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Honesty and courage on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2020

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
#IWD2020 #EachforEqual
March 8, 2020

“An equal world is an enabled world. How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

This International Women’s Day I choose to celebrate women’s achievement. I’m celebrating amazing women in the online world who for me, inspire positive change, talk honestly, and encourage others to be kind online.

Putting yourself and your personal story online is a terrifying but courageous thing to do, something I had a small taste of recently when sharing my breakup story. In recent months I’ve seen bravery and strength from some inspiring women who have decided to share personal stories online with the intention of helping others and open up conversations.

When we use the platforms we have to share difficult experiences, we’re encouraging others to do the same, to talk more about struggles and difficult topics. Knowing you’re not alone in certain situations and being able to talk about that is such a huge step in the right direction.

Tabby

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A post shared by Tabitha Warley | Take Heart (@takeheartuk)

I found Tabby from TakeHeartUK last year when I asked my followers for suggestions of who to follow. The criteria was simple, real people who talk positively and honestly online and that is exactly what you get with Tabby – and so much more. Honesty is abundant on Tabby’s channel as she talks about debt, celibacy, and her moments of weakness.

I admire Tabby for sharing her makeup-free-Friday Stories which create a space for others to feel comfortable doing the same. Not feeling the need to hide behind filters or makeup is an empowering thing in the world of Instagram.

Beth

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A post shared by Beth (@bethsandland)

I’ve followed Beth for years now and if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll have no doubt seen me rave about Beth on Instagram before. However, in recent months more than ever I’ve been in awe of her honesty and courage to share such a personal journey online. Beth has talked about her heartbreaking struggle with miscarriage and how she’s coping with grief, and I admire her for showing each and every moment of this, regardless of whether it’s ‘Instagrammable’.

From what I gather, miscarriage is often shied away from online but that statistics show that many women will go through it. According to the NHS, among women who know they’re pregnant, it’s estimated about 1 in 8 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. So I can’t even imagine how many people Beth is helping by opening up the conversation on her channel.

Abbie

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A post shared by Abbie | lifestyle & positivity (@cheerfullylive)

Abbie is actually another lovely Cambridge blogger who runs her Instagram page, Cheerfullylive. Abbie aims to raise awareness of endometriosis as she gives a totally honest picture of the condition and how tough it can be to live with. She speaks gracefully about her struggles with pain and as well as sharing chatty Story updates on her Instagram, Abbie writes awareness posts on her blog. A fantastic way to spread the word and hopefully, educate others on the topic.

Laura

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A post shared by LAURA BRADSHAW (@imlaurabradshaw)

Before I’d even dipped my toe into the world of online content creation I frequently kept up with Laura on Instagram. She’s an absolute style icon who shares fashion advice, makeup tutorials, and general life updates (including videos of her gorgeous puppy!).

Recently, Laura shared a video on her Youtube channel about her experience with recurrent miscarriage. Something that if I’m completely honest, I had no idea about before I watched Laura’s video. Once again I’m amazed at Laura’s strength for sharing her painful journey online and opening up the conversation, allowing a space for others struggling to do the same.

“So, whether that person is you, your friend, family member, other half.. opening up this conversation is a positive thing and this is something we NEED to discuss more openly.” Laura Bradshaw.

Meghan

‘Real’ is the word that springs to mind when I start to describe Meghan and her online platform. Meghan has been sharing her parenting journey from the moment she got pregnant and gave birth to beautiful Skye. The ups, the downs, and the real low points are all shared on Meghan’s Instagram channel as she brings reality to the world of parenthood.

Aside from talking about being a mum, Meghan recently shared this post on Instagram.

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A post shared by Meghan Walsh (@meghanwalshblogs)

I thought the message behind the photo was so beautiful. Body positivity doesn’t always come with learning to love what you look like on the outside, but actually recognising yourself for being beautiful on the inside. A wonderfully honest thought to share online and it certainly prompted me to think in a similar way.

Criticism for social media is rife and there’s no doubt that it can be a toxic place. But by focussing on such positive messaging and sharing stories of bravery, struggle, and courage I think we’re on the way to making it a safer and more positive place.

Thank you to these incredible ladies (and so many more), for opening your heart up online and offering others a space for support and love. Your achievements are certainly a reason to celebrate women.

Happy International Women’s Day, “Here’s to strong women may we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

 

 

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