Most inspirational women of the decade
An online poll saw some of the most powerful female celebrities in the world vie for the title of 'Most Inspirational Woman of the Decade'.
The results of the poll, created by cosmetic surgery website goodsurgeonguide.co.uk, were rather surprising. Take a look at who made it to the list -- and let us know if you think they deserve the honour at the bottom of each page!
1. Cheryl Cole
The Girls Aloud popstar and X Factor judge has seen a lot of turmoil in her personal life in recent weeks, what with her separation from football star hubby Ashley Cole on grounds of infidelity.
But Cheryl's dignified handling of the situation only seems to have upped her popularity -- she pipped the likes of the Queen and Jennifer Aniston to claim the first spot, reports The Daily Star. More than 50 percent of the women who took part in the poll claimed the stunner was an idol because of her successful career, while more than a quarter rated her tops because of her natural beauty.
What is your opinion of her landing the top spot?
Photographs: Anthony Harvey/Reuters
2. Dame Helen Mirren
Anyone who can still rock a bikini at 64 is definitely inspirational! With her colossal, Oscar-worthy talent and distinguished career in movies, veteran actress Mirren, who played Queen Elizabeth in the 2006 blockbuster The Queen ousted the real royal to make it to Number Two.
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
3. Oprah Winfrey
Any list of powerful women would be incomplete without America's most popular talk show host and television mogul. Winfrey was born into poverty and faced incredible hardships while growing up, including sexual assault and a teen pregnancy. But like they say, you can't keep a good man -- or in this case, woman, down. Winfrey has gone from strength to strength in her career -- she was deemed the richest African American of the 20th century, was at one time the only African American billionaire and is also one of the world's leading philanthropists.
Photographs: Mike Blake/Reuters
4. Jennifer Aniston
One of the most-loved Hollywood actresses of all time, superstar Aniston proves that you can be sexy and single even at 41. After struggling with part-time jobs such as waitressing and telemarketing, she shot to fame with the sitcome Friends in the '90s and today her net worth is estimated at over $100 million.
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
5. Katie Piper
A tragic acid attack orchestrated by an ex-boyfriend left this British ex-model and TV presenter scarred for life in 2008. But instead of exercising her right to anonymity and staying out of the public eye, Piper decided to speak out about what happened to her and even featured in a documentary about her experience to increase public awareness. Hats off!
6. Queen Elizabeth
The Queen of England landed sixth place in the poll, presumably thanks to the public image she has cultivated over the years -- one of a strong, independent royal. While she is known to fulfill all her duties as a pubic figure and is the patron of more than 620 charitable organisations, Queen Elizabeth is most reclusive when it comes to her personal life. But here's a bit of trivia for you -- her primary leisure pursuits include photography, equestrianism and spending time with her dogs.
Photographs: Owen Humphreys/Pool/Reuters
7. J K Rowling
A flair for writing and a colourful imagination have amassed this phenomenal British author an estimated fortune in the region of $800 million. Rowling's Harry Potter series catapulted to worldwide success, but when she was working on the first book, she was a single mother living on welfare. Rowling used to find the time to write in cafes and 12 publishers rejected her work before she finally hit paydirt and became an overnight literary sensation.
Photographs: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
8. Sharon Osbourne
The wife of veteran rocker Ozzy Osbourne has become a celebrity in her own right in recent years, largely due to the success of her family's reality show The Osbournes.
Known for her outspoken, brash personality, Sharon has since served as a judge on TV talent shows The X Factor and America's Got Talent and has even hosted her own talk shows. Her autobiography, in which she documents the ups and downs of her marriage, including coping with domestic violence, drugs, her struggle with cancer and cosmetic surgery, has sold more than 2 million copies.
Photographs: Fred Prouser/Reuters
9. Kylie Minogue
This pint-sized Aussie popster won over many an Indian heart when she teamed up for a musical collaboration with A R Rahman last year, but she's been an international icon long before that. Having seen sucess in both her acting and musical careers, at 41 Kylie is still at the top of her game.
Moreover, her fight with breast cancer in 2005-06 and her willingness to come forward and talk about this experience have promoted awareness among young women who look up to her all across the world.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters
10. Amy Williams
And rounding off the list of the 10 most inspirational female icons is British skeleton racer Amy Williams. At 27, she is the first British individual in 30 years to have won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. The most remarkable aspect of Williams' career is that she was actually a runner -- failing to qualify for the national athletics team, she began competing in skeleton racing only in 2002 and she's now an Olympic champ!
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters