Every year, on 8th March, women across the globe come together for International Women’s Day and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements –past and present – of females across the world. The day also marks a call to action for women to come together to fight for greater progress in gender equality. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated over a century ago and is so much more than just ‘a day’, but rather a representation of a wider international movement to combat gender inequalities within society.
At THE STYLE EDIT, today marks a particularly important day in our calendar as much of our content and inspiration centres around strong and motivational women. Here are some of our favourite females, and why we admire them….
Who: EMMELINE PANKHURST
Why She Inspires Us: As International Women’s Day is centred around the female movement, it seemed only fitting to begin with the lady responsible for leading the Women’s Suffrage movement. Emmeline’s unyielding determination and continued self-sacrifice now means that all British women over the age of 18 have the right to vote – something which would have been unthinkable at the end of the 1800s.
What She Taught Us: Emmeline taught us that sheer determination is invaluable. She proved to women across the globe that if you truly believe in something, as one individual you can make incredible changes that will, quite literally, change society forever.
Who: JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS
Why She Inspires Us: The former First Lady inspired women across the world with her iconic style, poise and grace. Even when tragedy struck, she remained calm and collected under pressure, putting her children first. First Lady turned book editor and historical preservation advocate, Jackie was a lady of many talents.
What She Taught Us: Jackie demonstrated a strong, yet ladylike character. Graceful and most importantly, consistently selfless – even in times of true hardship.
Who: AUDREY HEPBURN
Why She Inspires Us: A talented actress, dancer, humanitarian and member of the Dutch resistance, there really was nothing that this woman couldn’t do. Her timeless beauty and effortless style remain a source of envy across the globe and her memory still upholds her as the sweetheart of Hollywood’s golden age.
What She Taught Us: Audrey taught us to always employ endless optimism within our lives. She once said, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
Who: QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Why She Inspires Us: Ascending the throne at the tender age of 25, Queen Elizabeth II remains the longest reigning British monarch and female Head of State in history. Her sacrifice to fulfil her duty to her family and her people demonstrates an exceptional service to others – no doubt why she has been unyieldingly adored by the British public.
What She Has Taught Us: Queen Elizabeth II has taught us to always move with the times and remain resilient in times of controversy.
Why She Inspires Us: Queen ‘B’ never fails to inspire her fans with her wholly positive representation of women and their collective ability. She is single-handedly responsible for some of the best iconic hits of the last two decades and managed to pick up 22 Grammy Awards as a result, despite also being a businesswomen and busy mother of three.
What She Has Taught Us: Beyonce has taught us that dedication really is everything. She has always demonstrated an incredibly strong work ethic. Rumour has it, a young Beyonce used to jog around her neighbourhood and sing at the top of her voice in order to improve her stamina for on-stage performances.
Who: J.K. ROWLING
Why She Inspires Us: This female author is single-handedly responsible for igniting a sheer pleasure of reading in an entire generation. The Harry Potter series rapidly became a worldwide phenomenon and is now the best-selling, and most famous, series of books of all time.
What She Has Taught Us: J.K. Rowling has proven that what really matters is the quality of an idea and you should always persevere to see it come to life. Indeed, Rowling finished her first manuscript on a manual typewriter (no easy feat) and wrote her entire first book keeping warm in her local cafe as she could not afford to heat her house.
Who: COCO CHANEL
Why She Inspires Us: A French fashion designer and businesswoman, Coco Chanel is not only credited with establishing arguably the world’s most iconic brand, but she is also well-known for assisting the Women’s Movement. Liberating women from the constraints of the ‘corseted silhouette’ Coco popularised a much more casual, sporty standard of style.
What She Taught Us: Coco Chanel’s life consistently reminds us of something we have always known to be true – fashion does so much more than simply alter the way a women looks.
Who: LADY DIANA
Why She Inspires Us: Diana is the ultimate icon of beauty, poise and class. She was affectionately known as ‘The People’s Princess’ – and that she truly was. Her genuine care for others, particularly children, across the world meant that she is affectionately held dear in the memories of all those who witnessed her unmatched kindness.
What She Taught Us: Diana taught us that, regardless of ‘celebrity stature’, thinking of others is so vitally important and truly does make the world a better place. We witnessed that it’s ok to bend the rules and protocol a little – and we love her even more for that!
Who: OPRAH WINFREY
Why She Inspires Us: Not only is Oprah Winfrey best known for her role as a talk-show host but she is also a successful producer, actress, media proprietor, and noted philanthropist. Her positive outlook on life is globally recognised and, after a difficult start in life, the career that Oprah has built for herself is exceptionally admirable.
What She Has Taught Us: Oprah Winfrey is living proof that you never have to limit yourself, and should always endeavour to add another string to your bow – aim high!
Who: ROSA PARKS
Why She Inspires Us: Rosa Parks is undoubtedly the most famous female pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement in a strict, racially-segregated society. This incredible woman famously refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white passenger – something she would have been entirely expected to do in 1950s Alabama.
What She Taught Us: Rosa once said, “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.” Thus, she taught us to be brave and stand up for your beliefs – because you might just change the world…
Who: DIANA VREELAND
Why She Inspires Us: Diana was a hugely important influence within the 20th century Fashion industry and remains as such today. A columnist, turned editor, Diana worked for both of the most iconic fashion magazines out there – Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
What She Taught Us: She taught us that genuine style is priceless and is truly innate. She once said, “You’ve got to have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody. And I’m not talking about a lot of clothes.”
Who: ‘THE SILENCE BREAKERS’
Why She Inspires Us: Lastly, but by no means least, come the most recent collection of influential females. These inspiring women, many of whom are much-loved within the entertainment industry, have begun a ‘Revolution of Refusal’ to accept sexism and harassment in the workplace within the ever-expanding #TimesUp campaign.
What They Have Taught Us: They continue to remind women across the world of the vital message that: whatever your role, whatever your industry, you have a voice and deserve to be heard.
To women of all ages, roles, and religions – please ensure that today, and every other day of your life, you remain proud to be a woman and always celebrate those who came before us so that we can live as we do today.