Do women run the world?
Jessye Norman is an American Grammy award-winning opera singer and recitalist. A dramatic soprano, Norman is associated in particular with the Wagnerian repertoire, and with the roles of Sieglinde, Ariadne, Alceste, and Leonore. She’s been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and is a Spingarn Medalist. Apart from receiving several honorary doctorates and other awards, she has also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, and is a member of the British Royal Academy of Music. In 2003, the Rachel Longstreet Foundation and Norman partnered to open the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free performing arts after-school program for economically disadvantaged students in Augusta, Georgia. Norman is actively involved in the program, including fundraisers for its benefit. Photo credit UNC Education.
Why are these women chosen in honor of International Women’s Day? I think it’s worth noting that they were so many other influential leading ladies that I thought of, but time simply didn’t allow. Tennis superstar, Steffi Graff is instrumental, not only because of her endurance, grace, and skills, but she was the first tennis star that got me interested in the game. When I first watched her, I simply couldn’t believe how focus, and graceful she was on the tennis court. Jane Austen, Andree Putman, Bette Davis, Jessye Norman? These women, and the others embodies the longterm fruitage of hard work, endurance, and dedication. I salute them all. #OneDayIWill.
Audrey Hepburn, Bob Willoughby, 1963. from “My Fair Lady”. Recognized as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood’s Golden Age. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Photo credit Peter Fetterman.
International tennis superstar, Steffi Graf. “Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Her 22 singles titles is second all-time behind Margaret Court, and marks the record for most Major wins by a tennis player (male or female) since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968. In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least 4 times.” Photo credit The Famous People.com.
21 Grand Slam tennis legend Serena Williams. According to Wikipedia Williams holds the most major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined among active players, male or female. Her record of 36 major titles puts her fifth on the all-time list and second in the open era with 21 in singles, 13 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles”. She is widely known as the greatest female tennis player of all time. Getty Images.
Eileen Moray Gray was an Irish furniture designer and architect and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. She is often refered to as the quintessential Modernist. She was born as Katherine Eileen Moray Smith on 9 August 1878, near Enniscorthy, a market town in south-eastern Ireland. Gray designed the iconic Bibendum Chair was as part of the modernist movement which was completely different from Gray’s earlier, more traditional work. She decided to make the change in style to simply make “progress”. The art critics loved the chair and reviews in papers and magazines exclaimed that it was a “triumph of modern living”.
Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics. She is the author of the widly popular novel Pride and Prejudice.
La Grande Dame of Design: Global sensation Andrée Putman. In 1997, Andrée Putman created her eponymous Studio, specializing in interior design, product design and scenography. When she imagined objects, she refused the excess of striving to re-design pieces which were perfectly designed by others in the past. “We have to accept that many things can no longer be changed – or very slightly. In her lifetime, she was awarded with a multitude of awards, including: BEST DESIGNER, voted by 4000 journalists (2009). Photo credit Marie Claire.
Diana Vreeland, noted columnist and editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and as a special consultant at the Costume Institute of The Museum of Art. Diana was included in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1964. In 1984 Vreeland wrote her autobiography, D.V.
Diana Princess of Wales. Children with Leukaemia (currently Children with Cancer UK) was inaugurated in 1988 by the Princess of Wales in memory of Jean and Paul O’Gorman. The O’Gorman family was shattered when brother and sister, Paul and Jean, fell victim to cancer within nine months of each other. In November 1987, just days after Jean’s death, the O’Gorman family met Diana. Deeply moved by the double tragedy, Diana personally helped the O’Gorman family to start the charity. She inaugurated the charity on 12 January 1988 at Mill Hill Secondary School. Diana continued to support the charity until her death in 1997. Photo by Mario Testino.
Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in cinema history, she was noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic, sardonic characters and was reputed for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas.