Women Who Inspire Me
The idea for this post came to me as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and thinking to myself, "yes! you're awesome!" about so many of the women I follow on there, and a large proportion of whom, are doing incredibly exciting things at the moment, each in their own way.
As soon as I hit that train of thought, I knew I wanted to bring together a couple of amazing women whom I really admire, all for their own reasons, into one post, and perhaps introduce you to someone you may never have come across before.
Needless to say, there are so many others who could easily have made it onto this list, but in the interests of time, I thought short and sweet was the way to go. Who knows? I may just do a follow-up post with more women in the future, but for now...
...here's my list of five women inspiring me at this very moment.
If you haven't heard of this lady already, you're probably not as much of a political news junkie as I am (trust me, I have a problem), but she's certainly been keeping the airwaves busy. Since the election of Donald Trump, there's been a resurgence of the American left and particularly those candidates, whom, the established Democratic party has disawoved for a long time, in its move to the centre and right.
Alexandria is a breath of fresh air to all of this. Like many other, first-time candidates, she speaks openly and honestly about her beliefs and political stances on all manner of issues. To be entirely honest, you'd think that politicians should generally be known for their policies but the lack of openness and scripted doublespeak that has become the norm, is so utterly maddening.
Alexandria caused an upset because she won the New York district held by Joe Crowley, an established Democrat veteran politician. But her campaign, which saw donations being raised via individual giving of small amounts, and offered a refreshing take on policies comprising of a fully progressive, left platform, enthused people! It got people volunteering and onto the streets, engaging with voters and speaking passionately about what they want for their area.
She may have been bartending in November 2017; but I don't doubt that November 2018 will bring about a whole slew of changes courtesy of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. I, for one, can't wait to see what she does in office.
Let's be real. If you haven't heard of Malala by now, where have you been living? After surviving being shot by the Taliban for daring to go to school, Malala moved to the UK with her family where she has lived for the last few years.
Currently a student at the University of Oxford, Malala has used the platform life gave her in the last few years to advocate extensively for girl's education, human rights and broader social justice issues. The youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala always comes across as a charming young lady who believes passionately and fiercely in the causes she champions, and will no doubt make the world a better place for her efforts.
You may have come across her in recent times as one of the women who spearheaded and led the Women's March in Washington DC on January 21, 2017, following the election of Trump, but Linda Sarsour has been out here fighting the good fight for a very long time.
Based in Brooklyn, she was a prominent figure in the local Arab American community for over 20 years and last year became one of a few women to lead the highly successful Women's March. Her commitment and her dedication, not only to her community, but for the rights of all people to live in peace and dignity, have made this lady one to watch in the future.
She is without a doubt one of the most inspiring women I have seen.
You may well have heard of Natalia Vodianova from her career as a supermodel, tech entrepreneur or philanthropist. Every article I've ever read about her charts her rise from a poor neighbourhood in Nizhny Novgorod to the glamour of fashion and celebrity life, and today, as one half of a power couple with her partner, Antoine Arnault (LVMH).
My own interest in Natalia's work is easily her philanthropy efforts; but not because this is yet another (now) well-off individual making waves in the charity world, but because Natalia is someone who lived through the harsher elements of what she advocates improvements for. Her childhood with her sister, Oksana, has been well-chronicled by many a journalist, but in so many ways, this is the part of her life that speaks the most to me.
I grew up with an older, severely disabled brother, and being raised in a family with a disabled child shapes everything about you and your life - anyone else who has grown up in a similar situation will tell you the same thing. Your daily routine and what you can do and how you do it, fully revolves around them, And that's okay. It's certainly nothing to be frustrated about. I am grateful for everything I learnt and was taught by life as a result.
But Natalia's bridge between her previous life and her life now, via her philanthropy work is what interests me the most. It's not so often that you see someone who has reached such a position actively using their voice, putting their money where their mouth is, and constantly campaigning and advocating for others who are so often marginalised and excluded. And that, is something she can be very proud of.
Perhaps one of the world's most famous women now, Meghan's work has interested me for years. Yes, of course I love Suits, and am still absolutely dedicated to it even though she left the show :( - but even in her acting life, she did so much more than appear onscreen and make Rachel Zane a part of our lives every week.
Meghan's work in Rwanda, with the UN and One Young World, not to mention the impact she had growing up, working in a soup kitchen and getting that advert changed (Google it); this lady has been making waves for a long, long time which is kind of incredible to think she's only in her 30's.
Clearly her platform and ability to make soft changes (British royals are strictly apolitical) has expanded dramatically. Personally, I think she'll probably find having to stay apolitical at all time, a challenge, and one which she'll need a lot of guidance to become accustomed to. But who knows? Maybe it's time for a bit of a shake-up in the royal family ;)