Happy International Women's Day to all of our sisters out there, no matter your race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I am so thankful to be able to have so many inspiring young girls on our team, so I reached out to some of our contributors to see which women inspire them!
1. Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse is one of the the most notable groundbreaking jazz female singers in history. Winehouse is well known for her worldwide breakthrough album in 2006 known as “Back to Black”. Her impact in the jazz music world has earned her some of the most prestigious names in the music industry, such as Best Female Solo Artist from the BRIT Awards and Record of the Year Award from the Grammys, which caused Amy’s album to become the second most highest selling album in history with 50 million copies. Amy’s strong willed personality inspires me with how she faced her problems in life head on by transforming her experiences into the form of songs that contained great depth and meaning. Winehouse to me broke a boundary of jazz music as a whole and made it her own and I admire her ability to take a music genre as broad as jazz and personalize it to her own style, which essentially is why she is one of the most famous jazz singers of history. Winehouse did not let others influence her in the expansive world of music and instead stayed well rounded to her roots with, “from being around the block, I guess people know that I don't really do what I'm told to.” Winehouse’s independent personality and the influence she created as a female in the music world are the two attributes that make Winehouse such an inspiration to me."
2. Amelia Moore
"The moment I met Amelia Moore, my life was forever changed. We were roommates in the Children’s Institute’s Pain Program in Pittsburgh. Despite our large age difference - I was 11 and she was 19 - she took me under her wing and she became more than a best friend, but a sister. Milly passed away almost exactly one year ago at only 24 years old. Words cannot express how special of a person she still is. I don't think people are inherently bad or good, but to this day she makes me question that belief because of her pure goodness that radiated throughout her. A fire blazed so brightly in her soul those lucky enough to get close weren't burned, but ignited. On paper her life was a tragedy, but in reality it was beautiful. Her unshakeable faith shone in even the darkest hours. She wore strength like the perfect shade of red lipstick. Milly might be gone physically, but her message and lessons live on. Amelia taught me it's not about how much time you get, but what you do with the time you're given. So make mistakes, sing and dance in the rain, celebrate the small things, laugh loudly, don't wonder what could've been, be present in each precious moment, take risks, make a lasting positive impact on this world, commit random acts of kindness, cry and embrace the tears running down your face...just whatever you do - ruthlessly live"
3. The women of TLC
"TLC, consisting of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, are one of the most charismatic girl groups in history that never fail to inspire me. They broke many barriers in the music scene for young women of color and always advocated for safe sex and other important causes. They have all had their own personal struggles and still managed to rise to the top of the music scene in the 90’s, despite being a couple of girls from the ‘rough part of town’. Tionne has had a lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia, but she never let it get in the way of her everyday life, given the tiring lifestyle of touring. Lisa had to balance her music with her personal struggles from the moment her career took off. On the same day TLC got signed with LaFace Records, she got the news that her dad had passed away. Lisa also dealt with alcohol addiction and an abusive relationship, but always decided to put herself first, rather than money. She turned down many financial offers to take time off for her own spiritual healing. Shortly before the shoot of TLC’s first music video, Chilli had to abort a pregnancy due to her busy career. She suffered emotional trauma during this time but she didn’t let it affect her goals. Another act of courage that TLC displayed was their honesty. The three young women, just like many other artists at that time, got caught in exploitive contracts, resulting in their own bankruptcy. They spoke out publicly at the VMAs against their management, rather than staying silent. This helped many other female artists speak out against unfair treatment in the music business."
4. Valerie Nelson
"The woman who stayed in the hospital a few weeks past her birthday because of my post-birth complications. The woman who brought up my sister and I in an environtment that both her and my dad never had growing up. The woman who's never once stressed her support for whatever decisions both my sister and I chose to make. The woman who's kept our family together so effortlessly even when my dad took a job overseas. For her, I have yet to see a fault in her. From playing No Doubt non-stop in my upbringing, hoping we would listen to TLC and not fall for a scrub, and helping us realise how much we're worth through strong female artists. She supports my morals and learns when I go on about irrelevant thoughts. She supports my decisions and my happiness alone. My mom is the reason that I have the identity I have. I wouldn't be the same woman without her love and consistent support. My mom is my entire world and I chalk every thing I am up to her. Thank you mom for teaching me what it is to be a powerful woman. Happy Women's Day."
5. Malala Yousafzai
"Besides the fact of all she has endured I feel a deeper more personal connection with her. With not only being a teenager herself but also coming from the same country, Malala has been nothing but an inspiration to myself and girls at my age. She broke barriers by diminishing the role of the traditional woman in her society and built something great and gave herself and fellow woman like her a voice in this world. Malala promoted education for women and sent her message to be brave and face the world. This confidence nonetheless has set me to not only value what I have now, but also to put myself forth and be a voice for those who don't have one just as Malala did."
6. Debbie Harry
"Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry inspires me. She's a true female icon of the punk/ new wave movement of the seventies and eighties, and inspired young musicians, both male and female, to this day. She's woman of many talents, not only a musician but also a model and actress. Debbie Harry inspires me to pursue any interest I want, and as many of them."
7. My Mami
"Happy International Women's day to all women in the world, who are powerful, strong, and have the potential to go through everything that crosses their path. Happy Women's day to the woman that raises me, and has given everything, just to grant me happiness. My Mami is one of the strongest people I know, not only because she left her family in Mexico for us to have a better future, but for giving all of her energy every single day. Since she was very young, she studied and worked far from the tiny county in Mexico that was home, so she could help her family, and up to this day, she still puts everyone else before herself, sacrificing her happiness and health. Five years ago, she said yes to one of the most hard decisions she'd ever encountered. Moving to a different country, without speaking the language, and not knowing a single soul, was extremely difficult for her, and still is for her up to these days, but with her shining,radiant smile she faces every type of hardship in the way. My aspiration is not only to be as strong and inspiring as she is, but to have the enormous warm, obliging, and caring heart she has. Gracias por absolutamente todo mami, y Feliz día de La Mujer a todas!"
8. Rachel Bloom
"There's so many inspiring women in my life, but if there is one who has been ringing in my ears for awhile it's Rachel Bloom. Rachel Bloom is a comedic actress, showrunner, and comedy writer from Los Angeles, California. Her main project right now is Crazy-Ex Girlfriend on the CW. What's even more inspiring is even with dealing with a dead pilot (the show was originally suppose to go on Showtime, but she shopped it around and it found its home on the CW), and low ratings, she stays true to herself and writes, runs, and stars in her own show tackling Mental Illness, Feminist Satire, and even some great musical numbers. Staying true to herself has paid off in many critical accolades including a Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, 2 Emmys for technical achievements on the show, and many other awards. Her constant drive to make the show exceptional is awe-striking. The show is unlike anything I've ever seen on television, and her optimism and strength inspires me to be who i want to be on the daily."
9. Kathleen Hanna
"Growing up as a female musician in a predominately male scene, it's easy to feel small and insignificant. Kathleen Hanna is a woman who exudes female empowerment, and is my biggest inspiration. She is the vocalist of the 90s punk band, Bikini Kill, and pioneered the third wave feminist movement, Riot Grrrl. Kathleen remains one of the most important figures in my life, due to her overt and outspoken feminist ideals, and ability to create an inclusive space for musicians"