Happy International Women’s Day, bish’s!!! It’s the one day where we can celebrate our gender as a whole, and the amazing things we as women have achieved over many, many years. We have come so damn far, and yes we may still have a way to go, but I’m so proud to say that I represent us inspiring women, and I do think that equality is now better than it ever has been before.
Today is about us, it’s about the amazing female figures that spoke out and worked so hard for our gender, our freedom and our rights. It’s a day of love, peace and acceptance! Women are all beautiful, no matter what shape, size, colour or height. We’re all in this together. So, I thought that today I would count down the top five ladies that I am inspired by, and that have made a positive impact on our society!
5. Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale was from a wealthy family who at the time, disagreed with women having roles that were advanced and important, like a lot of people back then. However, she had still always dreamed of becoming a nurse. Obviously, her family disagreed with her ambition and tried to put her off. Years passed, and eventually she actually called off her arranged wedding with a Baron, as she feared it would lead her astray from her nursing career.
In 1851, despite the objections from her family, she enrolled as a nursing student in Germany. This was because there was no hospital in Britain that trained nurses. However, when her education was complete, she returned to London to work in a hospital. This alone shows her great independence, and how she knew what she wanted and she went out and got it, no matter what the backlash may have been.
The Crimean War 1853 – This was when reports got back to England about the awful conditions wounded British troops had to survive in, and this was when Nightingale decided to do something about it. Ignoring the stereotype and judgement against women’s involvement in medicine, Nightingale and 38 volunteer nurses who she herself had trained, travelled to Constantinople to work at the British military hospital and see to the wounded soldiers. I just cannot believe the incredible commitment she made to our troops, all off her own back.
She would be on her feet for at least twenty hours a day caring for the soldiers and cleaning up the hospital conditions. She then set up a campaign to get the British Army to improve the hygiene and care that soldiers received in the hospitals. After many rejections, constantly having the British Army object to the reforms she proposed, and critical backlash, they finally listened and put her in charge of the hygiene and care of our troops which she of course improved drastically.
Finally, in 1860, she opened the ‘Nightingale School for Nurses’ where she made clear that her mission was to train nurses to work in hospitals and to care for the poor.
4. Marie Curie
Marie Curie, as I’m sure you know already, was a Polish and naturalised-French physicist and chemist, who incredibly conducted pioneering and life changing research on radioactivity. She was the very first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win it twice, and also the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two entire different sciences – this was 1903 and again in 1911.
However, unfortunately that does not mean her male competitors, and the male population in general, gave her an easy time. In fact, even females questioned her and began to doubt how she could be so intelligent, especially for a woman.
Believe it or not, Marie Curie battled severe sexism throughout her entire career from start to end. A quote from the genius herself was ‘I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career,’ and when asked about her developments and the response to them, her reply was ‘Well, it has not been easy’.
But, to our amazement, Marie Curie never once let her critics put her down or made her doubt herself. Not only did Marie Curie’s research contribute to the development of x-rays in surgery, her uplifting spirit also set her apart from her male peers.
And to top it all off, during World War she even helped to equip ambulances with x-ray equipment, driving them herself to the front lines, which I really think she was so brave for doing, and I really do admire her bravery. She was one intelligent woman.
3. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is a much more modern and pop-cultured feminist icon compared to Nightingale and Marie Curie, however she has done absolute wonders for the female community, and has really made a step in the right direction for our equal rights. I really admire Miley anyway, just as a person, not even for her music (which I actually don’t mind), but for the amazing charity work and animal rehabilitation work she does. She really works hard to make other people happy, and I think a lot of people don’t realise that.
Miley actually lead the Women’s Rights March in L.A 2017 where the turnout was uncountable. She for sure made the world happier and brighter at the Women’s March in L.A, where she delivered the most exceptional and inspiring speech, and was seen living it up with women, old and young, which made it all the better – inspiring her millions of young and impressionable fans, to treat women and themselves with kindness, respect, and to be independent.
When Miley Cyrus had heard that one of her many female teenage fans in Lansing, was being bullied over an LGBTQ equal rights “Legalize Gay” T-shirt, the activist picked up the phone and called her, taking matters into her own hands, and clarifying her legal rights. Cyrus said “Someone at the school who is an adult and seemed more powerful than her told her that she wasn’t supposed to be wearing that shirt at school, I just wanted to make clear that she had a legal right to express herself however she wanted.”
Despite an unthinkable amount of movements Miley has made for our female gender, the final one I will mention is the cover of ‘Santa Baby’ that she released in December 2018, using her voice and celebrity status to reinforce the importance of equal rights. This was aired on The Tonight Show which was then streamed on several other shows, accumulating millions and millions of views, and drumming the important and powerful message into our ears – females DO matter. The song included statement lyrics such as ”A girl’s best friend is equal pay”.
I could not NOT mention the ultimate female icon and feminist activist, Beyonce. She has done absolutely everything in her power to gain equal rights and to applaud the female gender. Beyonce openly admits the whole reason she wanted to get into music and become a looked up to figure is so she could reinforce the importance of females and equality.
In an interview, Beyonce said ”I put the definition of feminist in my songs and on my tour, not for propaganda or to proclaim to the world that I’m a feminist, but to give clarity to the true meaning. I’m not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word, or why it should exclude the opposite sex”.
As for her Super Bowl performance, Beyonce alongside her female dancers made a powerful statement with costumes that strongly resembled the Black Panthers. Beyonce saluted and honoured the late Michael Jackson by wearing a bullet vest, replicating the one that the King of Pop styled in 1993. The performance received a lot of praise and mixed reviews from spectators, however Beyonce knew exactly what she was doing and succeeded. She brought overlooked issues to the bi
ggest stages, and it paid her bills.As she said in “Formation,” “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”
The queen B herself of course made a lot of bold statements from the start of her 2016 MTV VMAs red-carpet appearance to her performance. On the red carpet, she actually had invited the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, (who made a cameo in Lemonade) to the ceremony evening. Next, she posed with the rest of her black, female fronted Lemonade gals on the red carpet featuring women of all different colours, shapes and sizes.
One of the night’s most memorable and powerful, influential moments came toward the end of Beyonce’s performance of “Formation,” where her dancers formed the Venus symbol, to honour females.
1. My Mum
Last but for sure not least, at number one, is my absolute favourite women on this Earth – my mum. My mum is my ultimate icon and role-model because I aspire to be as kind, humble and as giving as she is, and if I am anything like her when I am older, then I have definitely done something right. She gives me the motivation to be the best version of myself and she inspires me to do what I love.
She’s the most helpful and gracious person I have ever known and she is literally a Goddess when it comes to helping me out with Blog posts, photographs, ideas and giving me that bit of guidance when I’m stuck and having a bit of a mind blank. She gets me right back on track.
My mum was actually the one who inspired me to start Blogging, as she knows that I have always had a passion for writing since I was younger, however as I started to get older I didn’t really know where to take it, and my mum suggested Blogging. She has always been my number one supporter since the start, and she basically introduced a brand new Blogger to the world – me. She is the reason I blog and the reason you’re reading this post RN!
She also won Miss Leeds in the 1990’s where she had entered the local pageant and of course made headlines for winning. She raised money, awareness and also promoted empowerment for females by representing herself and where she came from, and of course by winning she used her voice to inspire other females like me, to be confident and positive in your own body.
So gals – kick your feet up. Grab some Prosecco. Get your man to rub your back. And celebrate being the wonderful woman you are on this special day! Who is your number one female role model?
*Images from: Little Mix – The Pool. Florence Nightingale – Nat Geo Kids. Marie Curie – Wikipedia. Miley Cyrus – Bustle. Beyonce – Medium.