The Women Who Inspired Us in 2016 🚺

illustration by AmbivalentlyYours

illustration by AmbivalentlyYours

"Sometimes just being a woman is an act of courage."  - The Bell Jar

It was the best of times and very much the worst of times, that was 2016. While America felt very divided, 2016 rebuilt the foundation for a strong sisterhood. A defining year that brought together a strong and brave community of women who inspired and empowered a modern female movement. 

via Garance Dore

via Garance Dore

LINDA RODIN

Linda Rodin is my female entrepreneur role model, but more often times, just all around idol. I admire the way she presents herself, the life that she has led and her storytelling of lost loves and and memorable non-regrets, of which can and should be adapted into a book or film at Sundance.  The choices she has made in business, love, relationships and life motivates me to be as independent as possible. She is also the brainchild of my all-time favorite lip balm ever. Linda was the spotlight in Garance Dore's Pardon My French podcast and they dived into all those topics. Her stories and insight come from a different time, when women barely had any rights. So, it's an intriguing session to hear Linda talk about growing up in New York City and how her successful career was born from a personal necessity, as that is always the mother of invention. She represents a woman's freedom to live life as she pleases all the while having a highly intuitive talent for business. Have a listen to the podcast here.  

Women who inspired us in 2016 via DNAMAG

MEGYN KELLY

The one thing that you have to admire about Megan Kelly is her guts. Any woman who has been put under the media spotlight (sans a sex tape or Hollywood divorce scandal) and come out of it still sounding like a tough, intelligent person deserves my respect. Megyn Kelly's book Settle for More is filled with stories of her personal journey and professional climb to high profile journalism. It has never been a revelation that every woman does fight sexism in the work place, and I doubt that will be changing any time soon. But, Megyn reminds us that it's worth fighting the deplorable fight against the sexist ego and the bullies of the world. The thing I really connect with Megyn is that she's a woman who doesn't shut up, she stands up. As a woman in America, you work hard, and keep working hard, because there is nothing wrong with that.  

β€œThe only difference between you and someone you envy is, you settled for less.” - Megyn Kelly

KELLY OXFORD

In a nutshell, Kelly Oxford is that one scrappy friend who in a split second would come to your side during a playground fight. Without thinking, she's a defining person of the "see something, say something" mentality. You want to have her on your side for sure. That's why I don't get why so many people hate her. Like hate hate her. Childhood fantasies aside, Kelly Oxford is a Canadian writer, author, mother of sassy kids and a social media leader. She has strong opinions, like any woman, but luckily she has a gigantic chunk of compassion to match. Men despise her, some women don't get her, but I appreciate her. In fact, I needed her that dark, devious "grab the pussy" day turned into a rabid nightmare that Oxford somehow managed to make it into a silent social media march version of take back the night. It only took one tweet.  Thanks to her, women and hopefully their daughters and sons now know that it's #notokay to sexually assault - anyone. 

via New York Magazine

via New York Magazine

ROWAN BLANCHARD

A young actress and activist with a heavy heart of gold. Rowan Blanchard is leading the next generation of women with her guts, guile, brave honesty and deep sensitivity when it comes to human rights. And she's not even legal to vote in America yet. However, the impact that she has made with her peers online and offline, it gives me hope. I feel safer knowing that the future has someone like Rowan to feel it all and do something about it. She fights for the causes that matter, that hurts people's emotional and physical insides, against laws that could potentially violate a woman's right to her body. Rowan is not your average teenager. Her angst are far too real and present. 

The women who inspired us in 2016 via DNAMAG
The women who inspired us in 2016 via DNAMAG

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

The woman with so many names now. Webster's Dictionary needs to update the word, resilient to include HRC's photo as its visual definition. You don't have to be a democrat to agree with me that Hillary Clinton played, acted, worked, spoke and behaved like how a woman was supposed to when faced with extreme opposition. She took the bullet for all of us, you know that right? I am proud to have voted for her and I know she is not finished. Give her more. 

These women inspired us in ways that changed us. When we thought we knew the type of woman we were, these ladies made us stop to think that hey, that is wrong and how can we make it right. How can our voices be heard? How do we get the words out? The Women's March on Washington is happening on January 21st. This march is not just for outright feminists, if you believe in supporting women that is your golden reason to walk on this monumental day. If you would also like to donate to the Women's March on Washington, you can do so on their official Facebook page. 

Be brave. It does take all the courage to be a woman these days. 🚺