When asked to choose an inspiring female to write about, one particular woman instantly came to mind — Amelia Mary Earhart. Possibly the most iconic and well-known aviator of her time, Earhart truly embodies the essence of what it means to be a powerful woman and exudes both strength and inspiration.
Even when Earhart was young and unaware of the huge impact that she would eventually make on the world, she defied gender stereotypes just by being herself. Growing up in the 1910s, she hunted rats with a rifle and climbed trees, playing rambunctiously and disregarding the typical ‘feminine’ child activities of the era. She even kept a scrapbook of inspiring women who proved successful in male-dominated fields of study.
Fast forward to the beginning of her adult life, after a couple years of school and a mere 6 months of flying lessons, Ms. Earhart had gathered enough money to purchase her very own bright yellow plane. With this plane, which she dubbed “The Canary,” she immediately shattered a record and became the first woman to reach an altitude of 14,000 feet.
Not long after that feat, Amelia received a call asking her to be the first woman to ever fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She eagerly accepted the request and instantly got involved in the project. Soon, she married the project coordinator, named George Putnam. However, Earhart valued her independence and spoke of her marriage as a “partnership” with “dual control”; a view that was way ahead of her time.
Near her 40th birthday, after acquiring countless accolades, Earhart finally took off for what would be her biggest endeavor yet; to be the first woman ever to fly around the world. Unfortunately, in the midst of her great adventure, both Earhart and her plane disappeared, never to be found again.
Although Amelia’s whereabouts were never discovered, one thing is for sure; her legacy definitely lives on. As a 16-year-old girl, I often think about Amelia Earhart and the massive influence that she left on the world. Ever since I was little, I have been enamored by Amelia and her amazing life. But, as interesting as her disappearance is, the important thing to appreciate is what she did while she was alive. Growing up in a time where women did not have nearly as many rights as they do today, it seems almost unthinkable that Earhart was able to accomplish what she did with such grace and confidence. Someone so brave, outgoing, and influential deserves immense applause. Every young girl and boy should familiarize themselves with Amelia Earhart’s story so that they can be able to live confidently and courageously, just like she did.
Graphics: Amelia Chen