The female role models that changed my life

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Louise from the What Now Blog shares her three most inspirational female role models.


One of the reasons I enjoy reading Red Magazine is that I often walk away feeling more positively inspired as a woman after having delved into it.

With the topic of female role models, and how women are portrayed in the media, firmly under discussion on a regular basis, I find that as a magazine, Red provides more food for thought than the usual glossy and somewhat unattainable images that we’ve become so used to in mainstream media.

Having attended a number of the Red Smart Women events in the past I’m always interested in learning more about the women that they bring to the fore. Positive female icons are making their mark in every industry imaginable, in turn inspiring and encouraging others.

The November issue features the winners of the Red Women of the Year Awards for 2015, offering a positive focus on some truly remarkable females – I’ve loved reading about every single one of them!

So I took a moment to sit back and reflect on some of my own personal icons: women – whether living now or in history – who have prompted me to feel stronger and more confident; who have in some way kept me driven and motivated to do the very best that I can. I’ve picked just three out of a potential list of billions. Here’s just a little bit of why I find them so inspirational.

1. Martha Graham


When I was studying for an A-Level in dance many, many moons ago, Martha was one of the first dancers to come onto my radar. A hugely powerful influence in the world of dance, challenging the beauty and aesthetic of the genre as it was at the time and expressing how she truly felt, even if that wasn’t always very pretty. She allowed women to explore their emotions and communicate in a way that had never previously been done before. Valuable not only to the world of dance but also to the expression of the human experience in general.

Martha Graham’s prominence came not long after women in America had been given the right to vote. Traditional barriers and perceptions were being broken down and women no longer wanted to be seen as simply delicate, polite and pretty. They wanted to be real and Martha Graham held an important role in helping women the world over to express that grittiness. Allowing them to demonstrate how they felt on the inside and not just portray a staid image of perfection on the outside.

2. Helena Bonham Carter


So I guess I’ve been fangirling over British actress Helena since my teens when I first saw her play the young and tragic Lady Jane Grey in the biography of her short life.

In a Red interview, Helena talks about the label of eccentric that is often applied to her and how she actually prefers not to be thought of in that way. She appeals to me as a strong role model because, despite that eccentricity that is undeniably present at times, she appears very down to earth, comfortable in her own skin and uninhibited in her pursuit of life. She’s unaffected by the usual, traditional trappings of a life lived in the spotlight – traits that I truly admire.

3. Anne-Marie Imafidon


I was thinking back to a panel I saw at a Red event last year and Anne-Marie came to mind. At the time I wasn’t aware of her and her work, yet she was a very inspirational speaker with one highly important goal in educating and empowering the younger female generation.

An incredibly influential woman in the world of IT, she is on a mission to get more girls interested and involved in the world of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

These four subjects were just not an option when I was at school and would have been my absolute weakest areas of expertise. We certainly weren’t encouraged to feel capable of finding our feet in such disciplines. Yet in today’s world it is vital that women feel empowered to explore and develop their passions in these subjects and Anne-Marie Imafidon helps to inspire and lead the way for young girls wishing to do just that.


Truly, there are just so very many women out there motivating others to find courage, strength and confidence in their own abilities. If you get a moment, spend some time looking into just how many extraordinary women there are, and have been throughout the generations, who’ve achieved and striven for such truly remarkable things. Trust me, you will be completely and utterly inspired!


Find your own strong females role models with a subscription to Red Magazine.


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