Fan Girl – Women I am obsessed with
4 influential women I’m totally fangirling over
I’m a professional fangirl.
I live in Sydney. And I’ve just come out of 100+ days of lockdown.
It means, I can, once again, spend time with my extended family, get my grey hairs coloured, sit in the cafe to drink my coffee, and book tickets.
Theatre tickets, that is.
Watching talented dancers, singers, and actors on stage is my favourite pastime. From opera and ballet to stand-up comedy and musicals, I love it all.
Last year, in between lock-downs, I got to see FANGIRLS, a musical written by Yve Blake.
I was in the audience when Yve gave her TEDxSydney talk in 2019 about fangirls.
During the talk, she posed the question:
“Why is that the image of young girls screaming their lungs out with excitement for a pop star is considered crazy, psycho, scary, a bit much? But the image of young boys screaming their lungs out for a footballer is perfectly normal? Boys crying at the footie ― that’s the love of the game. Girls crying at a Justin Bieber concert? That’s pathetic.”
She had me hooked. Blake went on:
“If girls grow up in a world where words like crazy and psycho and hysterical are casually used to describe female enthusiasm, then how does that shape the way that those girls get to see themselves? And if girls grow up in a world that tells them that they are designed just a bit crazier than the boys, then isn’t that a little bit like telling them that they are born less capable of rationality than men, less capable of reason and unworthy of the same intellectual respect as their brothers?”
Alas! The double standards is yet another that needs to be righted.
Citing the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Blake defined a fangirl as a “girl or a woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something.”
As I sat down and started my “Oooh, what can I buy tickets to” research, I remembered, lovingly, the wonderful tie I had watching the story about Harry-obsessed teens and their parents.
It also got me thinking about the celebrities I fangirl over. And rather than keep them to myself, falling victim to the discourse that suggests my enthusiasm is “crazy” as a result, I thought I’d share a few of them with you. Unapologetically. Because women fangirling over each other ― and their achievements ― is a beautiful thing.
So, who is on my list aside from Yve Blake?
List of Women
I am obsessed with
Dr Amantha Imber
Amantha is an organisational psychologist and the founder of behavioural science consultancy, Inventium
I first came across Amantha’s work in 2009 when I picked-up a copy of The Creativity Formula: 50 Scientifically Proven Creativity Boosters for Work and Life.
Fat chance ― an exercise designed to warm up the creative thinking parts of the brain by asking a group to solve an impossible challenge like Grow 20cm taller in 24 hours ― remains one of my favorite ways to get a room fired up at the start of a long day.
Amantha’s podcast How I Work is always on my playlist. I’m obessed with the her personal and business websites as they are best-in-class. Not to mention her decision in 2019 to grant her staff unlimited annual leave.
I love what Amantha stands for and how she shows up in the world. So much so that last year, I sent her a Christmas card and gift thanking her for being amazing even though we’ve never met.
If that’s not an example of professional fangirling, I don’t know what is.
Fangirl status: If I was going to be an employee again, I’d be applying for a job at Inventium.
Cindy Gallop describes herself on LinkedIn as the Michael Bay of business. Because she likes to blow shit up. She’s the founder and the CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, a social sextech paltform.
In addition to admiring her tagline “Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference,” I admire the way she sees herself and actively chooses to support women.
You’ll often find Cindy appearing on podcasts and in the media talking about female empowerment and the importance of investing in the tech they create to support women to lessen the pain ― take the Ohnut, for example, a product I heard Cindy talk about on a podcast a while back, which is designed to adjust the depth of penetration ― and increase the pleasure across all areas of their lives.
Fangirl status: For me, Cindy is the answer to the question, “Who would you most like to have dinner with, dead or alive?” If there is ever a chance to sit across the table from her in real life, I’ll be there.
Tasmanian-born Hannah Gadsby is the epitome of class in my view.
She’s a comedian, and her comedy is out-of-the-world classy.
I discovered Hannah via her Netflix Special Nanette, filmed at The Opera House.
And when I did, I watched it multiple times over. I laughed, I cried and I was impressed.
Impressed by her courage to do comedy her way. You see, Hannah spoke openly about sexism, homophobia, and assaults she has dealt with in her own life.
They way she tackled such serious and highly personal subjects was authentic and powerful. Oh so powerful.
There were multiple times when nobody was laughing. It was done deliberately of course, but it was so anti-conventional that it immediately pushed her to the top of my #hatsoff list.
I saw her second live show Douglas in Sydney, and it was magic. Every member of the audience, without exception, was required to hand over their phones so they could be locked away for the performance. Talk about a clever way to ensure engagement!
And then there was her actual stage presence. She commanded the stage. Her projection. Her pauses. Her gesturing. It was perfect. I can’t wait to see Body of Work.
Fangirl status: When I screamed out “I LOVE YOU, HANNAH!” at the top of my lungs, standing on my feet during her performance, there wasn’t a person in the House that didn’t know how I felt about her. (True stry!) And I will do it again.
In my opinion, it’s worth identifying and celebrating the men and women we admire.
In fact, when working with a new client, I always ask who is on their admiration list. It’s a way for me to ensure the strategy and positioning we need to develop really speaks to who they are and who they want to be.
Over to you now: Who are your role models, and what are the values you admire in them?
About Kathy Rhodes
Kathy is the Founder and Chief Alchemist at Thought Alchemist, a consultancy dedicated to helping Australia’s thought leaders turn ideas into business that power the life they want. She does this through blending sales and marketing know-how with business growth strategy and on-going coaching.