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22 Powerful Women You'll Want Your Daughter To Look Up To

Get on their level!

Frazer Harrison / Frederick M. Brown / Instagram / Getty Images / Via Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

1. Issa Rae, Actor/Writer/Director

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Issa Rae premiered her very own HBO original series, Insecure, last year to much fanfare and to many a "yaaass." The show was well-received for its relatability, hilarity, awkwardness, and overall realness. Issa's hard work paid off in the form of a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy. HBO green-lit Insecure's second season and fans are waiting with bated breath.

2. Melina Matsoukas, Music Video Director

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Melina Matsoukas directed the videos for Beyoncé's "Formation," Rihanna's "We Found Love," and a host of other popular mega-hits. When she's not bringing music to life, the two-time Grammy winner is directing popular TV commercials.

Matsoukas also served as executive producer on Insecure with Issa Rae, proving that her talent for music videos translates perfectly to the small screen.

3. Yara Shahidi, Actor/Model

4. Shiona Turini, Fashion Collaborator

5. Elaine Welteroth, Editor-in-Chief, Teen Vogue

6. Franchesca Ramsey, Comedian/TV Host

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Franchesca Ramsey is a TV host, podcaster, comedian, and basically jack of all trades. She started as a YouTuber who discussed current events in a humorous but socially responsible way. Her breakout hit "Shit White Girls Say... to Black Girls" racked up over 11 million views. After multiple successes garnered her attention — she was able to pivot into hosting her own MTV web series Decoded. Last year, Ramsey was also featured on Comedy Central's The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore as a writer and contributor.

7. Michaela Coel, Poet/Singer-Songwriter/Screenwriter/Actress

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Michaela Coel is a singer-songwriter, screenwriter, poet, and probably a dozen other things too. Most recently she received two BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards for Best Female Performance in a Comedy and Breakthrough Talent for Chewing Gum, a sitcom inspired by her play Chewing Gum Diaries.

8. Bozoma Saint John, Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music

9. Angelica Nwandu, Founder of The Shade Room

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Angelica Nwandu is the founder of The Shade Room, a social media-based news organization that provides up-the-minute "tea" on celebrities. The Shade Room boasts over 8 million followers on Instagram alone and posts multiple posts every day, every hour. Nwandu was included on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list in 2016.

10. Crissle, Radio and Podcast Host

11. Chef Resha, Chef

12. Jamilah Lemieux, Writer, Editor, Speaker

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Jamilah Lemieux is an advocate. An advocate for social justice, the underrepresented, and LGBT rights. She's also a writer, editor, and newbie media executive. Her work has appeared all over the internet — including The Washington Post, Essence, Jet, Black Enterprise, and Jezebel. In addition to her writing, Lemieux's social media prowess is unrivaled, her Twitter is expert level. In fact, Fortune listed her as one of the most influential women on Twitter. Beyond that she received the Maggie Award for Excellence in Commentary from Planned Parenthood. Currently she's bossing it up as the VP of news and men's programming for Interactive One.

13. Yvonne Orji, Actor

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Yvonne Orji broke out in 2016 as Issa Rae's co-star in Insecure. Her character was relatable, lovable, and maybe just a little over-the-top (but in a good way). Orji was born in Nigeria and grew up in Maryland, and she has a master's degree in public health from George Washington University. Her parents encouraged her to be a doctor, lawyer, or another more traditional profession —but Orji had other ideas and moved to NYC after grad school to pursue comedy. Her intuition paid off, and now she's on her way to stardom.

14. Myleik Teele, CEO and Founder of CurlBox

15. Ursula Stephen, Celebrity Hairstylist

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Brooklyn-based Ursula Stephen is a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with the likes of Rihanna, Naomie Harris, Laverne Cox, Mary J. Blige, and countless others. Stephen specializes in African-American hair, and her work has been featured in various magazines and on the big and small screens.

16. Jenna Wortham, Staff Writer, New York Times Magazine

Kimberly White

Jenna Wortham is an award-winning journalist who is currently a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and co-host of podcast Still Processing. She's worked for the Times company for nearly 10 years, where her work has evolved from technology reporting to writing on culture, music, women's issues, emojis as art, and a host of other subjects.

17. Luvvie Ajayi, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, and Activist

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Luvvie Ajayi is a New York Times best-selling author and blogger, and former marketing and digital strategy associate. Most recently Ajayi bossed up when it was announced that Shonda Rhimes had acquired the rights to adapt Ajayi's best-seller I'm Judging You into a cable comedy series.

18. Ava DuVernay, Director and Screenwriter

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The boss of all bosses, Ava DuVernay is a director, screenwriter, and film distributor. She's best known for becoming the first African-American to win Best Director at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Besides that, she directed the Golden Globe-nominated film Selma, making her the first black female director to be nominated in the Best Director category. Now Ava is currently directing the action movie A Wrinkle in Time, a film whose budget reportedly exceeds $100 million, making her the first black woman to direct a film of that magnitude. DuVernay is steadily evolving with no signs of slowing down.

19. Shonda Rhimes, Producer, Screenwriter, and Author

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Shonda Rhimes is the queen of television. The producer, screenwriter, and author is at the helm of popular current mainstream TV shows Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, and is the executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder and The Catch. She owns her own production company, Shondaland, and serves as chair and CEO. There honestly aren't enough words to describe how much black girl magic Shonda is full of, but her storied career speaks volumes.

20. Simone Oliver, Digital Director, Allure

Twitter: @SimoneSOliver

New York Times veteran Simone Oliver left the iconic paper after 13 years to join Allure in 2016. Before Allure, Oliver started the Times' very first Instagram account, @nytfashion. At Allure, Oliver has contributed to inclusion of more diverse coverage of all shades and shapes.

21. Cardi B, Actress, Social Media Star, Rapper

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Cardi B, star of reality TV show Love and Hip Hop: New York, has millions of followers on Instagram, and is now a front row regular at fashion shows. She even had a cameo on Being Mary Jane. In addition to all that, she has a budding rapping career, with a mixtape under her belt — and much more to come. Cardi B is the definition of turning nothing into something, and will no doubt continue to flourish.

22. Kahlana Barfield Brown, Editor-at-Large, InStyle

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