*Cue that banging Shania Twain hit that is always a favourite at karaoke!*
Happy Women’s Day if you’re in South Africa and hell, Happy Women’s Day to you even if you aren’t! I don’t feel that we need a specific day to highlight the fact that women are fierce, fabulous and unstoppable. However, considering that this day is being granted to us ladies I thought it would be great opportunity to talk about some of the many women who inspire me daily. In my life I have met an abundance of women who have inspired me in numerous way, from from family members to friends, teachers, house mothers, colleagues and kind random strangers. We live in a world where woman are and if not should be proud to be who they are and I think that despite years of being convinced otherwise, we as women are all one big squad. (Yeah, that’s right TSwift I’ve stolen your thunder!) Because when it comes down to it all, we stand united. We are all daughters, sisters, mothers, friends and lovers and we should never let anyone tell us otherwise!
I decided I would run through a list of just a handful of the women who inspire me, in no particular order of course. It turned out that coming up with this list proved trickier than I thought. First, I had two or three and as I sat just casually thinking about the women I think about or look to daily for inspiration and the list became almost endless. Naturally, it wouldn’t have worked to write long and dreary list of the women, so to those who I don’t mention, famous or not, thank you too for inspiring me daily!
Now I know I said in no particular order, but I have to simply start the list with:
My Mom ♥
My mom had me when she was 18 and yet didn’t let that slow her down from living her life to the fullest. She has proven time and time again that she is a fighter, that no battle is too big for her to handle and that everyone deserves a little love and compassion. I have equally fantastic parents and while they both inspire me in different ways, my mom has taught me the importance of independence and family and love. She is my ultimate daily inspiration.
A mother of two and an incredibly dedicated employee, Jade is my team leader at Zando. Since the day I started working at Zando, Jade has always made an effort to ensure that I am happy, I’m doing my job and most of all, that I’m growing as an individual as well as an employee. She sets the benchmark for what it means to be a great team leader and friend. She inspires me to be a woman who works for what she wants while helping others to achieve their goals at the same time.
As the current Editor-in-Chief at Elle SA, Emilie is all sorts of goals when it comes to being a career woman in the world of Fashion Journalism. Having heard her talk at a CTFC workshop in November of last year, I was just inspired by her passion for print. I am a lover the magazine, getting to hold in and turn each glossy page has been a guilty pleasure of mine since I was little. Aside from that she is a woman who is dedicated to her work, as the former managing editor of Marie Claire, fashion editor for the Daily Maverick and a regular contributor to the Mail & Guardian, she certainly knows a thing or two. Not forgetting the fact that she is such a style queen too, always effortlessly chic as any French powerhouse woman would be! Whenever I receive my Elle mailer in my inbox or I pick up my monthly copy, I’m reminded of that workshop and how I felt utterly inspired to follow my dreams.
I have to actually thank the CTFC for my second workshop female icon – Allana Foster-Finley. Having started simply as an intern at Donna Karan in New York, Allana has made a huge success of herself. She gave such phenomenal advice and inspired us as wannabe South African Fashion movers and shakers to get out of our comfort zones and to work hard to achieve what we want. One of the many great jobs she has is as a strategist for the African brand KISUA, she proves that there are so many different aspects to the world of Fashion and that if we, if I, just open my eyes to it all then I will discover so many hidden beauties.
The author of one my all time favourite book series. In 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on an old manual typewriter. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript. A year later she was finally given the green light by editor Barry Cunningham from the publishing house Bloomsbury, and the rest as we know, is history. However, three years before her success, she was a jobless single parent who had just moved back from Portugal to Scotland. She has gone on to write several other novels and has done copious amounts of charity work. The irony is that, despite all of her determination and success being the ultimate inspiration, it is her beautiful mind that created the Harry Potter series that inspires me. It inspires me to hold on to my creative side and to never deny my imagination from blooming.
A woman who needs little introduction, Gabrielle Bonheur or more commonly known as Coco Chanel, was the first fashion designer I had ever heard of as a young child interested in fashion. Upon learning her life story as a Fashion student, I developed a true level of respect and admiration for her contributions made to women’s wear. She inspires my love for fashion, her dedication inspires my dedication. While I may never become the ultimate fashion designer icon that she is still to this day, I will forge my own path in the world of fashion as she did in her time.
A woman who has inspired so many with her work, helped me get through one of the toughest periods of my life. Struggling to get a handle on my anxiety, I was given a book The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou, it brought me peace when I needed it most. Her poem The Lesson will forever be an all-time favourite of mine, along with a variety of others. She inspired me to look past all that was going wrong in my life and to focus on what was going right. She also inspires me as a writer, having published seven autobiographies, three books of essays and several books of poetry to name but a few of her many accolades. Maya Angelou was a woman who strived for more, I plan to do the same.
Zoe Sugg (Zoella)
Running this blog is such a special thing for me and when I was feeling down and out about it a couple of months ago, I stumbled across Zoella’s blog and naturally her YouTube channel and Instagram. I honestly love how bubbly she is and she inspires me to keep at it, for someone who has been vlogging for about 6 years, she knows a thing or two about the ups and downs. Also, she is very open and honest about her struggles with anxiety, something I battle with too. Her honesty made me feel so much more empowered and confident, more so than any doctor had ever been able to. Her vast beauty range as well as her book series, which I’ve recently just started reading (and absolutely love!) are also a huge part of her success and she shows no signs of stopping or slowing down. Zoella inspires me to blog my heart out and just to be myself knowing that those who care will always support you.
And there you have it, my list of inspirational women. I know this list might seem superficial to some people but to me it’s as honest as possible. These women have all shaped my life and will continue to do so, but so will all the wonderful and inspiring women I meet throughout my life.
I hope that this Women’s Day you are treated like the queen that you know you are and that you love yourself and your fellow women too!
Also, who are the women who inspire you? I’d love to hear all about them so share your list with me in the comments below!
Thanks, VB xx