In Vogue’s list of Influential Women 2018, they asked: What does power look like? A question, they acknowledge, is becoming all the more difficult to answer. Power is no longer just a white, middle-class male sitting in the cabinet making big decisions. The face of power and influence has changed, and it has become about a lot more than simply governing, but also about inspiring, starting conversations and initiating change. Power is being redefined, and with it so is the world around us.
This year, once again, hundreds of women all around the world have inspired me and made me proud to be a woman – whether it be celebrity activists, movers and shakers, or simply women I encounter on a day-to-day basis in my life whose attitude and spirit have motivated me to become a better version of my self. Here are just a few.
As I recently declared on Twitter, my new life motto is WWJD (What would Jameela do?). Her relentless battle again the impossible beauty standards placed upon women has acted as a reminder that I am enough, just as I am. As well as calling out BS detox diets and the negative consequences of airbrushing, Jamil also set up the iWeigh movement, which I urge you to follow if you don’t already. The movement acts as a reminder that we are all a lot more than how we look and encourages us to think less about what we see in the mirror and more about our values, achievements and qualities beyond this.
A wonderful, witty woman with an incredibly powerful message!
The Campaigners in the Irish Abortion Vote
Less a single woman and more a group of incredible inspiring women (and men), who stood up for the women in Ireland to have rights over their bodies. The vote was a huge leap forward for women in Ireland and symbolised the power of activism and fighting for what you believe to be right.
An incredible moment in history that represents progression and changing national attitudes – bravo Ireland.
What an inspiration.
TV producer and environmentalist, Orla Doherty and her team, have made waves this year, raising awareness of the damage being done to our oceans by our excessive use of plastics.
Over 10 million people watched the final episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet that Doherty produced, and the message has certainly resulted in more action – it certainly impacted my behaviour and for that, we all have to thank Doherty.
At only 22 years years old, Dua Lipa became the most streamed female artist in Britain and made history when she became the first woman to received 5 Brit nominations in one night.
Why is she having such a huge impact on the music industry?
There are many reasons for her success, but for me, her music goes beyond simply a good track to dance to. New Rules has a far deeper, cultural message about female sexual empowerment that females everywhere found themselves relating to – not to mention it has hit over 1 billion views on YouTube. To find out more about the songwriter Emily Warren and how she came about writing New Rules, check out Elite’s Daily article here.
A name you probably do not recognise, but a woman that inspires me every single day – my Mother. I have written a lot about this wonderful woman here on the blog (you can read more about her here). She has taught me a hell of a lot of the past 22 years, and this year her drive, determination and dedication to what she believes in, has astonished me.
Putting her beliefs and morals before financial gain, she has gone on to start her own little business – working incredibly hard and teaching me that no one is any better than anyone else and if you have something you believe it, then you bloody well fight for it.
Another name you might not have heard of, but you definitely should have, is Priyanka Joshi! As only 29 years old, Joshi is a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, offering cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research, looking into drug-like molecules to target the causes of degenerative brain diseases.
This year, dementia has left a huge hole in our family and we are certainly not alone. Dementia is now the leading cause of death for women in England and Wales and so her work in the field is crucial – now more than ever.
In the words of Jameela Jamil, I am a feminist-in-progress, constantly learning and trying to become a more informed human being. I am far from perfect but these women have all helped me on my journey, and for that I thank them. In my research for this post, I found myself in total awe of the incredible work women have been doing this year that I haven’t heard about and sadly I couldn’t write about every single one of them here. I urge you to take a look at some of these lists of Inspiration Women and read their stories.
Here are some of my favourites:
Which women have inspired you this year? Let me know in the comments down below or over on my latest Instagram post.