When I was younger I didn't like calling myself a feminist. It seemed to have this stigma to go along with it and too many people assumed feminist meant man-hater, or something similar. I can't honestly say I would call myself a feminist now either, but less so for that reason and more to do with the fact that labels imply some sort of solid identity and as we are ever-changing so are the words which we can use to describe ourselves.
But I do believe in the importance of learning about the world that shapes us by knowing as much as possible about where we've been and what that means for where we are going. I've been an avid collector of stories from 'Queer'-story since my first taste of activism at the age of fourteen since it seems to be near non-existent in history lessons. Now, as I've begun learning more about art, the masters and how we have captured our stories and lives through paint and sculpture, I've noticed a distinct lack of women cropping up. I realise this has to do with there being fewer women painters due to a lack of opportunity, but I know they were and are around.
I've also begun reflecting on strong, powerful representations of women in the world today. I don't believe my choice of a role model has anything to do with gender, but I have noticed that my favourite contemporary artists are all male. There is no denying that we have come a long way and it is rare for me to experience discrimination due to my gender, but I personally want to expand my knowledge of those women who are largely under-represented in our world.
There are so many great examples of strong, independent women that have influenced me on a personal level. Notably, the extremely talented P!nk. My best friend put it quite well when she said, "I love Pink, but really, not a huge fan of her music. Just the person. She seems pretty cool."
She is a stunning example of a strong, independent, vibrant human being. Whether you like her music or not, she is a brilliant role model as she shows what it means to be true to yourself. She is a rarity amongst female pop stars, but not, I believe, a rarity amongst the creative elite we have shone a spotlight on. She is just the begining as I am making it my own personal mission to seek out some of these incredible women who, regardless of their gender, represent the way a person can express themselves honestly and influence the world by living a life they have built with their own talent and strength.