The rise of the mum boss is strange thing. It’s been a “thing” for as long as time began, but it seems only now that it is being truly celebrated. Women are a very clever gender. We have always been masters of time management, re-invention, endurers of exhaustion, multi- taskers, human growth factories, passive sufferers of “man flu”, producers of neverending patience and givers of unrivalled maternal love. (I’m very aware I’ve made some huge sweeping generalisations in this sentence and I don’t mean to take any credit away from male caregivers, lovers and fathers, but right now it’s all about high fiving the ladies!) As only now are we crediting ourselves and each other for our achievements. And about bloody time I say! This is where The Mother Hub comes in.
It’s clever founders Natasha and Juliet, who happen to be mamas and business women, aim to support, encourage and inspire local women through events, meet ups and workshops. So when they asked me to photograph them I literally jumped at the chance. This is the type of project that actually makes my heart beat faster. I’m all about positive affirmations, feedback, being a better human and generally giving credit to whoever I can, whenever I can. However, not often enough to myself (note to self – must be nicer to self!). So this sounded really exciting, and the best bit is our new lovely Mother Hub is right here in Essex! A whole wealth of support and inspiration right here in our home county.
Not only are these clever ladies spreading joy, information and a sense of community through their events and sparkly new website but they are also challenging huge stereotypes with their new campaign “I Am An Essex Girl”. Did you know that the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of an Essex Girl is “unintelligent, promiscuous, and materialistic”. No really it’s true! in black and white! Shocking!
Now I’m not actually an Essex girl by birth but by choice, however my baby girl is. She doesn’t deserve to be judged in this derogatory way simply for where she’s born. How bloody dare anyone judge her when she hasn’t even begun her journey to prove what she’s capable of. It goes against everything we teach our children surely. I want my children to give everyone a fair chance, to be open and not judge. Thankfully huge numbers of you also agree so please show your support like thousands of others by signing the “I am an Essex girl” petition. And this isn’t just about Essex girls, it’s actually a judgement on everyone. My children should both be proud of where they are from. My boyfriend, their daddy is a proud Yorkshireman, come to think of it, is there any other kind of Yorkshireman!? He’s so proud of his roots and his sense of belonging it’s amazing. Everyone should be able to feel like this about their birthplace, regardless of it’s derogatory stereotypes! But for Juliet and Natasha getting this horrendous definition removed from the Oxford Dictionary is all in a day’s work. Power to the people!
I for one am proud to be supporting this campaign for decency and the future generations of Essex. No one deserves to be judged by a bloody dictionary.
So whilst we are talking about “the gals” it seems fitting to give a big shout out to my own faves. My own mother is beyond a doubt my biggest inspiration, only rivalled by my amazing grandmother. They were both grafters, in the proper old fashioned sense of the word. They got on with it, whatever the “it” happened to be, like being a single working mother when it wasn’t normal and flexible, cooking, cleaning (well kinda – sorry Mum!), you know all the usuals. My mum actually got sacked for being pregnant, because her boss didn’t agree with working mothers! Mental huh! The good old glory days of the 1970’s! Back when they didn’t know any better (ahem)…not like now eh…now we know what’s right and wrong…don’t we…so come on let’s prove we all matter and reclaim “Essex girl”. It’s a bit like the “Calender Girls” changing the face of the Woman’s Institute (but with less currant buns) and you don’t even have to get naked!
Please show your support by clicking below.
Thank you and big love from an honourary Essex girl (AKA middle aged photographer & mumboss).
Click below to sign the petition:
And check out The Mother Hub for events and news at: