Forbes annual list of the world’s 100 most powerful women is out, and we’re happy to report that First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé grace the top 20.
The FLOTUS landed at No. 8. “She may not carry the hard power of her husband but there’s arguably no one who makes better use of the world stage,” the magazine wrote. And as far as Oprah, who ranked No. 14, Forbes said she can thank the success of her network OWN, role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and earnings from Harpo Productions for her self-made billionaire success.
Beyonce, one of the youngest to make the list, came in at No. 17. “The 32-year-old superstar capped off a banner year that included singing for the president, performing at the Super Bowl, and headlining the most profitable tour of the year by shocking the world with a surprise “visual album” in December,” Forbes detailed. “The album is iTunes’ fastest-selling album ever, moving 828,773 units in the first three days.” Queen Bey was followed by Sofia Vergara, Ellen DeGeneres, Angelina Jolie, Shakira, Lady Gaga and Gisele Bundchen.
German Chancelor Angela Merkel landed the number one spot for the fourth year in a row. Other notable women to make the list include former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Spanx founder Sara Blakely, the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at 43.
The trailblazers who made the list include powerhouses across technology, politics, business, finance, media, entertainment, philanthropy and NGOs. According to the publication, it’s a “definitive annual guide to the extraordinary icons and leaders, groundbreakers and ceiling crashers who command the world stage,” based on their money, media presence and social impact.
In a nutshell, this year’s list featured nine celebrities, nine heads of state, 13 billionaires, 18 entrepreneurs and 28 CEOs. According to Forbes, the 100 female leaders have a social media impact that exceeds 812 million followers and fans. In the words of Mr. Carter, who run the world?
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Maya Angelou: Her Beauty, In Her Words
1. Maya Angelou
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
2. Maya Angelou
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
3. Maya Angelou
"A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim."
4. Maya Angelou
“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.”
5. Maya Angelou
"Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room."
6. Maya Angelou
"Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?"
7. Maya Angelou
"I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being."
8. Maya Angelou
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
9. Maya Angelou
"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
10. Maya Angelou
"We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike."
11. Maya Angelou
"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
12. Maya Angelou
"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
13. Maya Angelou
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it."
14. Maya Angelou
"If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love."
15. Maya Angelou
"I'm a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman. That's me."
16. Maya Angelou
"The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an off-the-shoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it. Even if you're wrinkled."
17. Maya Angelou
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
18. Maya Angelou
“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.”