Tag Archives: women who rock

Women Who Rock: Ida Rosenthal

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

IDA ROSENTHAL (1866-1973)

Ida Rosenthal has had an uplifting effect on virtually every woman in America, though her name may not be instantly recognizable. Rosenthal was the inventor of the modern bra. She was also the embodiment of the American dream, coming over from her native Russia to escape religious persecution in 1904, and setting herself up in business with a partner, Enid Bisset. Together they established Maiden Form. Ida Rosenthal created the modern bra as a way to make the dresses in her shop fit better, but the undergarments became more popular than the dresses.

The renamed Maidenform company opened its first factory in Bayonne, NJ, in 1925. Maidenform became highly successful, even during the Great Depression, and it also held claim to a lot of firsts, including the first maternity bra, the first adjustable bra fastener, and the development of a standardized method for cup sizes. The fact is that her Maidenform advertising campaign, which utilized underwear models and a racy-for-its-time slogan, “I dreamed…in a Maidenform Bra,” was as big a deal in its time as “wardrobe malfunctions” are now.

Further reading:

  • Bra: A Thousand Years Of Style, Support & Seduction by Stephanie Pedersen
  • History of the Breast by Marilyn Yalom
  • Uplift: The Bra in America by Jane Farrell-Black
  • [Photo: AP] Keep reading »

    Women Who Rock: Ellen Ochoa

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

    ELLEN OCHOA (1958- )
    Born May 10, 1958, Ellen Ochoa is a student, researcher, inventor, electrical engineer and, of course, an astronaut. Her many talents and accomplishments make her an extraordinary woman and a positive role model to many. She’s best known for co-inventing an optical system for space exploration, as well as for her role as an astronaut. As an astronaut, Ochoa worked with computer hardware, robotics, flight software and more. She served many important roles at NASA, including being a member of the crew aboard the spacewalk mission that was the first to use the robotic arm, which she helped to control. Ochoa has received a great deal of awards and recognitions throughout her life, some of which include various NASA citations, the Harvard Foundation Science Award, the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, among others.

    The research conducted by Ellen Ochoa has contributed a great deal to aerospace science and technology. She is a role model not only to women young and old (like Punky Brewster!), but also to the Hispanic community. Two schools thought so highly of her that they have her been named in her honor: the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center (a pre-kindergarten school) and the Ellen Ochoa Middle School.

    Further Reading:

  • National Atomic Museum
  • Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut
  • Ellen Ochoa: Reach For The Stars!
  • Keep reading »

    Women Who Rock: Margaret Mead

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

    MARGARET MEAD (1901-1978)

    Margaret Mead was born in 1901 to Quaker parents, making her the fruit of a sexually repressed culture at a time of great sexual repression. Surprisingly, she not only railed against the mores of the time, but also permanently altered the way Americans viewed sex and gender. Mead studied as a cultural anthropologist with a focus on gender norms of other cultures. When she saw that women in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands seemed content, liberated, and empowered compared with American housewives, Mead dedicated her life to pursuing change in American attitudes toward gender and sex that dominated the era. In turn, her work empowered the women’s liberation and sexual revolution movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Keep reading »

    Glamour Celebrates 12 Female Icons

    The April issue of Glamour features a pretty awesome spread of current female stars channeling icons in women’s history. My favorites? Alexis Bleddel as Rosie the Riveter, Hayden Panettiere as Amelia Earhart, and America Ferrera as Dolores Huerta. Some of the choices were more pop culture oriented (Lindsay Lohan as “Like A Virgin” era Madonna, Emma Roberts as Audrey Hepburn), while others were kind of random (Odette Yustman, Spencer Grammer, and Rumer Willis as “The Women Of Woodstock?”). Of course, had they devoted more pages to the feature, there were other women’s history icons I would have liked them to show, but maybe that’s because we’re devoting the whole month of March to National Women’s History Month, so I’ve got cool, kick ass women on the brain. Anyway, after the jump, 10 other female icons I would have loved to see portrayed by current female stars… Keep reading »

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