My River Island

Info & help

Follow us

International Women's Day | Influencer Q&A

Happy International Women’s Day ladies! Here at HQ, we believe in celebrating women all day, every day but on the 8th of March we go into overdrive. What can we say? We believe in the power of women! International Women’s Day is a global national holiday where the achievements of women are recognised, and we reflect on how far women have come but also how far we have to go to achieve equality for ALL women. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Each for Equal’ focusing on challenging stereotypes, fighting bias and broadening perception. We spoke to 5 badass female content creators about how they navigate the world as women and combat gender bias every day.

Like the look of their slogan tees? They’re ours! Help us support The Prince’s Trust’s Women Supporting Women campaign by shopping our charity tees. £5 from each item sold will go to the charity. Oh, and make sure to head over to our Instagram to watch our influencer takeovers celebrating all things womanhood all day.

Danielle Vanier

What’s your biggest achievement?

Bringing out my own collection of clothing. I designed everything, over saw the entire process and am so proud of how it turned out. 

Tell us about a stereotype you’ve had to overcome.

As a fat woman, with a chronic illness, I am often labelled as lazy. It feels like I have to prove myself (which is ridiculous) and show others that just because I look a certain way, I work hard, I earn my money and I am worthy or respect. This is insane! ALL women, healthy or not deserve love and respect. 

 What’s your superpower?

Getting up every day and tackling life even though I have a chronic pain condition and am in a great deal of pain. Even if I just shower and make it to my sofa on a bad day, I still think that’s something to be proud of. 

Which woman in herstory inspires you the most?

Helen Keller is a woman that everyone should know about. Keller lost her sight and hearing when she was young and refused to let these things hold her back. She inspired many by achieving a degree and spent years inspiring generations as a disability rights activist. 

Why did you select this slogan? And what does it mean to you? 

As women, we are all individual and we all have our own story, our own superpowers. I love the unity and support that comes with womanhood and I love that even in adverse times women will always be beautiful, powerful beings. 

What’s the best thing about being a woman?

I love my intuition. I don’t miss a single thing!! 

 Where did your passion for social activism come from?

As a plus size woman, I have always looked different from a great deal of my friends/people around me. Thankfully I’ve always been pretty confident, so I put that confidence to good use and started trying to inspire others to love themselves, their bodies, their “imperfections” and their fashion choices. I am so thankful that I have a platform where I am able to discuss important topics and elevate others who are not afforded the same privileges as myself. 

Why do you think it’s important to celebrate all intersections of womanhood on IWD?

Womanhood is beautifully complex and layered. There is so much more to being a woman than things like femininity and it’s understanding that it goes way past things like biology. All womxn should be celebrated - we’re all bloody beautiful.  

Clara @rollinfunky

What’s your biggest achievement?

Becoming the woman I am today is by far my biggest achievement. When I became a wheelchair user 14 years ago due to EDS type 3, I struggled to adjust and grieved for the old me. Then over time I managed to get myself out of the haze and decided to make my life better. It took time to accept my new normal but when I did my confidence grew. I started my blog rollinfunkyblog.com 4 years ago and am the most confident and happy I have been in my entire life. I am living and that’s my biggest achievement!

Tell us about a stereotype you’ve had to overcome?

I have faced many stereotypes as a wheelchair user. People struggle with the idea that a wheelchair user can be stylish, trendy and god forbid even sexy! I used to get stared at in the street and people would come up to me asking “why you in a wheelchair?  You look too good to be in a wheelchair”. It was as though being a wheelchair user you had to look or dress a particular way.  At first it would upset me but now if they stare, I don’t even notice because I keep my head held high and roll with confidence.

What’s your superpower?

My superpower is my inner strength and realising my self-worth.

Which woman in herstory inspired you the most?

I have many women that inspire me and for different reasons. Oprah Winfrey because she came from a very poor background and is now one of the richest women in the world. Beyoncé because of her work ethic. Kim Kardashian West for her ability to spot a business opportunity. My grandmother for having the courage to leave Jamaica the island she knew and travel to England on her own to start a new life in an unknown country.

Why did you select this slogan? And what does it mean to you?

I choose this slogan because it speaks to me the most as it’s something I say often and represents the message I send. There is no one in the whole world that is like you physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. We are all unique. Comparing yourself to someone else or trying to look like another person is just a waste of time and energy. Time and energy that is best spent trying to accept and love who you are.

What’s the best thing about being a woman?

The best thing about being a woman is that there are many layers to who we are. We can be and do anything we want. We are fantastic, strong, loving, fearless, sexy, sensual, caring, ambitious, bossy, forgiving, creative, funny, courageous, sassy, tender, adventurous, game changers and much more!

 

You describe yourself as ‘a woman with a disability, not a disabled woman’ – why is that?

The reason I describe myself as “a woman with a disability, not a disabled woman”, is because I am a woman first and foremost. A ‘disability’ is a condition and the wheelchair is an aid that gets me around from A to B. Just like a car, plane or train gets you from A to B, yet you are neither of those. It’s the same for me. I am not my condition and I am not my wheelchair. There is more to me whether I can stand, walk or not. I have desires, dreams and aspirations just like anyone else

Why is body positivity important to you? And why do you think it’s become so mainstream in recent years?

Body positivity is important to me because it’s about loving the body you have regardless of your ability, size, height, gender or race. It is so important for us all to have a positive internal dialogue with ourselves and representation is integral to that. Self-love is the reason why body positivity has become so mainstream because everyone wants to be represented and feel like they matter.

Do you see your modelling career as a platform for you to challenge social stereotypes and bias?

I definitely see modelling as a way of challenging social stereotypes. It opens up people’s eyes and challenges their way of thinking. Some people have questioned “are you really disabled?”, “how can you sit like that?” and “how can you have on heels?”  The truth is there are many different abilities in the differently-abled community, not all wheelchair users are the same. Just like not all ‘abled’ bodied people look like super models. Regardless of their condition, a person with a disability can still be fashionable, trendy, wear makeup and present themselves well.

Hajra @hajra_aaa

What’s your biggest achievement?

I think my biggest achievement has to be the authentic audience I have grown on Instagram, without losing my morals and beliefs. I am part of an industry that is run by women of all colours and races.

Tell us about a stereotype you’ve had to overcome?

Well, there are many stereotypes I've come across as a Muslim blogger in this industry, for example ‘You’re limited and have boundaries.’

What’s your superpower?

Being a woman is my superpower. I’m strong, invincible and a great multitasker.

Which woman in herstory inspired you the most?

 I can't name one certain person because I look up to all the women in history. They all collectively created this era we are living in now where women can be leaders and heroes.

Why did you select this slogan? And what does it mean to you?

I believe everyone has a superpower. The word is just so strong and powerful.

What’s the best thing about being a woman?

Our success. More and more women are beginning to carve out their own paths and start their own businesses which in turn gives us the respect that we have fought so hard for. I love being a woman because I love being part of such a strong force that is only going to get bigger.

;