In celebration of International Women’s Day, I’ve listed out the 10 most inspiring females to me.
In no particular order…
Pankhurst was a born Mancunian and British political activist. She was the leader of the Suffragette movement who helped women get the right to vote. I’m sure she is smirking in her grave now to see how far we have come.
Queen Elizabeth II
I’m a massive royalist (well, a fan of some rather than others) and I really admire the Queen. She’s devoted her whole life to our country after ascending the throne at just 25 and is still going at the age of 92. She’s really embraced modern times too with a royal presence on social media – something not many 92 year olds would be comfortable with.
Rosa Parks played a pivotal part in racial segregation in 1950s America. She refused to give up her seat in the ‘coloured section’ of a bus in Alabama to a white person after the white passenger section was full. She was arrested and this kicked off a year-long bus boycott in Montgomery from the black community. She wasn’t the only black person to refuse to give up their seat but she was an activist and known as ‘the mother of the freedom movement’.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was an American soul singer who sadly passed away last summer. Her voice was incredible as was her passion for civil rights and women’s rights. She performed at benefits and protests and provided money to civil rights groups claiming that one day, black people will be free. She even refused to perform at President Trump’s inauguration as part of a wide-scale musical protest. RIP.
Growing up, I was a massive fan of Britney Spear’s music. I used to play ‘Baby One More Time’ on repeat on the way to school! But, it’s more her famous breakdown of 2007 that I’m thinking of today. Being a celebrity obviously has its perks but I think it must also be incredibly difficult. You can’t step out of the front door without paparazzi in your face, you are constantly criticised by press and people on social media and your break ups are completely in the public eye. There are so many celebrities that have taken their own lives – Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe and just this week, Keith Flint. The fact that Britney had a very public breakdown but then sought help makes her very inspiring to me.
I bloody love Michelle Obama – she’s a style icon, was the first black First Lady, great mum, is funny and comes across as a genuinely nice person. I’d definitely like to be friends with her. She’s also a big inspiration to young girls, encouraging them to ‘spread your wings and soar’. I’ve also watched her Carpool Karaoke far too many times and can confirm she has a great taste in music!
Jolie is an American actress and humanitarian. Aside from being gifted on screen, it’s her off screen qualities that I find most inspiring. She’s battled self harm, drugs, two attempts of suicide and come through it. She’s adopted three children, has donated millions to war zone emergency appeals, she’s campaigned against sexual violence in military conflict zones, she’s had a double mastectomy and is still one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson
Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson are three black American women who worked for NASA in the 1950s. Sadly, I had never heard of them until seeing the film, Hidden Figures recently. They worked in the Langley Research Centre as mathematicians known as ‘computers in skirts’ and helped get John Glenn safely into space – the first American to orbit the earth. Despite being incredibly intelligent people they weren’t even allowed to share the same bathroom as white people or eat in the same room. They made great history in maths while in the middle of a race battle – a truly inspiring story.