Monday, 7 March 2016

international women's day: my idols

it feels alien to be writing about a subject that is so close to my heart, but also so serious on a blog full of lipsticks and clothes. why should something i take so seriously be something i feel almost awkward to write about? it's a sensation that makes it even MORE important to be writing this blog. because march 8th is international women's day. 

my struggle to type this in a way that is articulate is actually irritating me a lot right now, as feminism and women's rights is a topic i, naturally, feel strongly about. i read a lot of literature on the subject, and studied it in detail at university, and would 100% class myself as a feminist. this word is too often linked with aggressive 'man-hating' behaviour, which is a stereotype not helped by ridiculous media portrayals and extreme reporting. i simply want, as beyonce taught us all, social/economic and political equality between the sexes. which i don't think is completely out of the question, is it?

the day celebrates women everywhere, the things we do daily, our struggles, and our achievements. the theme this year is gender parity, campaigning to close the pay gap between men and women, which at the moment is estimated not to be equal until 2133... which simply isn't good enough. but that's a topic for another day. 

i've chosen to write today about my five female idols in the media. these five women top every single list, and are definitely not surprises as feminist idols, but for good reason. introducing my international women's day icons: 

1 - Lena Dunham
i'm sure most lists today will include ms. dunham heavily, but for good reason. what i LOVE about lena dunham is her honesty and normality. i am obsessed with how open she is about everything, especially when it comes to her body. she's not cookie-cutter, skinny bean hollywood, but there's something very beautiful about the way she portrays herself. i also love how she champions women, she never judges, and is taking her celebrity to spread the word about feminism and female issues. i'm also obsessed with 'girls', and find it the most relatable tv show ever (especially the first series...that internship line SLAYED.) i would 100% recommend her novel 'not that kind of girl' for some tube reading - an essential book for any girl in her twenties. 

favourite quote: a huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself. 

2 - Emma Watson
so first and foremost, i admire ANYONE who is in harry potter. srsly, my favourite book series of all time. but emma has managed to transcend from simply being 'the girl who played hermoine' into an intelligent, articulate woman who has something to say. all too often i feel the media bogs us down with actresses who are so media trained i can almost guess their entire interview. emma chooses to use her celebrity to address women's issues, and discuss subjects that matter. her heforshe campaign is transforming the way people view feminism, and it's something i can't wait to see evolve more. oh, and obvs i still can't resist when she tweets something about harry potter. #nostalgia.

favourite quote: it is time we start seeing gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.

3 - Malala Yousafzai
meet my current obsession. malala is a force of nature. a young girl who chose to speak up about how the taliban were ruining her town, a girl who campaigned for female education, and was subsequently shot by the taliban. malala did not let this silence her, and has continued to campaign for the right to education all over the world. it's incredible to hear her speak. such passion, power and intelligence are forced behind her words, and it's also refreshing (as shown in her film he named me malala) that she is still a normal 18 year old with crushes and homework. she made me feel truly grateful for the education i was given, and opened my eyes to an issue that i didn't really see before. would definitely recommend youtubing any of her speeches - prepare to want to change the world.

favourite quote: i believe it is a women's right to decide what to wear and if a woman can to go the beach and wear nothing, then why can't she also wear everything?

4 - Anna Wintour
ah, nuclear wintour. many people may question this choice, but i am legit obsessed. ever since i started getting into fashion, anna wintour seemed to be a character i wanted to know, and when i watched the september issue my obsession was sealed. i admire how strong willed she is, i love that people are a little bit frightened of her. i don't think it's a bad thing for a woman to be slightly feared, especially when she is the best at what she does. i don't believe anna wintour would be the easiest person to please, but again i love how she always strives for perfection. she is groundbreaking in the fashion world, being the first editor to put celebs on the cover of Vogue, and to put a black woman on the cover. she's revolutionary, and i feel there will never be a figure as powerful in fashion as anna again. 

favourite quote: It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.

5 - Amy Poehler / Tina Fey

finally, the two women who truly make me laugh. all too often female comedians rely on topics such as their divorces/their weight/their appearance to spark laughs, and i don't find it funny to always be so self-deprecating. these two women have propelled female comedy to the highest levels, creating jokes that are honestly hilarious, and not relying on their gender for the laughs. they are intelligent, and craft their jokes so well it's crazy to think they can be so funny. obviously, they strive for female rights - with tina fey creating mean girls for goodness sake! i love their friendship, and how they champion each other rather than becoming enemies and competing. it's refreshing to see a duo so quick and relevant, miles above their male competitors. i would 100% recommend watching 30 rock and parks + recreation. hilarious.

favourite quote: yes i consider myself a feminist, and it informs my work only in that it is who i am, in the same way i am a woman, or that i'm 5 foot 2. 

and another big thank you to the other women who inspire me on a daily basis. y'all make me proud to have been born a XX Chromosome. 

until next time xo

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