In this article, we talk about powerful women and, here, the word powerful means perseverance, constancy, and eccentricity. We talk about powerful women who fought for something to make a change, dreamers who actually brought about a revolution in our history or women who simply had a big, unconventional and distinctive personality that influenced others!
1. Peggy Guggenheim
Born in New York in 1898, Peggy was one of the biggest American art collectors of all time. At 39 years old she began a career which significantly affected the course of post-war-art, opening her first art gallery in London. Her incredible personality and unconventional style explain her forefront taste for art and surrealism: she collected and championed artists from Vasily Kandinsky to Jackson Pollock to Yves Tanguy and Salvador Dalí, artists that we probably wouldn’t have even known without Peggy’s contribution. Always wearing her eccentric sunglasses and her charisma, she traveled all around Europe, discovering talents and collecting lovers…Vail, Ernst, Tangury, John Ferrar Holms and Samuel Beckett are just a few of the men who loved her and she passionately loved back. During an interview made at the end of the 70s by Jacqueline Bograd Weld, she said she preferred “Certainly the men of art because they are more interesting than businessmen: sometimes they can be disappointing, but others time they are better than their works. In any case, when you attend artists, you realize that they are very different from what you expected“. Narcissist, vulnerable and life lover, she wanted to be different from everyone, and thanks to her unique savoir-faire she has certainly influenced not only generations of artists, but also its own heirs. Is worth to learn more about her character, visiting her Museum in Venice in the house where she lived the last year of her curious life.
2. Coco Chanel
All of you know Coco Chanel. And all of you know that she was one of the most incredible French designer, able with her work to revolutionize the concept of femininity and to impose herself as a fundamental figure of the popular culture of the twentieth century. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born in 1883 and once she turned eighteen, she started working in Moulins, at the Maison Grampayre linen and knitwear store. There, she developed the notions of sewing learned from the nuns of Notre Dame where she used to study and from her Aunt Louise. Around 1909, Coco Chanel began his career making caps. In an era when sumptuous Pompadur hats were in place, covered with feathers and impossible to wear without the elaborate support structure, Chanel creates hats, adorned with simple satin flowers or single feathers, that shocked everyone. Her first client was Emilienne D’Alençon, who showed off Gabrielle’s creation at the Longchamps racecourse. Through Balsan’s network of friendships, Chanel formed his first client. In the 1920s Chanel launched the short hair fashion for fatality because she accidentally burned her hair on a stove and she decided to cut the rest. After a short time, young fashionable women imitated his cut she understood she was intended to influence the world. In fact, after the first World War, she started the biggest revolution: through fashion, Chanel started representing with clothes the new female model that was developing in the twentieth century: a dynamic working woman who could no longer wear constrictive clothing of the Belle Époque. Coco started creating comfortable and fashionable dresses, she freed women from corsets and scaffolding for hats, giving them comfortable clothes, simple in their lines for a dynamic daily life. Chanel brought the length of the skirts below the knee and lowered the waist and finally introduced the use of women’s trousers. Well, if we wear what we wear today is thanks to one of the most popular powerful women!
3. Malala Yousafzai
Malala is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize graduated. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially for the education about the life of women and children in her native Swat Valley, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khagan Abassi, she has become “the most prominent citizen” of the country. Malala is fighting to give back to girls what poverty, war and discrimination tried to take away. In 2012 she spoke out publicly in behave of girls and their rights and for this speech, one day of October 2012 a masked gunman shot Malala on her bus for school. She woke up in a hospital in Uk and after different surgeries with all the world praying for her recovery, she started a new life! Now she is studying Politics, Philosophy and Economy at the University of Oxford. When we hear about women power we immediately think about Malala!
4. Emmeline Pankhurst
she was a British activist and politician who led the UK feminist suffragette movement, helping women get the right to vote. In 1999 the US magazine Time proclaimed Pankhurst as one of the “most important people of the 20th century” stating that she “modeled a woman’s idea for our time, shook society in a new model from which there would be no more possible to go back “. At the time she was widely criticized for her aggressive tactics of militancy and historians still do not agree on the extent of their actual effectiveness and scope, but her work is recognized as having been a crucial element in achieving women’s suffrage in the UK. She fought hard for our right and she was arrested much time for that, once was in May 1914 Emmeline Pankhurst in front of Buckingham Palace when she tried to petition King George V. Dear powerful women, all of us owe much to Emmeline for what she has done and for having opened the way for new goals of gender equality, previously unthinkable.
5. Julia Chase-Brand
Maybe you didn’t know about it but Julia broke down barriers for women athletes! In the early 1960s, women weren’t allowed to participate in run races that were over 880 yards because according to popular opinion it could have been harmful to women’s reproductive abilities. Unbelievable for us. Isn’t it? But that was the reality when Julia was young until she competed in her first race in July 1960 at the age of 15 and she achieved a first place victory at the New England Championship’s 880-yard run, breaking the track record! This was just the beginning of her revolution but the way of considering the sport changed forever thanks to this rule breaker! Now you know this story will you find more motivation during your running session?