Real-Life Heroes: Super Women You Can Admire
Real-life heroes are few and far between. Sometimes it takes a moment in time or maybe a lifetime to achieve what we would consider "hero" status. When we think of women who inspire us to be our best, we need look no further than these amazing women. They push us to be our best in all areas of our lives including leadership, courage, empowerment and compassion.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
"A gender line... helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at age 84, was originally appointed to be Supreme Court Justice by President Clinton in 1993. Also known as Notorious RBG on social media, Bader Ginsburg paved the way for working women everywhere by becoming a lawyer when there were no women lawyers. She continues to strive for equality between men and women in the workplace. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a force to be reckoned with in the gym as well. After her colon cancer diagnosis in 1999, she committed herself to her health. She works out in the justice's gym regularly and can perform push-ups and planks. In May, a documentary will be released about her entitled, "RBG."
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams."
Oprah is known to millions around the world for her groundbreaking show Oprah that propelled her from talk show host to multi-millionaire philanthropist. Her influence and work around the world has helped other girls and women around the world in the areas of education, self-empowerment and realize the importance of loving yourself. Her accolades and achievements include working in the areas of television, film, radio and publications. She inspires women around the world to be the best person they can be, think of the world around you, and treat others as you would want to be treated.
"You don't have to be somebody different to be important, you're important in your own right."
As former First Lady, Michelle Obama inspired girls to be their best. She was, and still is, an active role model as a mother of two teenage girls. While performing her duties as First Lady, she took time to care for herself first by working out regularly. One of her most memorable accomplishments was planting a vegetable garden at the White House to encourage everyone, but most of all children, to eat healthy as part of her Let's Move initiative. Michelle Obama was herself an accomplished attorney before leaving her position to take up her post as First Lady. She is the author of two books and may, one day, run for President herself.
"We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that."
Ellen started her career as a stand-up comedian in the 1980s. She worked local clubs and establishments and appeared in a few films until her breakthrough sitcom TV show Ellen in 1994. It was during this show when Ellen, and her character, came out of the closet and announced to the world that she was gay. Until that point, no other stars have openly confirmed their sexuality to the public. This was Ellen's defining moment. Her courage and bravery to be herself inspired others around the world to do the same. Ellen received backlash from the establishment initially but was soon propelled into roles like Dory from Finding Nemo and once again had her own show, this time in talk show format. Ellen's positive energy and philanthropic spirit make her an inspiration to us all.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
The diary of this teenage girl during the Holocaust demonstrates the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. As a teenager, Anne Frank and her family were confined to a small attic as World War II raged all around them in the Netherlands. During this time, Anne kept a diary chronicling her time including her thoughts, dreams and daily actions. She continued to learn while locked away. She believed that writing would propel her to a career in journalism once the war was over. Sadly, Anne was discovered and deported to Auschwitz but her legacy lived on through her diary.
"When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."
Born in 1997 and living in Pakistan, Malala would grow up to become the spokeswoman for women's education around the world. As a young girl in Pakistan, the Taliban forbid Malala and other girls from attending school. Malala was outspoken and insisted on everyone having the right to an education. In retaliation for her views, Malala was shot in the face, along with two other people, while riding home on a school bus. She was 15 at the time. As Malala healed, her voice grew louder and soon enough people around the world stood up and took notice of her. She has spoken at the UN, received the Nobel Peace Prize among many awards and accolades. At the age of 21, she has accomplished more than some people accomplish in a lifetime.
"The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary."
JK (Joanne) Rowling has inspired an entire generation of girls to dream and dream big. Joanne Rowling was living on government subsidies when she met fame and fortune. Today, her Harry Potter Series is considered the best-selling book series of all time. More importantly, it has encouraged a generation to read. Rowling has given back in many ways. She supports organizations such as Dyslexia Action and The Shannon Trust that support reading in a wide range of communities and assists in getting books and resources to those in need.
Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson
"Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men."--Katherine Johnson
If these names don't ring a bell with you, read the book or see the movie Hidden Figures. These three real-life super women were responsible for helping to get a man to the moon. Without their mathematical talents and real life super powers, NASA would have been in trouble. Working behind the scenes, these three women managed to break down racial barriers and women's inequality in one fell swoop. They are credited with helping bring the men home who were on the Apollo 11 mission.
Whatever your super power, let it shine. Look at your core strengths, values and skills to help you determine your path. Never shy away from a challenge. Take your cues from these brave and courageous women to do your best and make a difference in the world.