20 Confidence-Boosting Quotes from Seriously Awesome Women in History
Get ready for some serious girl power, courtesy of these wise words from 20 inspiring women who changed the history books.
Helen Keller lost her sight and her hearing when she was only a year old. She became the first deaf and blind person (person, not just woman!) to receive a Bachelor of Arts. Keller gave lectures, wrote books, and fought for the rights of the disabled community. She died on June 1, 1968.
What she said: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.”
Amelia Earhart was an American pilot, the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1932, she also became the first person to fly across the Atlantic twice. She disappeared in 1937, while attempting to fly around the entire world, and was declared dead in 1939. Here’s how one photo might help uncover clues about her disappearance.
What she said: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.”
In 1939, singer Marian Anderson was forbidden to perform at Constitution Hall because she was African-American. 16 years later, she would become the first black person to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. She died on April 8, 1993.
What she said: “As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.”
Coco Chanel is easily one of the most well-known names in the fashion world. She helped revolutionize fashion for women, making it mainstream to dress for comfort rather than only elegance. She is widely credited for the “little black dress” (which tops our list of dresses every woman should own). She died on January 10, 1971.
What she said: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
Mary Kay Ash
This entrepreneur decided to start her own business after years of watching less-qualified men get promoted over her. She founded the successful Mary Kay Cosmetics, starting with a mere $5,000. She passed away on November 22, 2001. Here are 10 ways to make some extra cash fast.
What she said: “Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
George Washington’s wife Martha was First Lady before it was cool; the term “First Lady” didn’t become popular until many years after her death. Unlike many other women in the early 18th century, Martha learned how to read and write. She died on May 22, 1802. We bet you never knew these cool facts about America’s first ladies.
What she said: “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.”
Wilma Mankiller became the first woman elected to be chief of the Cherokee nation in 1985. The great-granddaughter of a survivor of the Trail of Tears march, Mankiller was an advocate for the rights of Native Americans and of women in general. She died on April 6, 2010.
What she said: “In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.”
Mary Anne Evans
Born in 1819 in England, Mary Anne Evans is a famous Victorian novelist who wrote under the pen name George Eliot. She died on December 22, 1880. Her most famous work is Silas Marner, but we recommend the lesser-known Middlemarch. Here are some of our favorite quotes from books written by women.
What she said: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
Anaïs Nin is another barrier-breaking female author, born almost a century after Evans/Eliot. Raised in France by parents of Cuban descent, she eventually moved to America. There, she would earn praise for her candid stories and diaries, winning the LA Times‘s Woman of the Year award in 1976. She died on January 14, 1977.
What she said: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Edna Gardner Whyte
Like Amelia Earhart, Edna Gardner Whyte was a pioneer in aviation. She served as a pilot for over 60 years and helped train thousands of young pilots for World War II. She was also a successful air racer. She passed away on February 15, 1992. Learn about the woman pilot who pulled off a heroic water landing in 2013.
What she said: “Just watch, all of you men. I’ll show you what a woman can do…I’ll go across the country, I’ll race to the Moon… I’ll never look back.”