Women's History Month: Who was Marie Curie?
Here at Curie, we love a good origin story. We root for the underdogs, the upstarts, and the forgotten figures — those who have the courage and conviction to build their lives on their own terms.
The list of women who we admire is long and grows by the day, but perhaps the single most important figure for us is our namesake, Marie Curie. Because March is Women’s History Month, and because our origin story is forever connected to hers, we thought we’d give Marie Curie the shoutout she deserves.
Marie Curie’s story is harrowing and undeniably impressive, spanning multiple wars, several bouts of serious illness, and many groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Oh, and there’s also the two Nobel Peace Prizes, but we figured we’d start with the basics. Born in Poland in 1867, Marie Curie was an incredibly curious and precocious girl. Her parents, both teachers, encouraged her to pursue her many interests, and, unsurprisingly, she picked things up almost instantly. Her childhood was not without its share of tragedy and setbacks, but her unusually sharp mind allowed her to forge a path for herself despite living in a time when women were denied access to higher education. In fact, Marie was so intent on getting an education that she attended a secret underground university and saved for over 6 years to eventually attend the Sorbonne in Paris.
After finishing her formal education, she went on to dedicate her life to advancing physics and chemistry. Her list of accomplishments includes discovering two new elements, winning two Nobel Peace Prizes in two different subjects, raising two children, and directing the Red Cross Radiology Service. The craziest part? She did all of it in a dress because women wearing pants wasn’t a thing yet. She was an original trailblazer, someone who gave her all to science, her first and truest love, no matter how many “Nos” she heard along the way.
So yes, it’s an incredible origin story: a woman who became a giant and hero in the world of science during a time when women were mostly expected to be silent and passive. But in our eyes, it symbolizes something even more important: the singular power of a girl with a dream who willed herself towards a destiny that she knew was hers to behold. Marie Curie embodies a belief that is our greatest source of inspiration, that your life is yours to build. We’re just here to keep you BO-free while you do it.
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