We grew up with role models. We looked up to our parents, older siblings, cool aunts, teachers and coaches. But we also laid on the floors of our bedrooms and flipped through hundreds of shiny pages of magazines with beautiful models. We laid our youthful eyes on the television and stared upon the gorgeous actresses. We dreamed of the day we would look like those women, and maybe even be as happy and free as they are.
But, as we grew up, we realized that there are more important qualities to look for in our role models than beauty. We want women that are intelligent, hardworking, bold, confident and kind. We want women that support other women. We want women that work towards positive change in media, in our country and in the world.
Here are women that have some of these qualities, and more.
Michelle Obama is an American lawyer, administrator, writer and former first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Michelle advocates for poverty awareness and education, and fights for nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating for kids. She proves that women can be strong, feminine, intelligent, fashionably fabulous, successful in their careers and still have amazing relationships with their husbands and children. Michelle has done it all and she has been a kind, beautiful human while doing it.
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” -Michelle Obama
Image via Politico
Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer and civil rights activist. Angelou’s work spans over fifty years and includes three books of essays, seven autobiographies, several books of poetry, plays, movies and television shows. She is known for her amazing memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, published in 1969 and soon made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman.
While Maya Angelou has an abundance of beautiful and inspiring quotes, I will leave you with this one: “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a United States Supreme Court Justice. She is the second woman to ever serve as a Supreme Court Justice and the first tenured female professor at Columbia University. Additionally, Ginsburg was the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1970s. Throughout her career, Ginsburg has fought for women’s rights and found success in a male-dominated field.
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Image via Biography
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the famous Chanel brand. Chanel freed women from the expected “corseted silhouette” by promoting a more casual and chic style. Chanel is also famous for her signature fragrance Chanel No. 5 and popularizing the little black dress.
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” -Coco Chanel
Ashley Graham is a model, gracing the covers of famous magazines such as Vogue and Sports Illustrated. Graham promotes body positivity, mental and physical health, self-acceptance and self-love. She rebels against outdated standards in the fashion industry and instead dares to tell girls to love themselves, their curves and their lives.
“I am more than my measurements. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I’m over it. My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots.” -Ashley Graham
We’ll end this article with a quote from one of the icons and a role model for many of us. The gorgeous Marilyn Monroe said, “A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows that she has none.”