Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, and along with it every single one of you, Fairies. We felt like inspiring you today, and so we have gathered the best quotes from some of the most influential women the world has ever seen, as well as some background on their incredible achievements.
We love you, fierce Fairies! Scroll below for major inspiration…
Coco Chanel was born in complete poverty, yet would go on to establish one of the most influential fashion houses in the world, as well as revolutionise women’s fashion standards. She abolished the corset and introduced looser, more comfortable silhouettes that freed women. She was the first designer to bring a menswear aesthetic to women’s clothing through the tweed blazer, the little black dress and the quilted bag.
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.“
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.“
Ruth Handler was a female pioneer of the business world, after having her idea for a 3D children’s doll rejected. With ongoing persistence, she would go on to bring the Barbie doll to life. More than 1 billion Barbie dolls have been sold since 1959; placed head to toe, they would circle the Earth more than seven times.
“Don’t dwell on what happened, no matter how bad it was. Find something else to do. Find something to do to help others.”
“Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”
Marie Curie founded the concept of radiology, creating the most sophisticated cancer-treatment protocols in the world. She went on to be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and succumbed to leukaemia after decades of daily radiation exposure.
“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.“
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.“
“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.“
Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru; India’s first Prime Minister after decades of British rule. She was elected Prime Minister in 1966, with headlines reading: “Troubled India in a Woman’s Hands”. Her hands went on to steer India for the next two decades through recession, famine, the detonation of the nation’s first atomic bomb, a corruption scandal and a civil war in neighbouring Pakistan. Under her guidance, the state of Bangladesh was created. By the time she was assassinated, Gandhi would go on to be the world’s longest-serving female Prime Minister.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”
“To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality.”
Rosa Parks became famous after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. This simple act of refusal landed her in prison, and set in motion the Montgomery bus boycott, whilst also kicking off the civil rights movement. When the bulldogs and water hoses were unleashed a decade later in the streets of Birmingham, the protesters knew to stand their ground. “Over my head, I see freedom in the air,” they sang.
“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.“
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
As wife of the 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the ‘behind-the-scenes’ First Lady role. She was the first to participate in radio broadcasts, authored a daily syndicated column, “My Day,” and held weekly, women-only press conferences to discuss women’s issues, her daily activities and breaking news. She became one of her husband’s unofficial advisers and informants, lobbying for civil rights policies to assist the poor, minorities and women and pushed for the creation of the United Nations. Following her husband’s death, she continued her humanitarian efforts as a member of the first American delegation to the U.N. and helped develop the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UNICEF.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
Born Agnes Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents living under the Ottoman Empire, the petite nun made her way to India in 1929, building her start-up missionary community of 13 members in Kolkata into a global network of more than 4,000 sisters running orphanages and AIDS hospices. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize inspired countless volunteers to serve, and will wear her white habit all the way to Catholic sainthood.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Margaret Thatcher was not known as Britain’s Iron Lady for nothing. After becoming both a chemist and a barrister and having two children, she saw her long-held political ambitions realised when she became a Member of Parliament in the Conservative Party, and then Europe’s first female Prime Minister and the only British Prime Minister to serve three consecutive terms. Margaret Thatcher advocated for the privatisation of state enterprises and industries and lower taxes. Thatcher worked against the resistance to turn Britain into an entrepreneurial, free-market economy, and is credited with helping hasten the demise of the Soviet Union.
“Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”
“If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”
“If you set out to be liked, you will accomplish nothing.”
Malala Yousafzai lived in the Swat Dsitrict, where the Taliban rule was heavily against women’s education. In 2012, while on a bus and after taking an exam, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt, in retaliation for her activism. Yousafzai remained unconscious and in critical condition. She has gone on to become a prominent activist for human rights and female education, and is also the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”
The ‘People’s Princess’ came from a humble household, and would go became a royal at the tender age of 19. While going through a turmoiled marriage, she distracted herself by becoming engaged with the public, more-so than other royals ever had. In the early 90s, when AIDS was a taboo, she went and met HIV affected people and shook their hands; people used to avoid entering a room where a patient of AIDS was breathing. She constantly held people’s hands and spoke to them in a friendly royal manner that ignored royal etiquette. She visited Army personnel and visited refugees in Mazera, where she provided food to children, during a solo trip to Zimbabwe. Following her tragic death, her charity functions are being continued by her sons.
“I don’t go by the rule book… I lead from the heart, not the head.”
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
“When you are happy you can forgive a great deal.”
‘Vanity Fair’ called Marilyn Monroe the smartest “dumb blonde” of the 20th century. She did not rally to fight for women’s rights, she did not shout slogans, and she did not join protests to shout her opinion. She was critiqued for her affairs, sexual indiscretions, boldness, and her “I don’t give a damn” attitude to life. She symbolises that one must live to his or her ideals, regardless of what others think of us. Monroe entered Hollywood knowing the kind of sexism it practiced and supported: “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul”. She was one of the first women to openly embrace her sexuality, and during an interview, she was asked: “Do you pose for the photographer or the mirror?” and she replied, “The mirror. I can always find Marilyn in the mirror.”.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world.”
“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”
We hope these influential women and their quotes have inspired you to conquer the world, Fairies, today and on all other days!
Digital Content Coordinator: Zoe Kanlis
Featured Image: Atlanta Jewish Times