10 Women I Love and Why ...

Thanks to some great discussions, I’m feeling very girl-power recently. Feeling this way got me to thinking about the women I love and admire. I found the list really interesting, because the women of honor are so indicative of who I am and what I love. Pretty cool, right?

1. My Mom

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This is number one all the way, and it always will be. My mom is my very best friend – along with my dad, actually. My mom and I have always been incredibly close, and it gets better as I get older. She’s everything I want to be in terms of grace and strength, beauty and love, kindness and determination. She’s always there and always open, and I love her for that.

2. Peanut

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Begging pardon, that’s my affectionate name for the BH and BFF. When you can really get someone who understands you but loves you even when they can’t, you’re golden. Furthermore, female friendship is incredibly fulfilling and much needed.

3. Alice Walker

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Alice Walker’s writing touches me profoundly as a woman. There are so many universal truths in her stories, and they cross all boundaries. The Color Purple, The Temple of My Familiar, Possessing the Secret of Joy, these all might as well contain mirrors, and I love that there is a woman out there who can speak to so many others.

4. Sylvia Plath

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She sometimes seems like the consummate girl-poet to me. Her life, her art, the way she expressed her emotions – these are all things that only come around every so often. They’re extremely rare, and although Sylvia paid the ultimate price, there is something tragically beautiful about the story of her life.

5. Simone De Beauvoir

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I practically tripped over this woman in college. She showed up in three different Literature courses plus a philosophy course. And it was just as well, because it was love at first … read. An existentialist and a gift, what she did in her radicalization of the sexes still reverberates.

6. My 11th Grade English Teacher

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We all have teachers who change our lives or especially touch us, and mine taught the English classes I took in my junior year of high school. She’s a woman I still think of fondly, and she’s largely responsible for everything you see here!

7. Billie Holiday

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I’m very particular about the female artists I listen to, and she is one of my favorites. I love her voice, her songs, her emotions, and something about her biography touches me deeply. Billie Holiday got pain in a way I cannot even comprehend, but it helps me deal with my own.

8. Audrey Hepburn

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I know this seems superficial, but it’s true. I love Audrey Hepburn for shaping my ideals about grace and style. I don’t just mean looks or wardrobe, I mean attitude as well.

9. Marlene Dietrich

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Marlene Dietrich is also responsible for helping to shape my personal style. I love her because she did what she wanted to do, what made her comfortable, and turned androgyny into an art form as she casually ground gender stereotypes under her heels. And she looked fabulous in her suit and tie all the while.

10. Barbara Kingsolver

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Another writer, but she is one of the most profound on the list. I love this woman because she inspires me. Her writing gives me the push I need to do my own, and you can’t put a price on that.

There are so many women who have profoundly affected me. Some are writers, others are musicians, politicians, doctors, teachers. Some I know and some I never will. What women have helped shape your life?

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