For some, influencers typically look like the young, skinny, scantily-clad people on instagram and tiktok. But let’s turn the spotlight on these beautiful, wise owls — iconic and powerful inspirations that have aged gracefully and unapologetically.

Edna Mode is the cute, beloved character in the Pixar movie, The Incredibles. In the movie, she is a successful, small and sassy fashion designer to the superhero stars. If you love her daaarling spunk and moxie as much as I do, here are some real-life versions of her to gawk over and fangirl with!

YOLO indeed. These Edna Modes of our time definitely live their lives to the fullest and fiercest. Audacity, authenticity and strength of character are just some of the qualities that make these ladies worth following.

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour is an iconic beauty and fashion publisher, editor, mogul, titan in her own right. She commands respect and wears fashion, she doesn’t let fashion wear her. Her publishing mantra is, “Mass with Class.”

A British-American Journalist, she is Vogue’s editor-in-chief since 1988. Another interesting tidbit about her is that she’s actually a college dropout.

I find this noteworthy in an awe-inspiring way because, if we think about it, there are plenty of extraordinary people who are college dropouts and yet found their own version of success. It seems like success lies in finding one’s true self and living it up, regardless of our circumstances.

With all these college dropouts making it big these days, it begs the controversial question, is the academe still relevant these days? Another great topic for another article, pinned. Perhaps it depends on the person and the context. Just something to ponder on as we embark on self-discovery.

Cory Aquino

Image Source: @RoriComics (twitter)

In the late 80s, Cory was widowed after her husband, late senator and national hero Ninoy Aquino was assassinated during the Marcos dictatorship.

With the Filipino people, angered by this and many other atrocities during the Marcos era, Cory participated in the so-called People Power Revolution. It was a peaceful, non-violent protest that overturned the 20-year Marcos tyranny and transitioned the country into the Aquino administration.

Cory is the Philippines’ first female president, and among the first women heads of state worldwide in the 80s.

Her life was wrought with challenges and unthinkable burdens to bear, but she aged gracefully until her passing in 2009. An overflowing river of supporters tailed her coffin, grieving the loss of such an icon.

Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz is a well-respected and highly opinionated writer who lives and loves the hustle and bustle of city life. A full-fledged New Yorker, she is a no BS, no nonsense woman who is adorably unapologetic and confidently speaks her mind.

If you are a writer or content creator figuring out how to be authentic and unapologetically unique, I highly recommend that you watch her life’s documentary on Netflix.

The term/acronym IDGAF might have been popularized by us millenials and zoomers, but the attitude definitely originated from the likes of her.   

Iris Apfel

Image Source: Art Sheep

Born in 1921, this centenarian fashion icon, entrepreneur and interior designer dares to be bold and beautiful even at 100 years strong.

Many brands bow in her honor, including Mattel’s Barbie that made a doll specifically styled by Iris. Iris loves accessories and uses it strategically to dress staple OOTDS up or down.

Iris lives by her slogan, “more is more, and less is a bore.” This woman certainly loves to live large, with her oversized jewelry making bold statements wherever she goes. She is definitely a legendary, femme fatale icon to watch.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Image Source: The New Yorker

Ruthless when necessary but compassionate when it counts, RGB is a force to be reckoned with, in and outside the supreme court.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or otherwise known as the notorious RGB, is the first female justice in the American Supreme Court. She is also widely known as a feminist, being a staunch advocate of women’s rights and gender equity.

She may have already passed on, but her legacy still stands. Her movies are great to watch, such as the one called On the Basis of Sex, which is essentially about how she rose the ranks as a female lawyer in the midst of a dominantly masculine workforce.

Talk about power and influence, she and others like her certainly paved the way for women to succeed. These historic icons, the older generation of influencers, are certainly worth remembering. Do you have other iconic silver owls worth name-dropping? Comment below.

Written by

May Gordoncillo

May is a soul-searching freelance writer/editor who earned her BS and MA degrees in communication from the University of the Philippines. She unleashes her creative prowess in her blog, Luscious Mind.