The Strong, Powerful and Brave Women That Inspire Us.
International Women’s Day is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of all women, from the political to the social. Today is a day where we commemorate the various hurdles that we’ve overcome whilst calling for the continuing fight for gender equality. To mark the occasion, we’ve asked our staff to share their own personal female role model who has inspired us. The result is an impressively diverse roster of female powerhouses that encourage us to strive further.
Nigerian -American journalist, Ivie Ani, is the music editor, writer and on-air correspondent covering culture at Okayplayer. Ani’s work has been published in numerous major publications such as the New York Times, Women in The World, Complex magazine and NYU’s Social and Cultural Analysis Journal. Having given talks at the big leagues such as Harvard and New York University, Ivie produces work with a purpose through engaging with and providing enlightenment across topics such as identity, pop culture, hip-hop, the diaspora, music, race, and women’s rights. Only this week has Ivie spoken to a behavioural specialist in order to unpack the highly discussed behaviour of R Kelly. Her drive to inquire upon and delve deeper into the topics that deserve space within the media sphere is unprecedented.
“Ivie Ani is amazing, she encompasses culture and music and the intersections. Her piece on Kanye West and the cult of the celebrity is a must read. Nuanced, creative, and intelligent, Ani is poised for success.”
– Nic Tyrell, Music Writer
Artist manager at RCA Records UK. Parris Oh has opened doors and created a bridge for new British artist to connect with major labels and artists worldwide. Oh plays a central role in the facilitating of the new wave of musicians and creating an understanding of life within the culture. Recently Parris became a co-host on Spotify’s playlist turned live show extravaganza “Who We Be” with DJ Semtex. Additionally, she has won the Music Week Rising Star of 2018 award, making her an absolute credit to the scene.
“She’s definitely an incredible woman who has literally cemented herself in the culture. She’s doing the best for new and upcoming artists, artists that have been in the game for a while now. She just connects the dots so well. Shout out, Parris.“
– André Lance, Editor In Chief
U.K Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, is a pioneer for the young black diaspora. She was the first black female MP and her work on black children in education is unmatched by any other MP. Diane’s outspoken stance as a black feminist has won her the respect of many politicians, commentators and journalists alike. Yet despite being held in such high regard by many, Dianne Abbott has received such constant abuse from the media and occasionally fellow MPs. Diane has addressed the growing the growing exposure of blatant racism, sexism, and xenophobia towards minority groups all over the world in the aftermath of Brexit last June and Trump’s election in November. Unapologetically using her position to address such topics, Diane continues to fight the growingly difficult task of representing minorities and refuses to be silenced.
“Regardless of individual feelings on her political views and opinions, there’s no denying the continued strength and perseverance she has shown throughout her career, despite both personal and professional criticism.”
– Bimmy, Graphic Designer
It would be difficult not to admire the Beats 1 anchor and all-around excellent woman Julie Adenuga. Keeping it strictly the UK, Adenuga fights to broadcast local talent globally, furthering the reach of the new and upcoming artists to a wider audience. By supporting and mentoring aspiring music industry moguls, Julie is constantly effecting positive change. In 2016, Adenuga and Sian Anderson launched One True Calling, a series of workshops to prepare 16 to 24-year-old Brits for a media career. She’s also a mentor to students at East London Arts & Music. Adenuga is confidently and unapologetically leading the way for UK artists big and small.
“Julie Adenuga has not only been someone who has worked behind the scenes for a long time but is also a pioneer within radio and podcasting. Within British culture, within the urban culture as well, she has been someone who constantly supports UK artists and upcoming artists as well. She’s forever dope and she just keeps bringing greatness.”
– Junior Lamb, Music Curator/Host
Actor, activist and founder of the body positive Instagram movement “I Weigh”, Jameela Jamil, works tirelessly to balance the scales in favour of women. After bringing attention to the toxicity found across social media that judges women by their appearance, Jamil fought back and flipped the script. Instead of measuring women based on aspects like their weight, Jameela called for women to measure their weight on what truly matters, their accomplishments. Condemning the highly practised use of airbrushing within the industry and her refusal to become a “double agent for the patriarchy”, Jameela’s activism and her no-nonsense approach is a breath of fresh air within today’s society.
“I deeply admire Jameela’s bravery and determination in challenging and questioning aspects of society that are potentially so damaging for women and young girls. I think so many of us are bombarded with images of an unrealistic and unachievable standard of beauty that we forget that there is so much more to life than our appearance. That is something that Jameela definitely taught me. I weigh myself on the things I’ve overcome, the things I’ve achieved and my ambition to achieve more. The way my face or my body looks is totally irrelevant.”
– Tilly Middleton, Lifestyle Writer
Cardi B is more than just one of the biggest names in music at the moment. Her literal from rags to riches story should be an inspiration to everyone who feels the drive to make something of themselves. From working in a strip club to becoming a Grammy award winner, Cardi acknowledges once being a stripper is an important part of her past that gave her the drive to get where she is today. Her achievements as a multi-platinum artist and her unapologetic character have won the hearts of millions.
“She doesn’t care what anyone thinks or says about her and carries on doing what she needs to for her daughter and her career.”
– Kennedy Taylor, Presenter
Art Director, ASOS Curve Insider, Artist & RIOT GAL. Sophia Tassew has worked in some of London’s top advertising agencies and set up a number of sell-out exhibitions. Tassew is a creative genius, shaking up the system with her visual cultural commentary. Striving to blend British culture with fine art, Sophia promotes intersectionality and inclusivity and providing space for marginalized creatives. At such a young age, Tassew’s achievements are absolutely astonishing.
“I’ve been keeping up with Sophia Tassew’s work for a number of years now, she is someone I can relate to as she’s from a similar background to myself. Her work aims to empower and inspire others and to do so in style. That’s something I’ll always respect, putting others before yourself. Creatively, she has contributed so much wonderful stuff, piecing together campaigns with real thought and prowess. She deserves to be on everyone’s radar because if she isn’t already, she soon will be.”