Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Jacinda Ardern are among the women Time magazine has named in its 2019 list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
The annual tribute to icons and change-makers is divided into five categories – pioneers, artists, leaders, icons and titans – and each personality is celebrated in a profile written by an esteemed peer, making it all the more meaningful. Beyonce paid tribute to Michelle Obama, while Celine Dion penned words about Lady Gaga.
Dozens of inspiring, talented and fearless women featured this year. Here are just a few of our favourites and why we love them – see the full list at Time.com.
Lady Gaga has always been the queen of reinvention, but she has taken it to new heights recently with her starring role in A Star Is Born. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her vulnerable portrayal of Ally, a talented artist shunned by music executives because of her ‘big nose’, who was lovingly devoted to her husband (Bradley Cooper) despite his flaws.
The God Is A Woman singer has taken recent personal tragedies and turned them into art to heal herself, and others too. After a suicide bomber attacked her Manchester concert in 2017, she wrote No Tears Left To Cry. Following her public engagement and break-up with Pete Davidson, it was Thank U, Next. Grande celebrates her vulnerabilities rather than trying to hide them, and we love her for it.
Leaders around the globe have praised the New Zealand Prime Minister for her empathetic and intelligent response to the Christchurch Massacre. But even before that, she pushed boundaries by becoming one of the first world leaders to give birth while in office, and with her focus on climate change. Ardern has been heralded as a much-needed new kind of leader.
Ever since she knocked one of America’s most powerful Democrats out of his local government seat in the Bronx to become the youngest woman in history to join the US Congress, it’s not overkill to say AOC has become the voice of a generation. From women’s rights to immigration to climate change and health care, she’s speaking up on behalf of millions of Americans who want change, all the while doing her best to ignore relentless harassment from the far-right – in hoops and red lipstick.
Portraying female super-hero Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel seemed a natural destiny for Brie Larson, who has been walking the feminist talk in Hollywood for years. As well as portraying nuanced, authentic women characters like Jeannette in The Glass Castle and Joy in Room, in her personal life she’s been outspoken about the gender pay gap and sexual abuse – let’s never forget how she refused to clap for alleged sexual harasser Casey Affleck when he won the Best Actor Oscar.