Move over Angelina – Women We Should All Be Looking Up To

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Everybody needs a role model, but sometimes it’s hard to find relatable people to look up to. Women in particular often have a hard time finding role models among the slew of pop culture icons they’re exposed to on a regular basis. However, a little research reveals a huge list of women who would make great role models, from celebrities to activists to the First Lady of the United States. These women are proof that role models come in all shapes and sizes, and that no matter what somebody does for a living, they can find a way to inspire others while doing it.

Sally Ride

With her voyage on the Challenger space shuttle in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel to space. To earn a spot in NASA’s astronaut program, Ride had to beat out 1,000 other applicants. During the Challenger mission, Ride was actually a mission specialist, helping specifically to employ satellites. The year after her history-making mission, she undertook another shuttle mission as a mission specialist. After her third mission was cancelled following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy, Ride would become a part of the presidential efforts to investigate the explosion.

Following her time at NASA, Ride joined the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego as a director. In 2001, she started Sally Ride Science to help young aspiring female scientists pursue their dreams.

The biggest thing to be learned from Sally Ride’s time as an astronaut is that anything is possible, regardless of any barriers that may exist.

Vanessa Selbst

When Vanessa Selbst began playing poker, there wasn’t really a seat at the table for female players. Much like mobile gaming and sports, poker has traditionally been a male-dominated sport, an assertion that’s backed up by the fact that Selbst is the only female player to hold a number one rank on the Global Poker Index or win three World Series of Poker bracelets. In terms of philanthropy Selbst is considered one of the most active members of the poker community, working to provide legal aid to those who cannot afford it and making significant donations to her Venture Justice fund to offer young entrepreneurs start-up capital.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama, like many of these women, has a list of accomplishments so long it’s astonishing. She’s the First Lady of the United States of America, an activist for a number of causes, and a mother of two. While her time in the White House is coming to an end soon, her time as an active representative of many movements will have a lasting affect.

In 2010, Michelle Obama launched her first initiative as First Lady: the Let’s Move! Campaignaiming to reduce childhood obesity through education and outreach to medical professionals, educators and parents. Her latest program, Let Girls Learn, helps girls around the globe go to and remain in school, helping to educate the women of the future to realize their full potential.

Malala Yousafzai

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Source: Wikimedia

Her story is captivating, and one that shows the stark contrast in women’s rights around the world. In 2009, a young Yousafzai began writing for the BBC about the Taliban’s denying education to young women. Then in 2012, the unthinkable happened: Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for advocating for women’s right to education. However, she survived the gunshot and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, she has given a speech at the United Nations, written an autobiography, and been nominated for two more Nobel Peace Prizes. He Named Me Malalaa documentary about Yousafzai’s extraordinary life, was released in October 2015.

Tina Fey

With such a massively successful career, it’s easy to find great accomplishments in Tina Fey’s work. Her story begins with Saturday Night Live, where she was named SNL‘s first female head writer ever. She continued to break down barriers and put women front and center when she wrote Mean Girls, a 2004 comedy starring Lindsay Lohan. But Fey wasn’t done yet; her next endeavor, popular TV show 30 Rock, racked up a history-making 17 Emmy nominations in 2008.

But before she graced America’s televisions and created critically acclaimed work, Fey would have described herself as a “dork.” In fact, it was in her time at SNL that she really transformed her image and became who she is today. Aside from proving that hard work truly does pay off, Tina Fey has an inspiring message for every young woman in the world: your past doesn’t define you.

tina_fey_and_the_cast_and_crew_of_30_rock_at_the_67th_annual_peabody_awardsSource: Wikimedia

In a world where males are given free domain and females are often more confined, it’s important for young girls to have strong female role models as references. These five women, by breaking the mold and becoming a part of male-dominated fields, are creating future opportunities for every woman in those fields. Aspiring young women would do well to fearlessly follow in their footsteps.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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