Forget Fiction, Allow These 12 Real Life Female Superheroes To Inspire You Today


By Sarah Landrum

In a world where women are often depicted as perfect, vacant, airbrushed beauties with nothing important to say, it can be difficult to find role models who reflect what being a woman is really like. However, there are many women out there who are real-life superheroes in their fields, making a difference, and fighting against the stereotypes.

Here are 12 stand-out, badass, revolutionary women we could all learn from today.

  1. Emma Watson

Growing up in the spotlight is hard, but Emma Watson has done it with grace and style. Having portrayed Hermione Granger in the wildly successful Harry Potter movies, she then decided to go to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in English, as well as becoming a trained instructor in yoga and meditation.


If that weren’t enough, she then became a UN ambassador, launching the “HeForShe” campaign for gender equality. Emma’s a superhero as she has used her fame and fortune to make lives better for others all over the world.


  1. Oprah Winfrey

Having come from humble beginnings (born into poverty and sexually abused as a child) Oprah Winfrey has become an entrepreneur, actress, philanthropist and all-around global figure. Growing up, Oprah would often have to wear dresses made from potato sacks as her family was so poor, but now she’s the USA’s only African American billionaire thanks to her determination to make it in the media industry. Oprah’s superpower is sheer hard work, as it’s made her who she is today.



  1. Ellen DeGeneres

Starting out as a stand-up comic in the 80’s, Ellen DeGeneres has become a well-loved figure in the media, having two successful sitcoms, a long-running talk show and countless awards under her belt. She’s known for coming out as a lesbian in 1997, becoming the first openly gay woman starring on her own TV show. She’s well known for making people laugh without making fun of them and is an advocate for LGBT people everywhere. Her superpower is spreading kindness to everybody, regardless of gender, sexuality or beliefs.



  1. Hilary Clinton

Hilary Clinton has faced much criticism throughout her career, refusing to give in to those who thought she should display more femininity. Not content to simply be a First Lady, she said, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in the public life.” Now in the running in the presidential election of 2016, she’s certainly proven her superpower is fighting against stereotypes in order to make a difference in the world.



  1. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is an incredibly successful actress, having appeared in multiple successful movie franchises, including The Hunger Games and the X-Men series. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Silver Linings Playbook, making her the second youngest actress ever to receive the award. Despite all her success, though, she has remained down to earth, speaking out against the pressure in Hollywood for her to lose weight to fit in. Jennifer’s superpower is fighting against the unrealistic expectations set for women, making the world fairer for women.



  1. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is influential in the technology industry, having become the first woman to serve on the board for Facebook as its chief operating officer. Having served on the boards for multiple successful companies, such as Starbucks and the Walt Disney Company, she’s worked hard to get to where she is today. In 2013, she released her first book, Lean In, which examined the barriers faced by women in the workplace, and has become wildly popular in the two years since.


She also lent her support to the 2013 Ban Bossy campaign, which looked to improve young girls’ self confidence. Sheryl’s superpower is using her position of power to make working conditions better for other women.


  1. Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama is currently one of the most powerful women in the world, and she’s using that power to make lives better all over the nation. She trained as a lawyer at Harvard Law School and has campaigned to end obesity and promote healthy eating. She also came out in favor of same sex marriage in 2012, including openly gay service members in her national military families initiative. Michelle’s superpower is taking a traditional role and shaking it up for the 21st century, showing that supporting a powerful man doesn’t mean you don’t have power in your own right.



  1. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has enjoyed a successful and diverse career in movies and music, as well as being a fashion icon and, most recently, a judge on hit TV show American Idol. Despite setbacks in her life, “Jenny from the block” has always bounced back. Through it all, she has remained one of the few sober celebrities, and has become an idol in the pop music scene. Besides the power to apparently never age, Jennifer’s superpower is her ability to come back and reinvent herself, even after the worst setbacks.



  1. Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff is well known to anyone who grew up watching her on the Disney Channel. She starred in a long line of TV shows and movies, as well as having a very successful music career. She’s known as extremely hard working, even going so far as to carry on with a concert after chipping a tooth on a microphone. She also became a philanthropist, supporting a variety of children’s charities. Hilary’s superpower is coming out from her Disney career relatively unscathed, and using her celebrity status to help others.



  1. Gabby Douglas

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has achieved an awful lot in her 19 years. She competed in the 2012 London Olympics, and came away with medals in both the individual all-around and team events. She is the first African-American gymnast to achieve this. Not content to rest on her laurels, she’s training to compete in next year’s Olympics, too. She’s taken a lot of criticism but has chosen never to respond to it. Her superpower is definitely taking the high road and letting her hard work speak for itself.



  1. Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is possibly the most well known activist for female education globally. Shot by a Taliban gunman in 2012, she was brought to the UK, where she recovered in hospital. The shooting wasn’t enough to stop her, as she continued campaigning for education. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown started a United Nations petition in her name, calling for all children to be in education by 2015. Thanks to her work, she became the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014. Malala’s superpower is having the strength to fight against what is wrong, even in the face of death.



  1. Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill became a star during the 2012 London Olympics, when she smashed many of her personal best times during the heptathlon. She finished first, 184 points ahead of her nearest competitor, netting her the gold medal. She recognizes role models like her need to exist in the sporting world, saying, “You can have lots of regulations and lots of information booklets to get females involved in sport. But if you want girls to play sport, you have to give them role models.” Jessica’s superpower is fighting against stereotypes of women in sport and achieving her best no matter what.


There are many women out there who are real-life superheroes, fighting against injustice and making a difference in their communities every day. These women are the best role models to look up to, as they show there’s more than one way to be a woman and achieve your goals.



Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and blogger. Passionate about empowering women, she shares advice on navigating the work world and pushing boundaries to achieve happiness, respect, and success in your career. You can find her dishing out career wisdom on Twitter, Google+ and her career blog, Punched Clocks.

One Comment

  1. I think my favorite out of all these women has to be ellen! I love her confidence and how intelligent she is.

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