Surround yourself with great women

As I’ve written about a bit before, whilst I was growing up I had a big group of great female friends.  The girls I chose to surround myself with were funny, intelligent, switched on and ambitious and weren’t afraid to show it, and through being friends with them, that is what I became as well.  This continued when I went to uni, where the crushes I got on guys were much less significant than the admiration I felt for the great women I met there.  I’ve ended up working in theatre because I had some great female role models showing me how to be good enough; I took Women’s Writing modules in my degree where cool female lecturers taught me about cool female writers who had written stuff which set my world on fire.  Finding Angela Carter in second year was a revelatory experience – a woman who wrote about women for women (maybe I’ll write in more detail about her in the future).

Anyway, my point is, I had a lot of great women in my life for a long time, and I was super lucky with that.  They all made me a greater woman myself.  But then, suddenly I didn’t have so many anymore.  My support network spread itself out all over the country (those bitches…) and I wasn’t in academia anymore.  It took me a while to realise that I had to start seeking out women to inspire me.

Over the last year I have gradually found loads of different cool women, mainly on twitter, who mostly don’t know I exist but seeing their tweets and reading their opinions on things has had a really positive effect on me.  I’ve found a really cool community on twitter of women who interact with each other discussing loads of different subjects; politics, books they’ve loved, recipes and make-up.  Finding these people has really made me understand the joy of twitter – it’s not about celebrities or tweeting when you’ve brushed your teeth, but making connections with people on the same wavelength as you.  I love it.

I’ve also found some awesome websites which feature writing about women, by women.  The Pool and The Debrief in particular are great websites I’d hugely recommend checking out (although I think most people do read them already!)  What’s great about them is they aren’t just “women’s issues” sites.  In the same way as me and my female friends didn’t always want to talk about periods, nor do these websites.  Often they just give really great analysis of politics or current events, and just so happen to be written by a woman.  At other times, they do have articles which specifically deal with being female, which I love as well.  Both websites have perfected the art of making you feel like you’re just chatting with your mates about Hilary Clinton and contouring, rather than actually sitting down to read an article.

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Just really wanted an excuse to use this sick Fly Art Productions image really. #girlsgirlsgirls

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough now.  I’m going to give you a list of twitter accounts of great women who I follow who I think say some really great things.  I hope that if you don’t already follow them, you’ll start, because who doesn’t need more funny, clever women in their life?  (DISCLAIMER – Literally none of these women know me.  I admire from afar.)

Ella Risbridger/@missellabell – one of my favourite tweeters ever.  She’s so interesting talking about anything and everything, and she has single-handedly made me brave enough to wear lipstick with her amazing lipstick columns for The Pool.  If you haven’t read them, you really should.  She’s also just the best at tweeting great recipes and food combinations, and live tweeting lovely nature walks and being supportive of other women on twitter.  Honestly, can’t say enough good things.

Emma Gannon/@emmagannon – Emma Gannon is a blogger and author and podcaster who you’ve probably heard of because she’s been everywhere this summer.  She is seriously cool, and I love following her on twitter and instagram for updates on her life (which just seems ace) and for the really insightful, interesting stuff she has to say about our generation and the internet and what it means to be a woman working online right now.

Fiona Longmuir/@escapologistFi – I’ve only found Fiona Langmuir’s twitter account and blog over the last few months, but she’s already become one of my favourite content makers.  Her honest blog post about her relationship with beauty  is a perfect example of why I enjoy her writing so much.  She’s funny and feminist and is great when she live-tweets the GBBO.

Dolly Alderton/@dollyalderton – I’ve read Dolly’s columns in the Sunday Times Style magazine since they’ve been going, so when I found out she was making a newsletter I subscribed immediately.  The Dolly Mail is just as good as I’d hoped – interesting, thoughtful and filled with cool recommendations.  I also love the guest posts she has, they always help me find more cool writers too!

I also really love the blogging community I’ve found on twitter, especially the people who post in The Girl Gang and Blogging Gals hashtags and conversations.  It’s so nice to be able to connect with people so easily and I love being able to see how other people live their lives!  The two girls I’ve found whose blogs and twitter accounts I love the most so far are Charlotte’s/@colourscarousel   and Katy’s/@MissKatyEnglish.  Both these girls are great on twitter and I love how their blogs really make me feel like I’m getting to know them rather than just looking at sponsored reviews.  I’d really recommend checking them out as well!

I think it’s really important that all these women spend a lot of their online time supporting other women, and it’s super important to change the narrative of women always being in competition with each other which the media loves to push.  What cool people do you follow online?  I’d love to hear your recommendations!

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