Last week Stylist celebrated International Women's Day by asking you to share who you thought were the most inspirational woman of the last 100 years. We worked the list down to 20 women, including Coco Chanel, Oprah, and the Queen and put them to the vote. And now, after tallying up all of your votes, we’re finally ready to announce who you’ve named the top three most inspirational women of the last 100 years!
We were overwhelmed by the amount of votes and the level of enthusiasm for the influence of women like Eve Ensler and Lee Miller, but there could only be one winner. And that winner is...
1) Agnes Baden-Powell
Agnes is best known for creating the Girl Guides in 1910, the female counterpart to her older brother Robert’s male Scouting Movement. Agnes’s influence is still as relevant as ever in 2011, as Girlguiding UK - which includes the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section - is now the United Kingdom's largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women , with over 100,000 trained volunteer adult Leaders and supporters.
As our reader and Baden-Powell supporter Sheila puts it, Agnes helped to “alter the way society saw the role of girls and enabled girls to do things previously considered only for boys/men.” And for that, Agnes is one seriously cool lady.
2) Alex Box
Alex Box has been voted the second most inpirational woman over the past 100 years. Alex is a highly creative make-up artist with a flair for the exotic, the extreme, and the flamboyant. She's the Creative Director of cult make-up brand Illamasqua which takes its inspiration from the roaring '20s club scene. Box has worked with fashion heroes such as Nick Knight, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney, but beyond her stellar credentials, she encourages women to look and bedifferent. One of Alex’s top makeup tips is that there are “no rules” when it comes to makeup, and that “you are your own creation”. Inspiring stuff.
Alex strikes a special cord with many woman, and some of her voters described her as being a “daily inspiration”, “empowering” and that Alex helps women "dare to be different".
3) Emmeline Pankhurst
Coming in third in the vote is suffragette and activist Emmeline Pankhurst. Way back in 1889 Emmeline founded the Women’s Franchise League, which fought to allow married women vote in local elections. A rather busy lady, Emmeline also founded the Women’s Social and Political Union whose members were the first to call themselves “suffragettes”. Emmeline was a fierce and passionate activist - so passionate, in fact, that she was arrested several times and would even go on day-long hunger strikes before finally being forced to eat.
As many of you who voted for Pankhurst pointed out, the other women in our top twenty list wouldn’t have been able to achieve the things they have if not for her work and the suffragettes had done. And for that, we are all indeed very thankful to Emmeline.
What do you think about the Agnes, Alex and Emmeline being voted the top three most influential women of the last 100 years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...
Picture Credit: GirlGuiding UK, Rex Features