Dealing with rejections can be a great setback. But those who dare to chase a dream despite the rejections emerge as winners. Many of the successful women we know have faced rejections in their professional lives. Like these:

1. Oprah Winfrey was once told that she was unfit for television news.

In a 2012 interview with The Baltimore Sun, Oprah Winfrey opened up about her grueling first job at Baltimore’s WJZ television station, where she experienced routine humiliation and sexual harassment and was eventually fired from her evening news reporter gig.


And today she is the undisputed queen of media.

2. J.K. Rowling’s original synopsis of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was rejected by 12 different publishing houses.


3. Gigi Hadid was rejected twice by the lingerie brand, Victoria’s Secret, for being too big and athletic.

Gigi was a professional volleyball player at the time and was told she had “too much muscle” and was “bulky”, before she got her big break.  


4. Anushka Sharma was criticised for her ‘plain looks’ in the initial days of her career.

Apparently, when Karan Johar saw Anushka Sharma for the first time, he said that she did not have the looks to be a leading lady.  


5. Meryl Streep was once told she was too ugly to act in King Kong.

Remembering that moment, she once said:

This was a pivotal moment for me. This one rogue opinion could derail my dreams of becoming an actress or force me to pull myself up by the boot straps and believe in myself.

6. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, was fired from her first job as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar.

Talking about that experience, she once told Fashion students:

I recommend that you all get fired.
The Independent

7. Nora Fatehi was ridiculed at auditions for her Hindi.

Challenging her identity, people would tell her “do you even understand what it means to be Indian?”.


8. Marilyn Monroe was once told that she should become a secretary instead of a model.


9. Radhika Apte was one rejected for being overweight by a few kilos.

She was originally offered Yami Gautam’s part in Vicky Donor but was rejected for being overweight. Speaking about the incident, the actor said in an interview:

I had gone on a holiday for a month, drank a lot of beer, ate loads of food. I told them that I’ll come back and lose it. But they did not want to take a chance. I don’t get affected by rejection at work, but the weight thing really messed with my head. 

10. Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of the cosmetics company Glossier, met with 11 rejections when she set out to find funding for her beauty brand.

She used this opportunity to ask each venture capitalist who had said no for feedback and used ther feedback to hone her pitch.


They say rejection gives you more power to push forward. It indeed does.