Today is International Women’s Day – ‘a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’.
We all have our own version of what makes an inspiring woman, and there’s no copy and paste list of who we should and shouldn’t admire.
So, in recognition of the awesome gender that we are, here are 10 badass chicks who inspire me – women who are feisty, forward-thinking, unapologetic or just downright smokin’ – and give true meaning to the phrase ‘girl power’
Hell, yeah. Love her or loathe her, the woman had backbone. Born the daughter of a green grocer, she worked her way up to be the first female prime minister and changed the face of political history forever.
Despite not being a classic ‘girl’s girl’ she didn’t give a toss about what other people thought, but just got on and did the job. She defied the odds in a class bound, gender-phobic institution and proved that you didn’t need to be a man to have balls of steel.
A self-made woman who came from nothing, Dolly Parton has written over 3,000 songs, doesn’t apologise for who she is and came up with the line ‘It costs a lot of money to look this cheap’.
The woman who made a man change the religion of an entire nation to get what she wanted. So confident, was she, in her power, she refused to become Henry VIII’s mistress – instead demanded that he annulled his previous marriage to the Queen, in order to marry her – and so the breaking of the Catholic Church in England began.
Who said women had no power.
A modern icon. Not only is she breathtakingly beautiful, regardless of how many hours sleep she’s had – she swears, she smokes, she drinks, and she doesn’t have an Instagram account begging the world for likes and approval. The ultimate zero fucks giver and a breath of old school cool in a selfie obsessed world.
Because looking that good at sixty-six should be illegal (and proves that, despite the tripe we are fed by the media, a woman’s sex appeal has *nothing* to do with her age)
Over the top and head to toe in rhinestone, but a woman who shows us the real meaning of self-love. Forget girl power and hash-tagging shit about self-worth, Nancy shows us how to unapologetically adore yourself and appreciate your lot. She’s also planning, in her fifties, to pose naked for an adult magazine.
Because she wants to.
A woman who’s comedy was biting, frequently self-deprecating but always brilliant. She wasn’t afraid of hot water, or how she’d be judged by the things she said and *never* apologised for her wit.
“I don’t exercise. If God wanted us to bend over, he’d put diamonds on the floor.”
Always proud of her femininity and sex appeal, she was comfortable in her own skin regardless of what society expected of her – she oozed sex appeal, strength and confidence and despite living with the debilitating effects of two childhood accidents, taught us that your fate is in your own hands – sinking or swimming is up to you.
Who became Hollywood’s most notorious ex-madam – she’s survived prostitution, prison, plastic surgery, drugs and alcohol addiction and now runs a refuge for cockatoos.
Fleiss used her sharp business brain to seduce Hollywood and despite not being conventional, lived her life full throttle and defied what society expects a woman to be.
Regardless of whether you are for or against Scottish independence, Mhairi Black proves that your gender and age should be no excuse for not being heard. At twenty, she’s the youngest MP in Britain, and fights her corner with more vigour than many of her peers.
Watch and learn.