Inspirational women are everywhere. From your mum, to one of your past university lecturers, or your best friend, we all have women in our lives who inspire and motivate us. On discovering fellow plus size women online and in the media, who were thriving in their individual fields and lives in general, I felt a huge confidence boost from seeing women from all walks of life, inspiring others in various forms.
Here are just 5 women in the media, who I find really inspiring:
I find Tess to be one of the most inspirational and influential women on social media. She’s a mother, business woman and plus-size model proving that beauty ‘ideals’ aren’t as straight forward as society has led us to believe. Tess created the iconic body-positive #EffYourBeautyStandards hashtag five years ago, which subsequently went viral as the sentiment resonated with so many, resulting in 293k followers on the Instagram page alone. She is the only size 26 model signed with a major agency (MiLK) - which in itself is a great achievement, and has featured in campaigns for H&M, Benefit and Vogue Italia. I’ve been lucky enough to chat to Tess a couple of times and she is super positive, friendly and always looking to help others - an all round babe!
I first discovered Emma through Harry Potter (happy to admit I’m obsessed!), and I’m really blown away by how much she has done for women’s/girls rights. Emma delivered a speech as a UN Women Goodwil Ambassador to the United Nations launching the #HeForShe initiative which actively brings men into the gender equality discussion, encouraging them to push for women’s rights alongside us. I feel like Emma is a huge part of the feminist movement today, and she has really opened the conversation for a new generation. At only 25 Emma was named as one of TIME 100’s most influential people in the world - pretty incredible huh?!
If you haven’t come across Alysse before, you should definitely check her out. She’s a plus fashion designer (for Ready to Stare), entrepreneur and key body-positive activist, working tirelessly to show us all that we really can wear whatever we want! Alysse has created a fully size inclusive brand with Ready to Stare, utilising models from a super diverse range - so rare from what we are used to seeing in retailer campaigns, and a very refreshing change.
Harnaam has been breaking down societies beauty boundaries for years now, as both a model and anti-bullying campaigner. She sadly isn’t a stranger to bullying as she was targeted from the age of 11 due to her excess facial hair as a result of polycystic ovarian syndrome (POS). Harnaam now fully embraces her body, and became the first bearded woman to walk a runway show. She truly inspires people, and helps to encourage others to re-condition their mentality, and learn to accept their ‘flaws’ as part of their bodies and identities- that really is inspiring!
Gabby is an academy award nominated actress, role model, feminist and all round inspirational woman. Her fearless attitude in the face of constant press criticism is really something to admire. I find it completely unjust that her performance as an actress is less spoken about in comparison to her body, because she is extremely talented - you’ll probably agree if you’ve seen the movie Precious. Through sheer determination, Gabby has forged a successful career in an industry synonymous with body shaming, and I feel that her sarcasm and rebuttal to her haters, have helped her along the way. She did say that “I’m grateful to my bullies, because if they hadn’t made me cry, I wouldn’t be able to cry on cue now” - You go Gabby!
So there are 5 women who I really admire. Who inspires you? You might even spot a few inspiring babes at #TCFF this September…