I’ve never had a hero. When people ask me who my role models and heroes are, I usually mumble something about my mother and Emmeline Pankhurst, but in my head I’m thinking ‘I have no bloody clue.’
See, the thing about role models and heroes is that people think they should encompass everything you want to be in life. Which, when you think about it, is a lot to ask from one person. It’s no wonder that YouTubers and celebrities crumble under the pressure of being someone’s role model. Nobody is perfect, and putting anybody up on a pedestal for being the Ultimate Human is dangerous – for both the hero and the worshiper.
That being said, I do think it’s important to have people that inspire and motivate you. So today I thought I’d share with you some of the women who inspire me. On their own, none of these women are my ‘Ultimate Role Model’, but together I think they’ll help me become the best version of me.
When I was 17, I went along to a free lecture at LSE on feminism, hosted by Laurie Penny. I had no idea who she was, but it was free and sounded like it could be cool.
I left that lecture knowing exactly what I wanted to do in life. Laurie was the first women I’d seen who’d made a career out of talking about social justice online. I walked out of the auditorium and said to my friends I want to be Laurie Penny when I grow up.
You know that saying, you can’t be what you can’t see? It’s so true. Until Laurie, the only women I’d seen making a career online were the ones talking about fashion and beauty and motherhood. Laurie showed me that it’s possible to be a loud, angry, shouty feminist and still have a career as a writer online.
After the talk at LSE, I promptly followed her on Twitter, read every article she’d ever written, and bought all her books. Now, when I feel like I’ll never get to write about the things I love for money, Laurie reminds me that if I keep pushing, keep writing, and keep working hard, I’ll get there.
You’ve probably heard about Emma Gannon already. She’s a blogger, author of the book Ctrl Alt Delete, and host of the podcast by the same title. She writes about growing up on the internet, being a woman online, and working for yourself.
Although I’ve been aware of Emma for a while, it’s only recently that I’ve started listening to her podcast. But oh boy, am I glad I did.
Every day during my commute, I listen to old and new episodes of the Ctrl Alt Delete episode. Every day I end my commute buzzing with ideas and motivation.
Honestly, if you’re ever in a creative rut, listen to Emma’s podcast. I guarantee you’ll be be smacked in the face with inspiration.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Louise Pentland is a British YouTuber. Louise vlogs about motherhood, beauty, fashion, body confidence, and a whole lot of other topics.
Louise has been one of my favourite YouTubers since I was about 15, but it’s only in the last year or so that she’s really started to inspire and motivate me. Not only does Louise run two hugely successful YouTube channels (Sprinkleofglitter and Sprinkeofchatter), but she is also a single mother, an author, a blogger, a UN Change Ambassador for gender equality, a stand up comedian, and a whole host of other things.
Recently, Louise has opened up more online about who she is and what she wants from life. Towards the end of 2016, she ‘quit’ YouTube and re-launched her channel. She started talking about sex and dating and politics and religion. She’s also extremely unapologetic about what she wants from life. She wants to be successful, and she’s open and honest about the fact that she’s not going to let anyone get in the way of that success.
Even if you don’t want the career Louise has, I still think watching her juggle (and succeed at) the sheer amount of things she does will leave you feeling impressed. If things are ever feeling like they’re a bit too much, I look to Louise and think If she can juggle it all, so can I.
I’ll leave it there for now, because honestly I could talk about amazing women all day, every day!
Let me know in the comments which women most inspire YOU! Do you have any role models? Is there one person who is your ultimate hero?