Held annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a celebration of women around the world. Countries rave over the huge achievements of women and rally together for gender equality and rights for women.
The first ever IWD was celebrated in 1911, so it’s a storied tradition that’s great to take part in. It's a time to celebrate the women who over the years have showed their strength and power and made history. Even better, it’s a chance to celebrate the women who are looking towards the future to encourage future generations.
Each year sees a new theme, which unifies everyone’s efforts and raises awareness of specific issues. For 2021, the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. On the IWD website, organisers said: ‘We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world’.
While COVID-19 restrictions means that IWD is going to look a little bit different this year, there’s no better time now, a year into the pandemic, to celebrate the women in your life (drop your mum, sister or friend a text to say hi, we guarantee they’ll appreciate it!). The IWD website reads ‘the pandemic won’t dampen our spirits in the pursuit to connect communities around the world to collaboratively forge positive change for women’.
In that spirit, we’ve assembled an inspiring list of women on social media who are doing sterling work in the fitness and wellness worlds to inspire others every day to live their best well life in both body and mind. If there’s one thing we’ve all learned since lockdown started a year ago, it’s that social media continues even when no-one leaves the house, so try freshening up your feed with some new inspirational female figures.
If you’re keen to show support for IWD 2021 on your own feed, the organisers have suggested posting an image of yourself on your favourite social platforms with your hand raised high, to show you’re choosing to challenge and call out inequality rather than letting things slide, with the hashtag #ChooseToChallenge.
Nesrine Dally, @nez_healthhub
Nesrine is not only a Nike trainer and a Muy Thai instructor, she also has degrees in both sports science and biomechanics. Her main focus is empowering young women through sports - a goal very suited to an inspiring IWD. She encourages girls to feel confident trying out martial arts, as well as providing the kind of uplifting content we all need in our feeds.
Melissa Alcantara, @fitgurlmel
You know that the woman who trains Kim Kardashian knows what’s up. Melissa is a true powerhouse of an athlete, who specialises in motivating women to push themselves past their mental limits and achieve things they didn’t think were possible. Plus, her inspirational captions are just what we need to get us going on a weekday morning.
Joan MacDonald, @trainwithjoan
Hit 30 and worrying that you’re past it? Age is but a number, darling. This is the attitude taken by Joan MacDonald, who started bodybuilding at 70. Now 74, she’s a truly inspiring figure and shows that you can do anything at any time if only you put your mind to it.
Roz the Diva, @rozthediva
You only need to look at a single one of Roz the diva’s posts to feel the warm, inspiring energy radiating from her. Her platform is a lesson that body type is meaningless when it comes to fitness and happiness, and that nothing apart from your mind is stopping you from trying new things. Oh, and she’s also very funny.
Lauren Fisher, @LaurenFisher
Lauren’s feed will make you realise that you have more hours in a day than you though you had. Not only is she a college student, she’s also a Crossfit competitor and an influencer who manages to make her thousands of followers all feel like they’re her best friends. Her fitness feats are seriously impressive and will make you want to get out there and try for your own personal bests.
Jessica F., @alltherightbites
You don’t just need inspiration for the gym - you also need it for the kitchen, and Jessica F. is where you’ll find it. A holistic nutritional coacher Instagram page is stuffed with all of the food that you want to be eating every day, and it’s intended to leave you not only satiated but nourished in both body and mind. Think chocolate sea salt cookie dough and cheesy stuffed tomatoes. Yum?! Sign us up.
Tiffany Ima, @tiffanyima
Tiffany preaches the message that all bodies are valid, and it’s one we all need to hear. She uses her Instagram to show you how to ditch feeling ashamed about yourself, and to feel at home in the body you have right now. There isn’t just one way to look ‘healthy’, and Tiffany can show you how to gently coach your mind to that place. Her calming, inspirational messages are sure to make your day every time.