Top ten women who have shaped the world this past year

Photo courtesy of lindsay neilson photos, Flickr

In honor of International Women’s Day, this feels like an apt time to reflect on the beautiful, powerful and inspiring women of our world. These women are constantly pushing for visibility and equality, especially in the world of the arts.

The stretch between March 8, 2019 and March 8, 2020 included quite the number of accomplishments from our female icons. It is only fair that we shed light on a few who embrace their femininity as a strength and push for the rest of the world to see it in the same way.

In no particular order, here are some of our favorite moments from iconic women this past year:

  1. GRETA GERWIG- 2019’s “Little Women” director Greta Gerwig developed a hit rendition of the beloved movie, and she was sure to choose a phenomenal cast. Her modern and feminist approach to the movie set her apart from other versions, and the overall production was critically acclaimed. Though Gerwig was not awarded with the recognition she deserved, we applaud her for her beautiful work and know that she is one of the top directors currently in the industry. 

  2. BILLIE EILISH- In the last year, Billie’s career has skyrocketed from singles to Grammys. Beyond her music, which is changing the pop scene, Billie is also known for her unique sense of style. She is often seen wearing almost comically oversized clothing, but the young star has said its her way of keeping the public and media from critiquing her body. Whether the commentary would be positive or negative, she has taken away the opportunity to give their opinions. We call that power.

  3. LIZZO- Loud, proud and fierce black and plus-sized singer Lizzo stole the hearts of the world with her fun and empowering pop and R&B songs. After her hit single “Truth Hurts” from 2017 found its way into becoming one of the top songs of 2019, her debut album “Cuz I Love You” rediscovered what it means to be a bold woman in our world today. She reminds us to embrace our beautiful selves, and most importantly, love yourself more than anyone else.  

  4. HALSEY- Pop icon Halsey has always been outspoken about her experiences as a woman from miscarriages, to sexual harassment to sexuality. This year, her album “Manic” was the first of 2020 to go platinum. The album is a look into her mind, and since it’s release she’s been more vocal than ever about her struggles with bipolar disorder. Many artists don’t open up about mental illness and the stigma surrounding it, so we applaud her for being part of the conversation.

  5. GRACE AND FRANKIE – One of the earliest Netflix Original Series’ “Grace and Frankie '' continuously embarks on positive femininity and sexuality of older women. With their recent release of the sixth season, the comedy remains one of the top rated TV shows, and it is popular amongst all generations. Likewise, stars and creators Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are the epitome of activism, as they both are notorious for being outspoken over issues such as climate change and women’s rights. Needless to say, we all hope to have a friendship like Grace and Frankie’s. 

  6. ARIANA GRANDE- Outside the music industry, has been inspiring politically. During her last tour, she made an effort to register fans to vote, making the “Sweetener Tour,” the highest registering tour with HeadCount since 2008. She has also endorsed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders which, with such a massive platform and fanbase, could be incredibly influential on young voters, inspiring them to get involved politically themselves.

  7. MARGARET ATWOOD – After 30 years, feminist writer Margaret Atwood made a comeback with the recent release of “The Testaments,” the longawaited sequel to her bestselling novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Fans globally have praised the dystopian universe created in Atwood’s novels, and her political plotlines have sparked conversations we continue to recognize. She is an outspoken environmental activist, feminist and dynamnic writer that has used herf platform and art to express the power of feminity for decades, and she remains as one of the most influencial female writers. 

  8. JENNIFER LOPEZ – The past year has been all about Jenny From the Block. From her production and starring in the hit movie Hustlers, talking about the experiences of women in sex work, to her inspiring political super bowl show with Shakira, J-Lo has reminded us all she can do it all. This is especially a strong message as a woman in her 50s, who are often shamed for their appearances, but ageism is not welcome in this conversation.

  9. TAYLOR SWIFT – By far one of the most popular female singers of our generation, Taylor Swift released her seventh studio album “Lover,” and it exemplifies the growth of Swift: both personally and musically. After the release, she entered a feud with her record label, as she wanted ownership of her music. The debate became public and dramatic, but it ultimately displayed the strength, dignity and pride Swift has for herself and her music. Additionally, Swift has opened up about dealing with eating disorders, and her story has empowered young girls everywhere. 

  10. NIKKIETUTORIALS- A list of inspiring women would not be complete without an iconic figure of the LGBTQ+ community. Nikki de Jager, recently came out as transgender in response to threats of blackmail, taking her story and power into her own hands. Nikki has also been an icon to many because of her message of “the power of makeup,” allowing anyone to feel empowered by the artistry of makeup.