Ordinary is boring.
And I don’t know about you, but I never want to be boring. In fact, I refuse to be boring. Or ordinary.
Most of the time, simply being true to my quirky, crazy, creative self allows me to live without fear of being ordinary or (gasp) ‘normal’.
But somedays, I find that I need a little inspiration on my extra-ordinary journey through this life. We can all benefit from a little inspiration now and then, right?
After all, we live in a world that often embraces conformity. And fighting against that norm can be tough.
Finding women who live with the same ‘refuse to be ordinary’ mentality as myself, inspire me!
I want to help inspire you by telling you about three incredible women who encourage me to continue living a life that is anything but ordinary…
Standing at only 5’3, weighing no more than 100 lbs, and sporting various tattoos and a nose ring, Leticia Bufoni is not necessarily what comes to mind when you hear ‘World Class professional street skateboarder’.
But that’s just one of the many things that make her so extraordinary.
Essentially giving the middle finger to what’s accepted as ‘normal’ for females, Brazilian born Bufoni came to California at 14 years old to compete in the X Games. She had big dreams of going pro and hoped the X Games would be her big break.
Sadly, she came in last place. And her father insisted that she to return home to Brazil.
But Bufoni has always been a fighter and she wasn’t giving up that easily! She pleaded with her father to let her stay in America and he made her a deal - if she landed a complicated skate trick, she could stay.
She landed it. And the rest is history.
Two years later, Bufoni took first place in the Maloof Money Cup, putting her on the brink of an inspirational skateboarding career. Flash forward to present day and she is now known as one of the most technically skilled skaters in the world – among women AND men.
Her career includes a laundry list of accomplishments - several X Games gold medals, being ranked on ESPN’s Top 50 Women in Action Sports, signing a deal with Nike, being the first woman ever to grace the cover of The Skateboard Mag, and she was even made into a playable character in Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater 5 video game.
I usually am not a fan of word tattoos but I can’t help but love the small tattoo on Bufoni’s hand that simply says ‘trouble’. At first I was confused by what the tattoo meant. She likes to cause trouble?
More like she has an innate desire to live according to her own rules – regardless of what trouble that may cause. She told Rolling Stone Magazine, “I like to be scared and do scary things.”
In all honesty, just about everything Bufoni does would scare me – crazy hard skateboarding tricks, skydiving, racing Ferraris – she’s got some serious cojones!
Probably the scariest thing she’s done, in my opinion? Brazenly posing and skating nude for some seriously huge publications like Men’s Health and ESPN.
I don’t even like to walk around nude due to all the jiggling and wiggling that goes on. But seeing Bufoni bare all while skateboarding reminds me that we should be proud of our bodies, not ashamed.
Her confidence and strength are contagious.
Not only has she earned massive respect as a female in a largely male-dominated sport, but she’s done it with poise, graciousness, and an unapologetic self-confidence that I love.
Bufoni’s entire being inspires me. She reminds me that we women are powerful creatures. And she inspires me to follow in her footsteps and stick the middle finger up at an ordinary life.
Female DJ’s are sexy. And powerful. They have the ability to bring thousands of people to their feet and keep them partying until all hours of the night all while sprinkling a bit of femininity into the mix.
One female DJ, in particular, is incredibly powerful and sexy – Alison Wonderland. If you don’t know of her, allow me to open up your eyes (and your ears) to her anything but ordinary beats, attitude, and lifestyle.
In a past interview, Magnetic Magazine asked the Sydney-based DJ to describe her latest album in three words.
She replied, “Keep It Real.”
And truer words have never been spoken. The phrase “Keep It Real” not only perfectly describes her album, but it also embodies Wonderland’s entire mentality and approach to life.
That exact mentality is what makes her an inspiration for anyone who refuses to be ordinary.
At first glance, her physical appearance may not strike you as out of the ordinary – she doesn’t have any glaring tattoos, piercings, or a mohawked ‘do – but don’t let that fool you.
Her career and attitude towards life is anything but ordinary.
Wonderland is an incredibly self-sufficient woman who has transformed herself from a cello-playing teen who used to make music in her bedroom to a bonified, highly-respected DJ and esteemed artist in the EDM scene – all while remaining true to herself.
That may not sound extra-ordinary, but in her line of work, staying true to yourself can be tough.
Wonderland is one of the few artists who has managed to create a brand that accurately reflects who she is at her core. She is, quite simply, a music-lover who wants to bring fun and enjoyment to the lives of other people. She wants her listeners to relish life as much as she does.
And when you listen to her music, her love of life is almost tangible. And it’s definitely contagious.
Surprisingly, Wonderland never set out to make it big or become famous. She simply had an intrinsic passion for creating music. And that’s what has guided her life and career.
One of the most inspirational accomplishments that Wonderland has achieved occurred last June when she took the stage at Las Vegas’s EDC music festival. It was there that Wonderland made EDM (electronic dance music) history.
Along with fellow Australian DJ, Anna Lunoe, Wonderland became the first solo female DJ to ever grace the main stage at EDC Las Vegas.
While this may not sound like much to some people, anyone familiar with EDM knows what an incredibly male-dominated world it can be.
But with inspirational women like Wonderland blowing up on the scene, the EDM gender gap is getting smaller by the day. Wonderland is literally walking to the beat of her own drum – and inspiring the rest of us to do the same.
Despite the hundreds of accomplished female tattoo artists that exist in the world, hearing the words “tattoo artist” still somehow conjures up images of big, burly, tattoo-covered men in leather motorcycle vests. At least for me it does. And I pride myself on being extremely non-sexist.
The world of tattoos tends to be highly male-centric. I guess it’s tough to change the way people view tattoos as being more masculine by nature.
But women like Tayna Wischerath, who proudly displays a full sleeve of tattoos (among others), are working hard to change that antiquated mindset.
Wischerath is an innovative and inspirational woman and artist in every sense of the word. An openly gay painter, tattoo artist, and activist living in San Francisco, Wischerath inspires people not only with her artistry, but also with her voice.
Her talent is undeniable. She boasts numerous accolades, most notably winning San Francisco Bay Guardian's "Best of The Bay," award for best tattoo artist for 2013, 2014, and 2015 and having her work featured in London's National Portrait Gallery's annual BP Portrait Contest tour 2014.
Her art, both tattoos and paintings, is unquestionably profound and inspirational for the LBGT community. But her message extends far beyond the LGBT community and can inspire anyone who values free self-expression.
If you’ve seen her art, you know what I mean. But some might argue that it’s her words, rather than her art, that truly makes her an inspiration to those of us striving to live a life less ordinary.
A statement that she included with her BP Portrait competition submission, really says it all,
“I painted Kelly in my apartment. The painting was inspired by the way in which, both consciously and subconsciously, all mannerisms and personal atheistic decisions are gendered and expected to adhere to a standard of normalcy. In the duration of my relationship with Kelly I’ve watched the ways in which her dress and posture incite aggressive and confrontational incidents with absolute strangers. Kelly’s confidence and lack of uncertainty in her gender presentation are a provocation to those around her, and as her lover I wanted to paint her assuredness in a world that perceives her as a threat. When a person presents themselves to the public in a way that contradicts the assumptions that have been affirmed to be “normal,” people often confuse what they are accustomed to with what is right. What does it mean for a person’s natural expression of self to be a challenge to the world around them?”
Do you feel inspired yet? I know that I do! And these are just a few of the countless women and individuals out there whose lives offer inspiration and encouragement to those of us who pride ourselves with a refusal to be ordinary. Never stop seeking out the people who inspire you and never stop being exactly who you are – anything but ordinary!
Who inspires you? Where do you look for encouragement when it comes to leading an extra-ordinary life? Share your thoughts and comments here!