10 Strong, Powerful Women to Inspire Your Inner Badass
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ah, the Notorious RBG. She's the resident boss babe of the Justice System, and—after serving 24 years as a U.S. Supreme Court justice—has earned some serious respect from her peers and the public. The Brooklyn native has been a consistent pioneer of gender equality and a champion for women's rights—with no plans to retire anytime soon. If you're still wondering why she made it on our list, check out her workout routine, and you'll totally understand.
Ashley Graham is more than just a model from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue—she's leading the charge in breaking down the "size 2" bubble in the fashion and fitness communities and advocating for women of all shapes and sizes to be shown front and center. (She even launched a swimwear collection with SwimsuitsForAll, has a denim line with Marina Rinaldi, and landed a huge beauty gig as the face of Revlon.) She rallies behind the #healthyatanysize and #curvyfit movements—which prove you don't need to be ripped to be healthy and happy—and gets *real* on her Instagram about everything from cellulite to body-shaming to outlawing the term "plus-size" once and for all.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of Washington's leading ladies, and if the last two years have been any indication, she's not going to slow down anytime soon. She's long been a fierce advocate for working families, education, and expanding medical research—and fought for women's rights as well. She made her voice heard loud and clear at the January 2017 Women's March, where you could hear her encouraging women to make sure "we fight harder, we fight tougher, and we fight more passionately than ever," according to a video of her speech on CNN. While 2017 marked a record-breaking year for females in the Senate, we're still 28 seats shy of an equal share. Here's hoping Warren (and the 21 other women leading the charge) will fight the good fight for all of us.
Demi has never been one to fit into the Disney princess stereotype—and her rebellious anti-bullying, self-love, and body-image statements have only made that more clear. She's not afraid to say "see ya" to the spotlight for a whole year in the name of mental health and has come totally clean about any mental health issues she's had in the past—that illusion of pop perfection be damned. Add a mental health documentary and a Fabletics collection that supports the United Nations' Girl Up initiative to her résumé, and it's clear this lady is ready to take on the world.
Flywheel CEO Sarah Robb O'Hagan
Sarah Robb O'Hagan is conquering the business world, one kickass health company at a time. She's led transformative campaigns at Virgin and Nike, served as global president for both Gatorade and Equinox, and is now the CEO of boutique fitness company Flywheel Sports—which all helped earn her the titles of Forbes' "Most Powerful Women in Sports" and Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business." Not to mention, she's dedicated to spreading the #girlpower: She's served on Hillary Clinton's U.S. State Department Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sports and is a trustee of the Women's Sports Foundation. (And BTW she's crazy fit; this photo shows her hiking the Routeburn Track in New Zealand.)
Feeling inspired yet? You can steal her success secrets in her new book on how to crush it, which is meant to inspire women to follow their dreams: Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat.
And this isn't just another "here's why I'm awesome" career book; Robb O'Hagan gets real about her "career canyon of despair" and every "epic fail" she had along the way. Now that's the kind of #realtalk girl power role model we can get behind.
Trainer Jen Widerstrom
ICYMI, The Biggest Loser trainer Jen Widerstrom is simply everything. Her real-talk, no-BS, you-can-effing-do-it approach to fitness (and utterly lovable personality) make her a true gem of the industry. Not to mention, she's generous with her genius advice; she kicked off 2018 leading our 40-Day Crush-Your-Goals Challenge, her Diet Right for Your Personality Type
continues to fly off shelves, and she dishes on all things motivation in her monthly column in every issue of Shape. Oh yeah, and this girl isn't afraid to go unfiltered on Instagram as she continues to prove that strong women are admirable AF.
Lena Dunham is a disruptor—in the best way possible. She's not afraid to be 100 percent honest about everything, from her struggle with endometriosis and her recent hysterectomy to posting totally un-retouched photos, encouraging people to take guilt-free sick days (because, really, you should), speaking out about the intersection of feminism and fitness, abortion, and body-shaming. (Seriously, there's a reason she calls herself "the voice of our generation.")
This tennis star started 2017 by defeating her sister Venus to win her seventh Australian Open title (sending her to rank #1 worldwide in women's tennis), gracing the inside of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and putting out a gorgeous collection of her fashion line, Serena Williams Signature Statement. She's no stranger to sharing her power, either. She's an advocate of body positivity for young girls, and (as you can clearly see in this Instagram post for IWD 2017) isn't afraid to prove that women are strong and powerful too.
Now, she's passing those lessons along to her daughter, Olympia, as well as sharing the realness that is being a new mom; she recently opened up about how her birth complications and postpartum experience have made her stronger than ever.
As the face of Aerie's un-retouched #AerieREAL campaign, Iskra has been in the body-positive spotlight for a few years now—and shows zero signs of letting up. She battles body-shamers like it's her job, has stripped down (literally and figuratively—even on the subway) to open up about body image, and gave a crazy-inspiring TED Talk opening up about her own confidence issues and her advice for tapping into the self-love feels. Her latest: some real talk about why you should go barefaced sometimes.
This body-positive yogi is shattering the illusion that yoga mats are made for certain sizes or body types. She's already been spreading her uncensored take on the body-positivity movement and proving that every body is a yoga body. Her reach only expanded with the launch of her book Every Body Yoga
, which is dedicated to breaking all the yoga stereotypes and helping readers and yogis transcend emotional and physical barriers. She's not stopping at yoga, though: Stanley is also championing the #PeriodPride movement with Kotex and writing about her non-yoga adventures—in one case, trying CrossFit for the first time—to prove that comfort zones are meant to be left.