As the world celebrates International Women's Day today, let's take a look back at ten times when female celebrities inspired us with their empowering words.
Today, on March 8, the world celebrates women for the powerful, inspiring, empowering individuals that they are. Despite the undeniable odds stacked against them for ages, countless women have proved themselves to be incredibly resilient and created a name for themselves in their chosen careers. From the former first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, to one half of the hottest couple in Tinseltown today, Priyanka Chopra, these women have time and again spoken about everything they've had to go through to reach where they are today as well as inspiring their sisters around the world to realize their potential. On the occasion of this International Women's Day, let's take a look at 10 times they have shared snippets of their wisdom:
In 2014, the former first lady of America spoke to the inaugural class of young African fellows undergoing six weeks of leadership training in the United States as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Addressing the young leaders, Michelle said, "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens. Leadership is about creating new traditions that honor the dignity and humanity of every individual. Leadership is about empowering all of our people— men, women, boys, and girls. When we commit to that kind of leadership across the globe, that is when we truly start making progress on girls’ education."
The star athlete was lauded in 2016 for a scathing reply she gave to a journalist who asked her what she felt about being "one of the greatest female athletes of all time". In response, Williams said, "I prefer the word 'one of the greatest athletes of all time'". She was also questioned about her wish for equal pay for male and female athletes. Williams responded saying she wants to "see people, the public, the press, other athletes in general, just realize and respect women for who they are and what we are and what we do."
During her 2018 Harper's Bazaar Arabia cover shoot, Chopra said, "Feminism is women standing up for themselves and saying, 'Give me the freedom to make my own choices without judging me. It is not superiority. It is not hating or berating men. It is just saying, 'Let me make my decisions without shaming me or trolling me. Give me those opportunities that men have enjoyed for such a long time.'" She added, "Men and women are not equal. We’re not supposed to be equal, but we’re supposed to be given equal opportunities, that’s important."
While participating in the 2017 Women's March, the Crazy Rich Asians star spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the importance of standing up for fellow women. "I think having a march in Washington that is headlined and front-lined and led by women is a statement about the patriarchal standards that we don't even see because they are so woven into the fabric of our existence. I think it’s important that artists stand up and that women, in particular, stand up for other women who are flawed and talented and smart and interesting and human and whole," she said.
A few months prior to her wedding to Prince Harry, the former Suits star made her first official appearance alongside her then-fiancé. Appearing at the first annual Royal Foundation Forum in London in February 2018, Markle said, "Women don’t need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it and people need to be urged to listen." Meghan, who is expecting her first child with the Duke of Sussex soon, was speaking about how excited she was to "hit the ground running" with the organization to support women’s rights.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 2016, the Game Of Thrones star Maisie Willaims said, "I got asked in one of my first interviews: 'Is Arya a feminist?' I didn’t even know what a feminist was. And then someone explained it to me. And I remember thinking, 'Isn’t that just like everyone?' And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately. But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists 'feminists' and just start calling people who aren’t feminist 'sexist'” — and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist."
The comedian gave an inspiring speech at the 2014 Gloria Awards and Gala, in which she covered topics ranging from regrettable sexual encounters to body-image issues. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and f*** and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you," she said.
Hitting back at all those claimed she betrayed her feminist ideals when she posed topless for Vanity Fair in 2017, Watson said, "It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is. Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s very confusing."
In her Producer's Guild Awards acceptance speech in 2016, Rhimes said, "It's not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is. Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody's sidekick in real life. I created what I know is normal. So basically, you are just giving me an award for being me, in which case I totally deserve it."
The Supreme Court Justice delivered a powerful speech during an appearance at Georgetown University in 2015. "People ask me sometimes, when — when do you think it will it be enough? When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is when there are nine... If I had any talent in the world, any talent that God could give me, I would be a great diva," Ginsburg, who is one of the handful of women to ever have served on the Supreme Court said.