Girls put themselves in the shoes of Amy Schumer, Beyoncé, and others to show what they can do.

A recurring theme in 2015 has been "seeing is believing" — especially for girls.

It's easier to believe you can do something when you've seen someone else do it. That's why no matter how frustrated you get assembling IKEA furniture, you have to believe in those instructions. You saw it put together in the store. You know it can be done!

2015 has been marked with some major "seeing is believing" milestones of its own. From comedy to politics to sports to engineering, many women have taken the status quo and said, "ehhh … let's try it my way instead."


These women are helping to shift perceptions on what women and girls are capable of, and they're inspiring a whole generation while they're at it.

Could she be the next RBG? Maybe! Image of Ginsburg from Steve Petteway/Wikimedia Commons. Image of future-Ginsburg via GoldieBlox/YouTube.

In a new music video, girls step into the shoes of 10 of today's top female role models.

The video comes from popular toy company GoldieBlox and features mini-superstars like Sophia Grace, Heaven King, Jillian from EvanTubeHD, Sam Gordon, RadioJH Audrey, Annie and Hayley from Bratayley, and Flippin' Katie.

Their message is simple: Girls can run on the field and run the world. They can do whatever they want to do. And right now they've got some badass women to show them how.

For instance, in 2015, Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series, showing millions of girls around the world that they could too.

GIF via GoldieBlox/YouTube.

And the on-point message Davis delivered gave when accepting her award says it all:

GIF from "67th Emmy Awards/Fox."

Remember when Misty Copeland became the first ever black principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre this year? Yeah, that was rad.

And now it seems more possible than ever before that any girl, no matter the color of her skin, can be next.

Shattering the ceiling in her ballet shoes. (Hello, Heaven King!) GIF via GoldieBlox/YouTube.

A woman who needs no introduction, Hillary Clinton is no stranger to the spotlight. She shows time and time again that it's cool to stand up for what you believe in and, oh yeah, run for PRESIDENT!

The more girls see that politics isn't just a "boys only" club, the more likely they are to go for it.

We need more amazing lady power suits in office. GIF via GoldieBlox/YouTube.

And let's not forget Amy Schumer, who has proven that you can find hilarious ways to talk about issues that matter, like equal pay and sexual double standards.

Her "Girl, you don't need makeup" sketch was gold.

You can show how smart you are AND be funny. Go get 'em, girls. GIF via GoldieBlox/YouTube.

So many industries today are male-dominated, and the idea that 'you can't be what you can't see' hits home with women of all ages. It's refreshing to see that beginning to change.

How are you supposed to think you can become a female NFL coach if you only see men on the job? A woman named Jenn Welter made it happen this year. Now, who will be the next?

Slowly but surely, the tide is turning.

GoldieBlox and organizations like The Representation Project are helping to make it happen by shining a light on the need for positive women role models in the media and showing that there is more for girls outside of the stereotypical pink aisle at the department store.

It's working. Bring on 2016.

You can watch GoldieBlox's music video celebrating some of this year's women superstars and their mini-me's here:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Among many notable moments in Joe Biden's presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman's recitation of her original poem "The Hill We Climb" stood out as a punctuation mark on the day.

It's perhaps fitting that Gorman herself stands out in several ways. The 22-year-old former National Youth Poet Laureate is the youngest poet to compose and deliver an inaugural poem. Like Joe Biden, she struggled with a speech impediment as a child, which makes reciting her poetry in an event broadcast around the globe all the more impressive. But what's most striking in this moment is what she represents—the bright and hopeful future of America.

For four years, we've had an administration focused on reversing progress and taking the country backwards to a mythical era in which the country was better. The slogan "Make America Great Again" has always implied a yearning to return to some kind of ideal past—one which, in reality, didn't exist (unless you're actually into white supremacy). The U.S. was built on high ideals but has always grappled with the advancement of some at the expense of others, with the legacy of racism and sexism ever-present in our politics, and with injustice being inseparable from our imbalance of political power.

Today, though, we marked a distinct shift in that balance of power. We swore in our first female vice president, in addition to our first non-white vice president. And in adding the voice of a young, Black, female poet to artfully contextualize the occasion, we see an emphasis in leaning into that shift. In Amanda Gorman, we see an America looking to the future as we honestly assess our past.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.