As I approach my 20th birthday this year, leaving behind my adolescent teenage years, I decided to reflect on my youth and on the women who made me who I am today. An independent, driven, outspoken feminist who was once a quiet little girl.
Now I know its easy to claim that your mother is the best in the world, she inspires you, she’s made you into a woman etc which is true for a lot of girls. But my strong beliefs that I hold so dear now, are the blossoming bouquet from the seeds my mum planted nearly 20 years ago. My mum never had an easy life, from 17 years old she gave birth to me and had to dedicate the rest of her young adult life raising a baby on her own. Her life was put on hold till I became more self aware around the age of 11, when she could start going out, meeting new people and ultimately catching up on those precious years she missed. The reason that makes her a hero though, are the principles she taught me regarding puberty, boys and sex. Nothing was ever hidden or kept secret, there was no taboo’s in the household, instead my mum was upfront and told me the truth. That liberal view of the world opened up many chapters during my early teens, for which I am thankful!
When Kate Nash came back into the music industry in 2012, I had just started my first year studying at college. One of the topics I covered during my A-Levels was feminism, which coincided perfectly with the message Kate Nash was putting across with her album Death Proof. As I learned more about the movement I became more self invested outside of college and more interested in the raw, liberating approach by Nash. A few months later and I was sold. I was known around college for my feminist views, I although a virgin at the time was very open to discuss the ins and outs of sex. And frankly anything that was associated with women, all thanks to Kate Nash. I managed to meet the woman herself, in 2013 after her concert in Manchester and she was just as lovely as I imagined her to be. But without Kate Nash, I don’t think my beliefs would be as developed as they are today
image: Bobo Boom Flickr
Oh Beyonce, Beyonce, Beyonce. I could go on to write pages and pages on Beyonce, but for everyones sake I will try and keep it brief. An extremely talented singer, performer, actress, wife and mother, Beyonce ticks all the boxes! Following the birth of Blue Ivy, her self titled album took her audiences worldwide by storm. Beyonce did for everyone what Kate Nash did for me, but on a more global scale, which allowed me to see people connect and unite under one universal belief on gender equality, and it was beautiful. I find the approach that Beyonce takes to her own lifestyle is wonderful. She is able to keep her career booming, after all these years, taking complete control on every decision made. One thing I value deeply, is her ability to stay in touch with her sexuality after becoming a mother and keeping that flame alive for herself, her audience and her husband. The impact she has on young women and men is outstanding and so inspirational, I hope she doesn’t stop anytime soon.
image: Jim Pop flickr
You wouldn’t think a 4 year old could be a hero, but you would be so wrong. Even though my younger sister looks up to me for so much and treats me like her second mother, she is a massive inspiration to me. Those of you who have younger siblings, know how frustrating they can be, in fact she’s currently telling me about a spongebob squarepants episode she just watched while I’m writing. But her young, innocent mind and outlook on life makes me want to improve society so badly now, in time for her growing up. I’m certain she is going to receive the same upbringing that I did, purely because the age gap between me and my sister is similar to that of me and my mother, and I know the benefits it had. And I know that she will have her own little attitude when she grows up, but whenever I see campaigns promoting improved sex education in schools etc, it gives me that extra little push to help achieve that goal, for her an future generations of women.