, time consuming, and complex job in ways I don’t even know. If I could say anything to sum her up, although it wouldn’t even do her justice, it would be about how she taught at least 10 students how to weld all while being pregnant. It’s been incredibly powerful for me as an emerging artist to have such a fantastic female artist for a teacher.
- Miley Cyrus
I first came to know Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana, which was my favorite TV show as a young girl. I’ll admit it, I dreamed of being a singer the same way Hannah was. After the show ended I continued to love Miley because of her rebellious spirit. I don’t even want to call it rebellious, because she was only trying to be herself while everyone was placing boundaries around her. Not only is she true to herself, but she also is an avid animal lover, and founded the organization called Happy Hippies, which is a foundation dedicated to supporting teenagers who are homeless, LGBTQIA, or in other ways vulnerable.
- Nikkie Tutorials
Nikkie is known for her amazing makeup skills and her long lasting career on youtube. She is a brilliant makeup artist, but I enjoy watching her videos and following her because she also seems so down to earth, and funny all the time. There’s a lot of makeup artists that I’ve watched over the years but she is the only one that I will continually go back to just because I love her personality. She also recently came out as transgender, and made me love and appreciate her journey a thousand times more.
- Tess Holiday
Tess Holiday is someone I don’t remember following, but like Lizzo, I would continue to follow her even if I gave up 90% of other people. She’s been an advocate for plus sized models, as well as any non-able bodied, queer, or “diverse” models, and even started the movement Eff Your Body Standards which is a platform to support anyone who feel rejected by society’s standards of how they should look, and how they should live their life based on their physical appearance.She gets a lot of hate from people for allegedly promoting obesity just by living her everyday life, and I admire her so much for the way that she responds, or sometimes doesn’t, to the negativity. She also admits to being a little ‘Cancer cry baby’, and as a fellow water sign (Pisces) I can hardcore relate.
- Mira Mariah (Aka Girl Knew York)
Mira Mariah is known to most people as Girlknewyork, a super popular tattoo artist from New York. I think I found her from a tattoo she did for Ariana Grande, but I stayed because of her work, her love of being a mom, her work for others who are disabled, and her sense of humour. Her sense of style makes me want to curl my hair, find vintage sunglasses and laze around in a sundress all day with a glass of wine (and I don’t even like wine).
- Hayley Williams
I have loved Hayley Williams since I had Misery Business as my ringtone in 11th grade. Paramore was one of the bands that I was obsessed with in highschool, and I’ve continued listening to them even through all the changes in style. When the album After Laughter came out it really helped me find comfort when I was heavily depressed, and songs like 26, Fake Happy, Hard Times are songs I feel have etched their lyrics onto my soul. There’s vulnerability that Hayley produces in her work that we don’t get from many artists, and I’m super excited because she’s been releasing new solo music.
- Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande is special to me because listening to her album Sweetener brought me and my best friend close together. I’ve liked Ariana since her days as Cat on Victorious, and although I liked a lot of her songs, I didn’t listen to a full album until “Sweetener”. If you can’t tell by now, I like people who feel vulnerable, and I think that she is really vulnerable about her feelings within Sweetener and her follow up album Thank You, Next. had so much respect for her to go through a super public breakup and then to write and produce a whole album just months after releasing “Sweetener.” She exudes female power and ownership of self, and has a freaking amazing voice to top it all off.