Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Women of the Year 2013

The past few weeks I've been struggling to find inspiration. Usually I stumble upon a strong female who brings me back into the light. Kelly Cutrone, Kimora Lee Simmons, Beyonce, Olivia Pope... I've had a steady amount of women to encourage me through their lives. For some reason it was a little more difficult this time. Personal life was distracting me. My day job was distracting me. My side business was distracting me. And I was starting to resent them all.

Glamour's Women of the Year issue came out this month and I bought it. Although I had it in my possession, I had not read it. So the answers to my nonexistent motivation was right there in my work bag. It was just taking me that long to get around to reading it (watching Scandal on the way to work seemed like better time spent).

If you follow me on Twitter (@Sele_Ana) you know that I adore a good Letter from the Editor. Cindi Leive is the Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Magazine, and she told a story in her letter about a woman named Judy Daniels. She spoke about how Ms. Daniels would send her a note the day after the Women of the Year event about all the things she loved and what she thought Cindi had missed. This summer Daniels passed away and Cindi wouldn't get that note this year. Therefore she asked us, the readers, to share what we thought. "Who inspired you? Who would you have added?" and "What will these heroes motivate you to do?"


That leads me to my first pick. Shonda Rhimes.

 This woman over and over again astonishes me with her literary talents. Not only is she a screenwriter, she's a director, producer and creator. As a writer myself I am very motivated by her complex story-lines and character development. Often I sit still after watching an episode of one of her shows and think "It would be an honor to work with her." There aren't many writers out there to look up to. Especially female writers. Yes, there is Judy Blume and JK Rowling, but there are more game changers these days than ever before. And this club includes Shonda.

The talents she possesses are nothing short of a gift. If you're not sure who Ms. Rhimes is, you've probably seen her name appear after a crazy episode intro on Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and/or Scandal. And for all my Britney Spears fans, she also wrote Crossroads (I knew there was something I liked about that movie). What's next for her is writing a memoir (another things we have in common). "Rhimes will pen a book that is 'part memoir, part inspiration, part prescription,' as described by the book publisher." At this point, with the way she's changed prime time television; having both men and women glued to the screen every Thursday night, I'm sure her book is going to be more than great. 


Michele Promaulayko, Women's Health Magazine's Editor-in- Chief   

As a writer, I should be a reader by default, but anyone who knows me knows that this is not the case. I love to write until my hearts content but reading is a rare hobby of mine. When I do read, it better be good. For the past year, I have been a subscriber of Women's Health Magazine. Only a few months ago, have I started reading the Letter from the Editor. The first one I read, I related to and it inspired me. After that every month, I began to anticipate Michele's Letter from the Editor. She is so open and honest, it's refreshing. One of my favorite one's was about a friendship that ended in betrayal. Not many people are ballsy enough to use a personal triumph to provide help to others. Coincidentally, this is exactly what I aspire to do as a writer myself.

Ms. Promaulayko has been in her position since 2008 at Women's Health. Since her placement as Vice President and Editor in Chief, the magazine has receive a major increase of success in just a few years. But what's most important is her positive influence on women. Not only in fitness and health but their lives overall.  “Our mission is to help readers live a better life by setting up guideposts for them: take care of your body and mind to look and feel your best. We speak to women in their 20s and 30s, and they are active, ambitious, curious women who are full of zeal.”

And for my last but definitely not least, Katy Perry.

I know that I wrote an entry about Ms. Perry after attending her concert, but it is necessary that she be included in this. Sure, I love her music and her image, but I most adore her thinking outside the box and her marketing tactics. Not to mention her heart and message. This girl is truly always on fire. Which reminds me of when I sat down with my Director a few months ago and she told me, "You have it. You are a leader". And you know what? Some people just have that je ne sais quoi (listen to her new song, "International Smile").

Her vulnerability (much like Michele) relaxes you as an Average Jane. If someone can break this amazing singer, songwriter, businesswoman, philanthropist, and actress' heart and she can still come out on top... why can't we? Katy has achieved being the first female artist to get FIVE #1 Singles from one album. Need I say more? There doesn't seem to be anything that can stop her from actively pursuing her dreams. Constantly inspiring people to push themselves to do more cause they can. "Firework" was a song that impacted numerous people all over the world to embrace themselves and not retreat. I'm glad to see that it didn't stop there.


Each woman I listed has inspired me to be my best self. Of course there are others, but we are talking about 2013. Each of these ladies have contributed to my confidence in a way that they may never know. Their lives are not perfect. They do make mistakes. But these are the reasons why I can relate and learn from them. Haha I think about how something so small often can have such a big effect on someone else's life. Someone you may not know. For example, I'm sure that Michele has no idea how much I love when she retweets or replies to when I quote her monthly letters. I think it's absolutely sweet as hell that she takes time out of her day and replies back to little ole me.

We have to remember and believe that our actions do have power. Sometimes in big, sometimes small. And we may never become aware of it. Cause wouldn't it be great if we could have a Women of the Year event for everyone?