International Women’s Day: 3 Inspiring Women We Look Up To (+ Free Downloadable Phone Wallpapers!)

This International Women’s Day, we picked 3 women around the world who inspire us and work every day to empower women from their communities to break through glass ceilings, step out of their comfort zones, and to love themselves and embrace their own femininity and womanhood. Scroll down to read more on the women we look up to, plus a free downloadable phone wallpaper to inject a dose of feminist inspiration to your day!

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Najwa Shihab

Who she is:

Najwa is Indonesia’s influential journalist who’s not afraid of speaking her truth in her own witty and satirical way that involves a lot of well-written, punchy poetry. Throughout her journalistic career, from being a TV news anchor, to having her own show Mata Najwa, and finally creating her own news start-up Narasi TV, Najwa never ceases to astound the viewers with her ability to not only graciously bring controversial political issues to the public eye, but also hold people in power accountable, even if that means the President of Indonesia. “Dare to go against the current, breaking through falsehoods,” she speaks of uncovering the truth. 

And when she’s not doing her political expose, she’s also able to give us range and versatility in her works, dwelling more into the current pop culture and showing her fun side by interviewing everyday heroes, musicians, and artists.

Why we look up to her:

We love Najwa for her bravery to always speak up and her commitment to always speak her truth, especially in an era where the truth is easily manipulated. She’s constantly inspiring us to do the same. For us, she’s the embodiment of bravery and confidence!

Love Najwa Shihab? Tap here to download Najwa Shihab's phone wallpaper now!


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Carol Murray

Who she is: 

Carol Murray, one of the five famous Zimmern sisters, is next on our list of inspirational women. While she might have been born into wealth — her father Francis Zimmern was the chairman of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange — Carol worked hard to make her own mark. Starting on the trading floor, Carol stood her ground in the unforgiving and male-dominated world of finance, and eventually rose to become the Managing Director of the Zimmern stockbroking and property firm.

Why we look up to her: 

Whoever said finance was a cold, unfeeling world hasn’t met Carol Murray. We love Carol because she protects her quirky and unique individuality even in a male-dominated industry. She loves fashion, has an incredible sense of style, and is never afraid to express herself! 

Love Carol Murray? Tap here to download [Download not found] now!


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Ong Bee Yan

Who she is:

She’s a part-time model/talent and a co-founder for her cold brew coffee business, 1degreeC. While those two titles sound like they belong to a hip and trendy young influencer, they actually belong to 65-year-old Ong Bee Yan, whose style and striking self-confidence would rival that of many local influencers today.

Her venture into modelling only started two years ago at age 63, when she started to embrace her greying locks by growing it all out. “I told myself once I let it grow, I let it grow, whether it suits me or not. I guess I decided to embrace my age,” told Yan. What ensued were plenty of compliments, and even modelling opportunities from hip fashion labels.

Her Instagram account @grey_evolution, while just four months old today, is an inspiring page of her journey of self-love, embracing the inevitability of age with grace, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Why we look up to her:

Yan embodies so much of what Style Theory means to do for our members: to empower you with ways to embrace your individuality, your body, and your age, and to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone by experimenting with fashion and style. She’s an icon for ageless beauty, and we’re absolutely smitten and inspired.

Love Ong Bee Yan? Tap here to download Ong Bee Yan's phone wallpaper now!


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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Style Theory IWD Women We Look Up To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Who she is:

“Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office. I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family. Mother from Puerto Rico, dad from the South Bronx. I was born to a place where your zip code determines your destiny.” Those were the words that AOC, as she’s more popularly known as on politics-savvy social media, wrote to announce her run for US Congress in 2018. 

In that same year, the 29-year-old former bartender and waitress unexpectedly won and unseated a 10-term New York congressman to become the youngest woman (and Hispanic, too!) ever to be elected to Congress. Not to mention, she’s properly rooted herself in the hearts of not just Democrat youths in the US, but of young women all over the world. 

Why we look up to her:

A pop culture and political shining star, we love Alexandria for challenging the status quo on the political front, and refusing to be taken lightly as a young coloured woman in a “big white man’s world”. 

Even when assailed with sexist slurs by a fellow colleague in front of news reporters, Alexandria refused to accept it lying down — as many women feel they have had to do. Instead, she stood up for her dignity, and has since become a powerful icon for anti-sexism and feminism in this generation. 

“Justice”, as she puts it, “is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.” Listen to her inspirational Women’s March speech here:

Love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Tap here to download Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's phone wallpaper now!

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Who she is: 

The world’s youngest female self-made billionaire at 31 years of age. How did Whitney get there? She started out as a co-founder of dating app, Tinder, who was then stripped of her co-founder role because having a “girl” with that very title “makes the company seem like a joke.” Tinder might feel like quite the joke now, because it spurred Whitney on to create Bumble, a rival dating app made “by women, for women”. The dating platform, where women were empowered with female-friendly dating features, and where harassment is strictly policed, has become the second-most popular dating app in the US.

On top of that, it has also led Whitney to become the youngest female CEO ever to lead a company to go public on the trading floors, effectively making her one of the World’s 500 Richest!

Why we look up to her:

Whitney is an inspiration to all female entrepreneurs and founders. In a time where self-made men outnumber their female peers by 20 to 1, and where nearly half of female founders experience some form of workplace harassment, Whitney has turned her nasty experiences at Tinder on its head, and created a haven for female equality, equity, and empowerment at Bumble. Check out her triumphant moment on the NASDAQ floor in celebration of Bumble’s IPO, with her son on hip. We love to see it!

Love Whitney Wolfe Herd? Tap here to download Whitney Wolfe Herd's phone wallpaper now!


Read (and watch!) more inspiring content from our #WomenofStyleTheory here.

About Author

In pure Aries fashion, Nicolette’s passions reveal themselves in fiery bursts — tell that to her 4-year-old flugelhorn still in mint condition. If she isn’t DM-ing you memes from private Instagram accounts, she’s probably snuggled up to a sitcom. A huge admirer of the harmonious coexistence between the style sensibilities and atrocities of the ‘90s. Yin and yang, baby.

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