In celebration of International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating women all over the world, a few of us here at Nerds & Beyond got together to celebrate the women we find truly inspirational. Be it smart women, charitable women, nerdy women, or badass women, they inspire us in so many different ways. Women, we salute you!
I still remember the first time I saw Kim Rhodes in a panel at a convention. Kim and Briana owned the stage, both so confident and sure of themselves, but when Kim spoke about her life growing up and her frustrations and how it colored her life now, I was glued. I could relate to every memory she shared of not fitting in and feeling alone. She cried as she spoke and I cried from my seat, so grateful to know I wasn’t alone.
From that moment on, I have been watching and listening, learning things from how she lives her life by listening to The Wayward Podcast and watching panels. Her unapologetic approach reassures the rest of us that maybe are not so confident in our ability to live unapologetically. She is open about what she still has to learn and I admire that so much in a world full of people who seem to know it all.
Just watching and listening her has encouraged me to be more bold, to ask more questions, and to let my freak flag fly! Thank you Kim. Thank you for being who you are, and encouraging all of us to be who we are too.
It was sixteen years ago when Sophia Bush B-Dazzled our screens as resident party girl turned wholesome fashion designer, Brooke Davis but it is her work outside of Tree Hill that proves not all heroes wear capes. Penning herself as, “A storyteller. A dog momma. A design nerd. And most importantly… a Voter”, Bush uses her journalism degree and platform to raise her voice about societal issues. Some of which include Pencils of Promise, when she spent her flirty and thriving thirtieth to raise money to build schools in Guadalupana, being a founding member of the influential ‘TIME’S UP’ movement and more recently the podcast “And Especially You“. Here, she’s about to cram everything she loves – real stories, a supportive community and women who like to roll up their sleeves and get a little dirty to help better the world – into one awesome podcast. If that doesn’t give the role model tick of approval, then maybe being one of Oprah’s SuperSoul sisters can help.
Felicia Day has graced our screens as many loveable characters over the years. She was Penny in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She played Karen in Con Man: The Series. More recently, she has played Kinga Forrester in the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as Poppy in The Magicians. Then there is my personal favorite, Charlie Bradbury on Supernatural, the nerdy hacker who could flirt with girls just as well as Dean Winchester, if not better. She is not just an inspiration on-screen to nerds everywhere like myself, but off-screen as well. She not only starred in The Guild, but wrote and created it as well. Not just a web series focusing on culture surrounding multi-player and role-playing games, but it is available as a graphic novel as well. Continuing on in the gaming culture, she has hosted live Twitch streams of her playing such games as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and House Flipper. Speaking of Twitch, she has used her voice for charity as well. Along with a campaign through Stands, she hosted a 12-hour live-stream on her Twitch in June 2008 to raise money for RAICES, an organization that helps provide education and legal help for refugees and immigrants. Felicia also helped create and launch Geek & Sundry, which focus on web-series production. She has hosted such series for Geek & Sundry as Vaginal Fantasy and Felicia’s Ark, just to name a few. And there is so much more that Felicia has done for nerd culture, inspiring folks like me to be comfortable in our own skin, vocal about the nerdy things we love, help others through the things we love, and let that nerd flag fly proudly!
Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Keisler) was an actress, producer and inventor. She got her start in film by forging her mother’s signature on a note to an Austrian film company, where she started as a script supervisor. She then got small roles in films and a play, which brought her to Berlin, where she got her first lead role in 1932. In 1933, she was cast as the lead in the film Ecstacy, which was banned in the U.S. for being overly sexual, but celebrated elsewhere as art. In 1937, she escaped her abusive marriage by convincing her husband to let her wear all of her jewelry for a party, then disguising herself as a maid and leaving for Paris, then to London
She arrived in Hollywood in 1938, after being signed to MGM. She was in many films, including Ziegfeld Girl with Judy Garland and Lana Turner.
As a hobby, Lamarr would invent and improve existing things. She improved a traffic light design, airplane designs and she and a friend invented a frequency-hopping system for radio controlled torpedoes. This frequency-hopping system is the basis for our modern Bluetooth technology.
Hedy Lamarr was an amazing woman, and continues to be a hero to girls and women who want to pursue art, science or anything they want.
Lzzy Hale is not only a phenomenal singer with a strong voice for rock ‘n roll, but also a strong voice for mental health and strong women. She reached out to her fans with her #AskLzzy hashtag where you can ask questions about anything. She uses her strong voice to remind us to fight for what we believe in and believe in ourselves. Lzzy also encourages us to raise our horns and fight and bring awareness to mental health. Lzzy inspires me to rock in my everyday life.
There’s so many more women who inspire us, that it’s impossible to list them all. Who are women that inspire you?