To empower somebody is to enable them to feel stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. There are a lot of UK female celebrities that are empowering and inspirational, and we should be looking to them to help us feel that we can make a difference and do amazing things as well.
Here is a list of our 10 most empowering female celebrities who hail from the UK!
At the top of the list is none other than Emma Watson, who is definitely one of the most empowering and inspirational UK female celebrities.
Starting out as her iconic character Hermione Granger, Emma has since had roles in a lot of other series and films, but has also been involved with a lot of important activism work. In 2014, she graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature, and also was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. She launched the #HeForShe campaign, which focuses on men advocating for gender equality.
Naomi was a born star, appearing on the UK cover of Elle magazine at the young age of 15. She was the first black model to make the front page of French Vogue magazine in August 1988, she truly made history as a model – which is very inspiring and empowering.
She has recently been working as a contributing editor to British GQ and an editor-at-large for Russian and German Interview magazines.
She is such an empowering figure as she persisted and achieved success even in the face of discrimination, and made history doing it.
Adele has sales of more than 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She is also supportive of her fellow female artists, breaking one of her Grammy awards in two in 2017 to give the other half to Beyoncé as she felt that her album, Lemonade, was more deserving of the award.
She is very well known for being un-apologetically herself, which is what makes her an empowering British icon.
Mary Berry is the UK’s favourite grandmother figure, and one of the most famous celebrity chefs from the UK.
Mary attended Bath High School, where she described her academic abilities as “hopeless” until she attended domestic science classes and discovered her talent for cooking. This is totally empowering for anyone who ever felt that they could never be successful as their academic grades aren’t enough.
She has written over 70 cookbooks, and was well known for being a judge of The Great British Bake Off until last year.
Gwendoline Christie has become a well known celebrity in the UK, perhaps best known for her roles as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones and Phasma in Star Wars.
One of Gwendoline’s physical features is her height, and she stands tall at 6ft 3 inches. She went to the Drama Centre London, during which time she was told she “would probably never work because I didn’t look the same as most actors”, due to her unconventionally large physique. When interviewed by SFX, she said: “It’s difficult, because many people can’t see past my height, and it’s been very difficult to be considered for parts simply because I’m six foot three.”
Taking to Vogue, she said: “women who rail against the traditional notions of what it is to be female and refuse to be defined in such narrow terms – are still a rarity. I think that only by exploring the differences between us can we find what unites us as humans. It’s emboldening that times are changing, but I still crave even more imagination in the female stories that make it to our screens and in the ways in which they are told. Don’t you?” This is an empowering statement by one of Britain’s most interesting and inspiring actors.
Maggie Smith is a national treasure, and one of Britain’s most recognisable actors. Her sassy character quips as both Professor McGonnagall and Violet Crawley, two of her most recognisable roles, are gold. Her career has so far spanned 66 years, on stage, screen and television.
In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but continued to film the final Harry Potter film and made a full recovery. In true British ‘stiff upper lip’ style, she was quoted to have said: “S*** happens. I ought to pull myself together a bit.”
Now retired, Kelly Holmes remains a celebrity of the athletic sports world, Kelly is famous particularly for her double gold medal in the 800m and 1500m at the Athens 2004 Olympics.
However, she has a range of other achievements, including appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2005. She also founded the Kelly Holmes Trust in 2008, a registered charity which supports young athletes and young people facing disadvantage across the UK. This makes her an empowering and inspiring role model.
One of the UK female celebrities of the politics world, Mhairi made history in 2015 when she became the youngest MP elected since 1667 at the age of 20.
Standing for the SNP, Mhairi Black has strong views and is unafraid to challenge her much older, male counterparts in parliament. She is also proudly LGBT and when asked about her decision to come out, she replied that “I’ve never been in”. She has also spoken out in Westminster about the misogynistic and homophobic abuse directed at her online.
This boldness to be true to who you are in the face of discrimination and bullying is really empowering and inspiring.
JK Rowling is one of the very inspiring and empowering UK female celebrities. She went through a lot of hardship when writing her first Harry Potter novel. She endured the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband and relative poverty. Yet she kept going overcame hardship to become the world’s first billionaire author.
She lost her billionaire status due to giving away so much money to charity. She founded her own charity, Lumos. It aims to fundraise to help bring an end to the institutionalisation of children and the poor conditions they live in worldwide.
She may not be one of the current UK female celebrities, yet Virginia Woolf is considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors. She had a big influence on literature and became her an important female icon.
Her essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ from 1929 is a really important feminist read. It powerfully highlights the importance of intellectual freedom and financial independence for women.
Her novels are interesting and thought-provoking, with strong female leads such as Lily Briscoe in To The Lighthouse and Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs Dalloway.