Celebrating my most inspirational women!

To celebrate International Women’s Day I thought I would list a few of the women who inspire me right now. This is not a competition or a definitive list. It is a conscious stream of the women I refer to daily, to strive to better myself as a person, in my creative trade and in my aspirations. Please don’t think to heavily on the choice of the women even if you disagree with some of them. The list will probably change as I grow older (and it does daily) but these are some of the women who I will always look to in everything I do as a constant reminder of what us, as women, are capable of. I’m sure there are millions of other  examples of incredible women who change the world for the better but right now on 8/03/2016, this is who I, as a 22 year old woman working to achieve my dreams, can look to and be motivated by.

In no particular order:

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Rihanna is one of my ultimate style icons and it’s incredible knowing that she’s internally inspirational too. Sure I can rock up to a party in a green fur coat and patent boots but what’s all that if i’m not  also working on seven different creative projects behind the scenes. Rihanna’s confidence is part of her look. She works hard and receives great rewards so what doesn’t she have to be confident about? You may not be fully aware but Rihanna’s business ethics are what made her #8 on the Forbes list in 2014. She is not only heavily involved with the production and distribution of her own music, but she’s quite the entrepreneur. Here are a few of her achievements that you might not have known!

  • Rihanna is creative director of Puma as well as being brand ambassador and oversees the Women’s apparel and footwear sections.
  • Co-owner of Tidal
  • Launched a beauty and stylist agency called Fr8me speaking on it she stated  “Hair, makeup and styling play an important role in creativity, I am very involved with that part of my process, so this agency was an organic thing for me to do.”
  • Launched a photo agency called “A Dog Ate My Homework”
  • First black woman to be the face of Dior
  • Had a clothing range for Armani
  • Was the face of Balmain
  • Has shown collections at numerous fashion shows in London and New York
  • Has a sock company
  • Is soon to be collaborating with Manolo Blahnik
  • Has fronted many charity campaigns such as Cartier’s Love charity bracelet ambassadors, MAC Viva Glam, Stand Up To Cancer – the stats of how much of her salary she donates to charity is incredible!
  • She had the best music video of 2016 in my opinion, BBHMM was visually spectacular! Bring the blood!
  • She has her own Marijuana line called MaRihanna dammit! Are you not sold yet?

So whenever I’m feeling good about myself I listen to her music, or search for her styles and start to feel even better knowing that you can make so many things available to yourself if you’re willing to take the time and put in the effort.

 

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Maggie SmithDirected by George Cukor

Maggie Smith Directed by George Cukor

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Maggie Smith is liked by every single person in the world and I’m pretty sure that’s a scientific fact. Me and my housemates at uni used to literally have tearful breakdowns about what life would be like when our favourite-getting older- legends we’re to pass away. Maggie Smith was always heavily dwelt on by us. It’s a morbid topic but that is  the curse of being young amongst elder genius’s. She’ll live forever I’m sure, but she is somebody that will forever inspire actresses. One thing that will stick with me as long as I live is the anecdote I heard told once. When Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince was being shot she was going through treatment for breast cancer. She would still turn up on set after chemotherapy and when told not to she simply proclaimed “The show must go on.” Whenever I think I’m too tired or under the weather to do to something, I think of this strength, and onwards the show goes.

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If you have me on any forms of social media you’ll be aware that I pretty much talk my way through life with Mindy Kaling quotes. For a few of my friends and I, she is honestly like an angel sent down from heaven into the dirty, old, shiny and gold streets of Hollywood. In a world where it can seem that everybody is the same, and they’re unlike you, Mindy Kaling arrived, and she spoke our language. She is a hilarious, intelligent, ballsy comedy writer (yes I just used the term ballsy in a post celebrating women) AND she likes the Kardashians! GUYS YOU CAN BE INTELLIGENT AND STILL WANT TO KNOW WHO EATS THOSE FUCKING COOKIES YOU KNOW! Not only is Mindy accepted as a FUNNY W O M A N in Hollywood, she is of ethnic minority too! She gives hope to us in different minorities trying to conquer the screens in America. I asked my best friend and Mindy Kaling enthusiast Khloe Dowdle  to help explain why we love her:

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“She is an Indian woman who is the star of a show that doesnt focus on her race as something that drives the plot. Usually in a programme where the majority of be cast are white, an ethnic minority cast member is in the programme purposely due to their race, and often to be the butt of the joke due to their background/culture. In the Mindy Project, this isn’t the case. She isn’t a person of a minority group trying to make their way in the world, she is a fabulous, strong, intelligent, kind, generous, hilarious, maternal, ambitious, colourful, INSPIRATIONAL woman; who just also happens to be Indian.”

If you buy anything this year, let it be Mindy’s books – Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me? Honestly if you are interested in TV, or comedy, or just daily life as a woman trying to survive in the modern world, please read her books.

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Chrissy Teigen has only recently come onto my radar. Nothing can cheer me up like seeing one of her feisty tweets, or Instagram food pics. She has been faced with numerous accounts of abuse regarding her race, and her body choices, yet she still manages to approach it with wisdom, and humour. She wrote about her experience with racial abuse in the street

“I dropped my sunglasses this AM on Santa Monica blvd and this seemingly normal looking dude screamed “f**king c**nks always dropping s**t.” Like that’s not even a streotype. Get your s**t together. What a bad racist. We were the only ones on the block and he screamed it from 5 feet away. Then when I acknowledged it he said “oh now the oriental can hear” Anyhoo, that was my morning! If you see a guy in weho wearing a brown suit jacket and jeans, probably avoid eye contact (sic).”                           

To be able to handle herself in such a shocking experience is what makes her the woman she is. The way she can shutdown haters and horrible comments is what keeps me in check when receiving backlash. As well as voicing her opinion on that matter, she also took to twitter to defend her actions to choose the sex of her baby amidst her IVF treatment. She reinforces the fact that women are able to do as they choose with their own bodies.

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My favourite post from Chrissy has to be her stretch mark pic proving that not every supermodel is superhuman! This may seem like an insignificant gesture to some people but this is absolutely huge during the dark days of photoshop and post production editing giving young girls all the wrong idealism!

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I’m so excited for the release of her cookbook because her FOOD SKILLS are something else. Reason 544 that Chrissy Teigen is a saviour.

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I always seem to begin a TV show at a vital point in my life that the show miraculously guides me through. I started watching Parks and Recreation at a time when everything I needed was motivation, aspiration, the power to dream and the strength to pursue. Amy’s character Lesley Knope helped me to do exactly that. A lot of Leslie Knope lies within Amy Poehler and that’s what makes the show so damn good. Of course I was familiar with Amy’s work before this, but it is then when I knew for sure, Amy was the comedienne for me. Amy Poehler is not just hilarious and clever and a whirlwind of wonderfulness, but she is also behind a very important campaign – Smart Girls! As well as Amy’s comedy success’s she also co-founded the organisation Amy Poehlers Smart Girls. It’s an organisation which aims to help young people cultivate their authentic selves. They strive to encourage young women in activism and volunteerism and helps people to celebrate their true self. Once more, I’ve asked Khloe for her summary of Amy as an inspiration, as she is another fellow devotee (and everything Khloe says is right apart from her theory on Daryl Dixon being gay.) Also giving her worldly insight, we have Heaven-Leigh Oughton commenting. Heaven is also a screen graduate and the front runner of several Leonardo DiCaprio fanclubs.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 23.19.40“Amy is the proof and the reminder that women don’t need to pick an angle. They don’t have to decide whether to be the pretty one, or the clever one, or the funny one. Women don’t have to be stereotyped. We can be whatever we want and we can be all of those things at the same time.”

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“One of the main reasons Amy Poehler inspires me is because she is a woman in my dream career. From her early days at SNL she has never played the role of a passive woman and has always taken control of her career not looking for the approval of men. Her actions are done for the benefit of humour not for the male gaze and in this day and age it’s difficult to have a role model who doesn’t contradict that notion.”

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Please read her book Yes Please you will not regret it.

‘It takes years, as a woman, to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate’ – Amy Poehler, Yes Please!
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Amy Schumer time and time again shows the world that she isn’t afraid of sticking two fingers up to the Hollywood norm. I love her because she in a way breaks the fourth wall between Hollywood and ourselves as viewers. I mean how Brecht can one get other than lying in a heap in front of KimYe ruining the perfect tableaux against the perfect backdrop with perfect lighting? Not only is Amy all for the women, but she’s dated some absolute hotties too (HI WWE’s Dolph Ziggler) She is ready to storm the screens for many years and I believe that she can change Hollywood a lot which well help many other aspiring actors for future years. Amy Schumer allows me to be brash and unapologetic for being myself and i’m thankful for that.
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Gwendoline Christie first appeared at the front of my mind after watching her perform ludicrously well throughout her scenes on Game Of Thrones. As a Screen Performance graduate, I’m incredibly critical of seeing actors debuting their performances on high status TV shows. I was instantly hooked watching Gwendoline in her role as Brienne of Tarth in HBO’s production of Game Of Thrones. There was something about the way she played her character that was fixating. Amidst a cast of nearly quadruple the amount of normal tv shows, her performance stood out as one of the most resounding. It wasn’t long until Gwendoline discussed how she completely related to the character that she was playing. Thats what makes her performance so unique and memorable. Even though a lot of actors claim recognition with the characters they play, most of the time these days, I can only see the resemblance in the hefty pay cheques. One minute your reading an interview with a star delivering a whole reel about why they felt emotionally attatched to that 16th century farm maid then the next they’re posting photos of themselves coconut oil pulling on instagram. It kind of spoils the illusion. It’s been so incredible to watch Gwendoline rise against the odds to the stardom she deserves. I think every girl can sadly relate to Briennes character at some point in their lives and Gwendoline does every girl who’s ever felt like the ugliest girl in the room the greatest justice. Read more about why I love Gwendoline here!
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Vivienne Westwood has long been my favourite designers. At first it was the way she dressed one of my favourite actresses Helena Bonham Carter. Eventually as I got older, I learnt more about the work she commits her life to and the wonderful and weird things she has given the world along the way. Along side the whole of her astounding career, she is a dedicated activist highlighting issues such as global warming in her campaigns. Vivienne makes me proud to be British and inspires me to never hide my quirks from the world. She will forever be iconic in British culture and fashion thanks to her groundbreaking designs and pop culture movements bringing punk into the mainstream.
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Jennifer Lawrence is the ultimate babe. She has always voiced her opinion on how still to this day, men and women are treated differently in the industry. Fair enough, Jennifer Lawrence gets paid significantly more than most people ever will, but still, it was brave of her to question the reasons why she has always earned less than her male co-workers. If anyone deserves to be in the career that J-Law is in, it’s J-Law. She literally lived amongst rats in her NYC flat whilst she worked on breaking into the spotlight and I hope she never leaves it. She is down to earth, funny and intelligent and extremely talented. She inspires me because her background was so humble in comparison to the life she lives now and the demeanour she retains. Plus, anybody who can work with David O’Russell for more than one movie deserves all the praise they can get. She’s conquored franchise AND independent movies whilst picking up a Best Actress oscar award on the way. I cannot wait to watch her career develop as she continues being who she is and nobody else.

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JK Rowling will mean more to our generation than she will ever know. Sure, she wrote an entire world which has evolved into one of the biggest ever franchises the world has seen but she also did this whilst battling bouts of depression. She dealt with the loss of her mother which inspired a lot of the melancholy tones through the novels and makes distinct comparisons between the dementors and depressive states that she felt. Her ideas were shot down by publishers over 12 times and if thats not motivating then what is? In my own private dark moments I find it easiest to create and with the knowledge of what JK Rowling was capable of during her depression. She inspires me constantly to keep going. It’s the easy option to close the curtains and lie in bed until your days are nights and nights are days, but it takes the strength that JK holds to pour your emotion into a creation, and you’ll feel ten times better about it afterwards.

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