It's supposed to be 'Hottie Friday'. Yes I know, I know. But I figure since the week was filled with such hotness, that I'd change it up a bit for you. In fact, all of the women I'm about to bring to you are damn hot as well. I guess the only difference is that there's more of a seriousness to this Friday's blog. Yeah, that's it, just a more serious tone but still filled with hotness galore.
With all that said, my aim here is to present to you (in my humble opinion of course) women who I deem as trailblazers in their own right. Women, who despite everything else (what people think or have thought, said, done, printed, etc about them) have stood their ground and done what it is that they do. Women who weren't afraid to step out and just be who they are. Be comfortable in their own skin, if you will. Women, who despite all odds - stayed true to themselves, to what they believe in, to what they were/are passionate about. They've done it their way and are still at it. I doubt very much that any of these women need an introduction. So with all this preamble over, let me get right to it.
I present to you, pioneers in their own right.
Ellen Lee DeGeneres
Ellen is a stand-up comedian and actress. She has won an Emmy for her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show and as of this year out-ranked talk show mogul Oprah Winfrey. She publicly announced that she was gay on Oprah's show back in 1997. She has become an icon for LGBT. She celebrated her 50th birthday on January 26 of this year. Her show is receiving awesome successes and she shows no sign of slowing down.
Oprah Gail Winfrey
There is very little (if any at all) that I could write about Oprah that has not already been written. So if you're expecting me to give details galore, it's not gonna happen. All I can mention is just how much I admire, respect and support all that she does. Oprah is so many things - business mogul, talk show empire ruler, book critic, humanitarian, actress, magazine publisher and so much more. She is even heralded the most influential woman in the world. Go Oprah!
She was born Angelina Jolie Voight on June 4, 1975. She's an actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. She has almost always been a source of controversy because she's the type who lives her life the way she wants and doesn't get caught up in nor give any explanation for what she does with her life publicly or privately. I must confess that I'm no Jolie fan (if you're gonna hurl stones at me, at least let me finish this blog first). I'm not an admire of her work or other aspects of her life. I'll make this publicly known though. I admire her. I admire her grit. I admire her guts. I admire her balls! I admire the humanitarian that she is.
Besides being a drop-dead gorgeous supermodel, 34 year old Tyra Lynn Banks is a talk show host, actress, television personality and (wanna be) singer. She confesses that she's always wanted to sing but a single she released back in 2004 flopped so she quit that while she was behind. Throughout her career banks has always maintained that she is who she is and would not change that despite all of the pressure to be like other pencil thin models who were strutting their stuff down the runway. "Strut on" is all I have to say. She is also known for being one of the most influential women in the world. She's taken what she's learnt over the years and is now giving it back.
Vanessa L. Williams
Where do I begin with Vanessa Lynn Willams? So much I want to pack in here; so much I want to make stress. I'll be brief though. Vanessa made history back on September 17, 1983 by being the first African American to win the coveted crown of Miss America. I watched the show and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was ecstatic! I was proud! I was happy for her! She deserved it! What I also remember is her having to resign the title after photos of her posing for Playboy magazine surfaced. How I wanted to find the rat responsible. Nonetheless, the best was yet to come. Vanessa stuck it to them all by becoming a world famous singer and actress. And boy can she do both! You could say she went ahead and Saved The (Very) Best For Last! Oh, one more thing. At age 44, she was approached once more to pose nude and guess what, she's accepted. There's no greater way to 'STICK IT' to the Man or Woman as the case may be. A woman after my own heart.
Who is she you ask? Well only the leader of the pack with regard to LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual and Trans-gender) visibility on the World Wide Web. Yep, a pioneer in her own right. She holds a BA in Women's Studies from Wellesley College and Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard University. She is the founder AfterEllen.com and AfterElton.com. She sold both these sites to Logo back in 2006. She is the Editor in Chief of AfterEllen and an Executive Producer at Logo. Sarah and her staff do a magnificient job in keeping the members, readers and viewers AfterEllen informed and entertained at all times.
(I am so tempted to dub her Dame Jodie Foster). Alicia Christian Foster is an actress, director and producer. She has won a few awards as testament to her acting skills. However, it's not her work in film that I wish to highlight but the way in which she has handled her private life in a world where all celebrities' lives is the target of publicity. Especially since she was a child star (which means that the press had a lot more years than usual to try to delve into hers). She made the transition from child to adult star effortlessly and has never (to my knowledge) been involved in any negativity (drugs, alchol abuse, etc.). She has remained level-headed and grounded to this day. Her sexual preference has always been a target of many an interviewer since she lives with her two songs and a female counterpart. In an acceptance speech at the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast back in December of 2007, she made headlines when she thanked Cydney Bernard who she referred to as "my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through the rotten and the bliss."
Elizabeth Stamatina Fey is no A-Lister nor is she some great business mogul or activist. So where I am going with this? Well, Tina Fey is simply a comedian. Oh, and she's a writer too. She wrote for Saturday Night Live and now for 30 Rock - a show she co-produces and stars in. She's included here because Fey has just simply always done it her way. She's not swayed by what's in or out, what the others are doing, what the others might think or say. If you've watched her over the years, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about and what I mean. She's not afraid to push the ticket at all. She includes quips in support of gays and other serious matters every opportunity she gets in her shows. She has built up quite a reputation and following but it never ceases to amaze me how much she doesn't let it faze her. This is her most admirable trait to me.
Hope I didn't bore you to tears with this and trust the weekend brings enjoyment, relaxation and fulfilment.