Whenever I feel unmotivated, uninspired or just like I’m not up to snuff, there are a couple of exercises I like to practice to get me feeling “right” again. One is listening to music and another is watching motivational videos on youtube. But the one thing above all else that I think is really helpful is having an inspirational figure to look up to. Most of my inspirational figures are women because women are the underdogs of the two sexes and I think in a lot of ways we have more obstacles to overcome than men.
As women, we’re constantly faced with the pressure to look a certain way, behave a certain way, and even feel a certain way. The women I have chosen as inspirational figures are women who have overcome these obstacles and started movements that change how we see each other.
1. Emma Watson
If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who Emma Watson is, she’s an English actress (Harry Potter) and now women’s rights activist. She was appointed as a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador in July of last year and helped the UN launch it’s HeForShe campaign which calls for men to advocate for gender equality.
She gave an AMAZING speech at UN headquarters last year that truly got the HeForShe campaign going. I think it’s so great that as a celebrity she could just go on lavish vacations and shopping trips but instead, she decided to take part in such a wonderful campaign. A true inspiration.
2. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton is most well known for being our former first lady and Bill Clinton’s wife. What makes her so inspirational is she announced her bid for President for the 2016 elections. If she were to win, she would become the first female president in 227 years. That’s crazy! America has gone 227 years without a single female president!
3. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah was born into poverty to a single teenage mother. She was raped at age nine and pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Despite these unusually harsh circumstances, she built a career in media and formed a hugely successful daytime t.v. talk show. She became the first African-American woman billionaire.
She has also devoted time and money to her philanthropic efforts. In 1998, she created Oprah’s Angel Network, a charity that supported charitable projects and provided grants to nonprofit organizations around the world. She also established the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls which is a girl only boarding school for young girls in South Africa. If that’s not an inspiration, I don’t know what is……
4. Malala Yousafzai
On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Malala as she rode home on a bus from school. At the time, the Taliban had banned girls from attending school. Malala refused to have her right to have an education be taken from her, so despite numerous death threats, she still rode the bus to school. She managed to survive this attack and emerged an even stronger and inspiring person.
Most of us see education as a chore and something that we are forced to do when people like Malala are fighting just to have it! Malala is such an inspiration and the message she sends is one of hope and perseverance. No one can take your human rights from you unless you allow it! We hear you loud and clear Malala!
5. Angelina Jolie
Apart from being one of the most beautiful women in the world, Angelina Jolie is also a humanitarian. While filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia, she witnessed first hand what problems the people of Cambodia were faced with and decided to contact the UN for information on international trouble spots. She began visiting refugee camps around the world. She was named a UNHCR Ambassador on August 27, 2001.
Over the next decade, she went on more than 40 field missions. The list of things she has done is a mile long and would take up a whole page. Her work as a UNHCR Ambassador is the reason I chose her as the fifth inspirational women figure.
When I came up with this list, I wanted to try and find women that are more current to our generation.However, women have been changing lives and crushing boundaries for thousands of years. I suspect too that we will see more amazing women pop up in the future and I’m so excited to see that happen! Be sure to check out my last post on things you need to know when renting for the first time here.
Who are your Top 5 Inspiring Women? Who in your life inspires you?