After centuries of “women belong in the kitchen”, “a woman’s job is to be a mother and nothing more” and “the husband should be the provider”, the 21st century is all about female power! There is an array of powerful women who influence and inspire the nation, thanks to many others paving the way for what we women are able to do and achieve today: from Rosa Parks to Emmeline Pankhurst and many more, society is finally beginning to accept the prospect of men and women being equal.
However, today’s post is not a spiel on gender inequality and discrimination; it’s an insight into the women many other young women and I look up to and admire for their hard work, charisma and proactiveness in everything they do.
Of course, these are all subjective to personal opinion, but for me as a teenager I believe each and every one of these laudatory women are worthy of the role model title they are being awarded today.
To inaugurate, Karlie originated as a model (and is 6ft 2!) in 2006 for Victoria’s Secret and has since covered Vogue 40 times!
Although that in itself is truly incredible, that is not why I love her.
She has worked with top designers all over the world including Alexander McQueen, Versace and Christian Dior, and is brand ambassador for Esdee Lauder; also having worked with Adidas, Calvin Klein, Swarovski and more which is astounding!
What makes her so commendable though is her business ‘Kode with Klossy’. I must admit, coding and computers aren’t my speciality past film making and Final Cut Pro but there definitely do need to be more women in the coding industry – even better than that the company is non-profit, giving out free scholarships for girls aged 13-18. I remember I first learned about this a few years ago when we watched her video promoting it in an IT convention in school.
Karlie recently also became the host of one of my favourite shows: Project Runway. I know we all loved Tim Gunn – but Karlie was the best choice for a replacement!
She also has a YouTube channel where she posts videos about designing her own clothing line to Paris fashion week and also her everyday life events.
Karlie Kloss is truly a light to this world and a real role model to young girls like me. At only 27 she has achieved so much. She’s not just a pretty face but so classy, positive and smart too – from graduating NYU to founding Kode with Klossy – she is the definition of brains and brawn.
When RiRi first came onto the scene back in 2003 I’m sure we can agree that she began her career as she meant it to go on – controversially. The Barbados born beauty established herself as a ‘sex symbol’ within the pop world through her early hits including ‘Pon de Replay’ and ‘SOS’ and entrenching this image with her big breakthrough and reinvention of the infamous ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ era, breaking out of her early comparisons to Beyoncé.
Although many people disapproved of this young woman, labelling her as provocative and lewd, Rihanna was one of the first female singers to promote confidence, acceptance for female expression and something new to the music industry, which led her to become one of the best selling artists of all time in this generation – even winning 9 Grammys, 12 Billboard music awards and a vast range of others.
Nowadays, it seems as if every artist is producing identical music and messages through their songs, so maybe Rihanna’s music in 2019 isn’t quite so remarkable as it once was; but this woman has grown and achieved so much more over the past few years.
Along with being a singer, she has become a fashion icon through working with brands such as Puma, Armani and Dior. It is often said: if Rihanna says it’s a trend, then it’s a trend.
The most remarkable thing the pop sensation has done over the past couple of years, is to release her brand: Fenty Beauty. In November 2017 Rihanna almost broke the internet by releasing this inclusive brand, originally launching 40 different shades of foundation which has since been expanded to a remarkable 50 so you are guaranteed to find one for your exact skin tone, which is pretty rare to come across in the beauty industry.
As an aspiring and hopeful journalist, it’s important to have role models to look up to and inspire me, as it is in any career you may aspire to have. Adie is most likely the person on this list who you didn’t expect or maybe haven’t even heard of if you’re from outside the UK, however throughout her career this lady has become one of the most influential journalists out there.
If you don’t know who she is, Kate Adie is a war correspondent journalist, having worked with many companies such as the BBC most notably. Throughout her career she has reported live behind a car door while bombs were going off during the Iranian Embassy Siege, the Tiananmen Square protests towards the end of the Cold War, gotten shot by a drunk Libyan army commander and even reported at various times throughout the Troubles, which are close to home for me.
After surveying Adie’s incredible career moments and immense bravery, I think that this kind of journalism may be something I would like to pursue in the future.
Ever since the world was introduced to the intelligent Hermione Granger when she was just 11 years old, Emma Watson has notoriously been known for being a key role model among young people of this generation. This beauty has been in so many roles which have shaped my childhood from Harry Potter to The Perks of Being a Wallflower to being a real life princess in the 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Alike to every woman on this list, Emma Watson is the definition of brains and brawn: she is actually a real life Hermione Granger, as while filming Harry Potter she made her cast mates envy her as she managed to achieve straight A’s in school which really is quite remarkable and difficult to achieve, which is part of the reason so many sites and organisations have named her one of the most influential people of our generation.
Emma Watson is also a passionate feminist and gender equality campaigner, and actively involved in the HeForShe campaign. However, this campaign focuses on causing men to support and fight for gender equality, helping females become equal to males instead of gaining female dominance which makes me admire her all the more. Because of all this, she has been made an UN ambassador to use her influence to reach these goals and get more men on board.
The final most influential and inspiring woman on my list is none other than Serena Williams.
Growing up with my mum being a big tennis fan, I always watched the Wimbledon matches every year, and continue to admire Williams’ strength, passion and endurance, not letting anything stop her from being the best. With 23 Grand Slam titles (more than any other man or woman) despite injuries, living with Sjögren’s Syndrome and experiencing an extremely difficult child birth; Williams can be counted for as a superhuman and nothing less. Most tennis players’ careers peak for a couple of years, but this woman has been peaking for 20!
What makes her even more admirable is how she doesn’t just excel in tennis. Serena Williams is a vocal activist for many other social and economic issues we are dealing with in society today. With social media being such a prominent aspect of our lives, it can be difficult to love ourselves – more and more people are experiencing body dysmorphia and confidence issues due to the unrealistic images influencers are putting out there but Williams is all about promoting being confident in your own skin, “You are who you are, you can’t change it. And you’re beautiful.”
As well as that, the tennis star voices her opinions and fights for equality among men and women, and equality among race. In a US Open match in 2018, she was accused of shouting verbal abuse at Ramos, the umpire, calling him a thief. However, she exclaimed that men can say a lot worse and are let off the hook with no punishment, which some of her male peers agreed with, Adam Grant tweeting out, “When a man argues with an umpire, it’s passion. When a woman does it, it’s a meltdown. When a black woman does it, it’s a penalty.”
On countless occasions Serena Williams has displayed her unshakable work ethic, promoting positive methods and stating she will fight for what’s right and work on herself to the grave – which is extremely commendable.
There are so many more people who have a positive influence on mine, and many other people’s lives: from Malala Yousafzai to our parents and anyone else in our personal lives, influences are all around us; and while some of these big influencers may not be promoting a very positive message in what they do, it’s important to commend those that are and take a moment to reflect on the hard work these women are carrying out – and we can all do that too.
Who is your favourite influential woman? Let me know!
Until next time, CoffeeeAndCream