| 6 inspiring women who took 2015 by storm

Thursday, 31 December 2015

6 Inspiring Women Who Have Taken 2015 By Storm

2015 has been a fantastic year for women. Whilst it's clear that there are many battles still to fight to achieve gender equality, we should reflect on this year's success stories of our famous and not-so-famous women.

Women’s football has remained under the radar up until this year, however the women’s world cup has made significant progress in changing its image. Four incredibly talented teams, Germany, Japan, the United States and England found themselves in the top four places for the win.With remarkable success for the England team, finishing in third place, spectators of the sport and match popularity increased by almost double during the summer. Part of this team success is down to Steph Houghton, a long-standing defender and captain in the squad, having made over 50 appearances for the team so far. Her dedication to her team, and to encouraging football for girls from a young age means that hopefully the sport is just as adored, watched and supported on equal terms.

Winnie Harlow/Chantelle Winnie (real name Chantelle Brown-Young) is a renowned spokesmodel, who has steadily grown in the world of modelling. Diagnosed with the chronic skin condition Vitiligo at the age of four, she has used her unique appearance for the good to challenge the long-standing beauty standards of the modelling industry, and appeared on America’s Next Top Model in 2014 after being discovered by Tyra Banks. She uses her substantial influence on social media (1 million followers on Instagram, 32.5k on Twitter) to promote positive messages regarding body image, flaws and self confidence. The result is a changing idea of beauty, one that is not set in stone by standards and is ever-evolving.

The American stand-up comedian, writer and actress Amy Schumer rose to prominence in 2015 for her poignant yet witty sketches such as Emmy awarded “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” and “Last F**kable Day”. She regularly questions society’s double standards placed upon women, especially regarding ageism and sexism. She represents a growing batch of fantastic women TV producers and comedians, such as Mindy Khaling and Lena Dunham who possess the wit and intelligence to raise important questions among today’s culture whilst entertaining the masses.

Scottish illustrator Johanna struck gold this year using her intricate drawing style to create beautiful images for her own collection of colouring books, for kids and adults. It topped the book charts on Amazon for months, having sold over a million copies, and it continues to sell out in stores. While it’s not a new idea, she created a modern and simple way for people of any age to relax, take time out and focus their mind on something other than their busy, constantly-connected lives. It’s also been named as a fabulous aid for those with dementia, helping to keep older minds active and creative.

Beauty blogger and youtube Em Ford, owner of “My Pale Skin Blog” went viral this July after posting a video on Youtube entitled “You Look Disgusting”. She frequently writes about her struggle with acne and the scars, both physical and psychological that they leave behind. In the video she is shown going through her usual makeup routine as she begins to hide her acne and the end result is flawless. Surrounding her are wonderful comments left by many of her 981k followers, and these sadly change to comments regarding being fake and one most poignant, “false advertising”. She ends the video in tears. It was extremely striking and threw up valid observations of today’s culture of cyber-bullying. The campaign also sparked the trend #YOULOOKDISGUSTING on Instagram, where many other beauty bloggers and followers shared their selfies before and after makeup. In an age where perfect images are impossible to avoid, a little imperfection and reality is refreshing

Previous Princeton student Lauren Bush Lauren for the last few years has been combining her interest in fashion with her passion for helping others, after a visit 11 years ago to Guatemala really struck a chord. It is estimated that over 800 million remain undernourished around the world today, and whilst there is significant progress still to make in combatting this statistic, Lauren has created the FEED Project which has so far generated 84 million free meals around the world, through 100% handmade accessories. The majority of the sales go towards providing nutritious meals, and with each accessory, including bags and bracelets, the consumer will know exactly how much meals they are providing with their purchase, as well as the amount of micronutrients included in each meal. For example, one bag selling for $80 will provide 185 school meals around the world. Having access to healthy school meals is a means to end the poverty cycle, and though the movement is growing, it’s making a difference.

Who's inspired you this year? Thanks for reading!


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