International Women's Day - March 8th 2019.

I DEFINE ME.

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In partnership with Rosa, the only UK-wide fund dedicated to women and girls, for International Women's Day, we asked five women to share their defining stories, celebrating self-expression and individuality by defiantly saying

I DEFINE ME.

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watch the full video here.

The Event.

All five women
joined us at;

The All Bright,
London

March 8th 2019,

for a panel discussion about
challenging definitions.

Watch now.

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BRYONY-DESKTOP BRYONY-MOBILE

Bryony Gordon.

@bryonygordon

The campaigner who ran the London Marathon in her underwear, the journalist who interviewed Prince Harry about his mental health experiences; Bryony is dismantling taboos one story at a time.

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What are you most passionate about in your everyday life?

Getting my daughter to school in the morning without any tantrums being thrown? On a serious note: kindness, improving the way we deal with mental health. And Netflix.

Where is the UK in terms of mental health?

It's at the foothills. I think a lot of people think that because a few high-profile people have spoken about their mental health, it's a ticked box. There are a lot of people who are still too scared to open up - we've still got a long way to go, but I feel positive about it.

Why are we so unkind to ourselves?

When I was growing up there was only one kind of woman depicted in the mainstream media, and she was white, she was thin, she was pretty, she was straight, she was happy - I mean, I was white. If you don't see yourself depicted on screen and billboards, you don't feel like you fit in.

How do you challenge your insecurities?

I challenge my inner insecurities every day by trying to do at least one thing I think I can't - that can be getting out of bed in the morning or it can be running a marathon in my underwear.

Esme young.

@miss_esme_young

The designer designers want to be, Esme is admired for her work in film and TV - including Bridget Jones' legendary bunny costume - and is currently a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee.

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ESME-DESKTOP ESME-MOBILE

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

International Women's Day is a celebration of women's achievements. It's a way of listening to their voices and becoming aware of the obstacles they have to overcome.

What's your experience with fashion?

I look at fashion as creative and a way of people expressing themselves. When I was young there was no fast fashion - we'd make our own outfits. I was one of four women who created a brand called Swanky Modes and the motive behind this was to create clothes that we would like to wear.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It's the advice my father gave me; you have to believe in yourself and just go for it. Also, somebody once said to me “if you're not scared you're only half alive.”

How do you celebrate success?

I love my work; designing and making something always feels like an achievement. I love imparting knowledge and solving problems - I'm learning something new all the time.

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LAUREN-DESKTOP LAUREN-MOBILE

Lauren Mahon.

@girlvscancer

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, Lauren put her “big mouth” to good use providing a candid look at cancer with GIRLvsCANCER and as one of the voices behind You, Me and the Big C.

Life after diagnosis.

Join Lauren on 3rd April at Warehouse Trafford Centre where she’ll be getting candid about cancer.

Buy Tickets.
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What does International Women's Day mean to you?

For me, it's a day to celebrate women in whatever form that takes, whether you were born female or identify as female.

What do you want to get across as part of the I Define Me campaign?

I Define Me means to be authentically and unapologetically yourself. As a society, we have a lot of definitions imposed upon us - about who we should be or who we feel we should be. I love that this campaign gives us the opportunity to be us without question.

How do you challenge your insecurities?

On a daily basis! I've spent a lot of my adult life not being very nice to myself. So rather than listening to those insecurities in the back of my head, I acknowledge that they're there and try to hush them.

Where is the UK in terms of cancer diagnosis?

Fundamentally in this country, early diagnosis is an issue. We're diagnosing from the bottom up and ruling out small ailments. Actually, we should rule out the cancer first - we're getting to late diagnosis because the cancer is not being caught early enough.

Nafisa Bakkar.

@amaliah_com

Nafisa is the CEO of Amaliah, a media platform amplifying the voices of Muslim women. Two years since its inception, Amaliah's thought-provoking content has seen it featured in Forbes as one to watch.

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NAFISA-DESKTOP NAFISA-MOBILE

What do you want to get across as part of the I Define Me campaign?

There is no blueprint for how you want to live your life, and how you want to define yourself is down to you. I Define Me means that I don't wait for anyone to give me the green light.

Can you tell us about your work?

Amaliah is a place for Muslim women to exist on their own terms. For such a long time, Muslim women have been misrepresented or misspoken for, and we wanted to genuinely pass the mic and let Muslim women tell their own stories.

How do we make sure we're amplifying voices, not co-opting the narrative?

Often, when we pass the mic to Muslim women, we're asking them to demystify stereotypes or humanise themselves. For me, it's about letting her speak on her own terms and realising that when a Muslim woman is speaking, she's not always speaking for a whole group. She is her own person.

What does success look like for you?

In an ideal world, our work wouldn't exist because it wouldn't be hard to exist as a Muslim woman. Ultimately, it's not having to fight so hard for things that should be norms.

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NATALIE-DESKTOP NATALIE-MOBILE

Natalie Lee.

@stylemesunday

We all dream of turning our side hustle into a career - Natalie succeeded. Via her blog, Style Me Sunday, she champions body positivity, shares personal struggles and raises a #FridayFinger to negativity.

Embracing Body Positivity.

Natalie will be hosting a talk about body positivity on 21st March at Warehouse Argyll Street, London.

Buy Tickets.
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What does International Women's Day mean to you?

International Women's Day is a celebration of everything that women do, are and have achieved. I think that women have been overlooked for far too long. Often in history, they're erased so let's shine the light on them and really appreciate them.

What do you want to bring to this campaign?

I want to bring strength, individuality and passion because that's what I think really defines me.

Are there changes you like to see in the fashion industry?

While diversity has improved in fashion, there is still a long way to go. We should see everyone represented, especially in terms of different ages, different abilities. I would wholeheartedly like to see a lot more diversity and inclusivity.

How can we inspire others?

As a working mum, I think it's really important for me to be a good role model to my kids, to show them that I'm passionate about my work. I love what I do, and I work really hard - I think that's a very good lesson for young kids to look up to and be inspired by.

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As much as International Women's Day marks how far women have come, it's also a day to reflect on how far we have to go. Freedom and success for all are not guaranteed.
As much as International Women's Day marks how far women have come, it's also a day to reflect on how far we have to go. Freedom and success for all are not guaranteed.

I Define Me Tee.

100% of sales from our I DEFINE ME tees go to Rosa, a charitable fund working to ensure all women in the UK have an equal voice.

Over their 10 years, Rosa has directly touched the lives of over 31,000 women and girls. We want to help them continue their amazing work.

Get your tee.
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The Team Behind The Campaign.

Representation is as important behind the camera as it is in front. From buying to photography, marketing to design, these are just a few of the women involved in making this project a reality.

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