20 Women That Inspire Us Every. Single. Day.
After curating this list of amazing, fearless, astounding women and writing about all of their achievements, it reminded us (it actually slapped us in the face) just how powerful women are. Despite being told no, or you can’t, these women have. So the next time you feel like you’re unable to do something or it feels out of reach, look to these women for inspiration because we have no doubt they’ll inspire you to do better, be better, and create the change you want to see in the world. Happy International Women’s Day, ladies. We’ve earned it.
1. Yara Shahidi
Who she is: American actress turned political advocate. Yara Founded Eighteen x 18, a platform that encourages young people to be more engaged and active in politics.
Why she inspires us: Yara uses her platform to remind others that their opinion matters and their voice should be heard. She educates the younger generation on how politics can affect their daily life and why their right to vote should not be taken for granted. She’s engaged, insightful, and proactive.
True story: Oprah encouraged Yara to run for the presidency, saying, “I hope I’m still around when she becomes President of the United States.” Now that’s an endorsement!!
2. Ashley Graham
Who she is: Ashley is a supermodel, television personality, author, clothing designer, podcast host, and businesswoman.
Why she inspires us: Ashley continuously uses her social media platform to break down barriers and dispel unrealistic beauty expectations inherited by women. She’s currently tackling the myths of mommyhood and speaking its truths, aka normalizing stretch marks, the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding, and post-partum nappies. If you don’t follow her, you need to start. Even if you’re not a new mom, we guarantee you, she’ll empower you in some way.
True story: During a TED Talk back in 2015, Graham shared her mantra “I am bold. I am brilliant. I am beautiful. Beauty beyond size.” These words have since become a popular self-love hashtag with more than 300,000 untouched images of beautiful women being shared on social media.
3. Laverne Cox
Who she is: Emmy nominated actress and LGBTQIA+ advocate.
Why she inspires us: Laverne is a spokeswoman for her community, who uses her platform to speak out on the daily struggles of being trans. She has accomplished many “firsts,” paving the way for other trans men and women to do the same. She was the first trans woman to appear on the cover of Time Magazine, which brought awareness to millions of Americans. Seeing her accomplish her dreams in the face of stigma and hardship, demonstrates to women everywhere that you can achieve anything. #TransIsBeautiful.
True story: Laverne Cox has a twin brother who played her character, pre-transition, in the Netflix phenomenon Orange Is the New Black.
4. Greta Thunberg
Who she is: Greta is a climate change activist who has brought the topic of climate change into the forefront of global politics.
Why she inspires us: The 17-year-old set a new precedent for the title: activist. At the age of 15, she staged the first-ever climate school strike, which after three weeks gained the attention of the Swedish parliament and has since started a global movement, proving you’re never too young to implement change. Greta is fearless, powerful, and resilient. She doesn’t back down or hide from anyone, not even the President of the United States.
True story: Due to the environmental cost of flying, when Greta traveled to New York for the UN’s Climate Action Summit, she sailed in a zero-emission yacht for two weeks across the Atlantic.
5. Eva Longoria
Who she is: Rising to fame as Gabrielle Solis in the iconic Desperate Housewives series, Eva Longoria was not defined by her role as an actress but became a philanthropist and spokeswoman for the Latino community.
Why she inspires us: Eva Longoria is one of the kindest, most generous, humble women we’ve ever met. Her list of charitable acts, at times, feels endless. Whether she’s empowering and enabling the Latino youth in America or making dreams come true for children with life-threating medical conditions, she leaves a mark wherever she goes. She is a true inspiration.
True story: The Eva Longoria Foundation has helped disburse more than $1.5 million in microloans to Latino entrepreneurs, who have used it to grow their own businesses, creating more than 500 jobs for the Latino community.
6. Malala Yousafzai
Who she is: A Pakistani activist for female education. She was shot in the head by the Taliban after attempting to go to school, which was banned at the time. The shooting sparked a global outcry and the Taliban was denounced worldwide. Since moving to the UK, Malala set up the Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization, and became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate after she wrote her biography I Am Malala, which btw, is a must-read!
Why she inspires us: Malala’s sheer determination to get the education she knew she deserved, can only be described as inspiring. To then use her struggle to benefit young girls around the world is what makes her an iconic activist. In her own words “I raise up my voice not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
True Story: When asked who she despises the most, Malala answered, “That’s something I don’t even think about. My mind never goes there.”
7. Adwoa Aboah
Who she is: Model and mental health campaigner, and Founder of Gurls Talk, an online platform for young girls to discuss mental health, sexuality, and education.
Why she inspires us: Whenever we listen to Adwoa’s podcast, we’re in awe of her authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability. She never shies away from hard topics, speaking openly about her own suicide attempt and how she overcame depression. By doing so, she reminds girls that they’re not alone in their struggles. Because of this, she has created an online community of girls who empower, listen, and support each other, providing solace in their darkest times. If you haven’t listened to her podcast, you need to ASAP! Although a prewarning, they can be real tearjerkers.
True Story: Adwoa has a tattoo on both of her wrists that reads ‘All the women. In me. Are tired,’ a line from African-American poet Nayyirah Waheed. In reference to her tattoo, she told Time Magazine, “I’m made up of so many women… My mom — a woman who’s helped me through this journey, the girls I meet through Gurls Talk, and all the wonderful people that come into my life,” she says. “I take parts of them and that’s what I’m made up of.”
Who she is: Grammy award-winning singer, female boss, feminist, and all-round badass b*tch!
Why she inspires us: After listening to just three minutes of her fierce raps, you literally feel like you can conquer the world. Case in point: “Yeah, I got boy problems, that’s the human in me. Bling bling, then I solve ’em, that’s the goddess in me.” Or another one of our faves, “I was born like this, don’t even gotta try, I’m like chardonnay, get better over time.” Listen to Lizzo and we promise it will make you feel more powerful, and at times, we all need that!
True Story: 10 years ago Lizzo was homeless sleeping in her car. Now she’s worth 2.3 million. Never. Give. Up!
9. Sinead Burke
Who she is: Sinead Burke is an Irish writer, activist, lecturer, and broadcaster.
Why she inspires us: When Sinead Burke was 16, she realized there was a real lack of representation for people with disabilities in the fashion industry, so she set out to change it. She co-founded the Inclusive Fashion and Design Collective (IFDC) with U.S. disability advocate Liz Jackson, to challenge designers to create clothes for the disabled community. She became the representation she needed so that other people like her wouldn’t have to feel the same way. Now that’s #girlpower.
True Story: Sinead Burke was the first little person t0 attend the Met Gala.
10. Tracee Ellis Ross
Who she is: Actress, model, feminist, and most recently Founder of hair care line Pattern, which encourages men and women to embrace their natural hair texture.
Why she inspires us: Tracee is bold, fierce, and unapologetic, and her hair care line has encouraged a powerful self-love movement within the curl community. She reminds men and women that you should love yourself and the characteristics that make you, you. She’s also a style and beauty QUEEN, whether she’s wearing a neon suit or an Avant-garde braid lewk, she can do no wrong in our eyes.
True story: Tracee co-founded the Time’s Up movement to help protect women in the workforce from sexual harassment.
Posts You'll Love:
11. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Who she is: Award-winning author and feminist writer, who wrote the essay We Should All Be Feminists, which featured in Beyoncé’s song Flawless. She also wrote the novel Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was crowned one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013.
Why she inspires us: Chimamanda’s ability to call out the subtle nuances of the inequality women face is remarkable. They’re discreet, but she reminds you that they are there, and teaches you how to overcome them. Her way with words is breathtaking, relatable, and empowering.
True story: Her TED Talk, which was sampled in Beyoncé’s song Flawless, was distributed in book form to every sixteen-year-old in Sweden.
12. Cynthia Nixon
Who she is: Sex and the City actress turned political activist, Cynthia Nixon campaigns for women’s health and public education. She recently spoke in the Girls Girls Girls Magazine, Be A Lady They Said video, which has created a feminist movement online.
Why she inspires us: Cynthia Nixon has been inspiring us since the 90s. Her character Miranda was undoubtedly the most progressive woman on TV at the time, teaching us that you should never apologize for your success or be embarrassed by your sexual needs. Since, she has campaigned for women’s health and public education. Most recently, she highlighted the many contradictions that society dictates to women via her narration in the ‘Be A lady, They Said’ video, which has been viewed more than 3 million times on Instagram.
True Story: Inspired by the Dior T-shirt that reads ‘We Should All Be Feminists,’ the Instagram account @EveryOutfitOnSATC, rebranded the T-shirt to say ‘We Should All Be Mirandas,’ which was worn by celebs like Kendall Jenner and ASAP Rocky.