There are so many aspects of humans that I deeply respect and admire - I tend to recognize the various qualities of people rather than moving towards the ultimate human that encapsulates my admiration. So I decided to make a list of well-known or influential people that I admire for various reasons. These are the people that I like to open my eyes and ears to as they navigate life and world events.
Boldness: Emma Watson
She is brilliant and proactive. I love that she is willing to have hard conversations, speak the truth about corruption and challenge the hypocrisy by holding up a light to many of the issues of today. She is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador which is incredibly honorable - I might be jealous.
Emotional Strength: Brené Brown
Brené Brown leads the charge on tackling vulnerability and presenting an academic approach to the subject. Many people have been released from shame ever since Brené took the stage in 2011. Her books are so deeply empathetic and I admire her ability to change the way Americans talk about shame.
Leadership: Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon has formed her own movie production company called Hello Sunshine solely for the purpose of creating more roles for diverse representations of women. I admire her ability to rally other women, encourage them and put them in positions of representation.
Social Impact: Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah perfectly combines truth and accountability with a smile. His personal history while growing up in South Africa has given him a unique perspective of the world and in particular American politics. He has the unique skill of advocating for the less fortunate while making light about the horrific circumstances of the event.
Style: Alexa Chung
A mix of feminine and tomboy, I love Alexa Chung's quirky sense of style. Her clothes are a beautiful mix of London, New York, and Paris - she plays by her own rules and makes pithy comments along the way.
Positivity: Sazan Hendrix
Sezan is full of energy and interesting content. She has a podcast with her husband, as well as an awesome youtube channel. She is transparent about her Christian faith and her Kurdish background while being approachable for all.
Humor: Brad Leone
Salih and I never stop laughing when we watch. "It's Alive with Brad" on Bon Appétit's youtube channel. He mumbles his way through the show with clever comments and many pop culture references - all while making beer, kombucha, cultured butter, etc. The editing of the show is hilarious and the belly laughs are real.
Business Prowess: Nil Erturk
My dear friend Dennissa and I discovered our favorite Turkish designer and businesswoman in 2013. I love to see Nil's vision become reality and her brand expand across Turkey and even to Amsterdam. She has built her label with style, grace, and has achieved remarkable success.
Food Writing: Priya Krishna
I wish Priya and I could be best friends. She is witty, clever and intelligent. She recently wrote a gorgeous cookbook called "Indian-ish" and I love the recipes she presents in the book. I also think she loves thick, homemade yogurt as much as Salih and me - so that's significant.