Girls Who Are Slaying this Summer - for All the Right Reasons!
As part of our Girls Who Slay season, we’ve been thinking a lot about what summer means for women, and realised that a lot of focus is on looking good, being slim, and what to wear. Whilst we love clothing and fashion, we are getting a little bit tired of all this ‘summer body’ nonsense, and instead we’ve put together a list of women slaying in summer by doing some really fun and worthwhile things, to inspire you to go out there and enjoy life...rather than worrying about what you look like in a bikini!
The Longboard Girls Crew
The Longboard Girls Crew is a community of female longboarders from around the world, and since 2010 it has been working to encourage more women to take part in the sport, and for more recognition of females in action sports in general. If you’re unfamiliar with longboarding, it is somewhat similar to skateboarding, except it uses a different kind of board, and is less focussed on performing jumps or stunts, and more about cruising and achieving high speeds, and competitively they are also used for performing incredible acrobatic displays atop the longboard, known as ‘dancing’. It is almost like a cross between skateboarding and surfing, and it's awesome to watch!
The members of the LGC regularly attend and host events, competitions and lecture as well as working with charities and NGOs for humanitarian causes. In fact, after many years of promoting their sport, they have recently shifted their efforts to focus more on their humanitarian efforts. They recently announced a partnership with the charity Together1heart which is working towards ending sex slavery in Cambodia and improving the lives of young girls there through education and re-integration into society. This summer, LGC is sending a group of riders to Cambodia to speak to the girls and women who the charities is working with, and to help them to feel empowered (and have some fun!) while teaching them the basics of longboarding. We think these girls are just so bad-ass, and are putting their summers to good use in helping some amazing causes, and working towards a more inclusive world for girls and women worldwide, as well as inspiring many women and girls to try something new.
Watch one of their amazing rides here!
Debbie Harry is one of the slayest girls out there, and this summer she is touring with Blondie following the release of their new album Pollinator. Playing 30 dates across Europe and the US between June and August this year, as well as co-headlining with Garbage in the Rage and Rapture tour in July, we are so in love with Debbie Harry for continuing to tour and bring out new music at the age of 71, showing that you are never too old to make music, travel the world, and just generally slay!
Travel blogger, artist and PHD student Esra Alhamal has travelled to over 25 countries around the world, and writes a blog on her experiences travelling as a muslim and hijabi, and she also presents the travel segment on The Lifestyle Show on English language Islamic channel Ahlulbayt TV. Alhamal feels that in the current political climate, she is a representation of Islam whenever she travels abroad, whether she likes it or not, and also that certain countries can be dangerous or intimidating to visit as a muslim woman. However, Alhamal is intent on travelling as much as she can, seeing the world, being open to other cultures and leading others by example by being respectful, tolerant and open-minded when visiting new places. In a world where young Muslim women are sometimes seen as lacking independence or ambition, Alhamal breaks stereotypes with her intrepid explorations of the world, posting stunning photography, fashion tips, and accounts of her thoughts and experiences whilst on her travels on her website. She recently posted from her trip to Malta, and no doubt this summer she will be out and about exploring and making her mark on the world – she’s definitely expiring us to go out of our comfort zone and discover new exciting places!
Wild swimmer, nature explorer, adventure filmmaker and photographer Vivienne Rickman-Poole has a passion for the outdoors, and is not afraid to push her mental and physical limits in pursuit of nothing more than satisfying her craving for exploration and immersion in nature. Two years ago, she started an incredibly ambitious project called Swim Snowdonia, in which she has made it her goal and obsession to explore every body of water in Snowdonia, and document her experience through photographs – which are absolutely stunning, and can be seen on her website and Tumblr. Rickman-Poole, a fine-art graduate, got into her adventurous lifestyle by pure chance (going to show that new, exciting experiences aren’t as out of reach as you might think) when she applied for a job at an Outdoor Centre, which then led to a passion for climbing, and later exploring the mountains and lakes of Wales and the wider world. This summer, Rickman-Poole will be continuing her breath-taking journey, and sharing all her beautiful and inspiring photographs and videos with us, inspiring many more people to get out into nature. For more information on how you can get into wild swimming, check out the Outdoor Swimming Society website.
Kadeena Cox (MBE)
Kadeena Cox is a parasport athlete and multiple gold medal winner who competes in both T38 sprinting, and para-cycling. In 2014, Cox was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Only a year later, Cox competed in the IPC Athletics World Championships, and the following year entered the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, where she won multiple medals, including two gold medals in different sports, and set a new world record. Her achievements and dedication to her sport despite her illness gained her an MBE early this year, and she continues to train, as well as blogging on her website, TV appearances and public speaking, raising awareness of MS and inspiring people with the condition as well as others not to be defined by their illness or supposed limitations. In July this year, Kadeena will be competing in the 2017 World ParaAthletics Championships in London, and we know she's going to slay in her events this year too!
Seirian Sumner and Nathalie Pettorelli (Soapbox Science)
Co-founders of scientific public outreach project Soapbox Science, Nathalie Pettorelli and Seirian Sumner, came up with the idea of Soapbox Science to help engage the public with science, as well as giving scientists a (literal) platform to talk about their work. Nathalie Pettorelli is an evolutionary biologist and behavioural ecologist who specialises in social evolution and social behaviour in insects, while Seirian Sumner is an ecologist who researches global environmental change and its impact on the ecosystem. Bringing science to the public in an engaging way, where the audience are able to interact with scientists, ask questions, heckle, and get involved, Soapbox Science has now been running for 7 years, with annual events all over the world. You can see the dates for upcoming Soapbox Science events on their website, as well as finding out about how you could get involved and help to organise local events! These two inspiring women worked hard to promote something that they are passionate about, and have now created a worldwide platform for science and discussion. Thanks for showing the world that women are slaying in science (and business) too!
The Gothic Valley WI
The Gothic Valley WI is a London-based women’s institute, organising goth-related events and meetings for women – though they stress that you don’t have to be a goth to join in! With events ranging from cake-decorating and sewing to wine-tasting and medieval sword fighting, they are offering a place for like-minded people to gather and take part in fun events, regardless of age and background. They meet every third Wednesday of the month in North London, and allow guests to come and try out their events for free. The Gothic WI is no doubt planning plenty of events this summer, so if you’re interested, why not check out their website? If you’ve been finding yourself at a loss for things to do now that the weather is (slowly) improving, and want to get out of the house, meet new people and try new things, finding a local group such as a WI can be a really great way of finding new hobbies and friends!
This awesome all-female paintball team from the USA, formed in 2004, are one of the best all-girl teams around, consistently finishing in the top 10s in competitions. The girls at Destiny Paintball compete in all-female events, but also co-ed, and they are active in promoting paintballing for women, as well as challenging male prejudices within the sport, with the aim of making the game inclusive for everyone encouraging men and women to play together (and against each other!) rather than being divided by gender. They also hope to inspire parents to get their daughters into paintball, as well as their sons, breaking down stereotypes about ‘gender appropriate’ activities from an early age. The girls of destiny will be competing in multiple events this summer, and we hope they slay the hell out of them! If you haven’t tried paintballing yet, maybe next time you have a get-together with the girls you could don some war-paint and go and take out your frustrations on the battlefield!
We hope this list of awesome women slaying summer has inspired you! Summer isn't all about bikinis and fad diets - it should be about getting outdoors if possible, socialising, and using your time off work and the longer days and better weather to do something new, and maybe even find your new passion in life! Of course, not everyone can be an athlete or an artist, and not everyone has the time, money or energy to embark on an ambitious project this summer. But even something as simple as signing up to a class, joining a social group on Facebook, or even setting aside a few days to go outside and enjoy nature, can make you feel much better and more positive than going on a juice cleanse so you can fit into your swim suit from 5 years ago. Being happy and healthy is about so much more than just how you look, so take inspiration from these women and go have a slay summer of your own!