Seven Iconic Women of 2017
They have come to our rescue, they spoke out when we couldn't, and they shattered barrier after barrier — these bad ass women are inspiring people everywhere to do the same! Here are 7 women who absolutely killed it in 2017:
1. Solange Knowles
With her groundbreaking album "A Seat at the Table," Solange Knowles created one of the most culturally significant releases ever. She sang about themes of racism, cultural appropriation, empowerment and activism. The album itself is one of the best representations of what it’s like to be a black woman in America. The record symbolizes her desire to stand in her truth and reflect her strength and struggle. She was recently named 2017 Glamour Woman of the Year saying, "I’m excited I get to be this complex, complicated, loud, vocal, flawed woman and still be worthy of recognition. It only makes me want to keep evolving. Keep standing. Keep fighting to make sure my body is my body, my mind is my mind, my story is my story."
2. Emily Weiss
Emily Weiss is the CEO and founder of "Glossier." In mid-September this year, a social media campaign was released that showed unedited nude photos of women on old-fashioned billboards. From basketball player and Olympic gold medalist Swin Cash Canal, to entrepreneur Tyler Haney and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, the models were all different colors and sizes. The Body Hero campaign was a hit! Fans flooded social media with appreciation for the campaign, causing Glossier to achieve cult status. "We just want to make people happy in whatever small ways we can," Weiss said. "Especially in the times that we live in." The brand has been doing so well that in the coming years it could reach legacy status similar to L'Oréal and Estée Lauder. Keep grinding Emily!
3. America Ferrera
After the 2016 presidential election Ferrera said she was "feeling really despondent." As an outspoken social activist, she felt that something had to be done to lift her spirit and help others find hope. Ferrera teamed up with her husband, Ryan Piers Williams and actor Wilmer Valderrama to create Harness, an advocacy organization that aims to shift current narratives about social issues by bringing leaders in communities of color, immigrants, refugees and Muslims together with Hollywood creators to help tell their stories.
4. Kamala Harris
Educated, experienced and ready to get to work, this senator from California will not be silenced. Kamala Harris is every woman who has ever earned a position of power and has not been afraid to use it. She is setting new standards for women in power to challenge the status quo for the good of the nation. The way she approaches her career reminds women everywhere that we should not carry the weight of men who have not learned to see us as equals. We cannot allow for them to hold us back.
5. Millie Bobby Brown
At just 13-years-old Millie Bobby Brown was named one of the most influential teens of 2017 by TIME's Magazine, noticed as a style icon by Vogue Paris, and nominated for an Emmy. Brown's career started with her role as Eleven on Stranger Things. Since the show’s July 2016 debut, the British actor has rapped at the Golden Globes, signed with IMG Models and appeared on the covers of Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, and more. Millie Bobby Brown has become the face a of pop culture phenomenon and her influence won't stop there! She is definitely one to watch next year!
6. Alli Webb
Alli Webb is to thank for growing a bountiful blowout business. She single handedly filled a void in the beauty industry by creating a new category, in 2010, with her blow-drying business, Drybar. “Women get such amazing confidence from looking good and feeling good,” she said. “Some come to me and say ‘I won’t go to a board meeting without a blow out.’ It’s this armor they have. I know it sounds lofty because it’s just hair, but it’s amazing how much I hear it and I think it’s why we’re so successful.” The company has spent much of 2017 opening up new locations in cities across the United States and getting their long line of products placed in stores like Sephora, Ulta, Bloomingdales, and more. In 2018 Webb plans to open another 25 Drybar locations, and she’s looking toward international locations as well. #GIRLBOSS
7. Serena Williams
Back in 2015 Serena Williams won Sportsperson of the Year. In her speech she said, “For all the ladies out there, yes we can do it,” she said. “My hope by winning this award is that I can inspire many, many, many more women … to stand right here on this podium and accept another ‘Sportsperson of the Year,’ so yes ladies it can be done.” This speech inspired other women in the world of sports as well as women as a whole to follow their passions and not to limit themselves. Serena continued to break barriers since her speech winning 2 more grand slam titles. She even played in the Australian Open this year while pregnant and won!
There are so many more women that could be added to this list. 2017 was truly a monumental year for all different kinds of amazing ladies. Which women changed your life this year?
Sophia Zigmond / Writer