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Happy Presidents’ Day: Our Top 10 Cultural “First Ladies”

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Happy Presidents’ Day ya’ll!

In celebrating this highly festive occasion, we could choose to highlight various cultural discourses that identify and discuss the many achievenements of great US presidents such as George Washington or Honest Abe Lincoln, or we could choose to put a newer, fresher, modern day spin on this old holiday. Yep, that sounds more like our style. Better yet, Flavorpill has done it for us – hooking us up with a great post on the 10 first ladies of US culture. Enjoy it below or click here to check out the original article via Flavorwire.

From Aretha to Lucy: 10 Cultural ‘First Ladies’

Today we celebrate Washington’s birthday and think about the impact our presidents (and our first ladies) have had on our history. Though we love the Michelle Obamas, Jackie Kennedys, and Nancy Reagans of our time, we can’t help but notice that some important first ladies never made it to the White House — they were first ladies of their respective fields, be it music, theater, fashion or fiction, but they were crucial cultural first ladies nonetheless. Click through for our ten favorite apolitical American first ladies.

First Lady of Soul: Aretha Franklin
Widely renowned as one of the most powerful, inspiring musicians of the past century (this lady was number one on Rolling Stone’s best singers of all time list, after all), the First Lady of American Soul cemented her title by singing at the Obama inauguration in 2009.

First Lady of Television: Oprah Winfrey
Perhaps an even apter title for Oprah would be the “First Lady of Influence” — she routinely vaults books to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List, creates household names out of random products, and launched the careers of media personalities like Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray. She hasn’t done too badly for herself, either — The Oprah Winfrey Show is the most successful daytime TV show in history.

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald’s gorgeous voice spanned three octaves, and her jazz standards blow everyone else out of the water. Though she started out as a “diamond in the rough,” she wound up winning 13 Grammys and was awarded two national honors by presidents, the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush.

First Lady of Pop: Madonna
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Madonna is the top-selling female recording artist of all time. She opened doors for women everywhere with her outspoken, unabashed sexuality and powerful presence. If that’s not enough, just think — there would be no Gaga without Madonna. Case closed. (Oh, and she’s a devoted Yogini!)

First Lady of Fashion: Coco Chanel Early in the 20th century, Coco Chanel freed women from the confines of boning and ruffles by creating smart, classy clothing in a looser silhouette. She is the original menswear-as-womenswear designer, incorporating jersey and masculine styling into her now-iconic and ever-chic fashions. She was also the first designer to create a fragrance, a side project all but required in the fashion industry these days. She’s also the lady that hired Karl Lagerfeld.

First Lady of Comedy: Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball is most famous for her titular role on I Love Lucy, but her comic brilliance on the show is only part of her legacy. After Lucy became successful, Ball turned her stardom into a media empire, becoming the first woman to be the head of a television production company and developing new filming techniques still used today. She taught courses on comedy at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, though she famously said, “You cannot teach someone comedy, either they have it or they don’t.”

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