I love being a woman. I love everything absolutely everything about it.
Well… apart from periods obvo.
I’m pretty lucky because I was raised by a kick-ass feminist mum who didn’t let me think for one second that being female was in any way a disadvantage. Thanks to her, I have lived my whole life with the firm opinion that having male genitalia is not a superpower and I fully believe that I can create the exact same opportunities in life as any other human, regardless of their gender.
Of course, having a strident belief like this isn’t the answer for every woman on the planet and it certainly doesn’t solve all gender inequality and feminist issues. Problems like the global pay gap, a lack of reproductive rights or female genital mutilation can’t really be erased with a bit of positive thinking and a change in attitude. But, you know what? It’s not a bad place to start.
I’m a big believer in taking small steps to go the distance. Not everyone has to take big Gloria Steinem sized strides. Simple actions taken by many can have an extremely powerful effect, so I think it’s important for every woman to do what she can on a daily basis, no matter how seemingly insignificant, in an effort to even the playing field and bring us even a teeny tiny bit closer to living in a world where women have the exact same rights, abilities and opportunities as men.
As well as (almost ignorantly) believing that I can do whatever I want, another thing I love to do is surround myself with women who inspire me and prove to me that with hard work and dedication, everything I desire is within my reach.
If you feel a feminist fire burning in your belly, but you’re not quite ready to burn your bra or lead a pro-choice march through your town just yet, championing other ladies is an excellent thing to do.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you, seven amazing women that I’m fully obsessed with.
1. Laura Cunningham
Laura Cunningham is one of my fave people on the planet and is the ultimate proof that if you have an ambition and can see it clearly in your mind, you can achieve it, if you work like hell to do so. Laura is not only the editor of Confetti magazine; she’s also the creator and owner of the world’s coolest new online stationery and decor store Hippenings, which is taking the internet by storm. I’ve been following Laura’s career for a good while. We met a few years ago on a press trip to Dubrovnik and I’ve remained updated with her achievements through social media, primarily on Snapchat where she brings daily lols and gives insight into what it takes to have a full-on full-time job, run a business and mother a cat simultaneously. As well as being an inspiring business woman, she’s just generally a lovely person and I urge you all to go follow her now and check out Hippenings.com.
2. Ellen Kavanagh
Another Irish business lady making waves on social media is Ellen Kavanagh, co-owner and creator of Waxperts . I’m obsessed with Ellen on Snapchat. She just seems to have the perfect work/life balance and gives excellent business and life advice. I feel genuinely excited when I see her do well in business. And I’m a little bit (ok a LOT) in love with her husband Conrad, who features prominently in her Snapchats… Find her on Twitter @WaxpertsEllen and learn more about Waxperts at Waxpertswax.com.
3. Marissa Carter
Another Snapchater and business woman I love is Marissa Carter, owner and creator of Cocoa Brown Tan. I live for her Q and As where she answers beauty, business and general life questions in depth. I love that she makes it her mission to help, support and empower other women and I adore how honest she is about her career journey. And she just seems like the loveliest human ever. Find her on Twitter @CarterMarissa and learn more about Cocoa Brown here.
4. Rosemary MacCabe
Last Snapchatter on the list is Rosemary MacCabe, deputy-editor of Stellar magazine. Her honest, don’t give a shit attitude is super relatable and I just want to be her BFF. She’s feisty and opinionated and I really think every young woman can learn a lot from the way she chooses to live her life. Find her on Twitter @RosemaryMacCabe
5. Gabrielle Bernstein
Gabby B is my ultimate idol and I could write about her for daayyyss. She’s a motivational speaker, life coach and author. Whenever I’m having one of those days where I just need a good kick up the arse, I’ll stick on one of her videos and feel instantly ready to take on the world. Even if you’re not into all the woo woo spirituality (although I totally am), there’s something you can take from Gabrielle and implement into your life to make it better. Watch her YouTube videos here.
6. Karen Salmonsohn
Like Gabrielle, Karen is a self help author who just makes me feel better about life. Her journey from a working in advertising to becoming this best-selling guru is like the plot to a Hollywood movie but her wit brings it straight back down to earth. She’s funny and charismatic and is the perfect entry into the self-help world, even if you think it’s not your thing. Visit her website Notsalmon.com.
7. Rabia Chaudry
I get goosebumps when I think of Rabia Chaudry. As weird as that sounds. But honestly, what this woman has done with her life just moves me. Rabia is the woman who is ultimately behind the incredibly popular Podcast Serial, which focuses on the wrongful conviction of a 17-year-old boy, Adnan Syed who is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex girlfriend Hae Min Lee (I talk more about the podcast in detail here). Rabia brought the case to the attention of Serial creator Sarah Koenig and has been at the forefront of the mission to free Adnan with her follow up podcast Undisclosed, which just blows my mind. I am so inspired by how she has chosen to dedicate her life to justice. She’s just wow. Find her on Twitter @RabiaSquared and learn more about Undisclosed here.