Today – 8th March – is International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the incredible achievements of women from all walks of life. Observed since the early 1900’s, it also marks a call to action to make positive changes and accelerate gender parity, as well as providing a global opportunity to educate and inspire new generations.
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #PressForProgress – and as the IWD website rightly says “Individually, we’re one drop but together we’re an ocean.” Those of you who know me, know that one of my favourite sayings is ‘a rising tide raises all boats’. For the past couple of months, I’ve probably been saying this almost daily. The drop in the ocean visualisation is such a powerful image, and from the day I first heard someone use it, the saying has resonated with me. There are so many women out there that have been a drop in the ocean that have raised my own career up – and in return, I want to be that drop in the ocean for other women too. To use any influence I might have to give them a platform off which to stand tall, show the world how incredible they are and celebrate their achievements.
So, with this in mind, here’s my International Women’s Day 2018 list of incredible women that I want to celebrate the achievements of…
Cora Harrington – I’ve been following Cora online for several years now, ever since I discovered her site The Lingerie Addict. One of the most highly respected voices in the lingerie community, she’s appeared on this blog a few times now, after having popped in for a shoot in 2014 whilst she was in the UK, as well as appearing in my 10 Inspirational Women In Lingerie post. This year she’s releasing a book called In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. A book that, in her own words, ‘pulls back the curtain, sharing the kind of insider knowledge many experts take for granted.” It includes “size charts, sample wardrobes, and appendices for various fit concerns, such as lingerie for trans women, pregnant people, and those with disabilities.” It is also full of beautiful watercolour illustrations, which as an illustrator in a past career, fills my heart with joy. Let me tell you now, I am so excited about this book that I pre-ordered it the day I heard about it. I wish this book had existed when I was growing up and buying lingerie for the first time, and I’m so excited to get my hands on a copy!
Miss Victory Violet – You know those people that suddenly fall into your life and feel like they’ve always belonged there? That is how I feel about Miss Victory Violet, who I can’t believe I only met for the first time a year ago. Having worked on our first shoot together at Mr Fogg’s, we’ve gone on to shoot multiple commercial projects together over the last 12 months and, in a couple of weeks, I’ll be joining her on part of her European tour to provide makeover boudoir shoots in Gothenburg. Her styling skills are flawless, she’s genuinely one of the nicest humans you’ve ever met and its an absolute privilege to work with her. Our makeover shoots are now sold out, but you can find more about Miss Victory Violet’s tour dates, workshops and classes on her website – I’ve even booked myself in for the London beginner’s hair workshop in May!
Emerald Fontaine – Owner of the classiest and most decadent Art Deco bar in London, Fontaine’s is my home away from home. In fact, its the location for my very next Art Of Boudoir Masterclass in April! From INCREDIBLE cocktails, to the most perfect decor and out of this world festive decorations throughout the year, I’m so excited that Fontaine’s are now offering Afternoon Tea too! I’ve tried one (ok two) and they are delicious! More information on afternoon tea and reservations here.
Emma Parker – Emma Parker is founder of Playful Promises, a UK based lingerie brand that continuously bring their A game every season. Offering both a DD+ as well as a new Curve range in association with Gabi Fresh, their entire range is flawless and bang on trend. And whilst you’re on the website check out their exceptional photography too. Photographed by in-house photographer and multi-talented creative genius Anna Swiczeniuk – who is worth a mention in her own right!
Fuller Figure Fuller Bust – Another woman close to my heart is Georgina of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. (Pictured above in Elomi lingerie set from Lazeme) Not only is she my go to source for wardrobe inspiration, she’s speaking up about fat-shaming, talking openly about her experiences as a plus size blogger/model and delivering a refreshingly uncensored dialogue on her life experiences. Her #NotHereForYou posts are loved by many, shutting down men who think its ok to send dick pics and leave inappropriate comments on photos of women. On top of all that, today as I’m writing this, she’s sent me a private message with an idea she’s had to help me raise the profile of my own business. What a total badass! You can find more of George at Fuller Figure Fuller Bust.
Lady May – Not just a star of the burlesque scene, Lady May is regularly called on for TV, radio, and magazine articles – from giving confidence tips for the bedroom, to naked shoots for Cosmo. Between some awesome burlesque appearances lined up for this year and teaching others how to command the burlesque stage, Lady May’s also got some exciting things planned for 2018 that I can’t WAIT to shout about them with her. You heard it here first – watch this space!
Francesca Hughes – Someone making some real waves within the photography industry right now is Francesca Hughes, who I first met a couple of years back at The Photography Show (or possibly even in its previous incarnation as Focus On Imaging). Every year, she comes along to a couple of my seminars with her friend Jess and both of them stay and say hello after, which genuinely always makes my day. Fast forward a few years and now she’s a rising star of her own making, with her own retouching channel on Youtube, alongside featured writer status on Tipsquirrel – and she’s even guest blogged for Scott Kelby. The photography industry is still one of those industries where female influencers are far outnumbered by male influencers, so its amazing to see another fearless female rising up and making a name for herself.
Who do you want to celebrate the achievements of this International Women’s Day? Give them a shout out in the comments below!