In June 2015, the U.S Treasury Secretary announced that the $10 will be redesigned to feature a women in 2020 -- the the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. The last woman to be featured on a dollar bill was Martha Washington in 1896, over a century ago. The reinstatement of a women on U.S. currency is a huge deal, so much so that the government won’t be deciding on the woman to be featured on the new $10 for a while.
I understand why the government is insisting on taking its sweet time finding the perfect woman -- there are many great options. This challenge isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, as there are many remarkable women who have contributed something meaningful to the world. Even though you technically have to be deceased to be featured on U.S. currency, here is a list of the top 10 women under 30 who are totally deserving of being the new face of the $10.
Taylor Swift is more than just a pop singer, she’s become an American icon. With more than 47 awards in her trophy collection (including seven Grammy’s, 11 Country Music Awards, and 22 Billboard Music Awards) and over 40 million albums sold, the pop and country superstar has proven that she’s not going to be forgotten anytime soon.
Outside of her career achievements, Swift has continued to leave lasting impressions on the American public, especially with important political figures such as Michelle Obama. In 2012, Michelle Obama awarded Swift with The Big Help Award for “inspiring others through action." This is no surprise, Swift is always the first to advocate for disaster relief fundraising. She has consistently proven herself to be the most generous, caring superstar in the business.
She also received praise from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights where she was the recipient of the Ripple of Hope Award. According to the center, Swift is deserving because of her “dedication to advocacy at such a young age….Taylor is the kind of women we want our daughters to be."
With the strong influence Taylor Swift has on not only females but pop culture America (remember her letter to Apple?) it’s hard to come up with a good argument on why she couldn’t be on the new $10.
OK, so Aja Brown is technically 32, but I think she is deserving of the exception. Aja Brown is the mayor of Compton, California. For those of you who don’t know, Compton is not the safest place to live in the United States...well, it hasn't been in the past. Under Brown's control there have been remarkable changes to the area. At only 32 -- which is very young for a mayor -- Brown has brought Compton’s crime rate down by 25 percent. She has also helped lower the unemployment rate by 5 percent, adding nearly 1,000 jobs in the community. In addition, she has created an after-school music program designed to keep children of Compton off the streets and away from gangs and violence.
Compton, California is ecstatic and in awe of their new mayor, who has made positive changes to the community at such a young age and in such a short period of time. If she can leave this much of a mark at only 32, it will be amazing to see what her leadership will bring to the country in the future. Our currency is deserving of such a great political leader.
Emma Sulkowicz, 23, is a recent visual arts graduate of Columbia University. Sulkowicz made headlines during her final year at school with the subject of her senior thesis, which she titled The Mattress Performance. Beginning in September 2014, Sulkowicz carried a Columbia dorm mattress everywhere she went on campus. Her piece was designed to bring awareness to campus sexual assault and the incredibly irresponsible manner in which the university had handled her rape incident. Her project, which was supposed to end once the student she alleges raped her was expelled or left the university, was continued up until her actual graduation in May 2015. Classmates helped her carry the mattress during the ceremony.
While her project was unsuccessful in motivating action from Columbia University, she achieved something even greater. As her project splashed across news pages world-wide, Sulkowicz was able to educate much of the world about the prominence of rape on college campuses and the ugly disregard for rape by many institutions. She inadvertently shaped the news to highlight the ugly truth about college rape culture and for that she should be featured on the $10.
Chelsea Clinton, most famously known for being the daughter of Bill and Hilary Clinton, is a philanthropy expert. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, which is a charity that aims to bring governments, businesses, and people together to create more opportunities for developing countries. The foundation focuses on introducing better healthcare systems, helping struggling economies, and fighting climate change. Recently, Chelsea developed (and is leading) an initiative that aims to increase the number of opportunities for females around the world. The project is called “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project”.
Although the youngest Clinton has already touched the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries, this is just the beginning of her philanthropic, political career. No doubt will she continue to make a difference in the world through her work with the Clinton Foundation, as well as with any of her future endeavors. Who knows, putting Chelsea Clinton on the bill could just foreshadow greater things to come from her.
Jennifer Lawrence (often referred to as "J-Law") is the latest female funny girl we all love to love. Have you ever heard anyone talk about Lawrence without sharing his or her admiration? Probably not. Women want to be her and men want to be with her.
Her likability isn’t the sole reason I think J-Law could win her way over to the new bill (even though I’m sure she could charm her way there). Introducing women to the American currency is a symbol of gender equality for our country, and J-Law has consistently challenged the gender norms and has advocated for females to do the same. Being the second most powerful actress, according to Forbes, her advocacy has helped the gender equality movement gain momentum. While some may not think to take this “nomination” seriously, she essentially stands for everything the new $10 is all about.
I realize that Emma Watson is not American. However, she is the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and advocate for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. In my humble opinion, if you can represent the whole world, you’re probably more than capable of representing a country. Who wouldn’t want Emma Watson on the $10? She’s actually incredible when you think of how young she is and all the work she has done for gender equality.
At just 25 years old, she has already been involved in girl’s welfare for years. She has visited Bangladesh and Zambia working to promote fair trade. She has worked on educating girls in rural Africa. Her newest endeavor, working with the UN, is focused on educating the world on gender inequality and how to fight it. She aims to get both females and males to pledge to join the feminist fight for gender equality. You can watch and listen to her eloquently describe her vision here.
Miley CyrusDon’t laugh! I know Miley seems like an extreme candidate after her foam-finger performance a few years back, but she’s actually quite the humanitarian. Her most recent project really embraces everything about equality that the new bill stands for. As promotion for her Happy Hippie Foundation, the actress and singer has partnered with Instagram to do InstaPride. InstaPride is a photo series showcasing and celebrating transgender and “gender expansive” individuals.
The project has been a success, inspiring many people to approach the transgender and gender expansive community differently. The project has also helped raise awareness for her self-started foundation, The Happy Hippie Foundation, which aims to help homeless youth, especially those a part of the LGBT community. So give Hannah Montana a little thought before you scoff, she’s not the worst person to represent women and America.
I’m sure many are familiar with Nolan, the female Fox Sports 1 reporter. She currently writes, produces and hosts Garbage Time, a Jon Stewart-esque show where Nolan continues to demonstrate that women are just as capable as men when it comes to great sports reporting. Ask anyone who has watched the show and they will tell you themselves, Nolan knows sports. Besides just breaking the gender stereotype of females in sports (while also doing it better than most), Nolan wittily strikes back against male haters. She recently did a segment, “How to Land a Husband at the Masters”, in which she tore apart an article from Fox Sports with the same exact title. In many ways, Nolan has made her career part of the feminist movement by standing up for female sports-lovers everywhere. No doubt about it, she would make a great addition to U.S. money.
For those unfamiliar with Dunham, prepare to fall in love her. She is the kind of person who will say all the things you would only dare to think in your head. Dunham is famous for breaking female stereotypes and gender roles in her hit HBO show “Girls,” as well as for being vocal about her feminist views. The writing in her television show (Dunham directs, writes, and acts in Girls) has garnered much publicity due to its edgy nature, and has even won two Golden Globes as a result.
Not only does Dunham’s feminist triumphs make her a great candidate, but she’s also politically active. In 2012 she appeared in an ad for Obama’s re-election urging young adults to vote, and has since continued to help encourage young voters to register. While Dunham’s career is still just beginning -- she is only 29 years old -- her introduction to popular culture has looked promising enough to earn her a legacy such as the new bill.
At 14 years old, Davis is the youngest on the list. This young girl made headlines in the Little League World Series as a pitcher for the Philadelphia team in 2014. Her fame didn’t come from just being a girl -- though she was only one of two girls that played in the whole series. Davis landed a Sports Illustrated cover because she made history. Davis was the first African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series. She was also better than all the boys. In fact, she won the title for her team by pitching a 3-hit, 8-0, shutout game. She is the first girl to do so.
At only 14 years old, Mo’ne Davis has shattered the perception of female athletes by not only competing with the boys, but competing better than the boys. If she doesn’t deserve national recognition I don’t know who does.