International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a significant day to be acknowledged. It’s a time to commemorate women’s political and social achievements, to celebrate where we are today and reflect on where we were yesterday. Today we recognise the utter value women bring to communities and around the world, and contemplate on the struggles of those who helped us get to where we are currently.
So, to reflect properly, let’s reminisce on some of the powerful woman then and now who have helped pave the way for our generation of women.
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
Frida Kahlo has gone down in history as an incredibly influential part of feminism history. She is remembered as a fearless and independent woman who displayed incredible strength through her own personal suffering and an icon within the feminist art movement, declaring “feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” . Kahlo is remembered for her incredible talent and boldness. Her imperfect grace and unconventional distinction defied beauty standards and challenged the norms of sexuality and femininity. Kahlo looked to herself for inspiration and was able to create sheer beauty from what she found within herself.
‘The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.’
Coco Chanel transformed female fashion and continues to inform and influence it today. Her revolutionary designs totally challenged the gender norms of the 20th Century and reconfigured female fashion.Coco Chanel lived boldly and pushed through conventionality. She altered the preconceived notions surrounding the female silhouette– redesigning suits, crew neck sweaters and blazers to suit the female form. Vogue even nicknamed her Little Black Dress ‘the little boy look’. Coco Chanel and her fashion design were revolutionary.
‘I can be a feminist, I can be an intellectual, I can be all these other things, but I can also be OK with my femininity and being pretty and with all these things that I thought might negate my message or negate what I am about’.
Fast forward to one of the most incredible and courageous women in today’s society. Emma Watson challenges the negative stigma surrounding ‘feminism’ with total poise and sophistication. She promotes that feminism is for men, just as much as it is for women and that it isn’t something trying to dictate how women live their lives–it’s trying to give them a choice. Watson asserted during her 2014 UN speech “I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either. “
Watson fosters the idea that it is crucial for young women to push for what they want and where they want to be–beyond their potential and beyond any limitations put in their way. Emma has launched the #HeForShe movement that delves into what it truly means to be a feminist in today’s society.
Here’s to the strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.