International Women’s Day – Q&A with Jessica Vander Leahy March 8, 2019 – Posted in: Uncategorized

 

Happy International Women’s Day to all the brilliant ladies out there, in particular the women who dedicate their time and effort to Estelle every day. To celebrate one of our favourite days of the year, we sat down with Australian model, writer and powerhouse Jessica Vander Leahy for an intimate chat about Project WomanKIND, sisterhood and what Balance for Better means to her.

 

Can you tell our audience a bit about yourself and what you’re involved in outside of the modelling industry?

Apart from modelling I’m also a journalist; I’m currently the news editor at women’s lifestyle website news.com.au. I also have a passion for photography and making video content.

 

You are also the founder of Project WomanKIND; can you tell us a bit more about it?

Project WomanKIND came about a few years ago when the body diversity movement was just about to hit the mainstream. It was a way of contributing to the conversation that I felt a had really not taken off in a way that was raw and real and genuine. I was blessed to gather a few women and they honoured me with the privilege of sharing their stories. I felt a like it was, and still is, such an exciting time to be a women when we’re getting more rights and power in our own lives than at any other time in human history. The Project WomanKIND space is a place where women can come and tell their stories and we can celebrate them their achievements amongst the sisterhood.

 

International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the political, economic and social achievements of women, and the power of womanhood. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance with you?

I think International Women’s Day is a day we can all reflect on what rights women have fought for in the past to gain equality, but also look forward to what changes we want to see in the future. This might sound kinda woo woo but there really is an inexplicable feeling of joy and excitement that comes from knowing you’re part of a wider sisterhood. For me IWD is a moment where we women actively celebrate the power of the women and elevate our voices to call for meaningful change, be that in regards to pay gap disparities, rights over our own bodies, or our everyday protection and safety.

 

The 2019 IWD theme is Balance for Better, what does that mean to you?

Balance to me means harmony, that’s why I’m a news junkie who loves the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; I think knowing something about both those things makes me a better person for someone, right?

 

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

The support of the sisterhood in integral to a woman’s sense of belonging and achieving. Like lionesses, we can take down mighty beasts knowing some strong females have our backs.

 

You are such a role model to many women out there, who do you look up to?

So many women but Oprah, obviously.

 

Jessica you are so inspiring and such a powerhouse! What would be your number one piece of advice to other women out there? 

Might be cheesy but be yourself. But also, don’t be so eager to take advice from people off the internet whom you’ve never met— including me!

 

Finally, if you could describe yourself in just three words, what would it be? 

Curious. Curious. Curious.