Looking For Inspiration?

// 13 May 2009

Great news – on Monday night the award ceremony was held for the Inspirational Women of the Year Awards. Like any keen-to-be-inspired young woman I rushed straight to the media to soak up the positive vibes.

The first thing I found was that The Daily Telegraph had a feature encouragingly titled “Inspirational Women of the year awards“. I’ve put the link there as exhibit A but if you’d like to save the bother here’s what the article holds, this is the full list:

A picture of Sarah Brown in a large necklace.

Three paragraphs about Helen Mirren’s hair.

One paragraph about Helen Mirren’s outfit.

Two paragraphs about Sarah Brown’s outfit.

A paragraph describing the event, it’s location and sponsor.

A list of other female celebrities who attended.

And that’s it. No mention is made or photograph shown of the women nominated for or winning the awards. In fact to the untrained eye it appears Helen Mirren won after the judges ruled she had better hair than Gordon Brown’s wife!

Some more digging turned up a second article. No, not in The Times or The Guardian, in Hello Magazine. And they actually (not that it was hard) did a better job than The Telegraph.

The photos were of Helen Mirren and Rachel Stevens in glamourous outfits but the article’s five paragraphs included only one about the outfits worn by the various celebs in attendance and a whole paragraph and a half naming the winner and describing her achievements.

The Daily Mail also ran a piece, which they really had to given that their readers were the ones who had been voting for the winners (before you ask – yes all the candidates were predictably white and able-bodied). They provided a very long piece which described in depth the achievements of the winner interspersed with a huge number of photos of the celebrity attendees in glamorous outfits.

I really fail to see how this is going to inspire young women to do anything other than buy fancy shoes.

But in case you were wondering… the winner was Sylvie Silver whose achievements we are told include:

“Serving as a wing commander in charge of 1,300 teen air cadets in the London Air Training Corps, working with children and adults with learning difficulties, helping in a nursing home and acting as a director of a charity for older people.”

Well done Sylvie.

Comments From You

Alison Stevens // Posted 16 May 2009 at 4:17 pm

I was one of the five finalists,and the amount of photographs that they took on the night was many.

We had a photograph session,and rehearsal in the afternoon,which was very stressful, but the only photograph, which was shown of me, was in the Daily Mail on 12th May, with all my head obscured, very disappointing,and i feel all the pomp,and ceremony , did nothing for my efforts. No picture of Alison Stevens, the cameraman, what can i say, shoddy practice, he blamed me for moving, after i had been told to move.

Never mind, i still have my certificate,and dame Helen was amazing with me,i can proudly say, i got two hugs from her,a true Lady with star quality, but could be the lady next door,charming and very approachable.

Catherine Redford // Posted 16 May 2009 at 7:38 pm

Helen Mirren, the woman who views date rape as a ‘tricky issue’. Very inspirational!

Kate Smurthwaite // Posted 17 May 2009 at 11:39 pm

Congratulations Alison! Hey send me a photo of you (I will mail you privately with my contact details) and tell me about what you did to get nominated and what happened at the ceremony – I would love to write about it!

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