I believe all women should empower one another and should be celebrated for their achievements. A few of my female inspirational figures are listed below. They are by far not exhaustive, but they come to mind as their journeys closely parallel mine.
“ A true champion knows how to overcome doubts and manage those doubts and turn them into motivation.” – Misty Hyman
Misty Hyman is an olympic gold medalist from the 2000 Sydney games. She is recognized as a pioneer in the sport for her creative underwater dolphin kick. Misty has won 13 U.S. and five NCAA national titles. Her knowledge of the sport was gained from two decades of competitive swimming for two of America’s top swim coaches. Known as one of the most inspirational athletes of our time, Misty helps athletes, students and corporations reach their goals.
In middle school, I heard Misty give an inspirational talk and got her autograph at Richard Quick’s Stanford Swim Camp. Since then she has been one of the most inspiring people I’ve met. As a former competitive swimmer, I experienced a lot of burnout. Some days I would swim over 100 laps a day. With that said, technique was just as important as mindset, and Misty helped me tap into that. Hearing Misty talk gave me perspective and insight into the challenges swimmers experience to be the best at their game. Regardless if they competed at the Olympic or pre-collegiate level. Her way of living and being empowers me to improve myself everyday and reach my goals, no matter the obstacles.
“The most powerful thing is for women not just to be the beneficiaries of the change, but to be agents of it.” – Blake Lively
Actress Blake Lively is known for her lead role as Serena Van Der Woodsen on CW’s teen drama ‘Gossip Girl’. Blake started her career during her junior high school years when she starred in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Since then her career has flourished, receiving the 2008 Teen Choice Award for TV actress and TV breakout star. Serena Van Der Woodsen, Lively’s Gossip Girl character resonated with my character development in so many ways. She was an empowered woman with style and confidence.
My journey has common threads to Blake’s “personality” in Gossip Girl as I engineered my own comeback similar to hers. Growing up I was privileged with a successful family who had their own path planned for me. Although that path wasn’t what I envisioned, it actually opened doors to new career paths that I would have never pursued otherwise.
Lively not only has a successful acting career in Hollywood, but she recently launched her own twee and kitsch e-commerce site called Preserve.US. The E-commerce site is part blog and part store. Blake’s strives to create a creative space to share stories, videos, and goods where she can hopefully inspire homes, style, and appetites. The launch of her E-commerce resonated with me even more as I launched my own E-Commerce named Kalon SF back in October 2018. With that said not only is Blake Lively known for her amazing style and acting career, but she is a mompreneur.
“Our borders and our obstacles can either stop us in our tracks or force us to get creative.” – Amy Purdy
Growing up with a love of health and fitness, Amy Purdy was a competitive snowboarder for 5 years. Right before Amy’s 21st birthday, she was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis, a life-threatening bacterial infection. Though she survived the ordeal, it came at a high cost: Amy had to amputate her legs below the knee. Her life as an athlete and woman change forever as she had to learn to adapt to her new prosthetic legs. Since returning to competitive swimming, Amy has not only reinvented herself but saw continuous wins after her life altering surgery.
I also had the privilege of seeing her speak at my first Usana Convention when I was a Health & Beauty Consultant. She has a powerful story of courage and resilience, and her bravery has been tremendously humbling. She radiates role model and female empowerment. Amy truly shows us all that anything is possible if you believe in yourself: if she can overcome her obstacles, then we can overcome anything.
“I wanted to show that women are empowered and strong and don’t have to be saved by some male hero, but they can take care of themselves using their intelligence and their power.” – Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot was first known as the winner of Miss Israel 2004 and went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. She modeled for a time before undertaking two years of military service in the Israel Defense Forces. Gadot also studied law before pursuing her acting career. She landed her breakout role in the Fast & Furious series, which led to her iconic role as Wonder Woman. A box-office topping movie also directed by a woman.
As Miss Asian California 2017, I can relate intimately to her pageantry experiences. Her service in protecting her country and success in her acting career both resonate deeply with my own life mission.
Gal used her role in pageantry as a platform for advocacy and positive change. She didn’t let “being a pageant girl” define her identity just as I refuse to let pageantry define mine. Her role in Wonder Women demonstrated female empowerment as the epitome of a modern American superhero instead of the overplayed damsel in distress. The movie influenced my Asian American cultural-inspired costume for the Miss Asian Global Pageant. I knew that I wanted to intertwine both my values from traditional Asian culture and experiences as a modern Asian American. Wonder Woman’s costume colors are those of the American Flag, her country and culture she represents. I chose the colors red and gold strategically because they are my power colors. The colors of my culture, and not just for Asian Americans but to go beyond that.
“Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.” – Princess Diana
Princess Diana was Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles. Though she died in a tragic car crash in 1997, Diana was fondly remembered as the “People’s Princess” due to her widespread popularity and global humanitarian efforts.
Refusing to hide behind the walls of a palace, Diana used her immense influence to campaign for causes ranging from mental health to animal rights. After her divorce, her fashion sense became a symbol of feminine strength. It symbolized her liberation from the suffocating arranged marriage she left behind. Diana’s greatest act that inspired me was that she was unapologetically herself. She definitely touched the lives of many individuals, including mine, and the way she used to platform to help those in need still resonates with me.
“Well I really hope I can make a difference, even in the smallest way. I am looking forward to helping as much as I can.” -Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton is the current Duchess of Cambridge. Since her marriage to Prince William in 2011, Kate supported a variety of charities. Those charities ranged from arts education to mental health awareness. She works closely with the Scout Association and she prioritizes her charity work. Kate’s graciousness and class definitely had a tremendous impact on my style and the way I present myself. Katie’s work ethic and sophisticated fashion sense has inspired me to always strive to be the best version of myself.
WOMEN SUPPORT WOMEN!
These women have used their platform to spread kindness and awareness to issues ignored by many. This has had a positive social impact within communities all over the world. Through their contributions and experiences they have gained respect and have broken this ideal of a “glass ceiling.” Their bravery and courage has and will continue to always inspire me as I overcome many obstacles in my life as a female entrepreneur and blogger.
Can’t wait to kick off my Women Feature series on the blog later this week. Stay tuned!! So excited to continue sharing my journey to empower women in business, fashion, and beauty.