On MSN.com, Glamour magazine looks to past female style icons in a photographic tribute to women in history. They write: "You can do anything! That’s the message of the seven decades of female risk takers, rule breakers and style makers here. We celebrate them with the help of some very-2009 young talents."
Alexis Bledel as Rosie the Riveter
In 1942 the U.S. government commissioned the “We Can Do It!” poster, which featured an image of a character who became known as Rosie the Riveter. Her biceps-revealing shirtsleeves and determined look were meant to motivate American women to step out of the kitchen and into the factory to replace the men who had been pressed into service during World War II. And millions did just that, paving the way for us to pull down paychecks more than 60 years later.
“She’s a symbol of women getting things done. It shows that strength is beautiful.” — Alexis Bledel, 27
Paula Patton as Billie Holiday
As an aspiring singer, Holiday suffered sexual abuse, struggled with a drug habit and encountered racism everywhere. But the late Lady Day—one of the first African American women to sing with an all-white orchestra—translated all of that pain into some of the most achingly personal songs ever recorded. (Download “Strange Fruit,” which she sang at her 1948 Carnegie Hall concert, and listen for yourself.)
“You can imagine that women at home hearing her songs on the radio felt her vocalizing their emotions and their struggles.” — Paula Patton, 33
Emma Roberts as Audrey Hepburn
OK, she was born in Belgium, but Hepburn became one of the most beloved American movie stars. Her sharp, sensitive turn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s made the film a must-see for women of all ages, while the late actress’s elegant style continues to inspire women to this day.
“She was so simply beautiful. And she loved charity work, something even more beautiful about her.”—Emma Roberts, 18
Alicia Keys as First Lady Michelle Obama
Not only is Obama the first African American filling the position, but she’s already making best-dressed headlines for a style that ranges from couture to J.Crew. Raised in Chicago, Obama, 45, powered on to Princeton and Harvard Law School before beginning a career during which she met, mentored and married our current President. Hail to our newest smart, opinionated, chic First Lady!
“She has worked hard for everything she’s accomplished, and done so with grace and humility. So many women and girls can identify with her story.”—Alicia Keys, 28