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Female influencers

Why do women make great influencers?

Each time you ask a group of people, ‘Who is the most influential person in your life?’, most of them invariably mention their mothers. Women are the key to life. They have immense power to nurture and shape not just their own children but countless others who cross paths with them—at work, at home, in the community, and more recently, on social media platforms.

Name any role. A change-maker, a close confidant, a leader, a supportive partner—women have a soft power over everything and everyone. It begs a question. What makes women such great influencers? Is it their honesty or hard work, perseverance or warmth or the ocean of compassion they carry within? It’s a little bit of everything.

Be it sports, politics, fashion, fitness, or activism, women effortlessly shine at what they do. Just like the ‘Gulabi Gang’ led by Sampat Devi Pal became the strength of countless rural women to defeat oppression and domestic abuse, numerous women-led online movements have changed the course of history. The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter started by three women brought to surface stories of systematic racism faced by the Black community. When the #MeToo movement was started by Tarana Burke, many around the world found a voice for the first time to share their stories and extend their support.

From struggling to raise their voice to being heard globally, women have come to use their life experiences and stories to find their freedom, carve their own path in life, and help others achieve the same.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Soulveda asked a few accomplished women influencers, why they love to say #IAmMyOwnWoman, today, and every day. Their responses were refreshing reminders of what happens when honesty and hard work collaborate with the power of hashtags.

  • Kaneez Surka, improv artist & comedian

    We get influenced by many people around us, and it doesn’t have to be restricted to women alone. Though there may be more women influencing our lives because they are the people we spend most of our initial years with.

    I do what I believe in and voice my opinion. I stay honest to myself and follow my heart, and do what makes me happy. I believe that is the most important thing a person needs to do. I guess, if I have ever influenced anyone, it is because of this reason.

    What I celebrate in being a woman is being a woman of my own making—a hundred percent independent. I was always told that a man will provide for me, but I am glad to be self-sufficient and not dependent on anyone, and I don’t take that lightly. I think that makes me my own woman.
  • Mitushi Ajmera, fitness trainer & sports nutritionist

    The innate ability to express emotions and empathise makes women good storytellers. Since people like to read real stories and follow real people for inspiration or lifestyle hacks, women appear more appealing on social media.

    My ability to stay genuine and practical in my approach to stay healthy helps me strike the right chord with those who feel living healthy is possible only for an athlete. I share my struggles and the efforts I make to stay healthy. This helps people resonate better with my posts.

    Fitness industry is patriarchal, I was not accepted as a fitness trainer easily. But my ability to empathise and my professional approach created a distinct market for me. I followed the rule of safety and correct form first, which gave people confidence and they eventually started preferring me over any other male trainer.

    My injuries have been my biggest lessons and have made me a good teacher, as I can empathise with my clients more. The same injuries have made me a much stronger woman than before, which I believe is a reason to celebrate.
  • Mounica Tata, illustrator & comic-maker

    As a woman when I hear stories of other women who’ve fought patriarchy, oppression, and violence, it sends out a strong message. They are true heroes for standing their ground and growing despite the odds.

    I’ve learnt to be comfortable in my own skin and that I think has been a major achievement for me. I am now truly content and grounded. Growing up, I was insecure in my skin, unsure and restless. But now there’s a sense of calm which I am not sure is maturity or a sign of ageing, but it sure is nice to know you belong. It’s been a learning curve, both professionally and personally, but I feel the more you know yourself, the less you struggle, with each passing day, each passing year, you become more you and that’s beautiful!
  • Natasha Diddee, author & food blogger

    I think till the early 80s we had been a predominantly patriarchal society. Somehow, women seemed to have empowered themselves better over time. Women started taking their careers seriously, and watching them succeed empowered other women, in turn. Success stories like that of Kiran Bedi, Indra Nooyi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and many others like them, who reached the top despite living in an era when men dominated the top positions, have a lasting influence on those who watched their journey.

    Everybody has a story. I just made my story public hoping to reach as many people as possible and share the fact that they aren’t alone. Being a TEDx speaker and an influencer on social media is a very uplifting experience because it gives my voice a public platform.

    Women should empower each other instead of being petty and bringing each other down. In times of social media, I wish there’d be no trolling and more positive encouragement.

    There is only one me. I can aspire to be someone else but I can’t because that person already exists. I am unique just like my thumbprint. Despite my medical condition I chose to live life to the fullest. I think there’s no bigger celebration than that.
  • Payal Soni, plus-size model & fashion blogger

    As you see women are excelling in every sphere they choose—from handling household chores to flying a plane or ruling a country. Women can achieve anything. They are resilient and incredible multitaskers that naturally makes them a strong and powerful influence.

    My confidence and self-belief are my strengths, which I have worked on through the years by breaking the stereotypical mindset of beauty. I wish to inspire women to not be defined by society’s beauty standards—the way they should look, dress, speak.

    I fight these stereotypes by being my authentic self and promote the idea that beauty and confidence can be whatever we choose to embrace without giving in to the idea of conventional beauty.

    I find happiness in the small things that make me love and celebrate myself. #IAmMyOwnWoman because I do not give in to the decade-old idea of beauty. I embrace myself fully for the woman I am today—fierce with her work and point of view.

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