What's Making Us Happy: MARCH MADAMNESS Edition

Strong females are kind of our thing: We were raised by them, we idolize them, we support their endeavors whether big or small, creative or liberating - and sometimes, we even make greeting cards inspired by their monumental bad assery. It's the least we can do. And since it just happens to be Women's History Month, we're each giving a shout-out to a leading lady that's touched our lives in a special way. Enjoy!

Public Domain/Tay Ham composite

Sojourner Truth

"Because of them I can now live the dream. I am the seed of the free and I know it. I intend to bear great fruit."

 A black abolitionist and women's rights activist in the 1800's - that took some major courage. She not only fought for universal suffrage and African American rights she also championed for many other causes including prison reform and property rights. She did this during a time when when being a woman made you a second class citizen and being black made it so, to some, you weren't even a citizen at all. 

But she never faltered, never gave up. She had courage and gumption, and if she could stand up against the establishment, then there is no reason I can't stand up and resist now - NO reason I can't demand change. She is living proof that you may never see the change you champion for but it doesn't mean one day it won't come about. Her efforts are still seen today. Just imagine what can happen if we champion for justice and equality today, how that might look for all the people in all the tomorrows. - KAT

NBC/Tay Ham composite

Jane Fonda

"Stay curious, keep learning and keep growing. And always strive to be more interested than interesting."

Words can't - and won't - do justice for how much I admire, love, and want to be BFFs with (or adopted son of) Jane Fonda. Not only has her life been full of opportunities in feminism, activism, acting, and fitness, but with each of her endeavors, her dialogue about each experience somehow resonates what it is to be human - stand up for yourself, stand up for others, apologize when you need to, take a few risks, take care of yourself, and love yourself and others. - MICHAEL

Honorable mention: Rihanna.

Pinterest/Tay Ham composite

Parker Posey

"I like sitting close to windows."

I pick Parker Posey. She might not be the most obvious choice for an influential woman, but I find myself needing a dose of Posey when I'm feeling a certain kind of way. She is someone who I think values authenticity and embraces both the highs and lows it can bring into your life. My favorite roles of hers are the ones where she gets to improvise the dialogue and help sculpt the character. Plus, she always makes me laugh. I like that. - TAYLOR

New York Magazine/Tay Ham composite

Shonda Rhimes

“At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.”

SHONDA RHIMES! I think she's a really very powerful and relevant woman in today's society. She writes such strong female characters for her TV shows. With as much of an impact that media plays in our lives, I think it's really important that little girls grow up seeing bad ass female characters that they can relate to and look up to. My boy Riz Ahmed just gave a really awesome speech about diversity and representation in the media, and he said that by including diverse voices and stories, creative industries have the opportunity to humanize and unite people, which I think Shonda fully understands and strives for in her shows. - SUZY

Democracy Underground/Tay Ham composite

Eleanor Roosevelt

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Besides being a champion for peace and equality, she was such a brave and amazing lady! I love her so much, I named my cat after her. - JESS

Dan Hallman/Invision/AP/Tay Ham composite

J.K. Rowling

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

Oh J.K. She's inarguably the greatest witch of our age. She's a world builder that has scaled the ranks to sit alongside literary greats like Tolkien, Lewis and Le Guin. She has an enormous sense of charity that she concentrates on issues near and dear to her heart like anti-poverty, children's welfare and Multiple Sclerosis. She also has zero qualms with dueling evil bullies on Twitter.

Personally, I owe her a large debt of gratitude for the flights of fancy I experienced (and thb, continue to on a regular basis) through her Harry Potter novels. Her ability to weave such universal social themes as contrasting religions, corruption, prejudice and racism into a fantasy narrative is a gift that will endure for ages to come. What I admire most, though, is that she has kept humans believing in magic - not the kind found in her books, but the stuff that's conjured up in conversations about her books. The spells we cast when sharing thoughts, ideas, and compassion with each other is the strongest magic we possess. - JAY

Want more AWESOME WOMEN? Shop TAY HAM's Women's Month selections HERE. 

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