International Women’s Day
Sunday, March 8th is International Women’s Day and the month of March is Women’s History month I thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight some incredible women.
These women each faced their own struggles and pushed past their own fears of self-esteem and self-worth to achieve greatness. They have left lasting legacies on the world that will continue to inspire future generations as well.
As a mom, one thing I want for my kids is to be strong and confident as they grow. Whether a daughter or a son, lessons can be learned from these strong women and what they overcame to leave a positive mark on history.
5 Strong Women to Celebrate on International Women’s Day
Eleanor was a shy, insecure child who overcame obstacles in life to become one of the most important and beloved First Ladies, authors, reformers and female leaders of our time. She was born in 1884 to a wealthy, politically prominent family but that did not save her from her father’s alcoholism or the deaths of her parents and one brother before she was 10-years-old. After the deaths of her parents and brother, her maternal grandmother who was said to be harsh and critical of Eleanor raised her. She had a low self-esteem and was seen as timid and awkward believing she wasn’t as good as other girls.
Despite this, as she grew older she became involved in the settlement house movement, teaching children and families on Rivington Street. She held leadership roles in several organizations such as the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Trade Union League. When she moved into her role as First Lady she became one of the most politically active, influential First Ladies in history. She not only chaired but also helped write the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as well as worked on the Equal Pay Act. Eleanor took on many social issues related to women, racial justice, and immigration.
Low self-esteem is not an easy thing to overcome especially when you’ve had to deal with it starting from such a young age. Eleanor Roosevelt is an example of a strong woman who embraced grit and determination and who also understood that ONLY YOU can decide your worth.
Princess Diana, was one of the most adored members of the British Royal Family. She was known for her shyness growing up and throughout her life she struggled with depression. Diana was born into a wealthy family on July 1, 1961. In 1969 her parents divorced and her father, Lord Spenser was given custody of the children. After leaving school in the late 1970’s she worked various jobs including cook, nanny and kindergarten teacher. She married Prince Charles who was 12 years older and stepped into Royal life. Her charisma and friendliness outshined her shyness as she was known for her compassion and advocacy. Initially, her patronages centered on children and youth but she also became known for her involvement with AIDS patients and campaigns to remove landmines as well as advocacy for people affected with cancer and mental illness.
Throughout her life she struggled with self-image even though she was seen as a fashion icon. There were times were she would seek attention but other times when she would stay at hospitals and charity events long after the press had left. Diana pushed past her own doubts of self-image to convey the importance of kindness and the human touch with those she met. She changed the way the royal family was perceived and after her death was referred to by Prime Minister Tony Blair as “The Peoples Princess” which captured people’s feelings of her around the world. Even the Queen, who had often been at odds with Diana’s ways noted, “[Diana] was an exceptional and gifted human being,” Queen Elizabeth said. “In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.”
Princess Diana showed the importance of kindness, grace, and determination, making a lasting impact on the world.
Audrey Hepburn was a beloved actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian. Born in Belgium, she was known for her beauty, elegance and grace. To this day she is one of the greatest style icons. She starred in movies such as Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. During much of World War II, she studied at the Arnhem Conservatory in the Netherlands. After the country was invaded by Nazis, she and her mother struggled to survive. According to the New York times, it was during this time she helped the resistance movement by delivering messages. At the age of 22 she moved to New York to star in the Broadway production of Gigi. Years after becoming a film star, she became known for her work on behalf of children. She was a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in the late 1980’s. She once said, “I can testify to what UNICEF means to children, because I was among those who received food and medical relief right after World War II,” said actress Audrey Hepburn on her appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador in 1989. “I have a long-lasting gratitude and trust for what UNICEF does.”
Amelia Earhart was the first woman in history to fly solo across the Atlantic. From a young age, she loved adventures and the outdoors. She lived primarily with her maternal grandparents during the school year and stayed with her parents in Kansas City during the summers. Despite the disapproval from her grandmother, she enjoyed roaming the outdoors, riding imaginary horses, climbing trees, sledding and hunting. She broke stereotypes of what was known as “male jobs.” She helped girls realize their own limitless potential and that restriction placed on them by society shouldn’t dictate their success. She is remembered for her courage and strength. Amelia didn’t let anyone else define who she would be or what successes she could accomplish.
In a letter to her husband, she wrote, “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards.” She said, “I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” A challenge for others to pick up and persevere through.
Coco Chanel trademarked suits and the infamous little black dress, designs that are still popular today. In the 1920’s she introduced her first perfume and went on to later introduce the Chanel suit as well as the little black dress with an emphasis on making clothes that were comfortable for women. She was known for paring simple outfits with great accessories.
Coco’s early life was not as glamorous as the one she would grow up to lead. She was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. At the age of 12 after her mothers death her father put her in an orphanage where she was raised by nuns who taught her to sew. During a brief career as a singer she was known as “Coco” which is where the name her brand took on came from.
The international economic depression of the 1930’s caused Chanel’s company to be hit hard but it was the outbreak of WWII that led her to close her business and shut down shops. At the age of 70, she made a triumphant return to the fashion world with feminine, easy fitting designs. The designs received scathing reviews from critics, but shoppers loved it.
Coco Chanel not only made an impact on the fashion world creating comfortable, stylish clothing for women but she later at the age of 70 made a successful comeback showing that you’re never too old to accomplish more in life.
What Women Inspire You?