This year, Marie Claire’s Verified power list is a celebration of influencers using their voices as a force for good, proving that true influence is more than just a numbers game
Authenticity is this year’s buzzword and never has it been more powerful on social media. The age of mindless selfies and humble bragging is over; bigger isn’t always better and the era of micro-influencers has ushered in a ‘quality over quantity’ approach, whereby genuine engagement and meaningful change trumps huge follower counts.
With this in mind, Marie Claire’s Verified power list 2018 is a celebration not just of scale but of impact; an ode to those women using their platforms for good. Take 26-year-old Irish-Palestinian civil engineer and beauty blogger Ella H, who launched
@authenticallyella in 2016 to encourage more women into engineering careers. ‘Less than 15 per cent of the construction industry is female. I post a mix of beauty tips and engineering talk because the two are not mutually exclusive,’ she says.
With her Warrior Woman Project, Natalie Lee, aka @stylemesunday, 38, from east London, uses her platform to question conventional notions of beauty. ‘It made me feel vulnerable opening myself up to criticism from strangers, but there was strength in it,’ she says. ‘One woman told me she wore shorts for the first time in ten years after being inspired by my social media.’
These influencers are campaigning for genuine change, such as trans-rights activist Charlie Craggs @charlie_craggs, who says, ‘If you’re lucky enough to have a voice, use it for those that don’t. Because silence is complicity, and it speaks volumes.’ This is why Anna Whitehouse uses her no-nonsense parenting platform @mother_pukka to tirelessly campaign for flexible working for parents everywhere. ‘At first, I didn’t feel qualified to run a campaign,’ she says, ‘but now I’m driven by the number of women I hear from daily who are being lopped out of the workforce for procreating. That’s what gets me flash mobbing in the streets.’
Meet the social powerhouses we think are making a noise worth hearing this year.
Naomi Shimada is a plus-size model and body-image activist. Her gloriously colourful feed, celebrating beauty in all shapes and sizes, is a thing of joy.
US actress and Marie Claire columnist Hayley Hasselhoff is a plus-size model who encourages more realistic sizing, and better representation, in the fashion industry.
Natalie Lee’s Warrior Woman Project challenges traditional notions of beauty and promotes body positivity, while launching empowering conversations around modern femininity.
Anchal Seda is a qualified make-up artist, who makes easy-to-follow beauty tutorials with a focus on showstopping Indian wedding looks.
Marie Claire’s beauty & style director Lisa Oxenham offers her insider tips on wellness and mental health via the hashtag #liseoflife – often also featuring her super-cute sidekick, daughter Eliza.
The award-winning blogger and British Skin Foundation ambassador – married to @technicallyron – uses the blog she launched after being made redundant in 2011 to raise awareness of rosacea.
Host of @theheartofitpodcast, Estée Lalonde is a Canadian writer and YouTuber, who makes weekly lifestyle and beauty videos on fitness, while talking openly and honestly about her life and motivations.
Having lived a zero-waste lifestyle in London for four years, documented on YouTube and her blog Eco Boost, she shares second-hand shopping tips and the best non-toxic make-up brands.
Trans activist, and Marie Claire Future Shapers award winner 2017, Charlie Craggs is the founder of educational pop-up nail bar Nail Transphobia and author of To My Trans Sisters.
Personal trainer and fitness blogger Carly Rowena promotes a healthy lifestyle and practical approach to exercise, with the ethos of loving your true self at its heart.
Personal trainer and blogger Zanna van Dijk uses her platform to discuss fitness, food, travel, sustainability and her anti-plastic pollution campaign, while also empowering women to live their lives ‘from a place of self-love’.
Despite only running her first marathon in 2013, Gemma Hockett is now a semi-elite marathon runner with a personal best of 2:55:46, currently ranking 41st fastest female marathon runner in the UK. Her blog, The Marathon Girl, inspires runners of all levels.
Personal trainer, marathon runner and blogger Adrienne is on a mission to improve our mental and physical health through well-being. She is also co-founder of We Are Get To Know, a network for women in the creative industries.
Happy Not Perfect is the mindfulness app created by former TV presenter Poppy Jamie, which aims to combat stress, using daily mind workouts that retrain your brain to think positively.
Carrie Anne Roberts uses her platform to sell the slogan clothing she designs, while celebrating diversity in motherhood and talking candidly about life as a single parent.
Instagram poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, whose memoir The Terrible proved ground-breaking, is celebrated for her brutally honest prose on everything from sexuality to drugs and depression.
Parenting blogger Anna Whitehouse and her husband Matt Farquharson (@papa_pukka) – marieclaire.co.uk’s new columnists – lobby the government and businesses to push for genuinely flexible work for parents.
Journalist and creator of the blog Work Work Work, Ormerod talks frankly about fashion, anti-perfectionism, motherhood and the influence of social media on our daily lives
Irish-Palestinian civil engineer and beauty blogger Ella H set up her blog to inspire women to enter STEM careers while smashing stereotypes.
Executive career coach Phanella Mayall Fine and fashion journalist Alice Olins – aka Step Up Club – are the go-to for modern career advice, networking events and skills workshopping.
Originally founded as a place for women to get their daily fashion news, Emily Johnston’s page has evolved into a personal account of her life in clothes and travel, as well as a healthy attitude towards food.
The Parisian-born fashion blogger has encouraged a more fun approach to your wardrobe, inspiring confidence and experimentation through clothes and her motivational workshops, She Unleashed.
At the age of 24, Erica Davies was Fleet Street’s youngest-ever fashion editor. She’s since become a mother, stylist, fashion journalist and brand consultant, who shares insights and inspiration on her blog The Edited.
Originally from Kosovo, Irina Lakicevic worked as a dentist in Norway before moving to London, where she now flaunts her ‘street style with substance’ approach to fashion blogging, focusing on investment pieces and sustainability.
All about the statement piece, stylist and personal shopper Bettina Looney is originally from Florida and now based in the UK. Her recent collaborative collection with hot London jewellery brand Alona was inspired by her American roots.
With a sleek, grown-up style featuring plenty of muted tones, art director and fashion curator Alexis Foreman is the go-to for fabulous finds for both your wardrobe and home.
Focusing on modest fashion, aspiring lawyer Sebina Hussain shares cool new ways to style the hijab, alongside lifestyle, parenting and travel hacks.
Marie Claire’s food columnists have changed the way we think about social dining and the joy of cooking, with their supper clubs and books that combine recipes with tips for entertaining.
Well-being expert and one half of Hemsley + Hemsley, Jasmine’s passion for home-cooked food and Ayurvedic natural remedies has inspired a global audience to shift their perspectives on food and lifestyle.