Ideal Women for My Ideal Reader : A Salute to the Female Prowess

The prompt: to write to your ideal reader. Who is my ideal reader I thought? What do I want to offer them? And then I realized, I wanted to give what I myself hunger for… perspective. I dream to one day inspire I may serve as an inspiration for other girls that wonder about this big, elusive thing some call ‘Womanhood’. In order to do that, here are the women that inspired me and some of the lessons that govern me today…

"Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, 'I'm going to be 30 - oh, what am I going to do?' Well, use that decade! Use them all!"
“Don’t try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won’t live long enough to find out about, but I’m still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, ‘I’m going to be 30 – oh, what am I going to do?’ Well, use that decade! Use them all!”

Betty, you taught me that getting older doesn’t mean you have to get old;

"Be you. Make sure you're saying something when you say something. It's important to sound like you, to feel like you, to be you. Be you."
“Be you. Make sure you’re saying something when you say something. It’s important to sound like you, to feel like you, to be you. Be you.”

Erykah, you taught me what it looks like to love yourself, to embrace all of yourself — for better or worse;

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them"
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them”

Maya Angelou, So many lessons but above all: to be strong is to continue to survive and in order to survive you have to want to;

"When other little girls wanted to be dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire" Jolie, you showed that sexy and sultry could be complex. It could be dark and twisty. You showed me how pain can be beautiful.
“When other little girls wanted to be dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire”

Jolie, you showed that sexy and sultry could be complex. It could be dark and twisty. You showed me how pain can be beautiful;

"Integrate what you believe into every singe area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everyone else too"
“Integrate what you believe into every singe area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everyone else too”

Meryl, you embodied grace and genius and artistry in woman. You strung together portraits of what the female experience could look like;

"The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born."
“The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.”

Malala, you showed us that womanhood is not about age, but about the depth of one’s courage and strength and propensity to use both to change the world — even if its by yourself;

"I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it."
“I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.”

Audrey, you taught that true beauty is organic and effortless. And that life? It’s just something you live;

"Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”
“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”

Judy, you showed girls that the journey to womanhood is awkward, painful, sometimes funny, and other times daunting, but you are never alone;

"A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

Gloria, you taught that to be a feminist was to be a humanist and consequently? Care about the transformation of all of society;

"My story seems pretty unlikely, even to me. I never expected to run for office—but then again, I never expected to do a lot of things in my life. I never expected to climb a mountain. I never expected to meet the president of the United States. I never expected to be a blonde. But here I am."
“My story seems pretty unlikely, even to me. I never expected to run for office—but then again, I never expected to do a lot of things in my life. I never expected to climb a mountain. I never expected to meet the president of the United States. I never expected to be a blonde. But here I am.”

Elizabeth, you’re showing us that if you believe fiercely in your ideals, you can make an entire population believe with you;

"I don't believe that there's such a thing as complete originality. All you can do is take the power of something so legendary and try to put your own stank on it."
“I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as complete originality. All you can do is take the power of something so legendary and try to put your own stank on it.”

Solange, you showed that being an icon in this age make shaping the things into the past into your own variation and in doing so, you truly achieve expression;

"Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it's done right. Even a pancake."
“Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake.”

Julia, you taught that a flair for the dramatic was emblematic of a severe and indefatigable passion for life. And, that drama doesn’t equate with taking yourself too seriously;

“I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.”
“I went out with a guy who once told me I didn’t need to drink to make myself more fun to be around. I told him, I’m drinking so that you’re more fun to be around.”

Chelsea, you show that women can be funny and be an unapologetic, vibrant avalanche of contradictions. And you know what? It’s fucking great;

"And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond; that you do what you say you're going to do. That you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them and even if you don't agree with them."
“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond; that you do what you say you’re going to do. That you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.”

Michele, you showed us how down a First-lady could be. But also, you showed us that a woman with charisma, that’s true to herself and her values could have higher approval ratings than a male POTUS;

Truthfully, this list could go on for days — the world has seen incredible women. Who else should be up here? Mindy Khaling, Phylicia Rashad, Adele, Shirley Chilsholm, Toni Morrison, Sonya Sotamayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Tina Fey, Anna Wintour, Vera Wang, Cher, Jackie Kennedy, Billie Holiday, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, Betty Friedan, Susan Sontag, Benazir Bhutto, J.K. Rowling, Aung San Suu Kyi, Julie Andrews…

But a central point here, beyond the fact that the list of impactful and powerful women is endless, is that the list of women that will continue to be added to it for years to come is equally limitless. My hope is to one day inspire such greatness, move girls to become their own woman, and perhaps if I’m lucky join the company of some of the women mentioned above.

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3 Comments

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  1. Betty & Julia made it into your piece.

    Excellent form!

    This needs to be in print! Beautiful work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it! Let’s empower as many girls as we can.

    Liked by 1 person

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