The women that we admire and the reasons why we admire them have drastically changed over the years. In the past, we used to look at women like Eleanor Roosevelt for their intelligence; Rosa Parks for their bravery; Lucille Ball for their drive; or Jackie Kennedy for their class.
Now society “looks up” to women who have millions of “followers” on Instagram, that are on the covers of magazines in their barely there bikinis, or have become famous by making a sex tape. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is negative publicity that is getting these women to the top, because we are still looking to them for out make up tips, fashion trends and sadly, how to live our lives. What does this say about our culture that we keep accepting this? What about the women that are doing something with the fame that they are given?
While our world is going through chaos, we should be focusing on women that are changing the world for the better.
Here are the women that we should be looking up to for inspiration to change the world:
- Michelle Obama – Taking on childhood obesity. Her “Let’s Move” campaign is to encourage children into being more active, as well as providing their parents with the education on how they can create healthier lifestyles.
- Malala Yousafzai – Taking on the Taliban when it comes to women’s education. At the age of 15, Malala was shot in the face for speaking out against the Taliban and almost lost her life. She continues to travel the world and speak out about how important education in for all genders.
- Emma Watson – Taking on inequality. UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and one of the founders of the HeForShe campaign, bringing light to the issue that women still have to fight for the same rights that men have, socially, economically and politically.
- J.K. Rowling – Taking on failure. Author of hit series, Harry Potter, J.K Rowling was told that this series would never work. As a single mother on welfare, almost living on the streets, she stayed positive through countless rejections until one publisher believed in what she had written.
- Bethany Hamilton – Taking on a challenge (and a shark). While surfing at the age of 13, a shark had attacked her, taking with it her arm. This did not stop her from pursuing her dream of being a professional surfer, as well as a mother.
- Mindy Kaling – Taking on the world’s distorted view of a “leading lady”. Mindy is not the blonde haired, blue-eyed, stick figure that most leading ladies are. She is a real woman who was a writer/producer for The Office, wrote two books, and is the leading lady on her own show, The Mindy Project.
- Ellen DeGeneres – Taking on sadness. As she ends her show everyday, “Be kind to one another.” She provides happiness to the world with random acts of kindness and her bravery to be funny. She inspires all to believe in themselves and dance through life.
- Jane Goodall – Taking on endangered species. 80 years old – Most known for her work with chimps, Jane encourages all to protect our environment to make the world a better place for humans and animals.
- Jennifer Lawrence – Taking on the way the entertainment industry looks at women. She stood up for celebrities who have had sexual photos hacked from their private computers, wrote an essay to bring attention to gender imbalance in Hollywood, as well as promotes body confidence.
- Megyn Kelley – Taking on Donald Trump. While she already had a role on Fox News, her rise to popularity came with Donald Trump’s first Republican Debate, where Megyn faced him head on and called him out for his women shaming tendencies.
- Taylor Swift – Taking on haters. Many may say that she is not someone to look up to, with all the negative news that has surrounded her lately, but Taylor is a role model that you would want you daughters looking up to. Strong, independent, and creating her own path with her music.
- Laverne Cox – Taking on transgender issues. We have had transgender actors and actresses before, but with her role on Orange is the New Black, she is paving the way for acceptance throughout society. She really shows us the difficulty that transgender families, friends and outsiders have to go through, as well as reaching their own acceptance of who they are.
- Tina Fey & Amy Poehler – Taking on comedy (together). These two are our modern-day Lucille Ball; They are the funny we know and love. From in front of the camera to behind the scenes, they made a name for themselves on Saturday Night Live, and then went on to create memorable programs such as Parks and Rec and 30 Rock. They have proven that women are just as valuable as men in comedy, if not more.
- Viola Davis – Fighting for the rights for women of color in the entertainment industry. She is one of those beautiful, strong actresses that deserves a place on the screen. With her role in The Help to her role on How To Get Away With Murder, she proves that everyone deserves their time to shine on the screen, no matter their skin color.
- Kate Middleton – Following in the footsteps of Princess Diana, taking on the world. With elegance and class, she is everywhere, doing everything we wish we could to make this world a better place. From her volunteer work with UNICEF to using her own experience to help put an end childhood bullying, Kate Middleton is a walking saint.
And this is just the beginning. There are many more women out there that are inspirational and bringing a lot of good into the world. These are the women that we should be looking up to and trying to take after. So go out there and channel these inspiring women to make the world a better place!