As it was once very wisely declared by the great and powerful Beyonce, “Who runs the world?Girls.” (Just in case you forgot.)
Technically, we celebrate the awesomeness of women all 31 days in March, and have been since it was officially designated Women’s History Month by Congress back in 1987. But did you know that March 8, International Women’s Day, has been celebrated worldwide since the early 1900s?
In honor of women today and every day, we’ve rounded up some of the best things ever said by hilarious, inspiring, wise-beyond-their-years, and straight-up badass women throughout history. Some have been living in our TV screens for decades; others have written or sang or danced their way into our hearts; and some have gone down in the history books for commanding boardrooms, heading up countries, and fighting to effect change, no matter how hard it was.
But all are known for paving the way for other women in one way or another; for banging, rather than tapping on that proverbial glass ceiling. So let’s start a slow clap for these 29 fierce famous ladies, who’ve all said some pretty empowering things, and continue to inspire us whether or not they still walk this earth.
- “You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.” — Diane von Furstenberg
- “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” — Joan Rivers
- “Power’s not given to you. You have to take it.” — Beyoncé Knowles Carter
- “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” — Lucille Ball
- “I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say ‘yes, women can.’”— Dilma Rousseff
- “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” — Madeleine Albright
- “You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” — Shonda Rhimes
- “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
- “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” — Amelia Earhart
- “Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.” — Hillary Clinton
- “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” — Lucille Ball
- “Be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” — Judy Garland
- “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” — Marilyn Monroe
- “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
- “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” — Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
- “There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born.” — Oprah Winfrey
- “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” — Lady Gaga