Beauty standards can be damaging, and women face every single day with expectations on their looks, their bodies, and their fitness. We’ve seen it all: celebrities getting shamed online for putting on weight, women getting asked about their designer dresses while their male counterparts get asked about their work, passing comments from strangers on one’s appearance. Sometimes, even well-meaning messages like Dove’s new True Beauty campaign conflate the concept of self-love with looks. This conversation can get tiring; after all, women are so much more than their looks! We want to celebrate women for their talents, their ideas, and their contribution to society. Below is a list of 4 women who are all about brains, confidence, and strength (this list could be way longer too!):

 

Emma Watson

We’ve watched Emma Watson grow up into an amazing woman. At age 25 she took to the podium to deliver a speech at the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador to promote her campaign for gender equality, He for She. She regularly takes to social media to encourage young women to follow their dreams, and is candid in interviews about the strength and confidence that she finds in her struggles.

Getty /HitFix

Getty /HitFix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate T. Parker

A woman doesn’t have to be a celebrity to be influential! Photographer Kate T. Parker released a photo series in 2014 that keeps making its way back in to the public eye; and with good reason! Strong Is The New Pretty features Parker’s daughters and their friends playing, getting dirty, and running wild. She hopes to teach her daughters that they are perfect just the way they are, and that they don’t need to conform to the idea of how society thinks a girl should act.

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Kate T. Parker Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton announced this week that she will be running for President in the 2016 election. Along with unfortunate quips about her looks and attire, she has had to overcome a lot of adversity to get to this point, simply because many naysayers think that a woman just can’t get the job done. Why is the gender of the head of state such a big deal? Her accomplishments and stance on women’s rights, equality, and education are what counts.

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Marie Claire / American Rhetoric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audrey Hepburn

An unusual choice for this list since Audrey Hepburn is a beauty and fashion icon. However there is so much more to her that many young women today do not realize. After deciding to end her film career after many successful years, she devoted her life to humanitarian work as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, visiting countries in South America and Africa, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Turkey, She made it her personal mission to make sure people in need have access to food, safety, and education.

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The Gloss