2017 · Culture · Heroine/Hero · Interesting Things · Life · Opinion · personal essay · podcasts · Politics · Women

For International Women’s Day 2017 – The Women Who Inspire Me #IWD2017

I’m not a very political person and I must admit I do not really do much to mark International Women’s Day – which I know is bad! But I like to spend the day thinking about the women who really inspire me, and I did that today.

Cheryl Strayed
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Cheryl during the journey that became Wild (image: oprah.com)

Like everyone else I read Wild just before the movie came out… and then failed to watch the movie. Somehow I still haven’t seen it, even though it’s on Netflix. Anyway, my point is that I LOVED the book and told everyone to read it. I was just blown away by Cheryl’s bravery – she ups sticks and takes on this massive challenge, all on her own, and she works through the good and the bad, and she comes out the other side. It’s a book about becoming and moving forward, and Cheryl still inspires me to do that.

Brie Larson
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Brie Larson (image: awardsdaily.com)

Room by Emma Donoghue was another book I read just before the movie came out – and I did actually see the movie in the cinema. It’s a heartbreaking but brilliantly told story, and Brie Larson’s performance as Ma was the best thing about it (in my opinion). It’s hard to pinpoint, but something about her was just so normal, so believable and not-full-of-bullshit that I really paid attention to her, and I’ve followed her career ever since. She is constantly championing important issues and causes, and uses her public profile to draw attention to these things (I would recommend her Instagram as an example). She’s also cool and funny and ridiculously beautiful. She inspires me to be myself and work to better every day.

Drew Barrymore
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Drew Barrymoore (image: theguardian.com)

I’ve always loved Drew Barrymore. When I was a teenager my sister said that Drew Barrymore’s character in Never Been Kissed reminded her of me, and once she said that I began to identify with the character, Josie – dorky, uncool, not exactly popular with guys – but who becomes an amazing person and gets a really great hairdo, and the guy. I saw Drew Barrymore as a similar figure: she had a really tough start in life, but broke free and made it on her own. She made mistakes and wasn’t perfect, but she’s become not only super successful, but also respected and admired, and happy.

Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Jane Austen (image: ramshacklecinema.co.uk)

I’m inspired by several successful female writers, but the thing I admire and love the most about Jane Austen is that she was unafraid to say (or write) what she really thought, and she was wonderfully clever and witty with it. Her strong-willed female lead characters have always appealed to me, and I am still proud to have the same name as Lizzie Bennett. Jane also had a successful career at a time when women had hardly any rights, and her novels remain relevant and popular two centuries after she published them. How could I not be inspired by her?

Cristen Conger
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Cristen Conger (image: twitter.com)

Cristen Conger is kind of a feminist warrior. She created and co-hosted the amazing Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast (which has sadly ended, but there are hundreds of episodes to listen to) and is now the co-create of Unladylike, a newsletter and upcoming book with her gal pal Caroline Ervin (who also co-hosted SMNTY). Cristen is smart, fierce, determined, funny, goofy, and all-round amazing. She mixes serious political issues with relatable chat, and is dedicated to improving the lives of women. She inspires me to support other women, to champion worthy causes, and to try and be a better person. Also to be funnier, somehow.

My mama and my big sister

They inspire me everyday with their strength, resilience, beauty, and love. And they will forever. ❤

Who are the women who inspire you?

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