International Women's Day - Rachel Ellen

Sunday, 5 March 2017

International Women's Day

Wednesday is international women’s day. As a 23 year old female, I feel I might actually be on my way from a girl to a woman (you know like when a stranger refers to you as a lady #sogrownup).

There are a lot of women in my life that have made a huge difference to me, family and friends included.

But I thought I’d talk today about Hayley Williams of Paramore and why she was important during my teenage years in my growing into a woman, and maybe some of you can relate.

I was about 13/14 when I became a fan of Paramore, and that Misery Business hair style.

I didn’t learn about feminism and the deeper things of being a woman in my teenage years, in fact I was pretty unaware of gender inequality still existing, which is sweet really.

For a while, I didn’t really know how Hayley Williams could be someone I could look up to, I was never going to be a singer (I sing like I’m being stood on)

But being a fan of Paramore and of Hayley Williams, taught me not to be afraid of being a girl. She always had mad hair styles and colours, she had crazy make up and cool clothes. She wore skirts and dresses but she was still punky as hell. She wore things with studs but also wore leopard print and pink.

"This is what I've learned, in my life: Headbanging is crucial. Growing up is hard to do. There's nothing wrong with wearing a dress."

Being interested in your own appearance is always associated with self-obsessed girls, and apparently negotiates your intelligence. But it was an important development for me to learn you can like make-up and clothes, but also be a human being who has important things in their life.

But also, being interested in your appearance, doesn’t mean you have to conform to a standard way of dressing. You can wear clothes that other people think are weird, you can have hair styles people don’t agree with, and that doesn’t matter because that’s your style.

“I’m really into healthy self-expression; That’s why I dye my hair, that’s why I wear stupid clothes, that’s why I don’t care that my bangs look like Spock from Star Trek.” 

She taught me that it’s important to pay for music when you can, even when it is so freely available to you.

"Support music every day because there isn’t a day music won’t be there for you”

She taught me that a woman can stand up in a male dominated environment (the rock music world) and have a voice, work hard, and get what she wants.

I know there are a lot of inspirational women in the world, but for me, Hayley Williams was just such a big part of my teenage years, in a time when all the other bands I liked were male dominated, she was so important in realising, its OK to be a girl. That being a girl isn't a hindrance.

This year, International Women's Day have a hashtag #BeBoldForChange and I think that's important to me and in relation to this post, let's not be afraid to be bold, but also be a woman. 

On international women’s day, celebrate the women in your life appreciate all they do because women are pretty badass after all.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

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