This year at Secret Sisterhood we are recognising each of our core values during the 12 days of Christmas. Today we will recognise and appreciate the day of courage, by acknowledging 5 courageous and brave women. They have all experienced hardships and have come out much stronger because of it. We want to talk about a range of strong women, from historical figures to modern influencers. This post will highlight each of these women’s stories of hardship and courage and hopefully inspire you to strive for what you believe in!
The first act of courage we’re going to highlight is that of Dorothy Lawrence. Dorothy was a journalist during the first world war who secretly posed as a man to become a soldier during the war. She decided that the only way she was really going to understand the ongoings of the war and write a good story about it, was to experience it first hand. Since women were not permitted to participate in warfare, this made Dorothy Lawrence the only known English woman on the frontline during the First World War. This was a great act of courage for a young woman of her time, let’s hope it inspires us to become just as brave as Dorothy!
The second courageous woman on our list this year is Malala Yousafzai. Many of you probably know of her already, as in 2012, a gunman boarded Malala’s school bus in Pakistan and shot her three times in the head. Amazingly, Malala survived this attack and went on to become one of the most important female figures in history. The reason for Malala’s attack was only due to her speaking out about education and rights for women, unbelievable, right? However, this act of hardship and pain has brought the issue of unequal education to the attention of many, as this really was an event that shook the world. At only 17 years old, Malala received a Nobel peace prize for her efforts and claimed the title of one of the most influential people in the world. We can see that although courageous acts may be painful, scary and even devastating, they allow us to become stronger and fight for what we believe in.
Model, body enthusiast and advocate for women, Iskra Lawrence, is one of the many courageous women we want to discuss. Iskra was always told that she would never make it in the model industry because“she did not have a typical model body”. Companies often rejected her for her body size and appearance. Ten years later, however, not only is Ikra the face for the American Eagle Outfitters lingerie line Aerie, but she is also one of the most well known and appreciated body positivity activists globally. Her mission was and still is to change the perception of women in the media by educating young women about the unrealistic nature of women and body image within the media. As well as advocating for all body types to be represented in pop culture.
The fourth inspiring lady on our list of courage is Em Ford. Em has been advocating for change amongst the beauty industry for many years. In 2015, she began to suffer from severe acne, audiences online and in the media began to discriminate against her due to her ‘unattractive’ skin. She then became widely applauded for speaking out about adult acne and learning to embrace it, gaining support by thousands of people across the world who struggled with similar problems. She highlights the fact that beauty comes from within and is present regardless of physical appearances. Em Ford is considered to be a strong and courageous woman for her confidence and grace with accepting and normalising adult acne.
Last but not least on our list of courageous and inspiring women is precious. The 24-year-old American born dancer, Precious, has been a ballet dancer since the age of eight. Growing up within the ballet world, Precious began to notice the lack of diversity within the industry. They didn’t have tights or shoes that matched her skin colour creating a level of separation amongst the dancers. Ever since realising this, Precious has been vocal about the lack of diversity in the dance and performing arts world, as well as her experiences with racism within the industry. In her commitment to calling out injustice and changing the face of ballet, even her smallest moves are scrutinized. Precious announced last year that she will only wear brown tights and shoes when performing, as it allows for her to be represented as an equal on stage and lets her perform at her best.
Each of these women have been courageous, brave, strong and empowering within their own ways. We can see how women have been standing up for what they believe in, speaking out against injustices and showing acts of compassion and bravery for many years. We hope that these stories have inspired you to continue to strive for what you want in the world and to accomplish your dreams, no matter how big or small.