Inspiring quotes from 7 rebel women

Sometimes you need to break the rules to achieve your goals, so here's some wit and wisdom from amazing women who've done just that. You can read their full stories in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Emily, Anne and Charlotte Bronte
Illustration by Elisabetta Stoinich

"I am not an angel, and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself."

Charlotte Bronte

Along with her sisters Emily and Anne, Charlotte Bronte wrote stories and poems to entertain themselves. After sharing her first poems and being told that literature "was a man's business", Charlotte kept writing, and encouraged her sisters to do the same. When all three sisters published hugely successful novels, no one would believe that they were written by three country girls, so they had to travel to London to prove that they were the real authors! Their books are now read by millions of people across the world.

Frida Kahlo drawing
Illustration by Helena Morais Soares

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

Frida Kahlo

After suffering with polio as a child, then being involved in a terrible bus accident, Frida's mother made her a special easel so that she could carry on with her favourite hobby - painting - in bed while she recovered.

Frida went on to become a world-famous artist, known for the bold colours, animals and birds in her paintings.

Amelia Earhart
Illustration by Giulia Flamini

"Adventure is worthwhile in itself."

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart loved aeroplanes as much as she loved adventures. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean, and set out to become the first woman to fly around the world, but her plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific. Before setting off, she wrote: "Women must try to do the same things that men have done. If they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others"

Amna Al Haddad
lllustration by Eline Van Dam

"Nobody can tell me what I can and cannot do."

Amna Al Haddad

Amna was once a journalist who was unhappy because she felt so unfit. So she began to take walks, and then to run, and then she discovered weightlifting. When the International Weightlifting Federation allowed Muslim women to compete in a unitard (an outfit covering all the skin), she started competing in Europe, and America, and trained to represent the United Arab Emirates at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Simone Biles
Illustration by Eline Van Dam

"I was built this way for a reason, so I'm going to use it."

Simone Biles

Simone Biles started training as a gymnast at six years old, and has gone on to become one of the greatest gymnasts in American history. At the Rio Olympics in 2016, she won 5 medals - including 4 golds. But she says it's not about medals: "If doing your best means you come out on top, that's awesome. If it means that you finish fourth, that's awesome too."

Margaret Hamilton
Illustration by Edith Carron

"I worked on all the Apollo manned missions."

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton took a job at NASA to support her husband and her daughter Lauren, who she used to bring to work with her at weekends and in the evenings. While Lauren slept, she  programmed the command module for the Apollo spacecraft. In 1969, just before Apollo 11 touched down, the computer started spitting out error messages. But because Margaret had set up the computer to focus on the main task and ignore other issues, the spacecraft landed safely. Her hard work and cool-headedness made the moon landing possible.

Illustration by Kiki Ljung

"I will not be triumphed over."


Cleopatra's father was an Egyptian pharaoh. When he died, he left his kingdom to his ten year-old son, Ptolemy, and his eighteen year-old daughter, Cleopatra. But they disagreed on how to run the kingdom, and a civil war broke out. When Roman Emperor Julius Caesar travelled to Egypt to try and get Cleopatra and Ptolemy to agree, Cleopatra hatched a plan to meet him first  and convince him that she was a better ruler than her brother. She asked her serveants to roll her up in a carpet and smuggle her into Caesar's rooms. Impressed by her daring, the Emperor restored her to the Egyptian throne. She was the last pharaoh ever to rule over ancient Egypt.

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