Influential 1970s Women Icons – Top Trailblazers

The 1970s was a decade that celebrated bold styles and natural beauty, and it produced some of the most iconic female celebrities in history. These women not only showcased stunning looks and glamorous fashion but also influenced and captivated audiences with their charisma and talent. Let’s take a closer look at the influential women of the 1970s who embodied timeless beauty, becoming the stylish and glamorous icons that continue to inspire us today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Best Women Of The 1970s
  • Influential female icons of the 1970s
  • Iconic women of the 70s

Diana Ross: The Glamorous Songstress

In the vibrant world of 1970s music, Diana Ross shone as an iconic figure of elegance and beauty. As the lead singer of The Supremes, her mesmerizing voice and glamorous stage presence captured the hearts of millions. Transitioning into a successful solo career, Ross continued to captivate audiences with her smooth vocals and magnetic charm. Her impeccable style and flawless performances embodied the essence of 1970s fashion and glamour. With her striking features and radiant smile, Diana Ross became a true trendsetter.

Iconic Fashion and Timeless Beauty

“When you look fabulous, self-confidence follows.”

Diana Ross was not just a talented singer, but also a fashion icon who left a lasting impact on the industry. Her stage costumes showcased the daring and glamorous fashion trends of the 1970s, with bold colors, sequins, and flowing gowns. Ross effortlessly exuded confidence and elegance in every performance, inspiring fans and aspiring fashionistas alike.

Her signature style included vibrant, floor-length gowns that emphasized her statuesque figure, complemented by statement accessories such as oversized sunglasses and glamorous jewelry. Diana Ross’s fashion choices reflected the boldness and allure of the era, making her a true symbol of 1970s glamour.

Style Elements Examples
Sequin Gowns The Supremes’ matching sequined dresses
Bold Colors Striking red gown at the 1973 Academy Awards
Glamorous Accessories Statement sunglasses and oversized jewelry
Flowing Silhouettes Ethereal white dress for her Central Park concert

With her iconic beauty and trendsetting style, Diana Ross continues to be a source of inspiration for fashion enthusiasts and music lovers alike. Her influence on 1970s fashion and glamour remains as timeless as her legendary voice.

Meryl Streep: The Talented Actress

In the 1970s, Meryl Streep emerged as a shining star in the world of acting, captivating audiences with her exceptional performances. With her remarkable range and emotional depth, she mesmerized viewers in films such as “The Deer Hunter” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Streep’s ability to fully immerse herself in her roles was truly awe-inspiring, earning her critical acclaim and numerous accolades.

Not only was Streep known for her impressive acting abilities, but she also exuded an elegant and sophisticated charm both on and off the screen. Her timeless beauty and poise made her a sought-after figure in the entertainment industry during the 1970s.

“I feel I have to earn the right to get up in the morning, and to be Meryl Streep. I have a gigantic mandate to earn it.”

Throughout her career, Streep has continued to impress audiences with her talent and versatility, portraying a wide range of characters in diverse genres. She has become one of the most celebrated and respected actresses of our time, continuously pushing the boundaries of her craft.

Streep’s impact and influence have extended far beyond the 1970s, solidifying her status as a true icon of the silver screen. Her exceptional talent and dedication to her craft have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

Meryl Streep

Film Year Awards
The Deer Hunter 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
The French Lieutenant’s Woman 1981 Academy Award for Best Actress
Sophie’s Choice 1982 Academy Award for Best Actress
The Iron Lady 2011 Academy Award for Best Actress

Lynda Carter: The Original Wonder Woman

Lynda Carter became an icon in the 1970s as the original Wonder Woman, captivating audiences worldwide with her portrayal of the Amazonian princess turned superhero.

As Wonder Woman, Carter exuded powerful presence, grace, and undeniable beauty, becoming a symbol of female empowerment during the decade.

“Wonder Woman is a fighter, better than most, but it’s what she fights for that’s important. It’s her vision of a future of peace and acceptance that truly makes her an inspiration.”

Carter’s portrayal of Wonder Woman broke barriers and inspired a generation of fans. Her character embodied strength, independence, and a relentless pursuit of justice and equality.

With her iconic costume and lasso of truth, Lynda Carter brought Wonder Woman to life, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impact on popular culture.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman

Lynda Carter’s role as Wonder Woman remains iconic even today, demonstrating the enduring power of a strong and empowering female superhero.

Wonder Woman’s Impact:

  • Inspired girls and women to feel empowered and confident
  • Challenged traditional gender roles and stereotypes
  • Introduced a female superhero with her own comic book series and television show
  • Became a symbol of strength, justice, and equality during a time of social change

Cheryl Ladd: The Fresh-Faced Beauty

Cheryl Ladd embodied the epitome of fresh-faced beauty in the 1970s. With her radiant smile and undeniable talent, she made a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. However, it was her role as Kris Munroe in the hit TV series “Charlie’s Angels” that truly catapulted her to stardom and solidified her status as an iconic figure of the era.

As one of the Angels, Ladd captivated viewers around the world with her girl-next-door charm and infectious charisma. Her performances were a perfect blend of grace and strength, showcasing her versatility as an actress. Ladd’s on-screen presence brought depth and authenticity to her characters, resonating with audiences of all ages.

Cheryl Ladd’s talent and charisma transcended the small screen. Her natural beauty and fresh-faced allure captivated fans, making her a beloved figure both on and off-screen. Ladd’s undeniable charm and magnetic persona continue to inspire and influence aspiring actors and actresses today.

The Impact of “Charlie’s Angels”

“Charlie’s Angels” revolutionized television and paved the way for strong, independent female characters. The iconic series, which first aired in 1976, showcased Ladd’s and her co-stars’ abilities to portray empowered women who fought crime and broke barriers. The show became a cultural phenomenon, and its impact on popular culture cannot be understated.

Cheryl Ladd’s contribution to the success of “Charlie’s Angels” cannot be overlooked. Her portrayal of Kris Munroe added an undeniable charm and fresh energy to the show, helping it capture the hearts of audiences around the world. Ladd’s character became a role model for many, inspiring viewers with her determination, intelligence, and unwavering dedication to justice.

Off the set, Cheryl Ladd’s talent and beauty continued to shine. With her distinctive style and graceful presence, she became a fashion icon, influencing trends and inspiring countless women. Ladd’s impact on the world of entertainment and fashion remains significant and serves as a testament to her timeless beauty and talent.

Cheryl Ladd - Fresh-Faced Beauty

Cheryl Ladd’s Contributions Impact
Role as Kris Munroe in “Charlie’s Angels” Pioneered the portrayal of strong, empowered female characters on television
Fashion influence Inspired trends and became a fashion icon of the era
Continued success in the entertainment industry Remains a beloved figure and source of inspiration for aspiring actors and actresses

Farrah Fawcett: The Alluring Actress

Farrah Fawcett was an alluring actress who captivated audiences with her beauty and talent. She rose to fame in the 1970s as one of the iconic stars of the hit TV series “Charlie’s Angels.” Fawcett’s mesmerizing smile, radiant personality, and natural charm made her a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

But it was her iconic feathered hairstyle that truly set her apart. Farrah Fawcett’s hairstyle became a worldwide phenomenon, inspiring countless imitations and making her a true style icon. Her hair was the epitome of 1970s glamour and continues to be recognized as one of the most iconic hairstyles in history.

Farrah Fawcett

David Bowie: The Musical Chameleon

David Bowie, the legendary musician and 1970s music icon, was a true master of reinvention. With his innovative sound, unique fashion choices, and boundary-pushing alter egos, Bowie left an indelible mark on the music scene of the era.

Known for his ever-evolving style, Bowie embraced various genres, including rock, glam rock, and experimental music. His ability to seamlessly transition between different musical styles showcased his unparalleled talent and versatility as an artist.

David Bowie 1970s music icon

Bowie’s influence extended far beyond his music. He challenged societal norms and pushed the boundaries of self-expression through his captivating performances and eccentric fashion choices.

Some of Bowie’s most iconic alter egos, such as Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke, became synonymous with his revolutionary approach to music and fashion.

“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.” – David Bowie

Throughout the 1970s, Bowie released a string of hits that continue to captivate audiences today. Songs like “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” and “Changes” showcase his lyrical genius and ability to create emotive and thought-provoking music.

The Evolution of David Bowie’s Alter Egos

Alter Ego Years Active Description
Ziggy Stardust 1972-1973 Ziggy Stardust was Bowie’s most iconic alter ego, characterized by flamboyant costumes and androgynous appearance. The persona showcased Bowie’s theatricality and brought glam rock to the forefront of popular culture.
The Thin White Duke 1976 The Thin White Duke represented Bowie’s transition into a more refined and minimalist image. With slicked-back hair and a stylish wardrobe, this persona portrayed a more detached and enigmatic side of Bowie.
Aladdin Sane 1973-1974 Aladdin Sane symbolized Bowie’s exploration of insanity and identity. The lightning bolt makeup became an iconic symbol of the era and influenced future generations of musicians and fashion enthusiasts.

David Bowie’s impact on the 1970s music scene continues to be felt today. His creativity, musical genius, and fearless approach to self-expression have solidified his status as a legendary icon.

Muhammad Ali: The Boxing Legend and Activist

Muhammad Ali, also known as “The Greatest,” was not only a boxing legend but also a social activist and cultural icon. Born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali’s charismatic personality, quick wit, and unwavering determination made him a standout figure in the 1970s.

Ali’s boxing career was nothing short of extraordinary. With his lightning-fast punches and unmatched agility, he became the first three-time heavyweight champion of the world. His fights against legendary opponents like Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, and George Foreman are etched in boxing history.

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”

But Ali’s impact extended far beyond the ring. He used his platform and influence to fight for social change and advocate for the rights of African Americans. In 1967, during the height of the Vietnam War, Ali refused to serve in the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the war.

Ali’s refusal to be drafted into the Army resulted in the stripping of his heavyweight title and a three-year ban from boxing. Despite the personal and professional sacrifices, Ali stood firm in his convictions, becoming a symbol of resistance and defiance against an unjust system.

His outspoken views on racial inequality and his unwavering commitment to his beliefs solidified Ali’s status as an influential figure who used his platform for change.

Throughout his life, Ali continued to inspire and uplift others. His famous quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” not only defined his unique boxing style but also encapsulated his philosophy of resilience and determination.

The Legacy of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali’s legacy extends far beyond the realm of sports. His impact on society continues to be felt, and his name is synonymous with social activism and cultural change.

Despite facing numerous challenges both inside and outside the ring, Ali remained steadfast in his pursuit of justice and equality. His charisma, wit, and larger-than-life persona made him a beloved figure around the world.

Ali’s influence on future generations is immeasurable. He inspired countless individuals to stand up for their beliefs, to champion causes that matter, and to use their platforms for positive change.

Muhammad Ali

Diane von Furstenberg: The Fashion Revolutionary

Diane von Furstenberg, a trailblazing 1970s fashion designer, left an indelible mark on the industry with her iconic wrap dress. This versatile and flattering garment became synonymous with female empowerment and liberation, revolutionizing women’s fashion during the era. Von Furstenberg’s designs embodied the spirit of the 1970s, embracing bold prints, vibrant colors, and a sense of effortless style.

The wrap dress, with its wraparound design and self-tie closure, adorned women of all shapes and sizes, allowing them to feel confident and comfortable. It accentuated the waistline and created a feminine silhouette, making it a wardrobe staple for many women during the decade. The wrap dress reflected von Furstenberg’s belief in empowering women through fashion, enabling them to embrace their individuality and express their style.

Not only did the wrap dress become a fashion phenomenon, but it also symbolized a shift in societal norms. It represented the growing desire for women to break free from traditional roles and embrace their independence. The wrap dress was a statement of self-assurance, celebrating the modern woman who was ready to conquer the world on her own terms.

Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress

Von Furstenberg’s contributions to the fashion industry continue to be celebrated to this day. Her brand remains a global powerhouse, known for its timeless designs, vibrant patterns, and modern femininity. The wrap dress has stood the test of time, remaining a classic and stylish choice for women in every generation.

The Legacy of Diane von Furstenberg

Von Furstenberg’s impact extends beyond her iconic wrap dress. She has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and empowerment throughout her career. As the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, she has championed initiatives that support emerging designers and foster inclusivity and diversity within the fashion industry.

Additionally, von Furstenberg is a best-selling author, philanthropist, and mentor to aspiring designers. Her timeless style and entrepreneurial spirit have inspired countless individuals to pursue their passions and embrace their unique identity.

Legacy Achievements
Revolutionized women’s fashion Introduced the iconic wrap dress
Symbol of female empowerment Embraced bold prints and vibrant colors
Advocate for women’s rights Promoted inclusivity and diversity in fashion
Mentor to aspiring designers Inspired individuals to embrace their unique identity

Von Furstenberg’s innovative designs and unwavering commitment to empowering women have solidified her place as a fashion revolutionary. Her influence continues to inspire and shape the future of the industry, reminding us that fashion is not just about clothing but also about self-expression and empowerment.

Jane Fonda: The Activist and Fitness Guru

Jane Fonda’s impact in the 1970s extended beyond her successful acting career. As an outspoken activist and fitness guru, Fonda became a symbol of female empowerment and physical fitness. Her passionate advocacy for women’s rights and social justice made her a prominent figure in the era of activism.

Jane Fonda fitness guru

The Fitness Revolution

It was during the 1970s that Jane Fonda revolutionized the fitness industry with her iconic workout videos, most notably “Jane Fonda’s Workout.” These videos became a phenomenon, inspiring millions of people to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Fonda’s accessible and engaging approach made exercise more approachable and appealing to a wide range of individuals.

An Advocate for Women’s Rights

“It’s called the women’s movement, not the women’s ‘complaint.'” – Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda’s activism extended beyond the fitness realm. She fearlessly used her platform to fight for women’s rights, speaking out against gender inequality and advocating for equal opportunities. Her unwavering commitment to empowering women and challenging social norms inspired generations of individuals to stand up for their rights.

Embodying Female Empowerment

Jane Fonda’s magnetic presence and strong will embodied the spirit of female empowerment in the 1970s. Through her activism and outspoken nature, she encouraged women to take control of their lives and lift up their voices. Fonda’s unwavering dedication to feminism and social justice continues to inspire and empower people around the world.

Contributions Impact
Fitness Revolution Popularized exercise and made it accessible to millions
Advocacy for Women’s Rights Inspired women to fight for equality and challenged societal norms
Symbol of Female Empowerment Embodied the strength and resilience of women during the 1970s

Elton John: The Flamboyant Musician

Elton John, with his flamboyant style and unique musical talent, became a true icon of the 1970s. His extravagant costumes and catchy tunes brought a sense of theatricality to the world of rock music, captivating audiences around the globe. Songs like “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer” have become timeless classics, showcasing Elton John’s remarkable ability to blend heartfelt lyrics with infectious melodies.

Known for his dynamic stage presence and powerful vocal range, Elton John’s performances were electric and unforgettable. His live shows drew crowds of adoring fans who were mesmerized by his energy and showmanship. He pushed boundaries and challenged traditional norms with his daring fashion choices, making headlines with his extravagant outfits that featured vibrant colors and eye-catching embellishments.

Elton John 1970s music icon

Elton John’s contributions to the music industry during the 1970s cannot be overstated. He not only crafted memorable melodies but also delved into a wide range of musical genres, displaying his versatility as an artist. From poignant ballads to lively rock anthems, Elton John’s discography was a testament to his artistry and creativity.

In addition to his musical talent, Elton John also used his platform to raise awareness and funds for various charitable causes. His philanthropic efforts have left a lasting impact on society, earning him respect and admiration beyond his musical achievements.

Elton John’s flamboyant style and unique musical talent made him a true icon of the 1970s. His extravagant costumes and catchy tunes brought a sense of theatricality to the world of rock music.

Elton John’s Chart-Topping Hits of the 1970s

Song Year Released Peak Chart Position
Your Song 1970 8
Crocodile Rock 1972 1
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973 2
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee) 1976 1
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting 1973 12

Elton John’s chart-topping hits of the 1970s solidified his status as a music icon. These songs not only dominated the airwaves but also resonated with listeners, becoming anthems of a generation.

  • Elton John has sold over 300 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
  • He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including five Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.
  • Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Elton John’s influence on the music industry continues to be felt today. His unique blend of rock, pop, and glam aesthetics set the stage for future generations of performers.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we will explore another influential figure of the 1970s.

Gloria Steinem: The Feminist Trailblazer

Gloria Steinem was a prominent feminist and social activist in the 1970s, dedicating her life to advocating for women’s rights and gender equality. As a co-founder of Ms. magazine, Steinem played a pivotal role in providing a platform for women’s voices and shedding light on important social issues of the time.

Steinem’s tireless work and unwavering dedication to feminism continue to inspire and empower women around the world. Through her writing, public speaking, and activism, she challenged societal norms and pushed for progress, paving the way for future generations of feminists.

Steinem’s impact in the 1970s feminist movement cannot be overstated. She fought for reproductive rights, equal pay, and an end to gender discrimination, driving conversations that challenged the status quo. Through her courage and determination, Steinem became a symbol of strength and resilience for women everywhere.


Who were some of the influential women of the 1970s?

Some of the influential women of the 1970s included Diana Ross, Meryl Streep, Lynda Carter, Cheryl Ladd, Farrah Fawcett, Diane von Furstenberg, Jane Fonda, and Gloria Steinem.

What made Diana Ross a glamorous icon of the 1970s?

Diana Ross’s mesmerizing voice, glamorous stage presence, impeccable style, and flawless performances made her a true icon of elegance and beauty in the dazzling world of 1970s music.

How did Meryl Streep make an impact in the 1970s?

Meryl Streep emerged as a talented actress in the 1970s, captivating audiences with her exceptional performances and exuding an elegant and sophisticated charm both on and off the screen.

What made Lynda Carter an iconic figure in the 1970s?

Lynda Carter became an icon as the original Wonder Woman in the 1970s, showcasing her powerful presence, grace, and undeniable beauty while portraying a strong and independent woman who fought for justice and equality.

How did Cheryl Ladd become a fresh-faced beauty of the 1970s?

Cheryl Ladd made her mark in the 1970s entertainment industry with her radiant beauty and undeniable talent, particularly through her role in the hit TV series “Charlie’s Angels,” where her girl-next-door charm and infectious smile captured the hearts of viewers around the world.

What made Farrah Fawcett an alluring actress in the 1970s?

Farrah Fawcett’s mesmerizing smile, radiant personality, natural charm, and iconic feathered hairstyle made her a beloved figure in the 1970s entertainment industry, solidifying her status as a true style icon.

What impact did David Bowie have on the 1970s music scene?

David Bowie was a pioneering musical genius who left an indelible mark on the 1970s music scene, known for his eccentric fashion choices, alter egos, and hits like “Space Oddity” and “Heroes” that continue to resonate with audiences.

What made Muhammad Ali an influential figure in the 1970s?

Muhammad Ali, also known as “The Greatest,” was not only a boxing legend but also a social activist and cultural icon, with his charismatic personality, quick wit, and unwavering determination, as well as his outspoken views on racial inequality and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War.

How did Diane von Furstenberg revolutionize women’s fashion in the 1970s?

Diane von Furstenberg revolutionized women’s fashion in the 1970s with the introduction of her iconic wrap dress, a versatile and flattering garment that became a symbol of female empowerment and liberation, embracing bold prints and vibrant colors.

What impact did Jane Fonda have in the 1970s?

Jane Fonda, as an outspoken activist and fitness guru, became a symbol of female empowerment and physical fitness in the 1970s. Her workout videos and advocacy for women’s rights revolutionized the fitness industry and continue to inspire generations.

What made Elton John a flamboyant music icon of the 1970s?

Elton John’s flamboyant style, unique musical talent, and hits like “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer” made him a true icon of the 1970s music scene, bringing a sense of theatricality to rock music and leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

How did Gloria Steinem trailblaze in the feminist movement of the 1970s?

Gloria Steinem was a prominent feminist and social activist in the 1970s, advocating for women’s rights and gender equality through her co-founding of Ms. magazine, providing a platform for women’s voices and shedding light on important social issues.