Ladies and the loves that stand with us!
Happy Celebrating-Us Day, aka International Women’s Day! While I am a firm believer in celebrating yourself whenever life calls for it (especially during those moments where others might make you feel least worthy), who can say no to a day that’s earmarked to celebrate our ambitions and achievements as women?
If you’ve been wired in to the goings on around the world, especially online as well as traditional media like television, you’d probably agree:
Everyone and their mom, big sister, nail technician, favourite actress and next-door neighbour can acknowledge that the past few months, in fact much of 2017, can go down in history as having been a labour of not only love but one of determination, sometimes frustration and a sheer drive for a change in the world as we experience it, for women young and old, and from different walks of life, industry, experiences and struggles.
Now’s as good a time as ever to say a collective ‘I see you, I hear you, I stand with you!’ to the women across the world that have been speaking loud(ly), standing tall and securing changes and advancements for different issues and causes.
Over here in my little corner of the Internet
I wanted to commemorate this day by sharing with you four women who have greatly influenced my creative life over the past year. Some I insta-stalk regularly (and by regularly I mean whenever the Stories circle lights up), some I listen to on my podcast app religiously.
Enough of my babbling though (which you’ve probably scrolled right past, right?! Virtual hugs and high-fives if you haven’t!) I know you want to meet these beautiful souls:
Blogger and YouTuber at IWantYouToKnow.co.uk
Fun fact about me: I’ve got two YouTube channels; one that I created back when YouTube was in its infancy, strictly to be able to subscribe to people I enjoyed, create and save playlists. The other was created as a second home to That New Girl online.
I’ve subscribed to Kristabel on both my channels, and have been for just about 3 years. Yes, both. If that doesn’t tell you how much I enjoy her content, what does? Missing her videos? Not an option over here. At a time when I was wont to find black content creators that I could actually relate to, Kristabel stood out and still stands out. With a fashion sense that is, refreshingly, unique, and a down-to-earth personality (also, refreshing in the YouTube arena!), she makes it easy to sit down with a cuppa for a relaxing read-through of her blog (you’d be crazy to not stop by); I feel like I’m having a catch-up with a friend wbenever I watch her videos too.
In the midst of travel and fashion-related posts, Kristabel also delves into more serious topics that are on her mind (Black, British and Blogging, being my favourite), surrounding issues that are on the social (and social media) radar. Her transparency in lending her voice to topics like these has inspired me to take a similar route on my space. This of course, takes some time and well-thought out reflection, so it hasn’t yet transpired, but 2018, watch out.
Host of MarieTV, entrepreneur, life coach, author and philanthropist
I distinctly remember how I’d first heard about the powerhouse known as Marie Forleo. A few years ago, my mother had sent me an email with a link to one of her many, many success and life-coaching videos on YouTube one morning, after a conversation I’d been having with her days before about my future. While it’s slipped my memory exactly which video it was, it seems like just yesterday that I remember pressing play and within the first minute or so I was mesmerized by this lady.
Yes, she’s gorgeous, that much is clear, but what really drew me to her, and to immediately head to her website was that she was unlike any other motivational speaker I’d seen or heard before. Here was this gorgeous woman not only being such an inspiration but she was doing it with heart and humor. What a package, right?! Marie’s delivery and honesty is truly what has set her apart in my books. She is truly the total package. After watching (and listening to) her for as long as I have, it’s not difficult to feel like she is a best friend or big sister. You also tell that she isn’t putting on any airs and this is truly who she is, all heart, all honesty (and the occasional *bleep* or two, but who’s keeping tabs?). I would advise any young woman who’s trying to find her way for a successful future to check this lady out.
Blogger and YouTube creator, KlassyKinks.com
Speaking of the people I insta-stalk regularly, I can’t mention that without mentioning Ijeoma. Around the time when black women the world over began to truly embrace their hair in its natural form and in all its glory, I’d discovered the lady behind KlassyKinks on YouTube.
What began as being drawn to her because we shared similar hair textures, turned into an all-round admiration, over time. Much like Kristabel, I adore Ijeoma’s personal style (and the fact that bad hair days seem foreign to her), but over the years she’s shared more and more about her life and fashion-admiration has turned to full-fledged motivation (truly, I never intend to sound all rapper-esque over here; bear with me).
Recently married, Ijeoma is not only a blogger and video creator but is also pursuing a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. Enough said. No, seriously, what else is there to say?? Anyone who can juggle the demands of a PhD program, an ever-thriving online presence and gorgeous hair is an absolute winner in my books. This lady is goals, to me, simply because she gets it all done. Seriously. After my Masters’ programme, my top priority was to run as far away from a lecture hall as humanly possible. The goal is to handle everything on my plate as gracefully as Ijeoma does. Whenever I watch her Insta-Stories, I wonder to myself “How much sleep does she get??” Standing ovation, Ijeoma!
Judette Coward-Puglisi, Foward Forty and Mango Media Caribbean
I’m a firm believer in one thing, if nothing else; when you notice that something is missing, you have it in you to be the catalyst behind creating that something. Whether it’s lacking representation, a space for a group or a voice for a certain cause, why waste time complaining about what isn’t there, when you can make the necessary moves towards changing that? If nothing, else, at least you get to say “I was the first to…”
That’s exactly what Judette Coward-Puglisi of Mango Media Caribbean and now, Forward Forty has done, and is exactly why she’s on my list today. While I am still years away from my forties, Judette Coward-Puglisi has confirmed a truth that life has taught me; that you have what it takes to create the realities you wish to see. Her work is a prime example of what happens when you take steps past the wishing and get to the work. Instead of going the route of lamenting a lack of representation, I love that she has carved out a social space (and what a chic space it is!) for women in their fourties, a demographic that tends to be ignored, at least in comparison to the tween-, teen- and twenty-somethings-heavy social media space.
Judette illustrates so well that if you want it badly enough, you will do what it takes.
Now, over to you!
There you have it ladies, 4 women that have influenced my creative life over the past year (and some for much longer).
I want to hear from you though, who is one woman that has been an inpsiration for your creative or career life? Yup, I’m being a little nosey today, let me know below!
Happy International Women’s Day!