1. Florence Given
What she stands for: Gender equality
Her mission: “I want to encourage women to question the world that they were born into.”
Who said that activism needs to be serious? The 20-year-old Londoner Florence Given started to fight the patriarchy the best way she knew how: by creating art. She began posting her fun and eye-catching drawings on Instagram and, by the age of 20, became a social media sensation (with almost 260,000 followers on Instagram) and a feminist icon. She empowers young women to be independent and not let others dictate how they should dress and look. She leads an ongoing battle against shaming, bullying, and gender inequality. She is involved in multiple projects such as partnering up with Always to #endperiodpoverty by donating sanitary products to UK youth organizations and afterschool clubs. She recently announced that her first book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, will be released in June 2020.
2. Chidera Eggerue
What she stands for: Intersectional feminism
Her mission: “People would say, ‘You’re jiggling too much. Cover yourself up.’ I couldn’t understand why. Every time I asked somebody, the answer was, ‘Because you’re a girl. Because you’re a woman.’ I knew that wasn’t really an acceptable answer. I had to challenge it.”
Unique. Vibrant. Outspoken. Chidera, aka The Slumflower, is all those things and more. She began her activism by starting a fashion blog where she wanted to break barriers and empower women. But it wasn’t until her online campaign #SaggyBoobsMatter in 2017, when the whole world heard about her. Eggerue’s aim was to openly protest the sexualisation and objectification of female bodies. Now, the 24-year-old is a published author of the book What a Time to be Alone (2018) and creator of The Slumflower podcast, where she continues to discuss black visibility and toxic masculinity, and, most importantly, to empower women to never be ashamed of who they are.
3. Jamie Windust
What they stand for: LGBTQA+ rights
Their mission: “Non-binary people’s voices are so often overshadowed and spoken for that it’s imperative that we allow ourselves to speak, and more importantly, be heard.”
Jamie doesn’t just draw attention because of their colorful and original look. The 22-year old, non-binary journalist actively fights for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, is editor-in-chief for the FruitCake Magazine and was announced the ‘Fashion Influencer of the Year 2019’ by Blogosphere Magazine. Jamie says they use clothing as a political act, as a sort of rebellion against societal norms and generally what is considered ‘normal’. They say that it gives them strength to fight for non-binary rights and non-binary visibility. However, Jamie’s work involves much more than encouraging people to be bold and to stay true to who they are. In February 2019 they started a petition aimed at changing the law so that people in the UK can identify as non-binary in their legal documents. Windust is not ‘just’ a voice of non-binary people, they are the voice of change.
You can follow Windust’s activism on their Instagram
4. Grace Victory
What she stands for: Mental health
Her mission: “Helping women to step into their power.”
Grace has come a long way from when she first began her online career. In 2011 she started a YouTube channel because she couldn’t find anyone like her on the Internet. “Like her” meaning a woman. A Black woman. A Black, plus-size woman. She gave herself a chance and used that niche to reach people like her and hoped to resonate with them. And she did. After eight years, she still creates content for her ever-growing YouTube channel, she is a published author, ‘Sister Space’ podcast co-host, and BBC 3 documentary star of Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets. “Internet’s Big Sister”, as Victory calls herself, covers a variety of topics, starting from racism and eating disorders to dealing with trauma and diet culture. She loves to work with youth and is currently training to become a counsellor.
5. Aranya Johar
What she stands for: Fighting misogyny
Her mission: “We are girls, women, human, not a burden.”
It is impossible to remain impassive once one has discovered Johar’s work. Before deciding to watch her most exceptional piece, A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender, prepare a box of tissues, because this Indian artist will move you to tears. Aranya started to write poetry when she was 13. Since then, she has started More Than Mics organization to help young artists to develop their crafts. Her spoken word performances have reached over six million views on YouTube and she has been called the “Female voice of India”. She has also performed at many global events, including We the Women in 2017. Aranya is currently working on her bachelor’s in English while continuing to create her art and to revolutionize the world.Tags: Diversity, Empowerment, Insights, Inspiration, Rolemodel, Rolemodels, Society, Women