This week’s celebrated woman is someone I have the pleasure of knowing. She is a bopo goddess, a thrifting maven, accomplished public speaker & possibly the bubbliest person I’ve ever met. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Hayley Angell.
I met Hayley at a blogger event in Glasgow & was instantly impressed by her vintage look. I was also a little intimated by her polished confidence. I don’t find these events very easy. I have a lot of anxiety around new people & situations. I have even more anxiety about hiding my discomfort. The moment I spoke to Hayley I felt more at ease. Her sincere warmth allowed me to collect myself & have a good time.
I obviously immediately commenced following her on social media and have done so since. Hayley’s accounts are bursting with life affirming energy. Her honesty about her body positive journey; discarding control garments, trying new activities & generally enjoying her body is inspiring. She recently discussed her experiences as a plus size women taking burlesque classes. Despite outward proclamations of inclusivity she still felt it was assumed that fat women would be less assured. She got the sense that fatter folk were quietly ushered into the background. It takes guts to be open about this stuff. Even more to be honest about how often we convince ourselves that we belong at the back of class. Thus, she used her Instagram account to launch #stepforward a reminder to all plus size people that we are worthy of taking up space & being seen.
The Body Positive community has given me so much. I always want to say thank you to those who inspire me. I also want to spread their work because I know it can bring others happiness. Hayley is one of those fabulous women who can help you change how you see yourself. She is an insta must follow.
Bopo aside Hayley is, as I mentioned, a thrifting magician. Her Instagram is worth following for her second hand style alone. If you need tips on trawling the charity shops for fashion gold, Hayley is your woman. If you simply enjoy seeing a person enjoy themselves & clothes, she is still your gal.
I’ve only met Hayley in person once, but I would not be without her online presence in my life. For a shot of genuine self love, go press those follow buttons.
It’s been a while, but a truly incredible woman inspired me to bring back the honour roll . This week’s epic woman is the fearless Hannah Gadsby
I had picked up on a little social media buzz about her latest stand up show, Nanette & headed onto Netflix to give it a watch. I expected some laughs. What I got was the most raw & uncompromising show I have ever seen. Hannah Gadbsy is a feminist hero. She begins by mixing jokes about her trauma with humour & explains how she balances tension to create relief with a punchline. Then, she bravely recounts her stories without relief. She gives us her reality.
She rails against violent misogyny & homophobia. She describes unflinchingly how being raised in an environment that teaches you to hate who you are cripples a child. She throws in the quips, but she never let’s the audience off the hook. She forces us to recognise her truth and her anger. She exposes her (& all our) need to honestly tell our stories. Her pain is palpable. Her courage is beautiful.
I beseech you all to watch Nanette. It is a masterpiece
Picking a woman of the week has never been simpler. In the turmoil of the EU Referendum results only one politician has come out prepared. Nicola Sturgeon is an impressive politician. In a sea of vague non answers, she has a definitive plan.
Watching the First Minister speak on the steps of Bute House really made me proud to have voted SNP. Not only did she calmly lay out the steps her government would take to maintain European business links & investment in Scotland, but she unequivocally declared immigrants welcome. Her language made it clear that there is no room in Scotland for racism or Xenophobia.
‘Indeed, I want to take the opportunity this morning to speak directly to citizens of other EU countries living here in Scotland – you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued.’
The leaders of the leave campaign are either silent or back tracking on promises. The government has no strategy for negotiating our exit from the EU & both the Tories & Labour seem determined to destroy their parties from within. There is justifiably an air of spreading panic. Nicola Sturgeon has been my sole ray of hope. Her clear & authoritative addresses have reassured me that Scotland, at least, has solid leadership.
I am proud to be governed by such a progressive & passionate woman. I am delighted to belong to a country that has rejected fear & prejudice. I live in hope that Ms Sturgeon will steer our celtic ship to independence.
Sierra Demulder is a feminist poet. Her work is raw, powerful & on point. Her humour is displayed where appropriate, her pain when neccessary. She covers topics dear to my heart. In short her poetry blows me away.
I think it is vital that we talk openly about feminist issues. It’s so important to dispel the old tropes & teach girls ( and women) that their voices matter. Poetry is the perfect vessel for rage, passion, joy & fear. It’s a beautiful way to be heard. It’s also a beautiful way to encourage woman to speak out loud, to give life to all the thoughts banging at our skulls.
It occurred to me that I am constantly coming across wonderful women. In all aspects of my life I am repeatedly astounded at the amazing things women are achieving. I also realised that perhaps I am often surprised by how excellent these woman because no one is shouting about them. Well, I think it’s time we start hollering about how fantastic our fellow females truly are. With that in mind I’d like to introduce a new regular feature, Woman of the Week.
First to be drenched in praise is one of my very favourite tweeters, @stavvers. Going by the twitter handle Another Angry Woman, she is smart, funny & woke. I find myself nodding vigorously to every tweet she crafts. With a reliably intelligent comment on both the major & underreported stories of the day, a strong intersectional feminist view point & a knack for making idiots look ridiculous, she is a must follow.
Her own blog makes excellent reading for anyone of a feminist persuasion. Her writing is a joyous experience; strident, hilarious & covering topics that need to be spoken about. Along with original pieces she does a periodic round of up of interesting things she has read, which are never less than brilliant.
What are you waiting for? Go follow @stavvers now. You won’t regret it.