Iconic Women Who Inspire Me the Most

Happy International Women’s Day! For ages, women have been underrepresented, undervalued and underestimated. Despite this, women have never failed to accomplish amazing things. Many women have been inspirational for being groundbreaking, and the list is endless. Here are some women that have inspired me along my voyage of discovering myself and may move you too!

Naomi Campbell

“At an early age, I understood what it meant to be black. You had to be twice as good.” These are the words of supermodel Naomi Campbell. When she first began her modeling career, Campbell was only being booked for certain shows because of her skin color. However, she didn’t let that shake her — from a young age, she believed that being black implied she needed to work twice as hard and be twice as great, and that is exactly what she did.

Naomi gets a lot of hate for being cutthroat, unapologetic and standing her ground, and these are all traits I respect. As females, we are typically expected to shy away from what we want and are taught to always be polite even when we get screwed over — though, these are all societal standards that Campbell rejects.

Campbell’s ex Mike Tyson was once asked to describe her when they were still together, and he stated simply, "She's scared of nothing." Some people may overlook everything Campbell has overcome in the modeling industry, with the odds of being stacked against her and only recognize  her from her controversial moments. Despite these moments, Campbell is the first one to admit and embrace her mistakes.

One of my favorite quotes from her that exhibit this is:

“I'm always trying to do the impossible to please people. It comes from not being secure in myself and not looking at the things within I have to fix. Sometimes you keep going because you don't want to face the truth.”

Nicki Minaj once said, “When I am assertive, I'm a bitch. When a man is assertive, he's a boss. He bossed up. No negative connotation behind 'bossed up.' But lots of negative connotation behind being a bitch…”

Naomi has embraced the negative connotation that comes with words such as these. The impression that she leaves on individuals is assumed that she simply has anger management issues. However, she embraces this image which can be seen in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial she takes part in,  in which she pokes fun at her public persona of having an awful temper.

Despite her haters, she still thrives, and Naomi has taught me to embrace numerous things about myself as well.

Miley Cyrus

In 2013, if you looked up the word controversial, Miley Cyrus would be the definition. Her performance with Robin Thicke at the MTV VMAs in 2013 left people talking. From her short haircut, to her new clothing choices and music style, some would say that Cyrus was going through the post-breakup blues. During this time it wasn’t uncommon to be a part of the Miley Cyrus hate parade, or be totally captivated by the Bangerz artist.

I have cherished Miley as far back as her Disney Channel days. Her upbeat personality, insane sense of humor, and carefree attitude were characteristics I sought to have in my own life. Amid her Bangerz era however, Miley truly demonstrated to me what it meant to not care about what others think and live your truth. Unapologetically finding and exploring her identity from music to sexuality, she inspires me and numerous other ladies to simply be ourselves.

She is dedicated to her music and her supporters, ensuring each minute is perfect and guaranteeing that she pours nothing but love into her songwriting, vocals, and Smilerz.

Miley shows me that it’s possible to care deeply about everything around you and be emotionally open and nurturing, and still be a boss by always sticking up for herself and her friends.

Chae-rin Lee (CL)

Better known by her stage name CL, this woman’s music is what shot me into the universe of K-Pop that I know and love today.

What I admire the most about CL is her diligence in her work and her determination. She’s extremely diverse and a triple threat at that. She can sing, dance and rap, and has dabbled in multiple music genres, including everything from reggae fusion to Hip-Hop. She’s very confident and couldn’t care less what people think about her and her body, despite the fact that her curvier frame is not what South Korea considers to be the ideal body type. She has a unique fashion style as well, and extreme confidence.

From the age of 14, being in the Korean music industry which subjects women to many regulations and confinements, CL has stated in the past that one of her goals is to shatter the stereotype that Asian women are “submissive and reserved.” She continues to do that every day with her strong opinions, fearlessness, and refusal to mesh with the status quo.

Overall, these women are some of the people I look to for inspiration when I need a lift to continue onward. Naomi’s unapologetic, bold, and confident frame of mind helps me move forward despite my missteps. Miley’s confidence, despite heavy criticism while evolving and finding herself and going through heartbreak, lets me know that it’s okay to fall a bunch of times as long as I get back up. Finally, CL’s daring disposition while facing the limitations of the Korean music industry, shows me that I can still shine and win despite adversity. This women’s history month, take inspiration from your most loved idol, well known or not; become your fiercest truest self, and don’t look back!