In honour of International Women’s Day, it only seemed appropriate to honour the women I find most inspiring. I don’t necessarily think any of them will come as a huge surprise, but, if I can’t share them today, when can I?
“Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior.”
Emma Watson is one of the world’s most inspiring women. I think one of the reasons I have always felt a connection with her, is because we are the same age. We would have been in the same school year, and I find it incredible to see what she has achieved in that time. She inspires me to be better, to do more and to achieve even just a fraction of everything she has done.
She brought Hermione to life, and made being bookish a desirable trait again. She is fighting for women’s rights all over the world, whilst never bashing men’s rights. She has achieved an incredible education alongside her acting career, scoring an incredible set of GCSEs despite her ridiculous acting schedule, and going on to graduate with a degree in English Literature – yet another reason to love her.
Here she is, taking a stand against an outlandish comment made by the Turkish Vice President, Bulent Arinc, in 2014. Here she is, laughing in public.
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
JK Rowling, for obvious reasons. But I also adore her for less obvious reasons. She is incredible. She became the first female billionaire novelist, and lost that status because she donated so much to charity. She founded Lumos, a charity working with children in institutions around the world, providing light in the dark. Despite her fame, she connects with fans constantly online and never loses sight of how much her fans adore her work. She has always been open about the battles she has had with her demons in the past, and gives people an outlet for how they feel. There is an example below:
I wonder how many lives JK Rowling has helped to save. The impact she has had on my own is immeasurable.
“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
There can’t be many people in the world who don’t know the story of Anne Frank. She would have had no clue that her journalling would have such an impact on the world. Anne Frank is the innocent voice that should remind each and every one of us, what war really means. Sadly, the upper echelons of society have lost sight of that, in the mix of money and politics and alliances. But there will never be a day that this girl, at sixteen, isn’t worth more than every piece of gold in this world. And there are so many more like her now, in Syria, wandering the streets in the UK, escaping war-torn countries by taking perilous illegal journeys. Anne Frank lives in the soul of every man, woman and child. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the media is no longer using the word ‘migrant, but instead plastering refugee everywhere. Word choice matters, it’s just sad to see it being used for gain, rather than because it is correct.
“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”
We all know the story of Malala. Her story could have left her bitter, spewing hatred at everyone, and nobody could have blamed her. Instead, she continues to stand up for what she believes in. She is an incredible human being, and she is only 18 years old. Yousafzai is a voice for all the repressed women in the world, whether religiously, academically, socially, domestically repressed. Every child in the world deserves the right to an education, regardless of gender, socioeconomic background, ability or homelife. No child is anything less than amazing.
Mum, Emily, Lydia, Olivia, Sian, Emily
The inspiring ladies in my own life are the ones I want to big up the most, though.
Mum, thank you for always being the most supportive parent and weirdest pal I could ever ask for. You have kept me going through some of the toughest times of my life and never let me lose faith in myself, even when I was at rock bottom. I love you.
Emily, you are one of the most creative and incredible people I know. You make me laugh and I trust you more than most people in the world. I know that you will always be there for me and will go on to do great things. You never give up trying, even when you have a wobble, you always pick yourself up again. You inspire me every day and you are one of my best friends.
Lydia, you are wonderful. You are so bright, so sparky and such a magical little human. I still think you are a little baby, but you aren’t – you are an amazing eighteen year old who will go on to do great things. University will be the best experience of your life. You will learn so much about music, production, life and yourself. I can’t wait to see where your life takes you and I adore you.
Olivia, you genuinely inspire me so much. Watching you leading your amazing children through the first stages of their life is ridiculous – they are beautiful human beings and you are a wonderful parent. But of course, you are so much more than a mother – you are doing incredibly well at being Girl Boss and I can’t wait to see where Sweetlove takes you in the future.
Sian, there aren’t enough words in the world to let you know how brilliant you are. You’re my Patsy, my rat and my partner in crime. I am so proud to call you my best friend. Emily, you have the kindest heart and never give up challenging yourself. You always look out for other people and see the best in everyone and I love that about you. You’re wonderful and I am so lucky to still have you by my side after all these years. Us three have seen each other through some interesting times, including the years of the plastic beads and excessive Myspace photos, and if we can come through that, we can come through just about anything.
I could keep going – I have so many awesome friends and family. I’d be here for hours if I listed you all. But just know that, if you are in my life, you are probably one of the women I find truly inspiring and I love you all. Whether you are old workmates, friends from years gone by, amazing mothers, or family members, you deserve to know how brilliant you are every day, but today of all days, you deserve it more.
Who are the most inspiring women in your life? Let me know; I’d love to hear your stories. If you don’t want to share, just make sure you let that important lady in your life know how great she is.
Happy International Women’s Day.