The importance of female role models and the struggle to find them

Finding some credible female inspiration in this day and age is bloody hard work, lord knows I’ve spent years looking for some. When asked who is your role model/inspiration I only ever seemed to name men bar Annie Lennox who has been the main stay female figure of inspiration in my life since age 3 when I could sing the entire Greatest Hits album of Eurythmics word perfect.

In a world of celebrity culture, reality TV stars and WAGs where was the credible inspiration for young women like me who have absolutely no interest in marrying a footballer or appearing on shows like Big Brother and TOWIE. Over the past few years though I’ve noticed more women that I can admire such as Edith Bowman a role model for me because she possesses jobs I would love to have: Radio DJ, columnist and presenter of festival coverage on the BBC. I finally had a woman who was current to look up to and aspire to be.

Annie Mac is another one; since my interest in dance music really took off a couple of years ago she is a prime example of a successful woman carving out a wonderful and enviable career in an area of music mainly dominated by male DJ’s.

My love of writing was obviously going to draw me down the path of female writers for a bit of inspiration though and herein lies the two women who’ve had a massive influence on who I can become throughout my career. Caitlin Moran and Jameela Jamil are quite simply two women who write so well I envy them because I know I’m not that good but at the same time they inspire me to work a hell of a lot harder.

I’ve read Jameela Jamil’s columns in Company Magazine since she first started writing for them, I never watched T4 so didn’t really know much about her but she is a brilliant writer. Every month her column completely strikes a chord not only with me but thousands of young women out there reading her words; she knows what to write about and writes about it so honestly. She has been through all the exact same experiences as us and that makes it a brilliant read because if you can relate to a writer and what they are trying to say then it feels like their words mean all that much more to you.

Caitlin Moran’s book ‘How To Be A Woman’ I finished reading not long ago and it really is one of the best books I have ever read. The way she writes and the subjects she addresses are of true inspiration to any wannabe writer especially the girls. Writing a very honest and open book putting across her opinions on everything from abortion to feminism gives us scope to finally think about and talk about what it really means to be a woman, something which seems to have been ignored for a long time.  Starting off working on Melody Maker at 16, taking what must have been a risk moving to London and now a columnist for The Times, written books and become one of the most well respected female writers all by her mid 30’s, a true inspiration for me indeed.

We women need people like Moran, Jamil, Bowman and Lennox because they are positive and aspirational role models. I don’t want it to sound like I’m knocking reality TV stars and WAGs as role models for some they are but for me they aren’t. As Moran points out in her book us women have failed at really doing anything that has changed the world up until this point, men have Einstein, Plato, Shakespeare etc, we don’t have anything of that calibre. But even though we may not have invented the telephone or discovered penicillin it doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate and be inspired by true talent from our own gender when we see it.

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