8 Feminists Who Inspire Me

8 Feminists Who Inspire Me

#mythoughtson: "a series that will discuss life’s bigger topics, like feminism, sustainable fashion and body image. Each month, I’ll tackle a new topic, sharing my thoughts and inspirations around it...my hope is that as a community, we can share and debate opinion about issues that impact our society. I want the posts to be interesting but also uplifting, showing the power our community can have too." This post is a follow-on from Lydia Eve. You can read her post here. I tag Aoife from Aoife L.R. to follow on from me.

I thought about this post for a long time, leaving it to the last minute because I (foolishly) thought it would be easy to write. *Spoiler*: feminism is never easy to write about. It's so complex and encompasses so many issues that it becomes difficult to navigate. Having said that, it's so important not to shy away from such a serious and real social issue and so, with a little help from the group chat, I've compiled a list of 8 feminists who inspire me. Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list, I could have gone on for days.

Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum (StyleLikeU)

Elisa and Lily are a mother-daughter team uncovering what beauty means to hundreds of women across the world. They dispel "beauty myths" surrounding size, age, race, body hair and style through interviews on their YouTube channel; in which they invite women (and men) to strip down to their underwear while discussing what beauty means to them, showing that 'true style is what's underneath' and promoting self-acceptance. Elisa and Lily have also published two books and continue to tour the world challenging the ideals of beauty presented in the media, one interview at a time.

Caitlin Stasey, Hannah Terry-Whyte and Keenan MacWilliam (Herself.)

I first discovered Herself. through Caitlin's StyleLikeU interview (see above). Caitlin is an Australian actress based in Hollywood, best known for her roles in Neighbours and Reign. Along with fellow Australian, writer and editor Hannah Terry-Whyte of Wayfaring Chocolate and Canadian actress Keenan MacWilliam, she launched Herself. to openly discuss sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, puberty, periods, sexual education, feminism, abuse and everything in between in the public forum. Each interview is accompanied by a semi-nude or nude photoset of the speaker, showing and normalising bodies of all shapes and sizes in their natural beauty.

Chimamanda Adichie ("We should all be Feminists")

In researching for this blog post, I came across an amazing TEDx Talk by Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie. I spent the next half hour captivated by her stories of sexism engrained in both Nigerian and US culture and could relate to a lot of her anecdotes myself. She talks about how sexist behaviours are so deeply embedded in our upbringing that they are normalised and how, through the raising of our own children, we can begin to disentangle them.

Molly Inglis & Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (What is "Beyoncé Feminism"?)

If you're not sure, Molly Inglis is the Warwick Sociology student who wrote her dissertation on Beyoncé and, in particular, her feminism. You can't deny that Beyoncé is a feminist, from her "I have three hearts" pregnancy announcement, to her inclusion of Chimamanda Adichie's words (see below) in her song Flawless to her literally performing in front of the word "Feminist" on her world tour. It's so important for those in the public eye and with such a big platform, such as Beyoncé, to speak out about social issues and amplify the voices of others. In turn, for these specific instances of feminism in the media to be analysed on an academic level by those such as Inglis, it shows that speakers like Beyoncé are having a serious impact and we are coming one step closer to equality.

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Would you call yourself a feminist? Which other feminists inspire you?

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