9 Inspiring Women Celebrities You Can Learn From

Discover how you can lead the life you’ve always dreamed of while making the world a better place by following in the footsteps of these nine inspirational women.

Do you dream of making a life as a successful recording artist? Or maybe you want to dedicate your life to helping third world countries?

#1: Oprah Winfrey


When you think of inspirational people, Oprah Winfrey is probably the first woman to cross your mind. Born on the 29th January, 1954, Oprah grew up in rural (and extremely poverty-stricken) Mississippi where she was raised by her single, teenage mother.

To say that Oprah didn’t have the ideal childhood is an understatement. Besides being poor and often unable to purchase simple necessities such as shoes, Oprah was also the victim of rape and at 14 became pregnant.

Sadly, her son died during infancy and following this she went to live with her father in Tennessee.

It was during this time that Oprah’s luck finally started to change. She found a job and became a co-anchor for the local evening news when she was 19.

That’s not to say that it was easy street after this though. Oprah was often criticized for not being the right ‘fit’ for TV. Can you believe it?

Today, Oprah has been voted as the most influential woman in the world.

Besides her success with the multi-award winning talk show, she is worth an estimated U.S. $2.8 billion, is very active in charity and is the Chairwoman and CEO of Harpo Productions and the Oprah Winfrey Network, which includes O magazine.

#2: Lorna Jane Clarkson

Although Lorna Jane Clarkson is predominantly known in Australia, she has been selected for this list because of her positive attitude, lifestyle choices and business acumen.

But who is she? Well, to start with Lorna Jane Clarkson is the founder and CEO of Lorna Jane, the active living clothing line.

Lorna started her career as an aerobics instructor and hand made clothing for the students in her classes.

As the popularity of her clothing grew, she realized that she was onto something big and quit her day job to work on the clothing line full time. With her husband, Bill, she launched her first retail store in 1990 in Brisbane.

Today, Lorna Jane is synonymous with active living, lifestyle, health and positive thinking. Her clothing embraces the colourful, the positive and the refreshing in an effort to promote her ‘Move, Nourish, Believe’ movement. And best of all, she lives the life she promotes.

Lorna Jane has released two books on active living.

#3: Yael Cohen


In a shocking turn of events, Yael Cohen’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With this devastating diagnosis, Yael’s entire world changed.

To help her Mom cope with the treatment process, Yael researched and collected all the information she could on cancer, cancer treatment and cancer prevention.

She also, in an attempt to bring a smile to her Mom’s face, made her a t-shirt with the intention that the t-shirt would be worn at home, in private. On the t-shirt was the now infamous words ‘F*ck Cancer’.

Instead of wearing the t-shirt at home (like Yael thought she would), Yael’s mother wore it out in public. Strangers approached her with hugs and kind words and watching from the sidelines, Yael realized how powerful those two words truly were.

In 2009, Yael launched the charitable organization F*ck Cancer with the intention to target Gen Y and raise awareness of early detection.

Yael has now been named as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, has won the 2012 Genius Award from Elle Magazine and is a regular TED speaker.

She was called one of the ’12 people who are transforming philantrophy’ by The Globe and Mail and one of Canada’s Hot 20 Under 30. Forbes magazine has also listed Yael as an up and comer.

Oh, and did I mention she’s just 26?

#4: Angelina Jolie


When we shift our attention away from the whole Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston love triangle thing, Angelina Jolie is one inspiration human.

Not only has she had an enormously successful acting and directing career, receiving two Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globes and an Academy Award, she is also one of our most well-known humanitarians.

She is currently the Special Envoy of High Commissioner Antonio Guterres and represents the UNHCR and Antonio Guterres at the diplomatic level. She has also received numerous awards for her humanitarian work.

Most recently, Angelina has received widespread media attention for decision to undergo a double mastectomy in order to prevent breast cancer.

Angelina is also largely referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world and yet does not let this label change or affect her. In fact, did you know what she doesn’t have an agent or a publicist?

#5: Michelle Obama

Anyone who thinks that Michelle Obama is simply the wife of the President is in for a huge shock. A powerful force in her own right, Michelle has a lot to offer as a role model.

Here’s some stuff I bet you didn’t know about Michelle:

  • She is a lawyer and writer
  • She attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School
  • Michelle met Barack at Sidley Austin, where they both worked
  • She was assigned to mentor Barack as a summer associate when they first met
  • Michelle serves on the board of directors at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • In exchange for Michelle’s full support of Barack’s bid for presidency, she negotiated that he would quit smoking
  • Michelle planted the White House Kitchen Garden which is an organic garden and the first vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady
  • She has also installed bee hives on the White House lawn
  • Michelle led the ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative which addressed childhood obesity

And to be honest, this is just some of the things Michelle has been involved in.

There’s plenty that we still don’t know, and if you’re looking for a strong, powerful and caring role model – look in her direction.

#6: Victoria Beckham

You might snort when you see this name on the list. And truthfully, I don’t blame you.

After all, it’s still quite hard to think of Victoria Beckham without at least skimming over the fact that she was one of the notoriously cheesy Spice Girls.

The Posh one, apparently.

But while some of the other Spice Girl’s faded into obscurity, Victoria Beckham has only gone from strength to strength. With the handsome and successful David Beckham on her arm, it seems that these days the Essex born babe can do no wrong.

Victoria has been a reality TV star, model, businesswoman and fashion designer since the Spice Girls day and shares a joint wealth with her hubby of around 125 million pounds.

Goes to show, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about yo. You can always work to your strengths and follow your path.

#7: J.K. Rowling


This is one rags to riches story that still makes my heart sing, no matter how many times I’ve heard it.

In 1990, Joanne came up with the idea of Harry Potter on a train ride from Manchester to London. It took her seven years to finish the first book and during this time she got divorced, her Mother passed away and she became poverty-stricken.

After the first Harry Potter book was published, she transitioned from living on state benefits to becoming a multi-millionaire – all within five years. Today, she is one of the richest women in the United Kingdom. In 2008, her fortune was estimated at 560 million pounds.

And to those publishers that rejected her, here’s a fact: the Harry Potter series is the best-selling book series in history.

#8: Adele

What did you do after your last break up? Buy a share in Ben & Jerries? Watch every romcom ever made? Cut your hair? W

ell, if you’re Adele, the answer to this question is “write a double platinum album”. Best break up story ever? Quite possibly.

After accepting a recording contract with XL Recordings back in 2006, she is now one of Time magazine’s most influential people and has a bucket load of awards to her name. I bet she even has a trophy room…

And guess where XL Recordings found her? Myspace, of course. Goes to show how important a social media presence really is!

#9: Tina Fey


For anyone that has ever believed that men are funnier than women, I present to you Elizabeth Stamatina “Tina” Fey. Beautiful, whip smart and devastatingly funny, she is one woman who can beat most men in the comedy stakes hands down.

Originally working as a featured comedy player for The Second City, Tina’s comedy career really kicked off when she was hired as the head writer for Saturday Night Live.

It was here that the world was introduced to her comedy style. Tina also produced and co-starred in Mean Girls as well as starred in Baby Mama and Date Night. In 2010, Tina won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

This year, she co-hosted the Golden Globe Awards with Amy Poehler.

Who do you think is the world’s most inspirational woman? Let us know!

Cover photo: bellenews.com

About the author

Cassandra Lane

While Cassandra readily admits to being a rampant cupcake aficionada (how could she not be with an almost-brother-in-law that owns not one, but three cupcake shops?) she happily works off her lust of all things sweet and sugary by slogging it out in the gym and outdoors.

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