What Does Courage Look Like?

Many people ask themselves the question: what does courage look like? Is she tall? Short? Does she wear glasses? Does she have brown hair? But truthfully, the answer is yes, to all of those. There is not one single look of courage, rather, many different shapes and sizes. We've compiled a list of different girls that can be seen as the faces of courage. While there are certainly many more, we feel as though these girls (from different time periods) have shown what it means to be a strong, courageous idea girl.

THE LITTLE ROCK NINE

In 1957, segregation in public schools was still prevalent in Little Rock, Arkansas. While it had been three years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate schools, the parents, students, and local government of Little Rock was still reluctant to completely integrate African-American students into their public high school However, on September 23, a group of nine students-- six girls and three boys-- had the courage, with the help of local police officers, to officially end public school segregation once and for all by starting the school year at Little Rock Central High School.

POCAHONTAS

You may know part of her story from the popular animated movie, but Pocahontas lived in the Tidewater region (what later became Virginia) around 1600. When Pocahontas was just five years old, English colonists came to the United States and founded Jamestown, which was 12 miles from where Pocahontas lived. At twelve years old, she befriended Captain John Smith when her tribe captured him and famously protested his execution. Her father, the chief of the tribe, listened to her and spared John's life. Pocahontas is known for saving dozens of lives of English colonists by negotiating for peace.

NANCY WAKE

At age 16, Nancy Wake ran away from home in Australia to work as a nurse in New York. She then saved up enough money to become a journalist and move to London. She lived in London and Paris for many years before the outbreak of World War II. After Germany invaded France in WWII, Nancy decided to stay back in France and fight with the resistance against the Nazis. She ended up being one of the Nazis most wanted individuals, with a reward of 5 million franc for finding her. She eventually escaped to Spain and England, but later joined the British secret service and parachuted back into Nazi occupied France to lead a force of 7,000 resistance fighters against the Nazis.

VALENTINA TERESHKOVA

Before becoming the very first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova worked in a factory and considered herself an amateur skydiver. In June 1963, the Russian astronaut embarked on the 48-orbit journey on Vostok 6. She was only the twelfth person in space ever, and their journey  was longer than the combined length of all previous American space travel. The first American woman went to space twenty years later. 

While there are many modern day examples of courageous women, we wanted to highlight four examples of what courage looks like. These women exemplify that there truly are no obstacles, only fear. To leave with one concluding thought, it would be this: