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The calendar may read 2017, but women everywhere are still fighting for fundamental human rights, access to education and equality in the workplace. Thankfully, there are a number of notable female role models which today’s young women can look up to. As we focus on our future success, career goals and body image, one only needs to turn to feminist icons such as Roxanne Gay or beautiful model Ashley Graham. Although summer reading lists tend to promote flowery topics and easy paperbacks, we like to include a few inspirational titles among our collection of beach reads. Here’s our roundup of empowering contemporary tomes written by powerful modern women, which just may inspire you to fall in love with yourself, break barriers and realize your dreams.
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
New York Times bestselling author Roxanne Gay writes about the difficulties of being a woman when the patriarchy is still very much alive. She discusses her journey toward becoming a feminist. Like many girls, she enjoys listening to misogynistic rap music, reads fashion magazines, loves pink and learns to overcome the hardships of finding love. In the book, she analyzes and critiques other novels, movies, television shows, and music on how they depict gender and race. The book aims to be an educational and relatable read.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling is well known for her roles as Kelly Kapoor on The Office and Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project. In her second book, Kaling discusses her Indian-American upbringing and her early years before her Hollywood career. Like many girls, Kaling loved watching romantic comedies, and also had a passion for making people laugh. The funnywoman is proof that no matter what your skin tone or your weight is, you can have a successful life if you work hard.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg has been ranked on Fortune’s list as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She is the chief operating officer of Facebook. In her book, Sandberg discusses how she became a success story and also encourages working women to reach their full potential.
A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like by Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham is a plus size model who has been on the cover of well-known magazines like Vogue, Sports Illustrated and Glamour, and has also landed many campaigns for major retailers. In her book, she explores her journey in the modelling business. Graham explains that just like any girl, she has her own insecurities, but slowly she’s embraced her flaws and has become confident. Her book aims to remind women that they must love the skin they are in, and that self-care and self-love are both important.