International Women's Day: Celebrating 15 Remarkable Women Who Will Inspire You To Be Your Best Self
We love that 2017 is shaping up to be an empowering year for women, from women's spaces to women helping women it's clear that women make the wellness world go round. In honor of International Women's Day, we asked the people who inspire us on the daily—our wellness community—to share the women they admire most. In one way or another, the women who made the list are trail blazing, remarkable, and embrace multiple roles: something we all aspire to each and every day. To say we are grateful and inspired would be an understatement.
Here are the women who inspire the wellness community.
1. Madeline Albright
"I admire Madeleine Albright. One of my favorite quotes of hers is: 'It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.' This really resonates with me because It's exactly my position and the position of so many women. To even develop a voice we have to break down all kinds of internal and external barriers. She was the first female secretary of state. She had a voice that was strong and witty, but also sometimes light-hearted and funny. I also loved her recent comment 'We cannot be complacent, and we cannot forget the hard work it took us to get to where we are. She is a true role model for people who are trying to break out of a mold (like me) and have a voice.'" —Dr. Amy Shah, mbg health expert and The Ultimate Inflammation Guide class instructor
2. Anne Frank
"Anne Frank once said. 'I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!' To live with such intention that the desired goal isn't money, fame, or fortune; but with the intention to live a life worth pursuing, that's fulfilling, and leaving a legacy for others to be inspired by long past our final breath is something I truly admire and aspire to in my life as well." —Sara Quiriconi, yogi and health coach
3. Michelle Obama
"I admire Michelle Obama. She is a strong woman, mother, wife, and leader. She's funny and approachable and inspires me to lead with laughter and love while doing what I can to make an impact in the world daily." —Koya Webb, yogi, health coach, and motivational speaker
4. Candice Kumai
"I admire different women for different reasons—Candice Kumai is my food and cooking icon, fashion influencer Lisa D is my style role model, I look up to Kira Stokes for her dedication and hard work in the fitness industry, Olivia Cipolla who embodies feminism through dance, and Jana Webb, for her entrepreneurial spirit. Each of these ladies make me wake up and want to be better at what I do every single day in their own special way. I look to different women for inspiration and motivation that I find driven hard working smart and successful and above all else I respect incredibly. They sweat they grind and they're not afraid to go after what they want. I hope to empower and inspire women the way they do for me!" —Rebecca Kennedy, fitness influencer and founder of active recovery class A.C.C.E.S.S
5. Anya Fernald
"I admire Anya Fernald, CEO of Belcampo Meat Co. She's a leading lady in the sustainable meat industry. I just met her at an event last week where she showed us the difference between a heritage breed chicken and a store bought, hormonally-injected bird. Her company and mission has been an eye opening experience for me as I embark on eating meat again, since I want to support companies that keep the animal and the environment in mind when producing mass market meat. She is so passionate and knowledgeable on the subject, plus, as a women in a male-dominated industry (food and especially in the meat sector), she pretty much is redefining the role of a woman in the industry. Go Anya!" —Lee Tilghman, blogger behind Lee From America
6. Nevine Michaan
"I look up to my mentor Nevine Michaan. She’s the most influential person in my life and has taught me almost everything I know about yoga, and also just how to live a nice life. She’s a role model in so many ways for me, and SKY TING really wouldn’t exist without her. I’m also inspired by my business partner CHLOE who keeps me sane and who is there for me in thick or thin #wifey. Also inspired by my friend Tyler Haney of Outdoor Voices who is such a force of nature, my fellow teacher and friend Ally Bogard who is an incredible healer, and the whole SKY TING female team! We have so many ladies at SKY TING and we really couldn’t operate without these super women." —Krissy Jones, yogi and co-founder of SKY TING yoga
"As a yoga student, teacher, and studio owner I am surrounded by incredible women who never cease to amaze and elevate me. Within the past two years of opening SKY TING, the support we've received from women as our mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, our TING teachers, and beautiful students has been immeasurable. Its a network I was never really aware I had or needed, but has never failed to support me as I continue to figure this whole "life" thing out." —Chloe Kernaghan, yogi and co-founder of SKY TING yoga
8. Dr. Terry Wahls
9. Sara Blakely
"One of the women I admire most is Sara Blakely, the founder of SPANX. Her business story is inspiring and so is her continued success—she is America's youngest self-made billionaire! I love following her on Instagram, especially, because she's so real and quirky. She shows that you can be your true self, admit that you want to feel and look good, and still be a strong business woman. Most importantly, her commitment and belief in being authentic and kind in business is empowering!" —Ali Maffucci, founder of Inspiralized and best-selling author
10. Emma Watson
"I have so much respect for Emma Watson. She decided that she wanted to do something really meaningful with her platform, by advocating for women's rights, plus showing off sustainable fashion. And she's shown that one can be serious, smart, thoughtful, plus care about fashion and even be sexy—all at once. She's the best kind of feminist for our time." —Alden Wicker, eco-conscious blogger behind EcoCult
11. Maya Angelou
"Maya Angelou was a woman who combined the fierce powers of honesty and courage, yet with with love and passion, and deep forgiveness and wisdom. Particularly powerful me is that even in the face of personal and cultural struggles of tremendous magnitude, she retained humor, style, and set an example of living fully, brightly, joyously. Her sense of self-efficacy combined with compassion is evident in her life and words, and too often as women we take the victim role, become bitter, or defeated, or take ourselves so seriously on our paths that we forget to be in full joy. She is a reminder that we can live whole, honor who we are to our fullest ability, and even in the face of adversity, keep our ability to speak out truth and be committed to love intact. Here's one of my favorite Angelou quotes: 'My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.'"—Dr. Aviva Romm, author of The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution and Botanical Medicine for Women
12. Lady Gaga
"Feminine women with a side of sass rev the crap out of my soul. Women like Kathryn Budig, Rachel Hunter, Amber Valletta, Lady Gaga are all classy, conscious, and chic. Cheers to the ladies who liberate us in style—the gracious goddesses who are powerful while staying humble. Dang!" —Emma Mildon, spiritual guru
13. Frances Beinecke
"One of my personal heroes is Frances Beinecke. She just recently stepped down, but since 2006 was the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit conservation group. She was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on the BP Oil Spill. She currently serves as advisor on a number of political environmental boards, including for Environmental Leadership in Business. She has been a crusader for and protector of our environment for entire career. She is also a wonderful mother, wife, client, friend and a huge inspiration." —Jessa Blades, herbalist and natural beauty expert
14. Serena Williams
"There are SO many awesome women out there, but one of the women I admire most is Serena Williams. She is so strong, fierce, and powerful. I love her fiery side, her smile, and really just everything about her. She's such an inspiration to me as a person and an athlete.” —Krista Stryker, founder of the 12-minute athlete movement and app
15. Dr. Christiane Northrup
"Dr. Christiane Northrup has been a friend and mentor and huge inspiration for me. She legitimized a conversation about the impact of our emotions on our bodies which has been so validating for so many women. I also admire how she always chooses a sustainable path for her career and life so she is thriving personally." —Alisa Vitti, hormone expert, nutritionist, and founder of Flo Living
Editor's Note: The mbg editorial team contributed reporting to this article.
Lindsay Kellner is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and psychology at New York University and earned a 200-hour yoga certification from Sky Ting. She is the co-author of “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self Care,” along with mbg’s Sustainability Editor, Emma Loewe.