As one of the top names in the 2016 presidential race, not to mention U.S. politics in general, Hillary Clinton constantly receives a flurry of both criticism and praise: this week, her latest poll numbers reveal her popularity to be at a 14-year low. Regardless, Clinton is the role model for countless celebrities and everyday women, and has been for decades.
All female politicians are forced to face seemingly endless persecution from their colleagues, reporters on every side, and the general public. The fact that Clinton remains a household name and a likely contender for the Democrat presidential nomination speaks to many hours of struggle, no matter what your politics are. Many successful women have been able to lean on Clinton's example for support on their own journeys to the top.
Over the years, Clinton has been on the receiving end of consistent sexism from the public and media; many have zoned in on her age, her marriage, and her merely being female. Her family faced economic struggles. She endured harsh treatment after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Nevertheless, Clinton was still able to be an influence to many women after her time.
Here are eight powerful women who cite Clinton as their inspiration.
The powerhouse senator from New York received her inspiration to work for women's rights from Hillary Clinton. She said in a Facebook post:
When Hillary Clinton traveled to Beijing as first lady and announced that "human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights," she inspired me to get off the sidelines and pursue a career in public service. Since then, she has not only been a role model, but she has been a mentor and friend. From her extraordinary service as senator from New York, to her history-making presidential run, to representing the United States around the world as secretary of state, she has been an inspiration to me and so many women and girls around the world.
At Diane von Furstenberg's DVF Awards ceremony, the actress shared a story about how Clinton's struggle inspired her not to give up. Gyllenhaal said she would like for her children to grow up with a female president.
Add the First Lady to Clinton's list of admirers. Obama said Clinton has been "a role model for me in so many ways." She added:
I don't think she realizes how what she has done has made what I am doing partially possible. So with all the respect and admiration that I can give to her, I will be wherever she needs me to be, whenever she needs me to be there.
The actress loves to sing Clinton's praises, calling her the most overqualified candidate since the founding fathers, according to The Washington Times. Judd was inspired by Clinton when she attended the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.
Political strategist and president of the Political Action Committee EMILY's List Schriock is also a Clinton fan. She said:
She's more than an idol. She's an inspiration—and a leader whose talents we desperately need.
Field gave an interview with The Guardian in which she expressed her approval of Clinton, though she wasn't sure if Clinton would run at the time. She said:
I don't know on Hillary. I admire her, I adore her and I'm in awe of her. Certainly I would back her, but if she decides not to run, I would back that decision as well.
Elizabeth A. Vazquez
Vazquez is CEO and co-founder of WEConnect International, a non-profit that connects women's businesses with international opportunities. She was inspired by Clinton's trips to Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Peru, and Russia, where she focused on women's issues. She told The Huffington Post:
She was making a statement to all of us that meeting with local women is a policy priority for her and that it should be a priority for everyone else committed to inclusive prosperity.
Ferrera has often spoken out in support of Clinton. She and fellow actress Amber Tamblyn have worked with Chelsea Clinton to supervise HillBlazers, the youth movement behind Clinton's campaign. Clinton said of the girls:
They are great role models for so many young women in our nation. I'm delighted that they will be joining us to help bring change to our nation.
The pattern of inspiration can continue through generations and occupations. Eleanor Roosevelt was a role model to Clinton, according to the New York Daily News, and now she passes the positivity to millions of women.
Images: Getty Images (8); YouTube/USAID WLSME