2017: From Gurls Talk to Model of the Year
Even though I've always felt that being yourself and embracing who you are is one of the most important things, I always used to feel slightly anxious about expressing myself at school. It was during this time that I discovered Adwoa Aboah and her Gurls Talk campaign in i-D magazine.
After raving about her in an essay, I was so excited about the Gurls Talk campaign that I contacted Adwoa asking her to give a talk at my school. We had to write about someone who inspired us and nobody in my English class knew who my inspirational person was. I explained that Adwoa was an H&M model, had done a bit of work with Calvin Klein and was starting a feminist campaign as a result of surviving a very close suicide attempt. Despite some doubts from a few of my classmates about how incredible she was, I was sure that she was doing something interesting and revolutionary.
A month later, Adwoa actually came to my school. I had put sign up sheets all over school, yet despite my closest friends and my school's feminist society, everyone else seemed a bit uninterested in her visit. I couldn't understand why. In the end, about 40 people in my school went to Adwoa's talk and those who went felt totally transformed, empowered and full of excitement.
|The Feminist Society at my school. I look so shy here because I was so in awe that day, I literally didn't know wtf was going on.|
Time has passed by and so much has happened to Adwoa since then: she's done magazine covers for Dazed and i-D magazines (if you know anything about me, you'll know these are my faves!!!), walked catwalks for elite fashion houses from Chanel to Dior, managed to attend the #WomensMarch in Washington, talk at top universities such as Oxford and officially launch Gurls Talk. Also, the new Editor of Vogue, Edward Enninful chose her to be his very first cover girl in his epic debut. I couldn't believe that my teenage heroine was on this iconic cover and looking so damn beautiful wearing a turban- a homage to her roots, a statement to the fashion world. To end Adwoa's year in a celebration of sparkles, she wore the coolest sequin dress to the Fashion Awards where she won Model of The Year. (Read about her kick-ass dress, here: Vogue: The story behind Adwoa's model of the year outfit.) Then, only a few days ago, she was standing outside Downing street, speaking out about period poverty in the UK.
Phew.... she's done a lot.
It makes me so excited!
December is a time of reflection. Looking back, I'm so proud of everything Adwoa has done this year. I couldn't be prouder to have been a small part of her campaign too. Now I see girls in my class who previously ignored Adwoa as a notable supermodel wearing T shirts with her on, practically everyone in my school follows her on Instagram and everyone loves her. This makes me so happy to see that she has become not just a supermodel, but also an amazing role model. This year I have really embraced my passions and done things out of my comfort zone like publish a magazine and become a School journalist for Tatler. I feel so privileged that I have experienced so many amazing opportunities this year and I couldn't be prouder that I got over caring about what other people think and actually found the guts to do what I love.