Today, as we continue along in exploring the women whom I’ve come to admire, I’d like to take a look at those artists who are brash, bold, left-of-center. Each woman I’ve talked about has been impactful in changing public perception of what women can do. The spaces they’re allowed to occupy. Some do it in ways that people still have a hard time envisioning women in. These are only three in an innumerable list of such trailblazers and fearless revolutionaries.

Willow Smith

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This young lady right here has a spirit and voice as strong as any hurricane. While there’s a certain softness to the way she delivers her message, when she really wants to get something out of her soul, Little Sister Smith can wail with the best of them. For most, their introduction to her was with her instant smash “Whip My Hair.” I never actually listened to the song myself. It was, from what I could tell, a cute song from an adorable little girl. I applauded the Smiths for allowing their child to express herself, but it went no further than that for me.

Then I continued to see news stories about her, about her active role as a young intersectional feminist, her daring to challenge the status quo. I heard how people talked about her, even going so far as to ridicule her upbringing for her brazenness, her bold lyricism and acts of social defiance, particularly as it pertains the hypersexualization of young women and girls.

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That alone made me absolutely adore her. Despite all the negativity part in parcel with being the daughter of one of the most famous couples in Hollywood, she was never deterred from being her truest self, no matter what that self was in the moment. I’d already peripherally given my support to the young artist. That skyrocketed when I listened to her album “The 1st.”

What soul this young queen has. What depth of and surety of self. I went back into her discography and realized that she’s been actively expressing her unique musical perspective since she was an early teen. This young sister’s ability to articulate your deepest thoughts and wade through her insecurities with poise and intelligence is commendable. It’s something we should all strive for. A connection with the earth and the self that implores us all to live life with peace and kindness.

You can follow Willow Smith on Instagram and see her weekly with her mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and her grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, affectionately called “Gammy,” weekly on the Facebook talk show “Red Table Talk.”

Otoboke Beaver

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There is no band on the ENTIRE earth as punk as Otoboke Beaver! I’ve said it! FIGHT ME! I’d only heard about them from a friend but hadn’t gotten around to listening to them. Then I was blessed with the opportunity to see the four-piece punk band live at SXSW this year. To say it was a “wonderful experience” would be an insult. These ladies are the epitome of everything wild and glorious in the world.

Japan is known for pushing the envelope of what most Western audiences consider “normal.” These women say “F*CK NORMAL,” both fingers in the air, screaming it from the top of their lungs. Their wildness is legendary. Guitarist Yoyoyoshie lets you know from the moment the band gets on stage that these are not delicate, sweet little girls — never mind their gorgeous faces and ’50s-inspired pastel dresses. She jumps on amps at least three times a show, crowd surfs, legs splayed and dress riding up. Lead vocalist and guitarist Accorinrin is model-fine with a voice that could melt your face clean off. Even in the realm of Japanese rock, these ladies go above and beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Loud. Aggressive. Absolute punk-rock!

Leesa

Last year when Saudi women were officially allowed to drive cars, this woman took to social media and decided to make one of the biggest flexes of 2018.

Bars alone would have put her in the pantheon of people that I completely respect. But more than that I adore that she’s used her voice to express a freedom that women haven’t been afforded for too damn long. She has a mighty pen and a huge presence. Her fearlessness and outrageous talent mean that she has a chance to create some real waves in her country and around the world.

(The Cut, Instagram [1][2], YouTube [1][2] Stereogum.)

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