Feminism in Summer 2023: Celebrating Women’s Achievements

Written by Imogen Holmes

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As an 80% female agency, celebrating women’s achievements is something we’re very much accustomed to, and this summer the spirit of feminism became entwined within various aspects of our lives, from entertainment and culture to sports, and there’s been plenty to celebrate…

From the record-breaking release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which had the biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman, to the triumphant journey of The Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup, feminism took centre stage, inspiring conversations and reshaping perceptions.

Hi Barbie! 

Greta Gerwig’s groundbreaking film Barbie shattered the record for the highest-ever opening weekend for a female-directed movie.

Not just that, it came with a female-dominated soundtrack, captivated media of every hue and topped charts around the world for weeks, putting women’s issues, notably of the male gaze, in the driver’s seat, and sparked some brilliant, funny, difficult conversations, which resonated with women and girls around the world.

But the film resonated with a much larger audience than those of us affected by the unrealistic beauty standards set by Mattel’s Barbies. Not only did it address the difficulty of being a young girl in a beauty-obsessed world in a light-hearted way, it brought a new understanding of why these preconceived notions of women exist, and how we can encourage the aspirations of young girls to pursue whatever their dreams may be. And not just this, it also explored the difficulties of being a Ken in a world where emotions are encouraged to be suppressed in order to impress barbies, showing that patriarchy isn’t only harmful for women, but for men too. Remember, Gerwig notes, you are Kenough!

Not just Lionesses’ roar…

The Lionesses of the Women’s World Cup roared onto the scene, capturing the hearts of 21.2 million viewers, making it the second most-watched BBC event of 2023, after the Coronation.

The thrilling journey of the women’s national football team captured the hearts of millions, as they showcased their remarkable skills and determination on the world field. With key players like Lucy Bronze, Mary Earps, and Lauren James becoming symbols of resilience and excellence, dismantling stereotypes and inspiring young girls to pursue their dreams in sports. Their triumph marked a significant milestone since the lifting of the FA’s ban on women’s football just over five decades ago.

But this summer wasn’t just about football.

The Netball World Cup garnered 5.6 million global viewers, with the Roses earning a historic second-place ranking. The Tour de France Femmes, headlined by Demi Vollering’s victory, drew 4.3 million viewers in France and a staggering 23.2 million worldwide.

These women’s sporting successes are no mean feat, and I’m proud to say that this summer, it felt they were recognised appropriately for their achievements, making deserved headline news across the board, no longer being pushed to the back of the sports pages. Their achievements captivated audiences and inspired women to step into their own athletic pursuits, with 59% of women in the UK having started training with an old sports team again. Not only is women’s sport being celebrated, but it’s being encouraged!

The Queens of Pop 

In the realm of music, Beyoncé’s Renaissance and Taylor Swift’s Eras tours emerged as cultural phenomena, captivating global audiences and dominating social media discourse. Swift’s tour is poised to shatter the billion-dollar sales mark, an unprecedented feat in concert history. Meanwhile, Beyoncé’s tour celebrated inclusivity and feminism, resonating as a powerful call to action for women worldwide.

These iconic artists have not only inspired as performers but have also been major influencers for social change, inspiring a new generation of activists. And they rock the boys right off the stage.

Be a barbie, or a lioness or quite frankly, whatever the hell you want! 

This transformative summer reflects the broader influence of feminism in promoting gender inclusivity. It’s not just about ‘women supporting women’, but a collective acknowledgment and celebration of women’s achievements. This shift empowers women to chase their dreams, a shift beautifully reflected in the headlines.

In the end, whether you identify with Barbie’s boldness or the Lioness’s roar, or choose to forge your own unique path, the message is clear: celebrate yourself and the remarkable women around you for their extraordinary contributions.

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