Behind Marie Claire's IWD2016 #ShowYourPlace Campaign

Corinne Redfern

To celebrate and show the importance of International Women's Day 2016, Marie Claire has launched a social media campaign to diversify the way we see women...

We're calling on women around the world to share a photo of themselves on social media that portrays their day-to-day lives.

Maybe you spend your time in an office, or in a classroom, or a laboratory. Maybe you spend it washing up, or with your children, or in a refuge. Maybe you love your life. Maybe you hate it. Maybe you feel like you experience sexism directly - or maybe you witness it in the media, but struggle to apply it to yourself. Maybe you think International Women's Day is a great idea. Maybe you don't.

We want to diversify the way we talk about women. We want to show that women can, and do, do anything. But we also want to acknowledge that not everybody has the opportunity to achieve what they're capable of.

By raising awareness of that, we can help change it.

So join our IWD2016 campaign, and #ShowYourPlace.




‘I’ve been working here for nearly five years. I always wanted to work with food really. It’s my passion. Before this I worked in a restaurant with the same guys and then when they decided to open a butchers and delicatessen, they asked me to run the shop. There were just three of us at the beginning, but now there are 20 of us. After all of this time, they eventually made me general manager, and now we’re expanding and they’re planning to open more shops. I hope I get to be a part of it. I like working here. It’s a bit of a different butchers shop from the traditional ones, because we do have a balance of men and women. But we’re all around the same age - we’re all ‘young professionals’ I guess - and I think we work very well together. The guys are a lot less miserable when there are women around. We lift their spirits. We keep them on their toes.’ #ShowYourPlace

'I’ve only been working here for a few days. I have no experience. But they’re training me to be their baker, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I want to open my own bakery, and the owner was willing to train me up, because she said no matter what experience anyone else had, she would still have to train them to bake their things. And she said she would rather train somebody who was keen, and who wanted to do something with it in their life, than somebody who just wanted to put it on their CV.

There are so many things women can do that people don’t realise. You should never judge a book by its cover. You get women firefighters, women who look like your typical coffee server, but then they have like, three businesses, or they make homemade cosmetics or fight against animal cruelty in their spare time. I experience so much sexism. For example, I was refused a job because they thought that, as a woman, I couldn’t do heavy lifting. But to be honest my first two jobs were in warehouses where everything was heavy lifting. The person who was interviewing me was like, ‘oh we need someone strongly and more manly, like a man’. So I refused them. Even though they turned me down, I turned them down too.’ #ShowYourPlace

‘I don’t know what I want to do with my life yet. I’m finishing an art foundation course at the moment and then I’m going to uni to do religion, ethics and philosophy. It’s mainly girls on my course though, so there’s a lot of feminist-charged art going on, and I come from a very feminist sixth form. It was actually kind of our thing. It was hammered in by the teachers - we had lots of assemblies and workshops on our rights, and things like that. It’s funny because it’s a girls school, but then at sixth form it becomes mixed, so the boys don’t really have a choice. It’s one third boys, two thirds girls. They’re just thrown into it all. On the first day of school the teachers were like, ‘boys, just so you know, you’re feminists now’. It’s really cool.’ #ShowYourPlace

‘I only work here occasionally - probably once every month or so, just to help out. Most of the time I work in my husband’s tattoo studio in Camden. I don’t do the tattoos - but if need be, I could learn. I’m from Utah originally, and in the future I’d like to move somewhere like a resort, somewhere hot. I love to travel - to see the world. And if my husband were to teach me how to do the tattoos, then maybe we could open up our own place, and not have to hire anyone else. I could do the small ones maybe. I’d leave the big ones to him. I wouldn’t want to scar anybody.

I don’t know much about International Women’s Day, but I experience sexism on a daily basis. Honestly I don’t even know where to start. I mostly feel it on public transport. I mean, I’m a large woman, and I’m constantly being pushed to be smaller. I feel that all the time. It doesn’t matter where my elbows are, if there’s a man next to me, he’ll always be *right* next to me - as close as he can be. Just… manspreading. So I think we need to do more than just spending one day a year talking about this stuff! I surround myself with people who are like minded, so maybe I don’t know what’s really going on in the world, but as I see it, women shouldn’t be made to feel like they need to be small. They should take up just as much space as any man.' #ShowYourPlace

‘When I was a teenager I think I thought success would be easy. I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was 13, and I’m 23 now, but I imagined that I’d just go to university and then fall into something wonderful, and that I’d have launched my music career by now. But now as an almost-24 year old, I know that’s not very realistic. When I first moved to London, I interned for three months at a media agency, but I didn’t enjoy the office environment. So now I have three jobs, and they’re all much more lovely, but juggling them all is very difficult. I do tutoring five days a week, then I work here at the weekends and focus on my music in the evenings. I am starting to realise that the pressure to be doing something amazing straight after graduating doesn’t exist. You can do as you wish, and when you have a hobby or a passion which is really fulfilling, it’s not shameful to work in retail, or to have a waitressing job. And your gender shouldn’t come into it either. Sometimes it feels like feminism is really prolific now, but things really aren’t equal. There are so many little things, like salaries and maternity leave, and bosses employing men just because they think women will leave to have children. That scares me. My friends and I talk about it all the time. It feels far away, but it scares me.’ #ShowYourPlace

‘My boss is away, so I can be honest about working here. It’s not what I want to do. I’ve been here for five years - I’m Polish and it’s my first job in the UK - but it’s not what I want at all. I want to join the MET Police. I’ve been studying really, really hard, and in two weeks’ time, I find out if I’ve passed. I want to be the one wearing a uniform, instead of washing and drying other people’s.’ #ShowYourPlace

‘This is my first day here! It’s my boyfriend’s shop and we only opened two days ago, and I’m going to be helping out. It’s been really fun! I never imagined doing this - I usually work as a product manager for a design company - but I’ve learned a lot so far. My dad is actually really into fishing, so he’s really excited by it, and the customers all seem really nice. I don’t know if they care about whether I’m a woman though. They seem more bothered about where the fish comes from.’ #ShowYourPlace

‘As a hair stylist, your job is to make your client feel relaxed and comfortable. I trained at college in Johannesburg, and we did roleplays so that we knew how to avoid subjects like politics, or religion, or sexism when you’re talking to a client. You’re not there to air your views, or win people over with your beliefs. So unless they bring up the subject, you don’t talk about those things. You’re there to give them a break. It’s their time. And sometimes that is hard - people will be talking and you’ll disagree with them. I mean, I’m a gay woman, and sometimes people have said things while they’re in my chair about gay people, and I just have to… I just have to make sure I don’t take it to heart. People are moulded by certain events and experiences - I don’t know what they’ve been through and they don’t know what I’ve been through. I’m not phased by it.’ #ShowYourPlace

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Friday 26 August