Ahead of International Women’s Day, the supermodel, entrepreneur and GTG columnist interviews 9 women who inspire her and discusses changing times for women

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The #metoo and #timesup campaigns have ushered in a fresh new chapter of change for women globally. As a female entrepreneur, I am hugely excited for the women around me. Self-confidence, to me, is essential to both personal and professional success. I believe it comes from within and stems from overarching wellness. Feeling good, being nourished from the inside out, and being healthy boosts confidence and self-esteem which in turn makes us stronger. It’s something I have learned to value as I’ve gotten older and something I share with the women around me.

As a parent, I encourage my boys to value education, both for men and women. I endeavour to deflect difficult times with humour and gentleness, encourage appreciation and ensured they are surrounded by good solid male role models along with their father.

When my boys were younger, we hired Australian mentors instead of nannies so they could observe Australian values from watching other men. It has been hugely important to me as a parent to teach the boys to treat women with absolute respect equality and kindness. Parenting isn’t always easy, but it’s the most important job and the greatest honour.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, I spoke to strong women, including my WelleCo  co-founder and nutritionist who continue to inspire and motivate me

LIVIA FIRTH, Founder and Creative Director of Eco Age Ltd, and founding member of The Circle, a partnership of influential women who use their networks, skills and resources to help Oxfam empower vulnerable women and tackle poverty.

Elle: What is your daily holistic health practice?

Livia: “Every morning I have at least half hour for my meditation and yoga and I love to dance to unwind. Overall wellness to me is feeling that my body is fit, but also rested and my mind is peaceful. Wellness is more a state of mind than anything else.”

EM: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

LF: “It’s strong women who motivate me - athlete and actress Aimee Mullins, singer Annie Lennox, my mum and sister. Women who are true to who they are - and in my campaigning, this starts from what they wear, which is not what the current trend tells them to wear, but what they really love.”


ANDREA HORWOOD, CEO and co-founder WelleCo

Elle: Where do you see women in 20 years?

Andrea: “Equal, paid, respected. With hopefully less pressure to ‘do it all’.”

EM: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

AH: “I admire so many women for so many reasons. We have the incredible ability to make the most of everything – my mother for her perspective and humour, a friend for being larger than her situation during a difficult divorce, another for her ability to raise and guide a family of five children into thoughtful contributing little people, another who supports her whole family working two tiring jobs – I am surrounded by amazing everyday examples of what women are capable of. Making a house a home, an idea into a business, a problem into a solution, creating life… all the truly incredible life-affirming stuff that we do every day without thinking.”

EM: What is your daily holistic health practice?

AH:WelleCo Super Elixir Greens  every morning before I walk around the river to the office listening to music.”

FRAN HAUSER, Author of The Myth of the Nice Girl

Elle: Where do you see women in 20 years?

Fran: “I am hopeful that our children are growing up without the unconscious biases that our generation seems to have. This means that we will see more women in leadership positions across all sectors: business, government, non-profit and academia. We will be much closer to achieving equal pay and will see significantly more funding going towards female-founded ventures.”

EM: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

FH: “Michelle Obama is such an inspiration to me. She is the perfect proof that women can be both ambitious and kind and have extraordinary success. I also admire women like my dear friend Ashley Longshore who is a New Orleans-based artist/entrepreneur. She is fearless and epitomises authenticity to me (just check out her Instagram feed  to see what I mean!)”

EM: What is your daily holistic health practice?

FH: “The first thing I have when I wake up is a big glass of ice water with two teaspoons of WelleCo Super Elixir Greens. It feels good to start my day off right nutritionally and it gives me a lot of energy.  I am not just saying it because it’s your brainchild Elle ;) I also love my five-minute meditation practice. Meditation Studio is my favorite app because it provides meditations based on what your needs.”


TAMMY FENDER, Tammy Fender Holistic Skin Care

Elle: What is your daily holistic health practice?

Tammy: “I’m a true believer in the benefits of juicing, and prepare my own organic apple-lemon-ginger-cinnamon juice and organic green juices. Whatever is growing in my garden is a staple for my meals. I wake every day at 4 or 5am, and devote an hour to prayer and meditation, and do the same at the end of the day before sleep. Dance and movement unlocks an energy that I can tap into with everything else that I do, so I incorporate dance into my schedule three times weekly and make room for yoga and a little stretching. In order to achieve holistic balance, we need to love ourselves enough to follow through with our intentions. It’s not easy! That said, almost every day I’m reminded of the beauty in our intrinsic human strength - our resilience.”

EM: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

TF: “[Spiritual singer/songwriter and author] Snatam Kaur - I admire her never-ending devotion to God/Oneness and her beautiful expression of this devotion, which shines through in her music and her lifestyle. And my mother, for her pure love and for her way of honouring simplicity throughout her life.”


GINA DAFALIA, Communications, Policy and Development Advisor and head of communication for Walk Free Foundation, an organisation dedicated to ending modern slavery

Elle: What is your daily holistic health practice?

Gina: “I start my day by making a smoothie and getting the kids ready for school. If we are not running late we walk along the beach to school. Switching off is important and I do that by spending time with my kids and my husband, walking and getting lost in a really good book.”

EM: Who are the women that inspire you and why?

GD: “My mother is a great inspiration. She was an adolescent in Greece during the years of the military junta. She overcame adversity and became a successful teacher and businesswoman. Another is Kadicha, an incredible woman I met in Northern Kenya a few years ago. She lost all nine of her brothers to HIV and AIDS and set up an organisation that provides schooling, health services and fostering care to children who have been orphaned in the area. Her story inspired CNN to produce a documentary, titled: “Where have all the parents gone?” .


JOSIE MARAN, founder Josie Maran Cosmetics


Elle: What is your daily holistic health practice?

Josie: “Waking up, meditating, doing yoga, and then reading about something new to learn about. These are my essentials to start my day and go for my dreams. I travel a lot so always creating an adventure wherever I go.”

EM: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

JM: “My mom, Anne Frank, and Amma, http://amma.org/ known for her selfless love and compassion for all beings.”


Dr Simone Laubscher PhD, nutritional doctor and formulator of WelleCo Super Elixir

Elle: Where do you see women in 20 years?

Simone: “I love working with women and have had the privilege of witnessing a huge shift over the past 20 years. The ‘power chick’ of the 1980s, with those huge shoulder pads fighting to make her way in a ‘man’s world’ is now elegantly moving into her true power. We now realise we can be ‘all woman’ but still flourish in our chosen vocations - standing up with a firm voice, speaking from our hearts but not trying to be a man.

“I feel the next 20 years, we will see women rise and take up their rightful place, fearfully and wonderfully made and not afraid to speak up from an authentic place, no longer having to pretend to be someone she is not. I also see a gathering of women, comparisons falling away and women having the revelation that we are all in our own unique ‘lanes' of life, no one can take another's destiny, so we can be free to build each other up and cheer each other on. Iron sharpens iron after all.”

EM: What is your daily holistic health practice?

SL: “Each day I have various morning rituals which set my day up with an elegant flow. Firstly, I practise being still and pray and meditate so I can get through my day from a place of fullness and overflow, rather than running on empty and simply fighting fires. This way my family, clients and I get the best of me and I can do less but be more effective.

“I always hydrate first thing with two pints of water with lemon and ginger. I then follow with my WelleCo Super Elixir greens and sometimes add it to a fresh green veggie juice or have it just with water depending on the type of movement my body chooses for the day. My mind and body thrive with intermittent fasting so this is all I need each morning to start my day.”

PATTI DEBROFF, international make-up artist

Elle: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

Patti: “My family fills me with love and happiness, and my spiritual path gives my whole life true substance and deep meaning. I feel very blessed and that is the greatest motivator.”

EM: What is your daily holistic health practice?

PD: “The constants for me, no matter where I am, is how I start and end my day. Oil-pulling (Ayurvedic method of detoxification) always first thing in morning. I dry brushing my whole body to stimulate lymph and keep skin and circulation healthy before shower and dressing. I try to sweat every day - ideally with a blend of cardio and weights. I like to mix up traditional strength training, kickboxing, Pilates and yoga. At the end of every day I take a bath with magnesium salts and then meditate before falling asleep.”


NICOLA GREEN, London portrait artist

Elle: What is your daily holistic health practice?

Nicola: “I have acupuncture and reflexology as often as I can, and set boundaries by not checking my phone when I am with the children, keeping weekends for the family, and finding time for myself so that I stay healthy and can plan my time properly.”

EM: Which women do you admire and who inspires you?

NG: “Frida Kahlo, she nailed issues on femininity, motherhood and what it is to be an artist. Michelle Obama, I can’t wait to see what she does next!  Elle Macpherson, she’s shown me how to look after myself and feel good, and she inspires me to continue to reach higher.”


For more about WellCo go to  www.welleco.co.uk

Read all of  Elle Macpherson's monthly columns here .