I love receiving emails from Jennifer Siebel Newsom, of MissRepresentation.org as many of you are aware of by now! I post about the topics she introduces on a regular basis and give due credit every time.
Recently Jennifer mentioned the oddity that an ‘All-American Woman’ is consistently posited as baring-cleavage, sexually objectified, and little else. How unfortunate, when there are so many cool women doing worthy things, worth appreciating. The challenge she issued is to redefine the All-American hero by writing about the top 5 “amazing women you aspire to be like.”
1. I appreciate Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and aspire to be like her. Though I have been passionate about equality for women since before I heard of her, Jennifer’s dedication and positive public image really put feminism ‘on the map’ in a better way than it was before her documentary. A large part of the reason I admire her is that I want to see the tv and film industry CHANGE. I watch films with what Netflix refers to as “strong female leads,” which typically means women who are not portrayed as sexually objectified, and are shown generating action and positive change in their own lives. Real women often seem to feel paralyzed and unable to break out of negative life patterns, and I personally believe that watching films where women don’t make moves and changes does influence that trend of paralysis.
2. I’ve always wanted to be like Rachel Carson, an environmental “warrior” scientist active from the 1930s-1960s. She wrote the book ‘Silent Spring,’ creating awareness of the effect of chemicals on the environment. She testified before the U.S. Senate on the misuse of pesticides, demonstrating admirable bravery. She was called ‘alarmist’ for bringing to light the dangers commonly-used pesticides pose to wildlife. And yet Rachel held her ground, speaking to remind governing officials that humans are part of this world that we pollute, and the effects of chemicals on the environment adversely affect our human health as well. Several environmental organizations were created following the publicity her discovery received, due to positive reception by the public. She is an American hero, and I believe even the EPA owes its existence to her.
3. I admire The Great Kat for her musical talent and charisma. Katherine Thomas is a classically trained, thrash-metal, shredder/guitarist. She also plays violin, and promotes herself on her website as a ‘violin goddess’. Her confidence is undeniable and valuable to her in the often ruthlessly-rejecting music industry (which is -historically- especially intimidating for females to break into). Kat defies the odds, with mind-blowing technical skills on guitar and violin. I frequently wish that more women will pursue technical skill sets in music; the world needs more of us who self-identify as ‘Great’.
4. Elena Levon, whom I posted about not so very long ago on this blog, has the adventuring free spirit I wish I, too, can embody. Her travels and adventures, her devotion to humanitarian projects (such as the Lubasi Home, and UNICEF), and her artistic expression all impress me to a degree I cannot explain with words. Elena overcame tremendous odds at a young age to pursue her dreams. She writes a travel blog as well, and has recently been sent a letter which makes her eligible for my list of ‘All-American’ women who inspire me. Congratulations, Elena!
5. Another creative soul I admire is Miss Alana Rose, “mother, artisan, Renaissance woman, student of life.” I serendipitously stumbled across her shop on Etsy, seeing beautiful organic clothing, feathers to clip into hair, and crystals adorning necklaces. Her call to her Tribe spoke to my soul, and I felt I’d found the words to call my own Tribe:
“we’re a Tribe of new folk free-thinkers
meditation & yoga practicing
creating with our hands
a caravan of backpack travelers, fire performers
& drum circle dancers
barefoot walkers with Totem animals
& feathers in our hair
the Tribe is on a journey
whether our feet do ramble
or our spirits ascend
while choosing the path of compassion
we are all mirror reflections
within the Universal Mind”
I am inspired by her mission, art, adventurous spirit, and environmentally-conscious commitment to up-cycling materials for her shop. People who make their income through creative means are the ones who show me the way.