The history of the entertainment industry is a male-dominated one. Call Hollywood a "good ol' boys' club," if you will. And even today, gender inequality is very much present throughout the music, TV and film industries.
That's all beginning to change, though. Slowly but surely, ladies are fighting their way to the top, staking claims in the entertainment world. It takes guts to survive in an industry where there is a 5-to-1 ratio of men to women working on films, or where the two best-selling female singers came in at No. 8 (Beyonce) and No. 14 (Katy Perry) on the list of top record-selling artists of 2013.
Now before you say "But what about (favorite actor/singer/writer)?! She's amazing!" Yes, quite a few women have carved out amazing careers. Check out the women who have decided that they have no time for glass ceilings or gender-related expectations. These ladies are tough, talented and really, really cool.
No, seriously. In 2013, White was announced by the Guinness Book of World Records to have the "Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female)
." The seasoned veteran made her TV debut in 1939 and has won six Emmy Awards and three different Lifetime Achievement Awards throughout her career. White is now 92 years old, and still very much in the entertaining game. In 2013, she voiced the Aardvark Lady, a character on Disney Channel's "Mickey Mouse." The gal's even on Twitter
Between creating "Scandal," "Private Practice" and "Grey's Anatomy," Shonda Rhimes has basically taken over television. Through all of her success, Rhimes has remained an activist. Upon winning the DGA Diversity Award, she accepted the honor with humility and class
, while still calling attention to the problem of underrepresentation of women and minorities in the entertainment industry.
With eight Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a New York Times Best Selling autobiography and two bouncing children, yeah, it sounds like Tina Fey does have it all. Whether she's working on her night cheese on "30 Rock," hosting the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler, impersonating Sarah Palin on SNL or discussing how she earned the nickname "Bossypants," Fey can do no comedic wrong.
P!nk is basically the toughest woman to hold a microphone. She demonstrated her super strength by performing crazy-intense acrobatic routines at the 2010
and 2014 Grammys
. The mother-of-one has achieved considerable professional success (including three Grammy Awards) for her music, which continuously pushes boundaries to redefine what it means to be a rocker girl. Now "Raise Your Glass" to the master (and her apparently steel-strong thighs).
Cox was the first African-American transgender woman
to appear on an American reality show ("I Want to Work for Diddy"). Then, she became the first African-American transgender woman to produce and star in her own TV show ("TRANSform Me"). After that, she gave an encouraging and enlightening response to Katie Couric's invasive questions
about her sexuality. Now, she's winning the hearts of "Orange is the New Black" fans as inmate Sophia Burset. Score 1000 points for upending the system.
Sure, the "We Can't Stop" singer may push the limits of social acceptability on a near-daily basis, but there's no denying she pays a price for it. Cyrus has been getting pretty beat up by the media as she attempts to shed her former Disney-girl image. In response to the negativity, Cyrus takes it all in stride, laughing at herself a bit and reminding the crowd that it's all an act. She has no time for criticism.
Oprah doesn't just do
entertainment, she is
entertainment. Despite growing up in impoverished neighborhoods in the deep south, Winfrey is currently Forbes' No. 1 Most Powerful Celebrity
, beating out her wealthier male counterparts, Steven Spielberg and Donald Trump, and No. 13 Most Powerful Woman
. (Yes, in the world.) As an actress, producer, talk-show host, media mogul and philanthropist, she's spent an admirable amount of her time and fortune helping others. With a net worth of nearly $3 billion and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Barack Obama, Winfrey is the ultimate combination of girl power and proof that rags can indeed be transformed into riches.