Modern society has taken a turn in the past few years. Pressure has intensified with school closures and social interactions curbed, compliments of the Coronavirus pandemic. Girls need positive role models more than ever. People spend more time at home, and either watch television or on the internet for entertainment. The fortunate thing about it is it gives people time to think about their values. There is more time to determine what matters. This is where female role models are useful. Women who live lives that embrace strong values can help to point the compass needle in the right direction for girls and young women still in their formative years. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are the twenty greatest female celebrity models and how their lives are inspiring.
20. Anita Hill
According to the Gentlemanuel, Anita Hill is an American academic and attorney who is known for her bravery in participating in a sexual harassment case. She was herself a victim who found the courage to step forward, although she had a lot on the line. She was employed at the Department of Education when the Clarence Thomas appointment to the Supreme Court nomination came under scrutiny. Although Thomas was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice in the end, Anita Hill is lauded for coming forward and fulfilling her civic duty. It would have been easier for her career for her to stay out of the battle, but she believed that the truth needed to be told. She is a solid example of integrity.
19. Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is a stellar role model for young girls and women of all ages. She is the former First Lady of the United States of America. Her husband, Barack Obama became the first Black President of the United States. She worked tirelessly to promote healthy eating habits for kids in public schools as well as for people of all ages in the rest of the country. Mrs. Obama became famous for being the first lady, but she is an educated woman who earned her bachelor’s from Princeton University and her JD from Harvard. She is still active in promoting healthy lifestyles for the American public.
18. Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi is an actress who is best known for her appearance on the television series “Black-ish and Grown-ish.” She has earned the love of fans and she uses her influence to effect positive change. Yara supports positive social change and believes in educating the public about politics. She founded an organization called Eighteenx18, to share the importance of voting with young adults. She is also a public speaker who freely shares her opinions on Iranian and Black identity, and the need to end poverty through the vehicle of education.
17. Emma Gonzalez
Emma Gonzales was not a celebrity personality until she began her crusade for political change. The teenager turned activist after surviving the Parkland High School shooting. Since the horrific event occurred, she has tirelessly called upon policymakers to impose gun control to curb the incidences of school shootings. She has organized marches and other types of peaceful protests in her attempt to remove easy access to firearms from those most likely to go on killing rampages.
16. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres is a celebrity talk show host and comedian. When Ellen came out as being gay, she was already a successful entertainer. She led the way for others who were fearful for their careers. Although she lost a lot of powerful backing by making the disclosure, she stuck by her guns, preferring to acknowledge who she is and not be made to feel ashamed of being herself. She stands as a role model for those in the LGBT community who live their lives in fear of the unknown. Ellen is an Emmy award-winning hostess who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, for her bravery. Being honest isn’t always easy, but showing pride in who you are is good for the soul.
15. J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is the author of the “Harry Potter” books. Her novels were later adapted for the screen and became one of the biggest and most successful movie franchises in recent history. We see the modeling of good character in each of the characters in her books. When faced with difficult choices, they seek to do the right things. She didn’t gain immediate success with her writing. There were times of struggle, and her work was rejected multiple times before she earned the much-deserved recognition. She is now a billionaire who shares her wealth with various charities to help others.
14. Sylvia Plath
Lifehack names poet Sylvia Plath as one of the bravest women of her era. Like many other young women, she wrestled with a myriad of mixed feelings and confusion. Plath had the boldness and courage to put her innermost feelings into words that she shared with the world through her poems and novel. The subjects she discussed through her words were taboo at the time of their writing, but they were necessary, and now revered as an attempt to reach others. She alluded to mental illness and her range of feelings about her father, which were far from positive. Although Sylvia Plath has long been gone, her words will live on forever.
13. Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn was far braver than many people realized. She was born to a wealthy family and became an actress. She achieved rave reviews for her on-screen personality. She was one of the most confident women on and off the screen. She demanded fulfillment of her right to individuality and would settle for nothing less. She exuded female confidence and followed her heart to pursue the life she desired, not one prescribed for her by others.
12. Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s words of poetry will live on forever. She is one of the strongest women in the world, with a quiet strength and a talent for putting her innermost thoughts and feelings into prose. Her poetry is inspiring and it transformed a generation to make them ponder their lives. She helped us all to stop and think about what being female means individually and as a group.
11. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has set the bar high for strong women in leadership positions. She’s risen to the status of global celebrity. Oprah hasn’t always had an easy life, but she works hard to help others have it a little easier. Her success in the entertainment business has earned a fortune, which she freely shares with others. She tries to help others find meaning in life and she also helps to feed, clothe and educate those in need.
10. Malala Yousifazi
Malala Yousifazi became a celebrity when word of her female rights activism was shared with the world. She immigrated from the Middle East to the United Kingdom, where she promotes the rights of women to get an education. She is outspoken about the plight of women and girls in Middle Eastern countries and she’s fighting against the politics that are holding them back. She has spoken at the United Nations with her request for help for the girls in need of support.
9. Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was an actress who made waves when she appeared in the film “My Fair Lady.” Although she became one of the most iconic stars in Hollywood, this isn’t what defined her life. She was a wife and mother who served as a role model through her humanitarian efforts. She was well-respected for the way she lived her life, particularly her philanthropy and work as an ambassador for UNICEF.
8. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is a solid female role model. The Hollywood actress best known for her roles in “Legally Blonde,” and “Cruel Intentions,” is an activist in support of women’s rights in film. She’s spoken publicly about her opinions about women taking the backseat to men in speaking roles. Witherspoon has spent the past several years speaking up for women’s rights in the entertainment industry and she’s even led a few peaceful protests to get her point across. She openly shares her feminist views and calls for the rape culture to come to an end.
7. Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney is the wife of film star George Clooney. She is an attorney who held several high-level positions, representing high-profile clients. She and her family fled Beirut, Lebanon during the Civil War, settling in the United Kingdom when she was just a toddler. She moved forward with her life to become an international and criminal law specialist who focuses on human rights and a few other specialties. Amal believes it is important to stand up for human rights and that women should have each other’s backs.
6. Simone Biles
Simone Biles is a celebrity athlete who has won her share of medals in world competitions. Her accomplishments in the athletic and Olympic arenas have given her a platform to encourage other girls to reach for the stars in pursuing her dreams. She is a brave young woman who stepped forward as a victim of Larry Nassar, during the sexual abuse scandal. She continues to advocate for the rights of athletes and everyone who has been victimized by sexual predators.
5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Late supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a lifetime of inspiration to the women around her. The New York native lost her mother while still a teenager. Ruth finished high school attended college at Cornell University. She married after graduating and raised a family, but she continued her education. She attended Harvard University and transferred to Columbia to complete her education. She worked at Rutgers Law as a professor, then took an interest in gender discrimination issues. As an attorney, she focused on women’s issues and was later appointed to the Supreme Court, where she continued to focus on human and women’s rights.
4. Serena Williams
Serena Williams began playing tennis when she was a small child. She honed her skills and won multiple grand slam titles. Serena and her sister Venus were both top-ranked female tennis players of world-class. She has a stellar athletic record. Williams encourages girls and women to pursue dreams and stands as a confident role model for them all. Serena encourages people to engage in healthy lifestyles. She supports various educational foundations, along with health and wellness organizations.
3. Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham began her career as a model who broke all the molds. She was a curvy lady. Her body style went against the traditional straight-as-stick models back in the 2010s. Graham challenged the old beliefs and broke through the glass ceiling with Wilhelmina Models. In 2010 she appeared in a nationally televised advertisement for Lane Bryant, which further helped to fuel the positive body movement. She is a positive role model for women who feel self-conscious of their size. Graham encourages girls and women to be confident. She says to love yourself just as you are.
2. Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is an actress who is best known for her appearances on the cringworthy sitcom “The Office.” The funny and talented Kaling also stars in her show “The Mindy Project.” Mindy is not only an actress but also a producer and writer. Few of the fans of “The Office” know that she wrote some of the episodes and served as executive producer. She is also the author of two books. She believes in speaking out about societal expectations of women. She sets a solid example of how women can approach life with humor and confidence.
1. Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson is a New York native born to a teenage mother. She had a rough start to life, raised in poverty and living in an abandoned Manhattan building. Rosario was fortunate to be scored by a screenwriter looking for the star of his film “Kids.” It was the fateful moment when he spied on her that would change her life forever. She went on to star in dozens of films. Dawson has lived in poverty and the lap of luxury. Rosario is the daughter of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents. She understands what it is to experience discrimination, more so as a woman. She advocates for various charities and advocacy groups and stands as a powerful and determined role model for women.