In honour of International Women’s Day, I’d like to write to you about the famous women out there who inspire me to this very day.
They have taught me confidence in different forms, to defy certain norms of society, and many more. So, read on if you want to know who they are!
- Ashley Eckstein
Known for voicing one of my favourite characters in the Star Wars universe: Ahsoka Tano. Ashley is no doubt an amazing woman. Not only did she provide the voice of one of the most well-developed and inspirational characters in the franchise, but she also taught me to not be afraid to express myself. She created a fashion line known as Her Universe that sells geeky clothes for specific sci-fi and fantasy fandoms for girls. (though they sell unisex stuff now as well)
Because hey, women can be fans of this stuff as well, and there is NOTHING wrong with dressing up in clothing that highlights your interests like Star Wars. Some people in society would argue that it’s a weird for a grown woman to walk in public wearing a dress that resembles Deanna Troi’s uniform, or a belt that has a buckle with the Millenium Falcon on it and you’ll become a target in some sort of way that no one will reveal to me how that is so. I mean, we women who like to dress like this know better not to wear that kind of stuff to a job interview or formal party. So when we’re not at those kinds of events, we should be allowed to wear whatever we want. So I personally think that we should be allowed to flaunt our passions no matter how subtle or unsubtle it is, regardless of our age. It doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s not illegal, and doesn’t interfere with our adult responsibilities so why should we care what people think?
That’s why I love Ashley, she created a fashion line with the goal to show that sci-fi fantasy isn’t just for men and boys, as well as encourage fangirls of all ages to express themselves. In a way, she gives women and girls more recognition in these fandoms because for decades it was all about the men liking this stuff. But that’s changed tremendously, and Ashley defies the societal norm that we shouldn’t be flaunting our passions in adulthood and should outgrow them. She proudly shows her love for sci-fi and so will I, no matter my age.
2. Lady Gaga
I discovered her when I was a teenager and became very fond of her music. One thing that really hit me back then was Gaga’s outrageously unique sense of style. Back in the day, she wore crazy revealing outfits like a bikini where she had artillery sticking out of her top in the Alejandro music video. Now, if you know me well, and know that I despise sexualization done in music videos like this, then how could Gaga possibly be an inspiration to me?
Well, it’s not her looks my dear reader, it’s her personality that makes me love her. What I love about her is her confidence, she was never afraid to be different, no matter how crazy it was. Over time, she eventually toned down her image, but in a way, she was still herself. She’s also an advocate for LGBT rights and to put an end to bullying, having being bullied myself in the past and having friends who fall under LGBT, I support this 100%. I have also heard stories that Gaga also experienced bullying when she was young, and yet, she thrived.
She’s also not afraid to experiment, as she has gone from one genre to another in her music career. Most of the time she does write her own music and who would have thought she’d do so well in A Star is Born? (man, that was such a good movie!) Anyway, yeah she’s such a confident and unique woman, I’ve always been a Little Monster, even if I don’t always keep myself up to date with what she’s doing.
3. Avril Lavigne
Another artist, I have to include Avril since I’ve been a fan of her since I was a child. She was known back then for her bad attitude and what they call the “Sk8er” looks back then. Later on she became a bit more feminine with her blonde hair and found a new love for other colours than black. I listened to her music so much as a teenager before learning of other artists and genres.
So, what is there to like about her? Well, it’s one thing for sure, she’s brutally honest, and there is nothing more inspirational than a singer who’s willing to share her struggles in life. When it’s about something other than relationship problems that is. Because, I personally like to hear other stories in songs besides that.
The most recent example is with her new album where the title track is basically about her battle with Lyme Disease, and that’s why we stopped hearing from her between now and 2013 music-wise. Some die-hard fans (I’ve seen it with Bill Ward and it’s dumb), would argue that their idol(s) shouldn’t cancel tours due to medical problems, but I disagree.
I can understand you don’t want your idol(s) to stop touring, but if you really admire them, then you should respect their choices. Despite me not knowing about Avril’s illness beforehand. But the fact that she’s still here proves how strong of a woman she is.
4. Angelina Jolie
There’s no doubt she is one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood, and even though I hear drama about her all the time related to her and Brad Pitt, that’s not why I’m putting her in this article.
I think she’s a talented actress, and is especially great at playing any evil characters like Maleficent. But, the real reason she’s in here is because of her life decision to defy societal norms about women’s appearance.
Years back, I read the story about how she had made the choice to get a double mastectomy when she discovered to have a gene in her body that put her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. It just shows to her that her health and family are way more important than looks. We unfortunately live in a society where the definition of “beautiful” is: slim shape, long flowy hair, curvy butt, tiny nose, plump lips, and big boobs.
Angelina’s decision to have that surgery despite her not receiving any diagnosis, empowers women like me that we should have the right to do what we want with our bodies, whether it’s to reduce our risk for a certain disease, or to have an abortion for whatever the reason. Yes, I’m pro-choice and proud of it.
5. Simone Simons
I wanted to pick at least one metal singer for this article, and it was very difficult to choose because I love quite a few metal bands with female singers. But, if I really had to pick one, it’d be Simone.
I had the privilege of meeting her and the rest of the band in the summer of 2017 and she is really sweet and down-to-earth in person. So why does she inspire me? I may not be a massive listener of Epica, but she is an amazing woman because well, isn’t it obvious? She sings in a metal band! Whoever says women can’t do that can go to hell. One of my friends shared a story that she refused to go to a bar that hosted live shows because the staff refused to let bands with female lead vocalists to perform.
Simone is just one of the examples where women can do anything men can do. If men can sing metal music then women can too.
Another thing I love about her is her wide variety of interests she shares on her blog. I love reading about her beauty hauls from Sephora and places she’s travelled. One would think that as a metal singer, she’d be writing all about that, but that’s not the case. Do whatever you like and don’t let some gender stereotypes stop you.
And those are the women that inspire me, actually, I have more than 5, but I don’t want this article to turn into an essay so I had to choose wisely.
Happy International Women’s Day everyone, and if you’re a man who feels “threatened” then I would encourage you to remind yourself that no, this day is not meant to demonize you, you have your own day too, on November 19th which is International Men’s Day. Oh and go make your own sandwich.
What are some of the women that inspire you?