I’ve had this idea mulling in the back of my brain for a couple of months now. I wanted to celebrate women (real or fictional) who inspire me. Since I’m not sure how people I know will feel about me including their faces on my blog, I will be excluding women I know personally. But don’t fret! It’ll be a great read.

Also, this is just a list of women that popped into my head (or I saw recently on social media) while writing this list. If I sat down for hours and came up with every woman who’s ever inspired me or who I think hustle hard and need to be appreciate, it could be hundreds/thousands of names long. I thought I’d keep it short and sweet, but I’d definitely recommend you read 31 most inspiring women who changed the worldAnd to find out more about Viola Desmond who dominated the news in Canada last week, click here.

1. Leslie Knope

I had to start this list off with Leslie Knope. I know she’s not real, but I’ve been re-watching the Parks & Recreation series recently and she’s just so wonderful and great. I will admit it was a little strange talking about a fictional character like she’s a real human and my friend, but I couldn’t help it! In Parks & Recreation, she is the deputy director for the parks & rec department of Pawnee, Indiana. She celebrates lady friends every year on February 13th for Galentine’s day (which I definitely think should be an international holiday). She also celebrates all of her friends and never takes them for granted. She’s courageous, creative, kind and goes after what she wants. She loves bigger than you can imagine and just all around a wonderful female lead in a TV series. If you haven’t already seen Parks and Recreation, I highly recommend it.

2. JK Rowling

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

Yes, that’s right the author of the Harry Potter series, Cuckoo’s calling series and numerous other books. Not only did she get me reading as a kid and immerse millions of people into the wizarding world, but she started her own charity Lumos. She is also the clap back queen on twitter, so I highly recommend you go follow her.

3. Gina Rodriguez

I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THIS WOMAN. She is wonderful and hilarious and just I can’t. She is a wonderful actress who promotes being and loving who you are, celebrates other actors/actresses and even created a platform to celebrate women from around the world. Read more here. Gina even responds to her fans on twitter with motivation and encouragement. On instagram, she shares the stories of people who are inspiring and working to make the world a better place using the hashtag #movementmonday. 10/10 would recommend following her on every platform (online platform – I don’t recommend following her in real life bcs that’s creepy and just don’t be that person).

4. Yolanda Gampp of How To Cake It

I discovered Yolanda through her youtube channel probably over a year ago. She was working her way towards 1million subscribers and subscribing to her channel was such a great decision. She puts out weekly videos on beautiful and wonderful cake creations that she makes. She’s a fellow Canadian and deserves all the recognition that she gets. Yolanda is talented and also a supporter and friend to the next woman on my list.

5. Lilly Singh of IISuperwomanII

Like I said, I don’t know the women on this list personally, but being Canadian, I feel I connected with Lilly Singh on a level that only Canadians can feel when they see other Canucks succeeding.  She has a youtube channel with over 10million subscribers and creates content which is creative and funny. Last December, Lilly launched a campaign called #GirlLove to end girl-on-girl hate and I could not love it more (she even worked with MetoWe to create Rafiki bracelets which help girls in Kenya get access to education). She celebrates her friends and their successes and like all the previously mentioned women, she is just all around wonderful*.

*I think I might be overly using the word wonderful? maybe?*

6. Michelle Obama

Do I even need to write why she inspires me? I’m not even American and I appreciate all the amazing work she has done to improve America. If she doesn’t inspire you, I think you need to sit in front of a mirror for several hours and ask yourself “what is wrong with me?“*

*You are forgiven if she doesn’t currently inspire you because you don’t know much about here, but definitely read her biography here to find out more about why she’s so amazing.

7. Hermione Granger & Emma Watson

I cannot write a list and not include the female character who I grew up reading about and watching in the Harry Potter series. Also as it turns out, Emma Watson (who played Hermione in the movies) is a real gem as well so they definitely had to be included on this list.

If you haven’t read or watched the Harry Potter series, Hermione is one of the lead characters. She’s smart, savy and although she thinks getting expelled would be worse than being killed, she cares a lot about her friends, Harry and Ron. I personally believe that the main reason Harry was able to even stand a chance defeating Voldemort was because of Hermione. She was always one/two/three steps ahead in knowing the answers when problems arose. Growing up, Hermione was a character that showed me that female characters can be more than just an add-on, that they have feelings and emotions.

Emma Watson, who played Hermione continued on after the HP series to star in movies, music videos and more. She is a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and she continues to work to improve the lives of women by speaking out about injustices and inequality.

That’s it for now. Like I said, I am trying to keep it short and sweet. Eventually I may write a longer list of other famous&fictional women who inspire me, but for now I hope you enjoyed the 7 I came up with.

Who inspires you (Female, male, famous, fictional or even someone you know personally)? Make sure to comment!

Featured image take from here.