Take a minute to think about the people in your life who inspire you. Actually, think about the women in your life who inspire you. Whether it’s the women in your everyday life or high-profile women you look up to (hi, Michelle Obama, we love you!), no doubt the list is a long one. With all the incredible ladies out there doing incredible things every day, it seems like only one day to celebrate them all isn’t nearly enough!
The first moment attributed to what we now know as the International Women’s Day movement was a march in New York City in 1908. 15,000 women took to the streets demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Taking hold around the world, the UN officially invited members to recognize March 8th as International Women’s Day in 1977 and by 2014 it was celebrated in more than 100 countries and considered an official holiday in 25.
To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we’ve brought back our popular Bad B*tch Medallion WebJam to help you pay homage to the leading ladies in your life – or on your inspiration board – and bring them to life in full, living color! Take a look at some of the amazing women who inspire us every day and let us know who you’d want to immortalize in hand painted style.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – the world lost giant when we said goodbye to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year. She was the first Jewish woman and the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court since its founding in 1789. Spending much of her career fighting for women’s right and gender equality – including insurance coverage, fair pay, equal treatment in the military, and Social Security benefits – she worked to address gender inequality for women AND men wherever she saw it.
Michelle Obama – always reminding us to “go high” with style, our forever-FLOTUS continues to inspire with her singular mix of grace, relatability (who else remembers her singing “Get Ur Freak On” with Missy Elliott?!), empathy and drive. A wife, mother, lawyer, First Lady, producer, advocate for children, double Ivy League graduate – she has inspired a generation of girls to dream big and believe in the power of your own voice.
Zadie Smith – “Smith’s stripped-down honesty in her writing is both refreshing and jarring to read. I saw her speak in person in San Francisco a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised that she’s just as honest in person. There’s a blunt directness to her that goes against everything you think a female writer “should” be – she pulls no punches, sugar coats no opinions. She’s not pretentious or precious, just wholly confident in her work and her abilities – a total badass.” – Lindsey, CraftJam Editor
Amanda Gorman – In an era when words matter more than ever, Amanda Gorman offers a master class in how to use language to craft a truly powerful and impactful message. The youngest poet to ever speak at a Presidential Inauguration and the first poet to recite a poem at the Super Bowl, Gorman’s talent for composition and delivery has captivated – and inspired – the world.
Iris Apfel – THE fashion icon who taught us that style has no age restrictions. Even at the age of 99 she’s still showing us how to have fun and express ourselves through clothing and accessories, and that fashion is so much more than just what we wear.
Ruth Asawa – using wire to “draw in space”, artist Ruth Asawa created large-scale undulating pieces that challenged the traditional ideas of sculpture and predated the contemporary idea of “installation art”- to stand in their presence is to be entranced. Asawa spent nearly 18 months in a Japanese internment camp in Arkansas at the age of 16 and was barred from attending college in California due to her Japanese descent. Her work is now in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim, Whitney and de Young museums and the UPSP released a series of stamps featuring her sculptures in 2020.
Mary Brooks Picken – where would modern fashion and home sewing be today if not for Mary Brooks Picken? Born in 1886, Picken is the author of a whopping 96 books on needlework, sewing and textile arts and her Fashion Dictionary was the first encyclopedia to be published in English by a woman, ever! Picken founded the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in 1916, offering correspondence courses in cooking, needlework, dressmaking and entrepreneurship, taught “Economics of Fashion” at Columbia University and was one of the founding directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Talk about a fashion pioneer!
Frida Kahlo – Considered one of “the most significant artists of the 20th century”, Kahlo’s mix of strength, vulnerability and fearlessness in her art has made her an icon for a range of different communities and movements. Her work and life continues to drive conversations and debates regarding the way that male and female artists are treated in academics, art and popular culture.
Vice President Kamala Harris – Kamala Harris has broken, and continues to break, barriers throughout her career. She is the first person of color to be elected Attorney General in California, the first graduate of an HBCU to run for president or vice-president, and now the first woman, first woman of color and first Asian American to serve as vice president!
Ghada Amer – “The first time I saw one of her pieces I had a visceral reaction. Seeing embroidery on a painting was new to me and as a crafter and lover of art I fell in love instantly. When finding out that she was Egyptian (like me!) and a Feminist (like me!) I was sold. I had the pleasure to meet her a few times and each time I’m inspired by her curiosity and how she thinks. I could look at her art and hang out with her anytime. It’s the full package.” – Nora, CraftJam Founder