Happy International Women's Day 2013!
On Friday, we're all celebrating the achievements of females around the globe. There are plenty of strong, awesome women to look up to these days, and that includes celebrities.
Here are five famous ladies who inspire us.
1. Beyoncé: How could we not include Queen Bey on this list? After all, she's the one who taught us Who Run the World? Girls! She also performed with an all-female band during her 2013 Super Bowl halftime show and reunited with her longtime Destiny's Child BFFs. And remember when the world freaked out that she "lip-synced" the national anthem at President Barack Obama's inauguration? The next week at a Super Bowl press conference, she put all her detractors to shame when she sang it—flawlessly—without any musical accompaniment. Last but not least, we love that despite her enormous success, Beyoncé is well aware that women still face some major obstacles. "Equality is a myth, and for some reason everyone accepts the fact that women don't make as much money as men do," she told Vogue. Her advice? "Power's not given to you. You have to take it."
2. Angelina Jolie: Yes, she's a talented actress, impossibly gorgeous and engaged to Brad Pitt. But when she's not busy raising her own six kids, she's helping others in need all around the world. In 2001, Angelina was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. Since then, she's been on field missions around the globe and met with and advocated for countless refugees. She also founded the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, named after her oldest son, which is dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife. Basically, she's doing everything she can to help save the world.
3. Ellen DeGeneres: Besides being absolutely hilarious and possessing some impressive pranking skills, this beloved talk-show host has been a pioneer in the fight for equality. In 1997, she was one of the first celebrities to publicly come out. This was reflected in her eponymous sitcom, and her character became the first gay lead character on TV. Since then, Ellen's been an advocate for gay rights. When One Million Moms took aim at her JCPenney commercials last year, she eloquently and powerfully shut down the claims that she didn't represent "traditional values." She told her audience she stands "for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you'd want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That's what I stand for…I also believe in dance."
4. Jennifer Lawrence: Obviously everyone wants to be BFFs with the unabashed, witty Silver Linings Playbook star. And who didn't fall in love at the Oscars when she fell on her way to the stage? She also hasn't let superstardom get to her head, and still keeps in touch with her No. 1 fan from the start. What we love most about her though is her outspokenness about unhealthy body image—especially in Hollywood. In an interview with Elle magazine, the 22-year-old said that while she's "considered a fat actress," she'll never "starve myself for a part." The reason? "I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss [Jennifer's Hunger Games role], so I'm going to skip dinner,'" she explained. "I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong—not thin and underfed."
5. Amy Poehler: Leslie Knope (Amy's character on Parks and Recreation) would most definitely be on this list...if she were not fictional. But in real life, Amy is funny, accomplished and best friends with Tina Fey. She also founded Smart Girls at the Party, a movement and YouTube channel encouraging girls to "Change the World by Being Yourself." There's a popular feature called "Ask Amy" where the actress responds to viewers' questions kind of like a really smart older sister. "The Internet can be a really tough place for a young girl to see images and hear messages that aren't helpful to her," she told ABC News. "We just wanted to do something fun. We wanted to do almost something that was an answer or an antidote to a lot of the programming that we see on the Internet for young girls…The earlier you learn you should focus on what you have—and not obsess over the things you don't have—the happier you will be."