International Women's Day* is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights and is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.
"An equal world is an enabled world.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
Let's all be #EachforEqual" #IWD
I loved reading all the positive messages of support to other women shared on social media yesterday and although it seems a shame we have to dedicate a special day to do this, it's a great reminder to us all. I'm often saddened when I read or hear women judging other women and not showing support. I think we all have to be more conscious of the fact that it's ok to be different; to have our own opinions. But in world where women are striving to be seen and heard with equality, the least we can do is be supportive of each other. That's what made this Chantelle shoot so special, the mix of women they chose was amazing. We are all so different and some I'd never met before but we bonded quickly, and by sharing our own stories, this helped create the most beautiful and natural images. These are the kind of images that I want to see out there in fashion marketing and media. All ages, sizes, backgrounds and colours together.
"Chantelle has always been all about empowering women with different body shapes, making them feel positive in their body and mind. More recently, our goal has been to redefine the way lingerie is portrayed, reflect better the world we live in, and drive the lingerie industry into a new area of creativity, avoiding stereotypes and bringing meaning to it all."
IWD remind us all that: "We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world." I'm a huge believer in women helping each other and when we work together we become so much stronger, it's one of the reasons I seek out female collaborations so much.
Modelling lingerie is now one of my favourite jobs, it's when I seem to be at my most comfortable for some strange reason. If I'd have been told I would be having days like this, modelling lingerie with a group of women I've never met before, I would have run a mile. That's the beauty of being comfortable in my own skin as I approach fifty.
It's also the beauty of spending the day with four amazing and supportive women, all with very different backgrounds and stories to tell, all equal in value.
(It helped that we spent the day in the Chantelle #softstretch range which is literally so comfortable you forget you're wearing it!).
Midlife women have been dismissed by the media and fashion industry for too long, particularly when it comes to lingerie and swimwear campaigns. I feel like I've found my voice and I want to make sure I'm heard. One of the joys of hosting my own podcast
Liberte Free to Be is being able to share other women's stories and hopefully inspire others. My IWD2020 pledge is to continue using my platform to champion other womens' achievements and help share their story. What's your pledge?
"The five influencers in the campaign are all from backgrounds that empower women, they talk about and promote body positivity, femininity, inclusivity and everyday life as a woman. They all support women's rights in one way or another. They are all real women and all have incredible stories to tell."
Keep being fabulous!