We asked 3 generations of women to name their inspiring heroes, and the results will surprise you

"I decided if she could be the first person to do something, as well as the first woman, then maybe I can do that too."

With Mother’s Day right around the corner and all of us still adjusting to this new way of living and interacting, we’re constantly on the hunt for some creative inspiration – and a good movie to watch with the whole family.

Our pick? Little Women. This Academy Award-winning film, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, champions feminine strength, empowerment, family love and independence.

The movie is a timeless coming-of-age tale inspired by iconic author Louisa May Alcott’s novel, as well as her life. The civil war-era world of Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth March is brought to life through themes and issues that are relevant to audiences across the world today.

These four “little women”, all with unique dreams and goals, are heroes in their own right. Each character has her own way of navigating societal constraints, family issues and creative ambitions – all of which are proving to be so incredibly important to us throughout this time of social isolation.

In an interview with the New York Times, Greta Gerwig said, “As a child, my hero was Jo March. But as an adult, it’s Louisa May Alcott.” And it got us thinking: who are the women that shaped our lives?

We’re all in need of a little inspiration right now, so to fête the launch of Little Women on Blu-ray, DVD and digital, and celebrate female empowerment, we asked women from different generations who has inspired them throughout their lives.

From literary heroes and movie characters to real-life women, political figures, and the real heroes right now, healthcare workers, here are the women who’ve inspired us.

Women in their 20s

Chantal, 28

“Last year I read More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth, and I don’t know if it’s because she is in a similar line of work to me, but she really inspired me, both professionally and personally with her writing. It left me feeling empowered and ready to ask for things I want.”

Athena, 23

“To be cliché, the role model who has shaped me the most and influences the way in which I see myself, as well as where I want to see myself, is my mum. She was the first example I ever had of hard-work equating to success; the first example of mentorship I witnessed. I wanted to master that: the ability to have such a positive influence that people are willing to follow you. So she was my first role model.

I have since had other role models but no one as inspiring as her. The only person who comes close is Marie Curie, because of her work in science and role in discovering the chemical elements polonium and radium, as well as being the first person to win two Nobel prizes. I decided if she could be the first person to do something, as well as the first woman, then maybe I can do that too.”

Women in their 30s

Nat, 38

“I’d have to say Serena Williams, Michelle Obama and Dolly Parton. Dolly’s music has always been so powerful and strong (just listen to the 9 to 5 lyrics!), and her Imagination Library is such a great initiative. I think having access to books is so important for kids to grow up with!”

Clare, 39

“With what we’re going through now I’ve been thinking about the lead in the book the Bronze Horseman, Tatiana. It’s based in Leningrad during WWII and starts when she’s sent off to stockpile food (ring any bells?) and then follows her through the trials and tribulations of living through that time and how she grows, changes and overcomes hardship. Obviously it’s a million times worse that what we’re going through at the moment but when I get stressed I do think of what reality would have been like during that time which puts things in perspective.”

Women in their 40s

Jo, 40

“I’m inspired by women who publish powerful words and images. Gloria Steinem, the co-founder of Ms. – an incredible feminist magazine. Closer to home, I admire Ita Buttrose who created Cleo magazine, and over the course of an incredible career, has become an Australian media icon. In their own ways, Ms. and Cleo were ground-breaking, opinionated and ultimately positive for women (and women’s publishing). More recently, the work of Elaine Welteroth during her time as editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue in the US was so important: confirming that girls indeed contain multitudes!”

Anna, 41

“When I was young it was always female detectives that inspired me, like the Secret Seven and Nancy Drew – any woman solving some kind of crime. My favourite was probably Anne of Green Gables, she was awesome. I remember reading those books over and over again.”

Women in their 50s

Pam, 57

“Thinking back over the women who have inspired me during my life, the first one who comes to mind is my mother. She’s lived through the Great Depression and the second world war; was widowed at 40 and raised four kids on her own; and has always been strong, independent and resilient – which are all qualities I admire.

I’ve also been inspired by women who have broken through the ‘glass ceiling’ in their fields and have survived tough personal times – Oprah, Nicole Kidman, Brené Brown (more recently) and Reese Witherspoon. And I’m a huge admirer of women who suffer abuse and then become advocates for others like Rosie Batty and Malala.”

Women in their 60s

Carol, 60

“Rosie Batty is such an inspiration for me. She’s survived domestic violence, championed abuse programmes and all her work has been recognised by being Australian of the Year. Another one is Ronni Kahn, the founder of Ozharvest. She is always developing ways to feed the homeless and socially disadvantaged. And I think Jacinda Ardern is so inspiring. She continues to show how a prime minister should take the lead in times of national and world crisis against terroism.”

Women in their 90s

Gwen, 96

“I have always found inspiration in two of my closest friends – Nel Lawler (who is no longer with us) and Louie Ryan. I admired their resiliance and determination. Both of them managed to stay happy and raise kids pretty much alone even through the worst hardships. I’ve always admired the tennis player Evonne Goolagong because she came from a disadvantaged background but fought against the odds and also was a great sportswoman. As for politicians, I have the utmost respect for Julia Gillard and Margaret Whitlam because they helped the ‘little people’ and spoke out against injustice while standing up for their beliefs.”

Little Women is new to watch at home on Blue-ray​™, DVD & Digital.

Brought to you by Little Women

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