Women Who Inspire: 15 Iconic Ms. Covers You’ll Want to Frame

Over the past 40-plus years, Ms. has put everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Aung San Suu Kyi on our cover. We’ve celebrated political leaders, celebrities and everyday women who are fighting on the front lines of the feminist movement. So on this International Women’s Day—and the sixth birthday of the Ms. Blog!— we decided to take a look back at some of our most iconic covers.

Browse 15 below—beginning with our forthcoming spring issue—and don’t be afraid to frame one.

1. Spring 2016: Lupita Nyong’o


12 Years a Slave was a film that was so much about my body, and Star Wars is not at all. There was a liberation in being able to play in a medium where my body was not the thing in question.” — Lupita Nyong’o

2. Spring 2015: Shonda Rhimes

Ms - 2015 Spring Display

“I’ve never understood the negative connotation of being a feminist or why anyone would be afraid of it. I frankly don’t know why anyone would not be for the equality of other people in any shape or form. I think it’s a great word.” — Shonda Rhimes

3. Summer 2014: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ms - 2014 Summer Detail

“I’m very feminist in the way I look at the world, and that worldview must somehow be part of my work.” — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

4. Spring 2013: Beyoncé

Ms - 2013 Spring Detail

“Money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.” — Beyoncé

5. Winter 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi


“I am very confident that if we all work together…there will be no turning back from the road toward democracy.” — Aung San Suu Kyi

6. Winter 2011: Nancy Pelosi


“They tried to shoot me down because I got the job done.” — Nancy Pelosi

7. Fall 2005: Charlize Theron


“Women stand up everywhere, women survive, and women do what they have to do to get through the day.” — Charlize Theron

8. August/September 2000: Hillary Clinton


“Suppose Hillary and Bill Clinton had a plan, a dream: Honey, you’ll be president, then I’ll be the president, too. We’ll have the first woman president, we’ll be the first presidents who were married to each other.” — Blanche McCrary Boyd on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 bid for the Senate

9. November/December 1996: Ani DiFranco


“Whenever I get bogged down, I look at all those progressive lawyers I know who work in death-penalty resource centers, or my friends who work at rape crisis centers or hospitals and AIDS wards. … Those are the people I draw my inspiration from.” — Ani DiFranco

10. March/April 1993: Sweet Honey in the Rock


“People who respond so enthusiastically to Sweet Honey hear their own inner echo. They hear their names called, their thoughts confirmed. Sometimes I feel that I’m sent to tell people they’re not out of their minds.” — Bernice Johnson Reagon, creator of Sweet Honey in the Rock

11. November 1988: Oprah Winfrey


“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” — Oprah Winfrey

12. December 1988: Meryl Streep


“None of her heroines are feminist, strictly speaking, yet they uncannily embody various crosscurrents in the last 20 years, as women have redefined themselves against the backdrop of the Women’s Movement.” — Molly Haskell on Meryl Streep’s complex portrayals

13. January 1979: Michele Wallace


“The American black woman is haunted by the mythology that surrounds the American black man. It is a mythology based upon the real persecution of black men…Every time she starts to wonder about her own misery, to think about reconstructing her life, the ghosts pounce: ‘You crippled the black man. You worked against him. You betrayed him. You laughed at him. You scorned him. You and the white man.'” — Michele Wallace in Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman, adapted in Ms.

14. August 1975: Pam Grier


“When I was a little girl, my mother used to give me lots of advice but she told me one thing I’ll never forget. She said, ‘Work hard and learn to be independent because you have to make your own way in this world. Use your own strength and no one will ever be able to take advantage of you. When you allow someone to take advantage of you it’s another form of slavery.” — Pam Grier

15. January 1973: Shirley Chisolm and Sissy Farenthold


“I am a candidate for the Presidency of the Unites States. I make that statement proudly, in the full knowledge that, as a black person and as a female person, I do not have a chance of actually gaining that office in this election year.” — Shirley Chisolm

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Stephanie hails from Toronto, Canada. She is a Ms. writer, a master of journalism candidate and a hip hop dancer/instructor/choreographer. She got her start in feminist journalism at the age of 16 when she was a member of the first editorial collective at Shameless magazine—and she has never looked back.