Some of the most admired and widely recognized people throughout time have been women. These extraordinary ladies certainly had a healthy dose of optimism, thus helping them to shatter social norms and propelling them into the esteemed individuals that we know about today. Shifting paradigms have always been an important factor in the collective growth of our culture- tilling the soil brings fruitful crops. In short, these iconic women shook things up for the better. As the slogan says, we've come a long way baby!
I’d like to share with you just a fraction of the women throughout history that have inspired me:
photo courtesy of NPR
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in the 1800s but bravely escaped to freedom. Through her work on the Underground Railroad and in the American Civil War, this incredible woman (nicknamed Moses) freed hundreds of other people.
photo courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica
Marie Curie was a Polish-French physicist and chemist who pioneered research on splitting atoms and radioactivity. This double Nobel Laureate once attempted to melt down her gold medals to contribute to the war effort during WWI, though she had to settle for buying war bonds with her Nobel prize money.
photo courtesy of fridakahlo.org
The Mexican-born painter, Frida Kahlo, produced thought-provoking artworks grounded in magical realism. One of her most famous self-portraits, “The Frame”, was featured prominently in the Parisian Louvre and today her paintings can be found all over the world.
photo courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica
The gorgeous Hedy Lamarr was famous for both her brains and beauty during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The actress co-invented technology that helped hinder enemy communications during WW2 and laid the groundwork for WiFi and Bluetooth technology.
In the 1950s, “I Love Lucy’s” Lucille Ball tackled the taboo against women in television in the best way possible- through humor. In fact, she was the first woman to head up a major television studio, DesiLu Productions, which she ran with her husband, Desi Arnaz. This fiery redhead eventually earned 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is still regarded as one of the funniest ladies to ever grace the small screen.
photo courtesy of yahoo.com
Rita Moreno of “West Side Story” fame has inspired Latina women by earning the prestigious EGOT, meaning that she has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. This multi-talented star is still performing today at 90 years old!
photo courtesy of the Japan Times
Junko Tabei was the first woman to ascend Mount Everest, a feat that she accomplished in the 1970s. In fact, she even climbed all Seven Summits- the highest peaks in the world. This was truly impressive in an era when women were not attempting such bold acts of courage. I imagine her physical exhaustion was overcome with elation and the knowledge that she shattered expectations.
photo courtesy of Town and Country
Jackie O. was a socialite, photographer, author, and editor- much more than just a first lady. She was a truly family-oriented person, not just a style maven. Her famous capri pants that she wore in Italy while on holiday are now a fashion staple, along with her giant round sunglasses. For a modern version of this look, try the Coconut Row Pull-On Zip Side Stretch Capri Pant in white.
photo courtesy of Forbes
Oprah hit her stride in the 1980s with her famous talk show. The very first black female billionaire, she publishes a magazine and even has a television network called OWN- the Oprah Winfrey Magazine. She has reached and uplifted countless women through her many platforms.
photo courtesy of Grace Hopper Celebration
Malala Yousafzai is a tireless spokesperson for peace, human rights, and education for girls. Even after surviving a gunshot to the face at 15 years old, she has never ceased her fight for justice on behalf of girls and women around the world.
I’m proud to have been surrounded by women growing up and throughout my career. The imagination, willpower, and determination of the women in my life help lift me up. Even the strong female representation on our Anthony’s e-commerce team has made me proud to be a lady of the 2020s in the workforce and in my community. In the words of the indomitable Tina Turner, “I stand up for my life!”
Which ladies throughout history do you admire? Tell us all about the women that inspire you in the comments below!