The 10 women trailblazers who are inspiring us today.
When you think of the 4th of July, you may think of bbqs, fireworks and donning your best red, white, and blues; but we’ve got something else in mind. We’re blasting some Destiny’s Child and giving a shoutout to our favorite independent women (because it is called *Independence* Day after all!). These women are absolute trailblazers who are fierce, passionate, badass and ultimately paving the way for not just American women, but women around the world. NOTE: It was really damn hard to pick just 10.
1. Lena Waithe
Lena is the co-writer behind Netflix’s hit series Master of None and is also the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (2017). And she’s not finished there: Her newest series, The Chi, just got renewed for a third season! Cue the standing ovation.
2. Halima Aden
Girl, you better work! Halima is not only the first hijab-wearing model to walk down the runway, but she was also the first model ever to rock a hijab and burkini in Sports Illustrated’s renowned swimsuit edition (2019). One word: Qween!
3. Issa Rae
First of all, Issa is hysterical. Second of all, she is the mastermind behind the first premium cable scripted series created by and starring a black woman. If you haven’t checked out HBO’s Insecure, this is us telling you that you absolutely must.
4. Alexandra "Ali" Wong
Ali is an actress, writer, comedian and was named one of the "10 Comics to Watch" by Variety in 2011. She also just starred in Netflix’s hit Always Be My Maybe, which was funny, charming and created a super important space for Asian-American actresses to take the spotlight. Talk about a leading lady!
5. Samantha Bee
Samantha is a comedian, writer, producer, actress, political commentator, and television host. Oh, and did we mention she is currently the *only* female late night host in America. That is all.
6. Ava DuVernay
You may know Ava as being the director of Selma. Not only was this film a blockbuster hit, but she broke barriers in Hollywood by being the first black woman to direct a film that was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars (2015). And the award for being a badass goes to...
7. Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi is in the *house*, as Speaker of the House that is. She was the first woman ever elected to the position in 2017 (yes, it took that long). Then, in 2019, she became the first person to regain the title for a second term in more than 60 years, just to drive that female power home.
8. Candis Cayne
Okay, we agree, Candis’ name is super catchy, but that’s not why we’re highlighting Candis. Candis is the first ever transgender woman to land a major (and recurring) role on ABC's prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money. *Adds to the list of shows to binge-watch next.*
9. Janet Mock
This writer, director, producer, television host and transgender rights activist founded #GirlsLikeUs, which was created to empower transgender woman. But she doesn’t stop there: After releasing her debut book, Redefining Realness (a New York Times bestseller) she became the first trans woman of color to write and direct for television on POSE. Recently, she made history again as the first trans woman to sign a multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix. History, made.
10. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
She’s young, she’s fierce and she’s gotten her own acronym in the form of AOC. Sure, she’s the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, but she’s more widely recognized for shaking things up in congress and speaking her mind, boldly. And she rocks hoops like no other, AMIRITE?