Celebrate Women’s History Month With Us!
Women do amazing things EVERY day, but we want to give a shout-out to some particularly influential ladies. Celebrate Women’s History Month with us by learning about four phenomenal women.
Women’s History Month is about commemorating and celebrating the pivotal role women have played in American history. That all sounds very important and professional, but what does it really mean?
It means that women are the backbone of our society. Women are artists, scientists, activists, business owners, and athletes. They face untold challenges and triumph in the face of adversity. Yes, women are mothers, sisters, and friends, but they’re so much more than that.
That’s why we’re giving a shout-out to some particularly influential ladies. Obviously, we’ve got a few favorites from the beauty industry, but we also have major love for other changemakers, cultural icons, and activists. So, keep reading and celebrate Women’s History Month with us by learning about four phenomenal women.
Anna May Wong: Fought For Asian Representation in Hollywood
In light of the recent hate-crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, we wanted to highlight a woman who fought for representation before “representation” was really a thing.
Historically, Hollywood’s portrayal of minorities has been problematic at best and xenophobic at worst. Their depictions of Asian women, in particular, have relied on stereotypes and misinformation that are played off as harmless jokes. In reality, these depictions are far from harmless and have led to an environment where violence against Asian Americans is acceptable. While we’d love to say these depictions don’t happen in modern film and television, they absolutely do.
Anna May Wong, however, fought for Asian representation in early Hollywood. Born in 1902 in Los Angeles, Anna’s first big role came when she was just seventeen years old. Her character’s name was Lotus Blossom, and afterward, she had difficulty landing roles that weren’t stereotypical or unrealistic. She played slave girls, evil women, exotic mistresses, and other negative depictions until she became so disgusted with Hollywood that she decided to take roles in Europe.
In Europe, she learned French and German and was offered a wider variety of roles that led to critical acclaim and success. Anna returned to the United States and appeared in several successful films, but refused to take roles that were clichéd. In an interview, she even said, “I was so tired of the parts I had to play. Why is it that the screen Chinese is always the villain? And so crude a villain--murderous, treacherous, a snake…”
While Hollywood continued to be difficult, Anna May Wong kept fighting for more realistic portrayals of Asian women. Eventually, she became one of the first Asian American television leads on a show called The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong. In it, Anna played a woman who ran art galleries around the world while also solving crimes. We don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty badass to us.
At Fifth & Root, we stand against racism of any kind as a brand and as individuals. As a female-owned brand, we’re devastated by the rise in hate crimes against Asian women. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the AAPI communities. Please visit Stop AAPI Hate to donate and access valuable resources to support AAPI communities.
Madam C.J. Walker: Businesswoman, Inventor, and Advocate for Black Hair-Care
Our next featured female completely changed the game for black hair care.
Born in 1867 in Louisiana, Sarah Breedlove was the first free-born child in her family. While verification of her early years is difficult, it’s believed she was employed doing household and cotton work after moving to live with her sister. She married, had a daughter, and then was widowed just two years later. She and her daughter moved to St. Louis where her brothers had set up a barbershop. She found work as a washerwoman and was able to send her daughter to public school AND attend night school herself. It was in St. Louis that she met her second husband who would later help promote her hair products.
When Sarah developed a scalp condition and began losing her hair, she started to develop home remedies when the store-bought products didn’t help. The products she invented were so successful that she began traveling to lecture and give demonstrations on her products and hair-care methods. Her married name was particularly recognizable, and that’s how Madam CJ Walker was born.
Eventually, she opened a factory and even a beauty school. She provided much-needed products and services to African American women and became a household name throughout black communities. Basically, this woman worked her ass off to support herself, her daughter, and to provide a safe place for other black women to feel seen and beautiful.
Jessica Meir and Christina Koch: First All-Female Spacewalk
Moving into the present, we wanted to give a huge shout-out to the two women who made up the first all-female spacewalk. Yes, you read that right. These women are astronauts and recently made history. How cool is that?!
Both of these women are experts in their fields and have the degrees to prove it. Jessica Meir holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, a Master of Science in Space Studies, and a Doctorate in Marine Biology. Christina Koch holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Can we get a WOOT WOOT for women in STEM fields!?
Before they made history completing the first all-female spacewalk, Koch and Meir were flight engineers on the International Space Station for several expeditions. Also, did we mention that Christina Koch holds the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman? If you’re tempted to beat her (we believe in you!), you’ll have to last longer than 328 days in space.
It was in October of 2019 that they donned their gear and made their historic walk into space together. When asked about the walk, Meir replied in an interview, “For us, it’s just coming out here and doing our job today. We were the crew that was tasked with this assignment….At the same time, we recognize that it is a historic achievement and we do, of course, want to give credit to all those that came before us.”
The Fourth Woman We’re Celebrating This Women’s History Month Is…
YOU! And if you don’t identify as a woman, then look to the women in your lives and celebrate them.
Regardless of where you are in life (high school, starting a family, starting a new job, etc.), you’re dealing with so much. The world is constantly telling you who you should be, what you should look like, and how you should live your life. But please remember that the world needs you just the way you are. The women we mentioned above didn’t necessarily do things the way they were told. They blazed their own trails, forged new paths, and have created a new world for women to exist and thrive in.We work towards a more inclusive world by creating clean products that enhance the natural beauty of all skin types. But we can’t wait to see how YOU change the world. Thank you for celebrating Women’s History Month with us, and be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the latest updates.