Any Other Photo – Being a Woman Edition {Aisling}

It’s Friday readers, and Being A Woman week has been an unprecedented success. We’ve had discussions that have faced our prejudices head-on, we’ve had full-on raging debates, we’ve had some mind-blowing submissions and some of the most frantic Twitter action yet…its been incredible.
Let us round off the week with our AOPs with a difference. These are our AOPs of our female icons. We hope you learn something, and share yours. We’ll be posting again at 11am and at 3pm, so make sure you pop back each time for more inspiring women.

Waaaay back when Anna first touted ‘Being a Woman Week’, we knew straightaway we would have a ‘special edition’ AnyOtherPhoto. It’s what we do, after all. And I had mine all sewn up. Female icon, you say? I have just the lady! ‘Hi, Mummy!’

I was going to use a picture of my Mum, taken in the early 80′s. But there would be no neon legwarmers and corkscrew perms on these here pages, no sir ma’am. The picture was taken by my grandfather on the day that my Mum graduated from Hendon Police College. She is resplendant in spankingly ironed uniform, rigid had with Met badge, police-issue tights and mother-f’ing SEXY Doc Marten brogues. Her smile is so wide, her hair so shiny, she’s so young and SO beautiful…and so powerful. The steely determination of the 20 year old who has left her home country and leapt into the unknown to make a difference in the wider world emanates from the paper and her pride in her numerous achievements is palpable. It’s my favouritest ever ever picture of my Mam. She rocks my socks.


Once I got to thinking, I wondered was this picture too obvious? I mean, she’s my Mum. Obviously she’s my female icon. It’s no Newsflash, is it? Everything that I see when I look at that picture, everything I feel…would it be the same if it wasn’t my Mum? No, said I! And then I realised that that was nonsense. Here’s the proof.

That’s the W.R.E.N.S. The Women’s Royal Navy Service, or ‘Jennie’s’. The women who threw their aprons on the kitchen table, left their skirts and stockings in the wardrobe and kept the United Kingdom going whilst war raged across the world. The women who upped sticks and threw themselves headfirst into the unknown, to make a difference. Aren’t they beautiful? And how strong do they look? How proud of themselves, one another, their husbands, fathers, brothers? It’s a wonderful, wonderful picture and instills as much pride in me as the photo of my Mum does.
Just look… Look at what we can do, us women.
Categories: Any Other Photo
4 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted November 18, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    This week reading AOW I'm doing an embarrassing amount of applauding when I finish reading posts/comments. It just happened again.

    Fantastic. Fantastic picture. Fantastic writing. Those women were phenomenal, we should be proud of them, and strive to make them proud of us.

    K x

  2. Posted November 18, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I love hearing stories about all the different things that various amazing women did during the war. My favourites are the female pilots – I just can't get over how amazing they were. It might be because I'm scared of flying and just could never ever do it myself but it always makes me think 'wow'.

  3. Posted November 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Awesome women, awesome post.

    I know it's not about looks but, gosh, don't they look so fabulous!

    SJM x

  4. Posted November 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking about this the other day.

    Without a doubt Marie Curie. She is my inspiration. Then I think about the more "ordinary" (which is completely the wrong word) women. Those women who worked for SOE – amazing.

    Also I always wanted to be Cheetarah from Thundercats because she was freakin' awesome!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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