Strong women turn me on.
Yes, you read that correctly, but no, I am not a lesbian. (Sorry to disappoint.) Most likely prompted by my trip to the art museum, I have been asked by a multitude of individuals what exactly it is that inspires me. The simplest answer is strong women; there is nothing that makes me want to be the busiest and most determined girl possible, striving to accomplish all my goals at once, than admiring the struggles and triumphs of powerful females who just won't quit.
I love art, I love fashion, I love writing, I love reading, I love food... the list of "things" that I love and can draw inspiration from in my daily life is infinite, but these "things" are just objects. It's the women behind these objects -- the painter at her easel, the designer backstage at her runway debut, the author of her bestselling novel, the chef perfecting her menu -- that are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into their careers and livelihoods. It currently seems that being a woman in any workforce is a disadvantage; we're paid less than our male counterparts and we battle sexual harassment and discrimination. Yet strong women don't let these frustrating burdens break their backs... And this is what makes them the true sources of wholesome inspiration.
I love women. I relate to women because, last time I checked, I am one. There are millions of men who have overcome extraordinary obstacles, and I commend them and admire them for doing so. However, Junot Diaz and Steve Jobs, as incredible as they may be, don't fuel me like Mariska Hargitay, Angelina Jolie, Shonda Rhimes, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Emily Weiss, Gloria Steinem, Kerry Washington, Hannah Bronfman, Carine Roitfeld, and Lina Esco, to name a few.
I will not explain how or why these women inspire me -- for some, it should it be obvious, and for others, it's so personal that it feels like it should stay our little secret. (If you're so inclined, I would strongly encourage conducting a simple Google search on the names in which you do not know.) Regardless, there are millions of women, not solely the eleven I've listed, that are molding me into the Molly Mintz I can only dream of becoming. My mother is one of these women. Who else could handle losing her husband and the father of her children so suddenly with such grace and dignity? Of any woman, in the public eye or on my television screen, my Mona is my ultimate role model. It may sound cheesy, but if I'm writing about the most influential women in my life, I would be idiotic if I didn't include Lisa Marshall Mintz. She takes the cake (if I liked cake, I mean). If you, too, are a female, and even if you are male, open your eyes! Our world is a gruesome, upsetting place -- there is so much that needs to be changed, and women are the ones making a difference. We have a female lined up as a presidential candidate; we have a yearning for super-heroine blockbusters. Fifty years ago, these modern-day victories wouldn't even be thoughts in a random stream of consciousness; they wouldn't even be possibilities.
If you don't respect women, it's time for an attitude adjustment. If you don't admire women, it's time to hop on the bandwagon. As Ayn Rand memorably stated, "The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." And let me tell you, no one is going to stop me, stop you, or stop us -- we are strong women, and we are inspired.
Photograph via Beyonce's Instagram.