The High School "in crowd" stereotype, played to death on TV particularly in '90s sitcoms (looking at you Dawson's Creek), doesn't seem to fade with adulthood.
As an adult the in crowd silently morphs into "the man" with all it's middle aged, white, and male trappings (I kid, but not really).
A new creative class is knocking down the door of the stodgy conference rooms I believe the adult "in crowd" spends a majority of their time in, thanks in part to the equalizing power of technology and new approaches to old industries. The four ladies below are interrupting business as usual, and look damn good while doing it - get to know them if you don't already:
THE MEDIA DISRUPTER - Issa Rae
I spent many college nights trolling the internet and guffawing at Issa Rae's hilarious creation - Awkward Black girl, a Seinfeld-esk online sitcom following a black woman's awkward, label bending antics in her hum drum work place. The show was a viral success, leading to more internet hits including Ratchet Piece Theater, The 'F' Word, and The Choir. Her content has drawn over 20 Million Views and 160,000 subscribers on YouTube, and landed her collaborations with heavy hitters Pharrell Williams, Shonda Rhimes, and Larry Wilmore. Issa summed up her creative motivation best in a recent Huffington Post interview, "I felt like my voice was missing, and the voices of other people that I really respect and admire and wanna see in the mainstream are missing. Plus, it’s fun!" Her content is relatable, sharp, and much needed in a world where major media networks feel like broken records repeating the same shows, with the same cast of characters, year after year. Issa's proven that when there's a will, make your own way. I'm a major fan girl of Issa's work as you can tell - all I can say is get it Issa.
THE TECH GIANT - Angela Benton
Google got transparent recently on it's diversity and things are looking whiter than Snooki's new dental work. Google's staff is less than 1% black and black women make up an even smaller fraction of that 1%. Enter Angela Benton, a serial entrepreneur who saw the major diversity issues in the tech industry and decided to address them head on. She's a co-founder of the New Me Accelerator, helping minority-led tech companies land more than 16 million in seed funding since launching in 2011. She's also the CEO of B20, formerly known as Black Web 2.0, a multimedia publishing company that creates beautiful spreads on the latest news and trends in the tech industry affecting black creators and professionals. From being a single parent and teen mother, to leading organizations and initiatives that are shaking things up and turning heads, Angela is one of those women who creates feel good fuzzies of inspiration with her insane work ethic and affirming world view.
THE FASHION EQUALIZER - Claire Sulmers
I love Claire Sulmers for two reasons 1) her incredible silver blond dread locks 2) her journey of turning a personal style blog into a fashion behemoth with 2.4 Million unique visitors per month (that's enough people to fill a small country). Claire's career journey has many of the same themes as others on this list - she saw a gap in the industry, faced barriers to entry, and carved out her own niche. Her website Fashion Bomb Daily is a go to destination for "the multicultural fashionista" and is a great combination of street trend spotting, up and coming blogger profiles, and celebrity clothing break downs (a.k.a how to get the same look on a working professional-that-doesn't-make-millions-but-wants-to-look-nice budget). Claire is one of the top 20 bloggers in the world, and will continue to dominate the fashion and media industries with style and obvious flair.
THE BEAUTY SIMPLIFIER - Myleik Teele
Afros and kinky curls are things of beauty, but they sure can be a challenge to take care of, especially in our straight hair obsessed society that turns a blind eye to the curly girls. Myleik Teele understands the struggle of women transitioning their hair from traditional straightening methods to it's natural texture all too well (it usually hits a Don King point literally before getting better). She founded CurlBox, a monthly subscription service of products for naturally curly hair, and has set a new standard for beauty. Her attitude on how to be successful is spot on in her recent Essence interview, "Be authentic in your approach...you see someone else winning and you want to do the same thing. They are winning because they are NOT doing the same thing and you should always remember that."
There you have it - four fierce, smart, insert many positive adjectives women you should know. Follow them, read up on them, and be inspired. You're welcome.