I have spoken at length about the impact reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming has had on me. This lady is not only a formidable force to be reckoned with but is also a sophisticated, empathetic human being who did not let adversity and circumstance prevent her going after what she believes in. As a woman, and an ambitious woman of colour she shares her life experiences in the hope to inspire others to use their voice.
If I could be in the presence of anyone on the internet, it would be Lily Singh. Not only would I get a crash course on being an incredible business woman who has morals or how to remain authentic online. I would also see first hand how kindness or being a good human is not a sign of weakness. Working with Unicef, creating the Girl Love campaign, she has shown the social impact you can make as a content creator. Lily has this presence which I cannot explain but will say it is infectious. I like to think I am a good person but Lily Singh is showing me how to be a great human, with morals, integrity, showing me there are many ways in which to make your mark in this world.
My relationship with my mother has changed over the years. She has shown me what it means me to strong but kind. My mother thought me not to give up, whatever life throws at me, I am strong enough what life throws at me, because of her. She allowed me to grow up reaching for the stars. Both she and my dad always supported my dreams. She never told me to go be a doctor or a lawyer but instead pushed me to do what I loved regardless of what others may think. I could have grown up wanting to be the Prime Minister and she would have said, go and be the best Prime Minister you can be. (Fun fact, I grew up interested in politics and even in an Indian household, my mother encouraged this, something I will be eternally grateful for)
My grandmother was a first generation immigrant. She spent years away from my grandad as he came here to make a life for both of them in a new country. She came to England without speaking the language, having any friends and moving completely away from everything she knew. One would expect this cause her to be bitter at some points during her life but she has always been the soul of the family and has the biggest smile even in her eighties. My real life forever hero.
If you haven’t heard of Shonda Rhimes, first of all, where have you been?! and second of all, you know the show Greys Anatomy, Scandal and How to get away with murder? Shonda wrote every single one of them. Some of the most iconic multi-faceted female characters in recent years, Christina Yang, Oliva Pope and Annalalise Keating came from her mind and as a woman but also a Muslim woman it is refreshing to see them come to life on my screen. As a writer, it would be a dream to make such an impact in the television world.
Outside from that, Shonda has her own company Shondaland which is all about empowerment, inspiring women and I adore it.
I came across under a year ago and she is already of my favourite people on the internet. I adore the fact she is unapologetically herself. She tackles taboo subjects such as sex trafficking and isn’t afraid to call out racism in the media when she sees it. She recently did a workshop all about bringing communities together and received death threats from people ready to hurt her for working to make the world a more open and understanding society. Instead of hiding, she recorded a series of videos where she shares her discussing her ordeal, including having to call her parents and husband letting them know what was happening. This isn’t the first time those incidents have happened yet she keeps finding the strength to keep going fighting for what she believes in. She does so on her term which for a Muslim woman from a different culture, I can tell you is no easy feat.
I cannot begin to share with you the importance of seeing women as you represented in all areas of life, including politics. Ilham Omar is the Somalian Muslim Congresswoman for Minnesota who despite the harsh comments and criticisms she has received, is staying true to her beliefs, fighting for her constituents and showing Muslim girls everywhere they can fight for what they believe in.
The thing these women have in common is that are authentically, unapologetically living their lives on their own terms, casting away any perceptions and stereotypes, being their own version of being a woman. I have learnt a lot from each and every one of them.
Happy International women’s day you lovely lot, if you fancy seeing the other women who have inspired me I am sharing them on my Instagram. Keep an eye out for a Spotify playlist full of empowering tracks to get you pumped and leave you inspired.