Shonda Rhimes is an Icon

In honour of Black History Month, I chose to shine a light on Shonda Rhimes, a woman who I have found to be an inspiration for most of my life and I will not hesitate to admit that I am truly in love with. 

Whenever the name Rhimes is brought up, the first thing that is associated with her name is the award-winning show Grey’s Anatomy and honestly, she deserves all the credit she gets for that show. Grey’s Anatomy is a show that makes you laugh, cry, fall in love and begin to hate every single character on the show, and Rhimes has a habit of killing off everyone just to keep it interesting for us. 

With Grey’s Anatomy alone, Rhimes has won so many awards that she could have ended her career right there, but of course, she did not, and that is why she is known as an unstoppable force in the TV and movie industries. One of her greatest achievements with the show is that she was awarded the honour of being the first African-American woman to create a Top 10 Network Series, and with Grey’s Anatomy she also won a Golden Globe award for Best Television Series Drama. Of course, the work of Shonda Rhimes did not just win one award - Grey’s Anatomy was awarded several others including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series consecutively from 2006-2009 and then again in 2011. 

In her unstoppable force of nature, these achievements were not enough for Rhimes and she went on to create several spinoffs of her most beloved series such as Private Practice and Station 19. She also ventured outside of the medical field and helped direct many other well-known shows on Netflix such as Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. With all of these shows becoming major successes, Rhimes received the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement in 2015. 

The real achievements in her life that make Rhimes an icon are the ones that she makes outside of the TV and movie industries. She initiated the Rhimes Family Foundation in 2016 which has the sole goal of supporting the arts, education and activism, focusing on cultural inclusion, the fight for equality and standing up against bigotry. Her work outside of the media industry earned her even more respect and several more recognitions in the form of the Golden Gate Award in 2012 and the DGA Diversity Award in 2014. 

With everything going on in her professional life, it amazes everyone that Rhimes is as big of a star in her personal life as well. She has raised a beautiful family as a single mom of three girls, two of which she adopted and one who was born through a surrogacy program. She continues to be a positive influence in her girls’ lives as well as others in the world when she announced publicly at 45 years old that marriage was not for her and that she did not need a partner in life to be happy and reach her goals.

Shonda Rhimes is the ideal example of a strong, independent woman who is making a name for herself in a world where that is very difficult to do. She constantly fights the discrimination with gender that many other women face in a professional environment and on top of that battles the discrimination with her race as well. With every day that she succeeds or with every Grey’s Anatomy episode that makes millions of people get into their feels, she inspires me to try my very hardest at any task I set out to do because the glory that someone like Shonda Rhimes has created for herself can only be achieved with extreme hard work.