“Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
~ Margaret Sanger ~
I believe that it is important for people to have inspirations to look up to because it in turn motivates them to become better people. While we have all heard of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, I decided to share some of the lesser-known women out there, but who are just as powerful.
1. Danielle Marie
Danielle is a super spunky 17 year old from Florida who makes fashion/lifestyle videos on YouTube. While the beauty guru community is growing and most YouTubers are very similar, Danielle stands OUT because of her amazing editing skills, chic fashion style, and charisma. I don’t know if it’s her chamomile tea, or daily dose of watermelon, but she always brings so much energy and happiness to her videos. Every Wednesday and Saturday, my day gets better – just from a 10 minute video of hers.
2. Polina Beregova
Yet, another YouTuber, this Chicago-native recently moved to L.A. for college. Although her videos were banal and lacking a few years ago, her move to California has propelled her YouTube career. Even though Polina drastically changed the way she presents herself and films and edits videos, she never lacks determination and ambition. Ever since she was a high schooler, she stressed the importance of school and education. Watching Polina vlog her everyday schedule makes me want to get off my lazy bum and do something to change the world too.
3. Mimi Ikonn
This 29 year old female entrepreneur was born in Baku but emigrated to Canada. She used to work at a bank, where she met her husband, Alex Ikonn. On her wedding day, she was very disappointed with the quality of her hair extensions so she and her sister started their own company: Luxy Hair Extension. I love reading her fashion blog, scrolling through Instagram, and watching her videos because like Danielle, she believes in being happy and healthy. To enrich herself, she writes in the Five-Minute Journal, practices yoga and meditation, and travels around the world. As a fairly well-traveled person, I have never met someone who has traveled more than me except for Mimi (as shown through her Instagram). Every day, she expresses gratitude for her life and grows as a human being. This, in turn, creates a ripple effect of love and kindness for her millions of followers (including myself).
4. Nina Davaluri
Every year, I look forward to watching the Miss America Pageant competitions. Typically, it is known for 50 Barbie dolls who strut the stage in gowns and bikinis, trying to win over the judges by their tap dancing or vocal styling. Normally, it isn’t unusual for a blonde, southern belle to win, but when Nina Davuluri, the first Indian American to be chosen, was announced as Miss America 2014, she made history. However, not everyone reacted as positively as I did. Her Bollywood dancing stirred up negative comments calling her a “terrorist” and linking her to “9/11.” She used this negative response to create her platform, “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency”, which has allowed her to rise above a plethora of racist comments. I am proud that an Asian-American is positively representing the country as a whole.
5. Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is not your normal Hollywood celebrity – she is not a size zero or six feet tall and doesn’t have bleach blonde hair. But she is quirky, charismatic and hilarious. My all-time favorite comedy series is The Mindy Project (which is produced by Kaling), not because it reminds me of my daily life, but because Kaling is able to connect with viewers on a real, personal, human level. Mindy Lahiri is an OB/GYN with a crazy and unstable love life. Eventually, she falls in love with Danny Castellano, a meticulous Italian OB/GYN from Staten Island. More characters come and go, but they all possess one similar trait: having flaws and embracing them.
Not only are these women beautiful on the inside, but they are beautiful on the inside. Whether it is promoting the importance of education or standing up for women’s/racial rights, I hope that one day I can become half as great as these women! I highly recommend you check them out!
Sheryl C. ❤