AMELIA EARHART INSPIRED SHOOT BY GUILIANO BEKOR FOR ROMANIAN MARIE CLAIRE OCT 2009
Todays heroine is the incredibly badass Amelia Earhart.
Amelia Earhart was a female pilot in the 1930's who became a pioneer in the world of aviation until 1937 when she mysteriously disappearance during her attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world. She was born in 1897 and in 1928 she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Throughout the rest of her life she continued to break and set many other records, never ceasing to push herself and further her career even lecturing at universities around America.
In 1929 she helped to found The Ninety-Nines which was an international organisation for licensed women pilots. So not only did she thrive and achieve success in a mainly male dominated field she also helped to empower her fellow female counterparts to flourish in that industry, rather than marking them as competition.
"...now and then women should do for themselves what men have already done - occasionally what men have not done... thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action. Some such consideration was a contributing reason for my wanting to do what I so much wanted to do."
Interestingly Amelia also had a very open relationship with her husband George Putnam who she married in 1931. Their relationship differed from traditional family set-up of the time, she made it very clear that they were to be equals. She wrote some very progressive pre-nuptual agreements in which she stated "please let us not interfere with the other's work or play"; this was obviously very unusual and forward-thinking for the 1930s!
1937 VOGUE COVER | A YOUNG AMELIA EARHART
Women in general are often overlooked in history and I would also like to highlight the accomplishments of some other very relevant women to this period and this field. Amy Johnson was basically the English equivalent to Earhart (all my heroines have been American so far, need to get some Brits in here!) who broke numerous long distance flying records in the 1930's and was also the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. She died in World War II whilst in service.
Another notable name is Bessie Coleman who overcame many prejudices to become the first female African-American to become a pilot and the first to hold an international pilot's license. She left her job as a manicurist and had to travel to France in order to get her license as flying schools in the US would not let her study with them. She then went on to specialise in stunts and parachuting!
These women are not just inspiration for people wishing to explore or break records, they are also inspirations to women wishing to succeed in otherwise male dominated fields. In fact they are inspirations for anyone looking for the motivation and courage to achieve their dreams. And they all look damn fine in bomber jackets.
My favourite quote from Amelia, which I think we could all definitely use in our own lives is:
"The best way to do it, is to do it!"