Happy New Year!
Welcome to my very (very) personal list of the women (and a few men) who made a difference to me, and maybe to you, in 2015.
Who else would you add?
In the wider world:
- Laura Barnett: for writing my novel of 2015 and depicting fifty slightly alternative years over three slightly different women’s lives, all named Eva, in The Versions of Us.
- Tea Leoni: as both Actress and Executive Producer in Madam Secretary, my binge watching choice of the year, with an honorary mention to Tim Daly for playing the trailing spouse and lead parent role with humour and grace;
- Catherine Mayer, Sandi Toksvig and Sophie Walker: for founding the Women’s Equality Party in March 2015, crowdfunding their war chest and showing us that single issue politics can mean more than just bigots in blazers in UKIP. As an aside, I wasn’t able to attend the recent WEP event in central London but barrister Max Hardy went along and wrote a very interesting blog piece of his own about it and how it feels to be one of the few men in the room;
- Viola Davis: for reminding us, as part of the ongoing discussion about diversity in showbiz, at the 2015 Emmys that “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity” and that “Talent and opportunity are two different things” – not just true in Hollywood, but in the wider world too – particularly when anyone in the corporate world insists that merit trumps opportunity in the workplace;
- The gender pay gap has been much on my mind of late and clearly on Patricia Arquette’s too: she makes this list for calling it out at the 2015 Oscars;
- Similarly, props to Jennifer Lawrence for her Lenny essay – a timely reminder to us all about asking for what you want, deserve and are worth;
- My film of 2015 was the superb (and mysteriously overlooked in Oscar nomination terms) “Suffragette” – see my review here. In acting terms – Carey Mulligan is just incredible, but the whole production is a very female-centric one, and that’s still so rare as to be comment worthy. If you need to wonder why I’m gushing like this, then you haven’t seen the film and so need to do so, immediately (the DVD is out in the UK on 29th February);
Amy Schumer: for making me laugh, very hard, during “Trainwreck” and for participating in the Pirelli calendar with a fantastic, vanity free shot which shows that modern beauty does indeed come in many forms;
- And finally – Justin Trudeau, new man in Canada: for the best soundbite of the year:
And in my world:
- Foluke Akinlose: for never pausing in her attempts to showcase the achievements of so many brilliant women of colour with the annual Precious Awards;
- My friends: L and A, for always being there for me during what has often been a challenging year. And Kayleigh: my hairdresser, for working with me to sort out someone else’s horrible hair don’t (as executed upon my innocent head on 8th July 2014);
- All the mostly, but not exclusively women, who follow my cooking, weight loss and eating photos on Instagram (@lowcarbcleo) and who support me every day in my new low carb, healthier life.
Thank you all. And here’s to an amazing, uplifting 2016.