The concept of a role model is pretty loaded. I think that we’re expected to think of role models as people who we want to be like and have a big influence on our life decisions and our path. Sure, that’s one way to look at them, but sometimes role models can be people who we just admire. People who are doing really amazing things and are making the world a better, cooler place one way or another.
I mean, I don’t have to want to have the same career path as Beyonce to think she can be an amazing role model. You get what I mean?
This year there are been plenty of girls and women who have made headlines, made their voices heard, or just made something out of nothing. And if all goes well, their influence will inspire us into the new year. So why not check out these 14 girls who should be your role models in 2014? Who knows, one of them could really spark something in you.
Jessica WilliamsIf you watch The Daily Show, you'll know and--if you know what's good for you--love Jessica Williams. In an age where shows like SNL can't seem to find any funny black women to cast, it's awesome to have someone like Jessica around to prove them wrong.Source: Instagram
Amelia Rose EarhartOkay, this is really dope. This woman--named after the original Amelia Earhart--decided to recreate the infamous 1937 transcontinental flight that her namesake never finished. She hopes to inspire a new generation of female aviators and pilots and even started a foundation which offers scholarships to young women who want to fly. As someone who is always afraid of flying, I give extra her all of the props.Source: Mashable
Sharon RooneyI want Sharon Rooney to take over the world. I'm only half-kidding, but as the star of my favorite TV show of the year--My Mad Fat Diary--Sharon proved that she is amazingly talented and lovable and that there is nothing wrong or unbecoming about being a larger woman. Haters to the left.Source: TheBiteMag/Laura McKinnon
Quvenzhane WallisQuevenzhane is one of the girls I'm really going to watch for in 2014. This little girl is really going to be a force to be reckoned with and if you don't believe me maybe her Academy Award nomination earlier this year--youngest ever--will change your mind.Source: Wenn Photos
Tatyana FazlalizadehFrom random men telling women to smile for them, to aggressive cat calling, women have to deal with unwanted harassment all the time. With the help of social media, more women have become more vocal about street harassment, but Tatyana Fazlalizadeh took an extra step and vented out her frustration in an amazing street art campaign in Brooklyn.Source: [What]
BeyonceBey's newest album made me feel so empowered that I felt I could smash the patriarchy with a single cold glare. Think what you want about Beyonce, but the fact that she included renowned feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her song "Flawless" and touched on body image issues in her video for "Pretty Hurts" really emphasizes how muchSource: Beyonce/Sony
Demi LovatoHere's what I appreciate about Demi: She is open and honest about herself and her struggles with addiction and self-harm. There aren't too many young women in the spotlight who have been so candid about issues that normally become tabloid fodder, but it's important that she's there because there are plenty of girls out there struggling with the same issues who feel less alone thanks to Demi.Source: Wenn Photos
Wendy DavisRemember how politician Wendy blocked a vote that would have launched new abortion regulations in the state of Texas? Remember how she literally stood for over 11 hours to make it happen? Remember how she is a total badass? Good.Source: Shutterstock
Laticia Van De PutteWendy wasn't alone, though! She had help from this awesome fellow politician. As she tried to get a word in over all the male politicians blah blah blahing, she said, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?" Can you say mic drop? It's a shame that it's still tough for women in positions of power to be heard, but De Putte did a great job of laying down the law.Source: [What]
Candice GloverWe might be sick of American Idol but we're not sick of its season 12 winner Candice Glover? Her open dialogue about body image issues is so important and it's great that someone with so much visibility is able to help other women tackle their insecurities with less self-hate.Source: Wenn Photos
Tavi GevinsonSo which of you has managed to run an amazing site for teen girls before turning 18? Uh, I definitely didn't, but Tavi did and she's still a big source of inspiration because of it.Source: Instagram
Malala YousafzaiWe all know about Malala's story by now, but we really love her as a role model not just due to her bravery in the face of a lethal adversary, but also of her continued passion for education and peace.Source: The Guardian
Abby WambachIf you're a big soccer (er, football?) fan, you know who Abby Wambach is. You might not know that she got to marry one of her teammates this year or that she has a really unique look on the idea of coming out. She said, "I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am and the decisions I made." I wish it was that easy for everyone who identifies as LGBTQ, but these are still some pretty encouraging words for those who might need to hear it more than ever.Source: Wenn Photos
Suey ParkIf you remember when #notyourasiansidekick trended on Twitter, this is the woman responsible. I'm all about embracing more awesome Asian feminist activists, so if you're feeling like letting your voice heard, know that you have the power to start a conversation with something as simple as a hashtag!Source: IBTimes.com
Was there anyone this year who left you more inspired than you expected? Any disappointments? Tell us in the comments!