Happy International Women’s Day! Check Out These Badass Women in Science, Entertainment, Fashion and Business ♥


International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while at the same time calling for gender equality. It’s quite simple really.

It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised each year on March 8th. This year, the campaign theme of IWD is #BeBoldForChange. IWD are encouraging men, women and non-binary people to be bold in their pursuit of equality, to be leaders within our own spheres and to take action when it is vital.

To me, being bold means being unapologetic. It means knowing what you want in life and charging towards it without hesitation or self-doubt. But if we’re being really honest, it isn’t always easy to be bold. When plagued with insecurities, it’s much easier to be soft and quiet and complacent.

So here are a few of my favourite bold women across science, entertainment, fashion and business, who will hopefully inspire us all to be B O L D.

(And don’t worry I didn’t forget Bad Gal RiRi)

Bold Women In Science

Katherine Johnson, described as one of NASA’s “human computers”, began working at NASA in 1952 and in 1958 was part of the team charged with calculating the way to send a human to space and back. Her work was instrumental in sending the first American into space in 1961. The Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures was based on Johnson’s life.

Alexa Canady was the first black woman to become a neurosurgeon. She almost dropped out of university after a “crisis of confidence” but she started working in a genetics lab one summer and fell in love with medicine. After graduating she became the chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Jennifer Doudna invented the most effective genomic tool ever, called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), it is basically a tool that allows scientists to “edit” DNA by adding or removing specific genomes in a way that has never been possible before. Doudna’s invention is groundbreaking in terms of curing diseases or preventing them occurring, in particular diseases like HIV.

Jennifer Doudna
Jennifer Doudna

Bold Women In Fashion

When Elaine Welteroth featured three unknown black models on the cover of the August 2015 Teen Vogue, and despite not including any ‘celebrities’ or ‘white girls’ it became the best-selling issue of the year, it proved a point she had been trying to make for a while. In the past two years since she was promoted from Beauty Editor to Editor of Teen Vogue, 29-year-old Welteroth has been responsible for the gradual yet radical evolution of the title which has seen it shift from a glossy mag focusing on beauty & fashion tips and young Hollywood starlets, to letting young girls speak openly on politics, business, religion and, yes, still fashion. Welteroth wants to give the mic back to teenagers, to give them credit where credit’s due, and portray them more accurately as a generation who have voices, opinions and consider themselves activists.

Jenna Lyons has been in the J. Crew family for over two decades, starting as “an assistant to an assistant” and now in her role as President and Creative Director. She proved that great fashion can come at all prices, and she does things her own way: for the past two J. Crew shows at New York Fashion Week, Lyons has ditched models in favour of friends of the brand and members of the team. They ranged in age from 13 to 70, and according to the show notes they were students, parents, grandparents, professionals, artists, teachers and activists.

Halima Aden, the Kenyan-born muslim model became the talking point of New York and Milan Fashion Week this year when she graced the runway, including the Max Mara and Yeezy Season 5 shows, wearing her hijab. At the time, the Max Mara creative director said, “Halima is ambitious, confident and beautiful. She deserves her place in the Max Mara world.” Last year Aden was the first Miss Minnesota USA contestant to compete wearing a hijab during the pageant and wearing a burkini during the swimsuit round. The 18-year-old said,  “to me it represents freedom of choice.”

Halima Aden

Bold Women In Music

Rihanna has been empowering girls through her music for years, with lyrics like “I was good on my own, that’s the way it was”. But she also reminds us to be bold and unapologetic with our fashion choices, to dress in a way that makes us feel powerful. She has worn the famous Dior slogan feminist tee and this year suited up in her favourite pink “This Pussy Bites Back” hoodie to partake in the 2017 Women’s March outside Trump Tower.

Lady Gaga is a self-confessed weirdo and an outcast who can credit her successful music career to not suppressing the parts of herself that make her different but instead celebrating them, and she wants other young women to do the same, “I want women to feel empowered by a deeper and more pyschotic part of themselves. The part they’re always trying to hide. I want that to become something that they cherish.”


Bold Women In Business

Emily Weiss started Into The Gloss in 2010 while she was still working at Vogue, which means she was essentially working two jobs at the same time. Launching your own business requires a huge amount of self-belief and determination, but launching it while also being committed to a full time role at the world’s most famous fashion magazine takes things to a whole new level. In the early days of ITG, Weiss was inspired by brands like Alexander Wang and Maryam Nassir Zadeh that sought out a sense of individuality and freedom, while also projecting a kind of fun sophistication and women getting what they want. A few years ago Weiss launched Glossier, which was born out of the feedback from products that were reviewed on Into The Gloss and is now a tightly-edited collection of modern beauty essentials for real women.

In 2015, the New York Times declared that Jen Atkin might just be the most influential hairdresser in the world. But in my mind, there really is no question of whether or not she is an absolute powerhouse. Since moving to Los Angeles at age 19, Atkin has hustled her way to become the most sought after hairstylist in the world, a successful businesswomen and a Snapchat/Instagram Queen (the millennial’s version of a business card). This year, Atkin launched her own range called Ouai Haircare. Ouai came to fruition because Jen saw a major lack in cool hair products that would cater to her time poor friends and clients. She made the bold move of spending no money on marketing and instead promoting it purely through social media. She’s creating products for women at home, not professional hairdressers. Her message is simple: Women are busy. Who has time to spend worrying about their hair?

Emily Weiss