The Most Inspiring Women According to Milk Makeup Staff
by Milk Makeup Staff
Here at Milk Makeup, we love celebrating and hanging out with women from all backgrounds every day of the week. But today happens to be a pretty special day in the woman world. It’s International Women’s Day. Last year, women joined together for a Day Without Women to call for gender justice and to give a glimpse into just how much women do for society. And that movement was just the beginning, with many monumental moments in the following months. From #metoo, to the election of Virginia’s first trans congresswoman Danica Roem, to Cardi B breaking Billboard records, it’s a pretty amazing time to be a woman. And because we’re all about cool femmes doing cool things, we wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day with some inspirational women from our team.
Get to know some of amazing forces behind Milk Makeup, what being a woman means to them, and the women who inspire them to be the best they can be. Happy International Women’s Day from us to you. — Emmy Liu
SOPHIA ROE, SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT MANAGER
I’m picking my Grandma, KK. She came to the U.S. when she was 15-years-old as a Japanese immigrant, and after Pearl Harbor happened, she had to escape, so she went to Brazil. That’s where she met my grandfather and had my dad. She’s why I exist, and she’s a vision of strength in the face of racism and war…I mean, she’s a hero. She’s no longer with us, but I think about her every day and take her with me everywhere. She taught me what it means to be a true activist; she taught me what it means to be a strong woman and to take care of myself and the people who matter to me most; and she beat my grandfather’s ass! She was a renegade and she took no shit. My grandfather cheated on her and she left him. And she was 50 years old when she left him. She did everything for me.
International Women’s Day means support. It means supporting not just cisgender women but supporting anyone who identifies as a woman in any way, shape, or form.
RHONDA, SENIOR PACKAGING ENGINEER
A woman who inspires me is Billie Jean King. She’s the subject of the movie Battle of the Sexes. She’s a tennis player and she fought for closing the wage gap, social justice, and women’s rights as early as the ‘70s and she risked her whole career over it. When she was playing the U.S. Open in 1973, there was a disparity between the male and female prize money and she fought to close that gap.
These are issues that still plague us today, and International Women’s Day gives us a reason to think about it and a platform to talk about it because you wouldn’t be interviewing me right now if it wasn’t for International Women’s Day. And it gives us an opportunity to appreciate those who came before us and fought against these problems in the past.
The community that I share with other women I know inspires me most. I’ve never really had a public figure that I look up to, whether that’s a woman or a man. Learning from women face-to-face is more important to me than admiring from afar, whether it’s women who I’ve met in college, or professors who I’ve had, or women in the workplace. Women who I meet in my daily interactions and whose challenges I learn about, hearing those intimate stories about what they’ve experienced in the world and learning from that — that’s what’s affected me the most. Especially in the film industry, there are rarely women at all, so when you do find one, you have to stay close and learn, and you can’t see each other as competition. When one of us eats, the whole family eats.
I definitely don’t think that a one-day reminder is enough. As a society, we should take steps to always remind ourselves that women are not equal in this world, at all. Even when you’re secure enough with yourself to take up space as a woman, society still won’t let you. Growing up, we’re trained and taught to speak lower and move to the side — all of these things keep you from speaking your mind, and it’s always a battle with society to take up space. So even though it shouldn’t be a one-day celebration, it is a good reminder that we all collectively need to take up more space. It’s important to take up whatever little slice of the world that you can because there’s always gonna be some dude telling you not to.
CAMILLE, MERCHANDISING MANAGER
My mom inspires me because she is literally the best f*cking human on this planet. I’m not sure she’s even of this planet. She is sensitive yet strong, a dreamer yet practical, and afraid of nothing and no one. Her love is beyond anything I could ever imagine — it transcends.
International Women’s Day doesn’t mean anything to me, but women mean everything to me, so I celebrate every day. Think about it — women around the world, especially women in third world countries, get up and support societies that are built to keep them as second-class citizens. Some countries want women to feed, clothe, and comfort their children but will not have women in their governments. It blows my mind, but the perseverance of women blows my mind even more. It reminds me that above all else, women are omnipresent, and that is a reason to celebrate.
GEORGIE GREVILLE, CO-FOUNDER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR
There are so many women who inspire me! But to choose just one, I would say Yara Shahidi because of her graceful, positive and intelligent activism. She is the future.
The thing about feminism that most people don’t understand is that it is inherently inclusive because it is all about equality. Today I am thinking about all the incredibly strong and inclusive female voices that are leading change in this country. In fact, I think about them every day.
I’m going with Maxine Waters and Judge Judy. They’re strong, they’re fierce, and even though they’re older ladies, they still have the vivaciousness of a young girl. I’m sure they could run circles around me. That’s how I want to be when I’m their age. They always stand for something and they’re no-nonsense. I’m no nonsense now, so when I’m their age…it’s over. Those are my two superstars.
International Women’s Day for me represents the strength and loveliness of all women of all ages and races throughout the world. It’s knowing that none of us stands alone. That somewhere across the globe, there might be another woman who feels like I feel, and struggles like I do, and succeeds like I do…and that is everything.
VALENTINA, RELATIONSHIPS AND GIFTING MANAGER
A woman who really inspires me is Malala Yousafzai. I didn’t know much about her until I watched her documentary on a long-haul flight and I was instantly taken aback by her strength and determination. She’s so young and she’s gone through so much, but to this day she advocates for the rightful education of young girls in places that unfortunately don’t allow that to happen.
International Women’s day means a whole lot to me because it’s important to recognize what we mean to this world, the achievements, struggles, and injustices women have suffered throughout the years, not only on this day but every single day. And this year, it’ll be even more important for me to celebrate this day as I’m having a little girl in July and I want to teach her that she can be whoever she wants to be and she can do whatever she puts her mind to. I want to teach her that she’s worthy of respect and recognition, and that being a woman is wonderful, empowering, and in no way has to be limiting.
EMILY, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
My mom is, hands down, the most inspiring woman I know. I’ve always considered her my best friend, and value her opinion so much that I’d often find myself in the corner texting her during college parties..because that’s normal, right? But over the past five years, I really have grown to learn what a strong person she is at her core. She’s overcome health scare after health scare with grace and poise, never complaining that she’s been dealt a bad card. When I feel frustrated for her, she’s quick to let me know that worrying solves very little and perseverance is a more productive tool. I try to live my life in a way that celebrates her every single day. I have so many amazing role models, bosses, mentors, coworkers, and friends that are women and I feel extremely proud to be one at this moment in time and always. And I will continue to stand up and support women of all backgrounds and fight for all women’s voices to be heard.
DAWN, DIRECTOR OF PURCHASING AND OPERATIONS
My husband’s grandmother, Margaret Taitt, is the most inspiring woman I know. When she came to this country from Barbados, she came on a student visa, stayed here, built herself up, brought her husband over, and then petitioned to bring their three boys here. She was the only woman in a house with four men. She carried these men. I knew she was a strong woman because of how she took charge of the household. She was the bill payer, she negotiated, and she did everything that she needed to do to take care of her house and her family. I used to bump heads with her because I had the first great-grandbaby for her, and she pretty much tried to take control of my daughter, but it wasn’t until later on in life that I realized that she wasn’t trying to take control, she was just used to being in control. She was really a motivator and I miss her to this day. Her strength motivates me to be as strong for my kids and husband as she was for hers. I have a photograph of her in my house of her holding my daughter, and all of the men in my family are standing behind her. Not one of them is as strong as she was.
I love the term International Women’s Day in and of itself. It’s not just about what it means to American women. I’m from Guyana, so I know a lot of struggles. It’s not only a celebration of the laws that we’ve gotten passed in this country because of American women, but it’s a celebration of the women in my family, myself, my mother — these women have come to America for a better life and to do better. We come here and wash people’s clothes, and clean people, and do whatever it is that we have to do to make it in America because the journey to America is not easy. When I came to America, I was an illegal alien myself. I’m now a homeowner. I have a full-time job. I have three kids, one of whom just graduated with her degree. I’m very proud of the legacy that came before me. I see these women all over the world who do such awesome things in this world and make it happen, and I’m realizing that I’m one of them. I’m proud to say that I’m one of them. It’s strength, it’s perseverance, and it’s never listening to the word no. I love women who like challenges and who make it happen.
GINA, EMAIL MARKETING MANAGER
I’m going with Mila, our Vice President of E-commerce and Performance Marketing, and the rest of our E-commerce pod as the women who inspire me the most. Mila’s leadership style is the perfect blend of warm, but firm, which has allowed for us to challenge ourselves and each other to work harder and think bigger. Business school classes should study her. Also, we definitely have the best vibes of any section of the office.
International Women’s Day means celebrating what we’ve been able to accomplish and taking a moment to recognize and uplift the leaders in the micro and macrocosms that we all exist in.