Today is International Women’s Day, which means the whole wide world is celebrating what it means to be a woman and influential women who are, have been, and will be. It has been such a pleasure seeing so much love today. To continue spreading the love and honoring those who have assured me that my gender does not define me and cannot and will not decide my future, I thought I would list some of the women who inspire me most.
I want to first mention the most influential women in my life ever – my mom, my sister, and my grandmother. You made me who I am. I am always looking up to you and learning from you. Thank you.
So in no order at all, here are four women I look up to.
Malin Nesvoll Vanges aka MakeupMalin
MakeupMalin is a Norwegian Vlogger that I got to know through her podcast and 15 minute snapchat stories. She has completely normalized the human body for me and made me feel confident in being exactly who and how I am both physically and mentally. Topics that Malin focuses on are self-love, love for your girlfriends, and just learning to be who you are, unapologetically. Her podcast is called Venninna Di which means Your Girlfriend (om du snakker norsk eller svensk da må du høre på den). The whole podcast is interviewing other women, who simply slay, and that the listeners are part of this all-inclusive “girls club” called the Squad. They discuss anxiety, candy, mental health, success, and ,as cliche as it sounds, girly things. I look forward to hearing it every week.
I had the pleasure meeting and becoming acquainted with Talor while living in Oslo. We had a mutual friend through the coffee industry – if you work in the coffee industry, you know how small and cozy that world is. I was (am) completely enchanted by her. She was really ALIVE and you could just feel it. Every story she told captured me. She simply glows and I have never met anyone who did not love her. Talor was head hunted to work at a cafe in Paris, then head hunted again to work at Tim Wendelboe in Oslo as a barista and the head roaster (damn). While I was living in Norway, she started her own business with a pop-up donut shop, Fryd, which I never had the pleasure of enjoying because she was so successful that she sold out everytime – even when I got there an hour early!! (If there is anything pulling me back there you can bet that it is trying one of those bad boys). This girl was SLAYING. But furthermore, she now co-owns a coffee roastery, Talor & Jørgen. If you sign up for their coffee boxes, they send you bags of coffee specialized to how quickly you go through coffee at very reasonable prices. I am still waiting until I can afford to spend money on “extras”, but this is number freaking one on my list. Talor is a huge huge HUGE role model for me.
Kelly was the first guest of the semester for PRSSA last year. I was preparing to graduate and was completely lost on what I wanted to do, let alone if I could do it. As soon as she started to talk I was like, “Okay, here we go.” She was so in charge of the whole room. Every set of ears was hers. Kelly was quick witted, confident, and eloquent. Everything I strive to be. She told us her story of how she got to where she was. After graduating from college, with what was not a PR degree, Kelly applied multiple times to the only PR firm at the time in Lansing, Mich. and heard “No” every time. The last time they told her no, she opened her own firm. BOOM. Kelly is now a co owner of Trescott Rossman, a prestigious communications firm in Grand Rapids, Mich. I want to be like her in so many ways.
Klara and Johanna Söderberg
If you know me, this one is no surprised. Klara and Johanna are the members of my favorite band, First Aid Kit. I could be all cliché on how much their music has helped me through my life, and I will. They put into words what I didn’t know I was thinking. Their lyrics made me understand that which I couldn’t before. If I have a problem, there is a First Aid Kit song that I can belt out and feel 100% better, even if it makes me break down crying. Klara and Johanna inspired me to learn guitar, and damn it I did it. In one week I learn five of their songs without having ever touched a guitar. I don’t want that to sound like I am some music prodigy, because I’m not. I sat in a chair and played for six.hours.straight. because I wanted to be like them. They are the most influential musicians I have ever experience. They are a releasing a new song on March 10th they wrote call “You are the Problem” as an answer to rapist not receiving deserving punishments. A portion of their proceeds will go to Women for Women International. So BUY IT.
What a way to end this day. When women support when and when men and women come together to work as one human race, amazing things can happen. Again, I want to thank the women, who reach far from just these four, for raising me to know my worth. There have been many others who told me otherwise, but I am so so blessed to have been raised to know they’re wrong.