Tomorrow the world celebrates International Women’s Day as part of Women’s History Month. This is the time of the year to pay tribute to the generations of women before us who have made an impact on our society. While we tend to honor the women who came before us, it’s also imperative to pay tribute to the trailblazers who are changing the world today. Here are some of the history-making women of the modern age:
You can’t think of POTUS without thinking of First Lady Michelle Obama. Throughout Obama’s presidency, Michelle has been a strong role model for women everywhere. Not only is she a lawyer, wife, mother, and fashionista, Michelle is also a huge advocate for healthy living, service members and their families, and higher education that she's supported through various White House initiatives. She’s proven that she is another force to be reckoned with in the White House!
Whatever your political affiliation may be, you can’t deny that Hillary Clinton has achieved many history-making milestones in her life and career. From First Lady and Senator to Secretary of State, Clinton has been at the forefront of today’s political world. If she wins the presidential election this November, she will become the first woman to hold the prestigious office of President of the United States. Whether you’re Democrat or Republican, this is definitely one for the history books.
This young woman has made such an impact on this world that most only know her by her first name: Malala. As a young girl, Malala defied the Taliban and demanded girls receive an education. As a result, she was shot in the head but survived — she continues to be an advocate for global education. In October 2014, she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Another woman best known by first name alone: Oprah. She is one of the richest women in the country with a net worth of $3.1 billion, but her career and philanthropy are what make her a legend. Her career milestones include the successful 25-season television show run of The Oprah Winfrey Show and the launch of her own television network, OWN. She is also a dedicated activist particularly for children, which includes opening a school in South Africa to provide an education to girls in impoverished communities.
Another daytime TV host who has made her mark on today’s society: Ellen DeGeneres. She is best known as a comedian, actor, and TV host, but also for her philanthropic efforts. In 1997, she made history when her television character became the first sitcom lead to acknowledge she was gay on-air. Since then, DeGeneres has continued to be a staunch advocate for the LGBT community. Her fun-loving humor and big heart for helping those in need make her a role model for many.
While the lack of diversity in Hollywood is dominating the headlines, one Latina has managed to pass through the barriers over the decades: Rita Moreno. She is one of the very few performers to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Best known for her role in West Side Story, Moreno continues to break barriers in Hollywood by playing various roles, including her recent appearances on Jane the Virgin with Gina Rodriguez.
Misty Copeland danced into our hearts last year when she became the first African-American female to be promoted to principal ballet dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Despite numerous hurdles growing up, Copeland persevered to follow her dreams and has become a testament to the saying that hard work can pay off. She has also defied the traditional “ballet body” stereotypes with her curvier, more athletic build, a role model for young girls everywhere to help them embrace their bodies.
Sasha Monik Moreno is a Founding Creator and career and education blogger. When she's not sharing her advice on Vivala.com, you can find her at themodernlatina.com.