Photo Credit: Emily Clarke

Recently I’ve been actively collecting more books written by women in an attempt to create a collection of coffee table books written by powerful, inspiring women. I love learning from different women’s’ experiences and think it’s important for all to engage in reading, listening or watching stories from lives that differ from their own to understand those around us. So, when I received this book in the post from a lovely, long-distance friend that I met at university, I was overjoyed.

The book, curated by UK magazine Stylist, opens with a preface by the wonderful Lisa Smosarski, the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. The thing that I love about Stylist is that it goes against the grain of stereotypical ‘women’s magazines’ that focus on beauty, fashion, gossip and body scrutiny. Instead it is a publication that aims to showcase, celebrate and support women from all walks of life.  

The book features essays from 25 inspirational women giving ‘life lessons’ in areas such as the art of loving yourself (Laura Jane Williams), embracing your own ambition (Roxanne Gay) and learning to be confident (Katie Piper). Some of the entries really hit home as they covered topics that I have experienced personally such as dealing with grief and being your own best friend. Some of course, weren’t especially relatable but I could think of people I knew that would benefit from reading them or that I could store away for when the time comes to tackle the topic in the future.

This book allowed me to harness a set of brilliant new quotes – “If they don’t treat love like a verb, you must kick them to the kerb” – and gather snippets of advice to carry with me throughout life. I would definitely recommend this book to any young woman who is feeling overwhelmed from the pressures of society and the perils of womanhood. The book not only addresses negative situations in life but also celebrates the strength, humility and love that women across the globe encompass. 

-Emily Clarke
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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