In Celebration of Female Freaks

Jacq and Chris

Randi Reed called me out. She said that I didn’t do a great job looking for women “freaks” when I said that there weren’t many of them in my book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. She’s right. I didn’t work hard enough. To fix this, I wanted to give you Randi’s list. Some women freaks for you:

Women Who Became CEO Freaks, and What Made Them “Freaks”

Oprah Winfrey – Was told, “You’re black and you need to change your name to Suzy.” “You’re leaving your successful culture-changing show to start a new network based on New Age principles??? Are you nuts???”

Madam C.J. Walker — Founded her hair care company circa 1905, was successful before 1910, and by the time she died in 1919 had become the wealthiest self-made female in America (some sources say the first female self-made millionaire in America). Started in the haircare industry because she’d lost much of her hair. And she was black.

Coco Chanel – Naysayers said, “Skirts above the ankle??? No corset??? Shirts and skirts made of cotton jersey??? That’s underwear material!”

Jenny Craig – Was told “That’s insane. There’s already Weight Watchers.”

Estee Lauder – When she founded her company in 1946, naysayers said, “You’re a woman, and besides, there’s already a woman in the business (Helena Rubenstein), and she and Charles Revson of Revlon have the market.”

Helena Rubenstein – Was ahead of her time in business, was wonderfully eccentric, and was known for her acidic quips.

Bobbi Brown – Before her signature makeup looks caught on, naysayers said, “Brown lipstick???Why would anyone wear makeup you can’t see??”

Barbara Walters – Was a television pioneer in broadcasting. Naysayers and even some of her coworkers said, “A woman on the anchor desk?” When she was eventually forced to leave, she pioneered the concept of having celebrity interviews as part of a news program and began her own production company. Later, when she developed The View, naysayers said, “A panel of just women???”

Amelia Earhart – As a pioneer of early aviation, she flew planes when people still believed flying was physically harmful to women. Also had a fashion line, a luggage line, spoke out on behalf of women’s rights, and had a public speaking aspect to her brand. Worked to develop airline safety procedures and, along with Charles Lindberg, mapped airline routes that are still in use today. (Source: Purdue E-Archives. Here and here.)

Donna Karan – Was told of her clothing line, “This stuff will never sell. It’s too simple.”

Ellen Degeneres – Was told, at various times during her career, “You’re a woman and you want to do comedy???” “You have the number one show on TV. You can’t come out.” “You’re gay, you can’t do daytime.” “A gay woman who wears suit jackets doing a Covergirl makeup campaign???”

Whoopi Goldberg – Naysayers said, “A woman doing comedy?” “You’re not pretty enough.” “What’s a Whoopi?” “You want to turn Sister Act into a Broadway what???”

Kim Kardashian – Who else but a Freak CEO could parlay a sex tape into mainstream products and TV shows that Middle America would buy in droves? Some of Kim’s products include a fragrance line, cosmetics, and fashion.

Madonna – Speaks for herself. Very much a CEO, and very much a Freak.

If you want to read the rest of the book that Randi didn’t help me write, but should have, it’s here. :)

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  • blazenhoff

    Yes! Let’s hear more about female freaks! :)

    • Katie Milton

      I agree with blazenhoff! Let’s hear more about female freaks!

  • http://taniashipman.com/ Tania Shipman

    Gotta love the female freaks and there so many more! #proudfreaks

  • http://lucychenfineart.com/ Lucy Chen

    I love Madonna!

  • http://www.sortmybooks.com Anne Hannan

    Thank you Chris for this list. What they all have in common is that they changed the rules of the game they were in. Oprah is my number 1. The day time talk show was a race to the bottom ultimately ending up with the likes of Jerry Springer, the equivalent of circus freak shows and Oprah said what about we make it positive, instead of satisfying prurient curiosity, let’s find the spiritual message and the positive side of people’s struggles. And of course she was met with horror from the network execs and here is she now running her own network. I think with all of them it is authenticity that is the key, which is the same example that you set Chris.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Quite agree!

  • http://www.RoninMarketeer.com John Wall

    Sara Blakely who founded Spanx. Crushed it like nobody’s business.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Nice!

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    Freaks and what did it, everything was confirmed and good reviews.

  • Randi Reed

    Thanks, Chris! :-)

    • MarkCValdez

      Google is paying 80$ per hour! Work for few hours and have more time with

      friends & family! On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from

      having earned $4151 this last four weeks… Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve

      had. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check
      ——————————————————–

      Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started,————,, HuL­­­uJoB.­­­C­­­O­­­M

      ——————————————————–

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  • John sevdoai

    every Female are not Freaks according to me

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  • Aura M. Garrillo

    Hi Chris! Thanks for writing this, just read it and it is wonderful. Thanks to you I met Cara, who may not be a freak like the ones you mention, but is certainly in a league of her own, wonderful! She and I are already helping each other! Thanks again and big hug to you.

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  • http://www.outsidersnetwork.com Devi Clark

    How about Lady Gaga?