1. Jennifer Lawrence. I am convinced that she is actually a lion. But like a really adorable one. If you’ve ever seen an interview with her and you also have a tumblr, you will most likely come to believe that she is a kindred spirit to us all. To all of us who love to talk about food and did dumb stuff as kids. She is like us. Except she’s a phenomenally talented actress with one of the widest ranges since Meryl Streep came on the scene. Seriously, Winter’s Bone. Go watch it.
2. Jean Stafford. When I was 16 I heard a Jean Stafford story on the New Yorker Fiction Podcast (yes that exists and you should check it out) and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since. So you idolized Sylvia Plath because you read The Bell Jar in high school and like plaid skirts and find the idea of women writing mid-century totally romantic and wistful? Well wait until you hear about Jean Stafford. She was married to two writers (including the brilliant though unstable poet Robert Lowell) and a Life photographer, is considered a proto-feminist, and won a freaking Pulitzer. But seriously, I admire Jean Stafford for her brilliance in the medium of short story. Simple as that.
3. Hailee Steinfeld. When it comes to awesome child actors, you can keep you preternaturally stunning Elle Fanning; I’ll take Hailee over anyone, any day. She wears converse to Oscar parties. Let’s be real here. What I admire about Hailee is the fact that she still seems like a kid, despite the Oscar-nominated actress thing. It’s pretty damn cool.
4. Regina Spektor. If you want to know what angels sound like, do a youtube search of Regina Spektor. You will be lost in the most beautiful music for hours. She has a power that is so rare in singers these days. But on stage she’s so timid and apologetic. She has no concept of what you’d call “stage presence” until she actually starts the song. Regina writes words and music and then she brings them to life and it sounds as if it’s all for you. Just you and Regina. I recommend Lady, Summer in the City, Patron Saint, Ain’t No Cover, and Consequence of Sound.
5. McKayla Maroney. Do I really need to say anything here? She’s indisputably the best. And she knows it. And she owns it. She’s a girl who doesn’t apologize for her power. The term “folk hero” comes to mind (I’m really, really into the women’s elite gymnastics scene, you guys). Girl can vault and she makes no apologies. McKayla Maroney is not impressed.
Honorable Girl Crush Mentions:
Rooney Mara, Marion Cotillard, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Carey Mulligan, my gender studies professor, pretty much all of my lady professors, Romola Garai, Emma Watson, Oona Chaplin, Jillian Lewis from Project Runway, Alexandra Lawn and Rebecca Zeller of Ra Ra Riot, the list goes on forever, really.
Women are awesome. Let’s celebrate that.
-Meaghan Murphy, Staff Writer