Happy International Women’s Day! We’re celebrating 6 women who inspire us by their passion, their work ethic and the way they change the world.

 

Maripier Morin, the achiever

Coming from reality television could seem like an obstacle for many people trying to make it in the entertainment industry; for Maripier Morin, it was the first of many steps to make her dreams come true. Over the years, she became a TV superstar, fashion icon and social media queen, thanks to her impeccable work ethic and sense of style. Now host of shows Maripier! on Z, Code F. on VrakTV and Pardon My French on YouTube, co-host of Accès Illimité and La Voix Junior on TVA, brand ambassador of Revlon and spokesperson of Children’s Wish Foundation, she inspires us to work relentlessy to make our dreams come true.

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Beyoncé, the visionary

After her visual album, released in 2013, everyone wondered how Beyoncé would surpass herself; then came Lemonade, in April 2016, a revolutionary album-slash-movie addressing her husband Jay-Z’s infidelity, relationships, but most of all, honoring the lives of Black women, their struggles, their challenges in the most artistic, soulful way. Known for being a very private person both on social media and in her personal life, Beyoncé proves that art speaks louder than words.

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Nalie, the fighter

A dear friend of the Blush team (read our interview HERE!), Nalie Agustin is currently fighting Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, which has now gotten to her lungs. Through her blog and The Nalie Show, her new YouTube series, she tells her story and raises awareness about the disease, and features guests that bring awareness on very important subjects like bulimia, burn trauma and blindness, all of this throughout her battle with cancer. Nalie is a strong, inspiring woman, and a true fighter. #NaliesArmy

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Malala, the believer

In 2009, at only 12 years old, Malala Yousafzai began writing a blog for the BBC Urdu service under a pseudonym, about fears that her school would be attacked and the increasing military activity in Swat. In response to her rising popularity, Taliban leaders voted to kill her. On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot by a masked gunman; she survived the initial attack, but was not discharged from the hospital until January, 2013. The Taliban’s attempt to kill Malala received worldwide condemnation and led to protests across Pakistan: over 2 million people signed a right to education petition, and the National Assembly swiftly ratified Pakistan’s first Right To Free and Compulsory Education Bill. In 2013, Malala and Ziauddin co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change. Malala accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December, 2014 with Indian children’s rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi. She contributed her entire prize money of more than $500,000 to financing the creation of a secondary school for girls in Pakistan. Malala is the living proof that when you believe in yourself and in the power of change, you can survive anything.

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Michelle Obama, the inspiration

Forget the glitz and the glam: during her 8 years as the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has made some significative changes in women and children’s lives. In 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, bringing together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, and others in an effort to end childhood obesity, and passed The School Lunch program, which provides free and reduced-price meals to more than 21 million low-income children, now requiring districts to serve more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products. The First Lady also launched MyPlate and MiPlato, an easy to understand icon to help parents make healthier food choices. In 2014, Mrs. Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative to inspire young people across America to complete their education past high school. In 2015, the Obamas launched Let Girls Learn, an initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school. In 2016, Mrs. Obama hosted a White House dinner to support mentoring programs for young girls, encouraging them to break the glass ceiling. Michelle, we can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

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Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the activist

Earlier in February, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau spoke with Châtelaine magazine about her first date with her now-husband, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau; she told him she had recently become a public advocate for women’s health and self-esteem, and he answered that he was a feminist too. If he hadn’t been, she says, that would have been a deal breaker. After suffering from bulimia in her teens and 20s, Grégoire Trudeau became a spokesperson for the disease. She worked as a correspondent for CTV’s eTalk and embarked on a career as a public speaker on women’s health and girls’ education, partnering with organizations like Because I am a Girl, Girls for the Cure, the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, the Women’s Heart and Stroke Association, BANA, the Looking Glass Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Association, the Dove Pay Beauty Forward program, The Vagina Monologues, WaterCan, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Me to We (Free the Children) and Chez Doris, a women’s shelter in Montreal. Gracious, passionate and unpretentious, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau reinvents the role of women in Canadian politics.

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