The Real Influencers

Our social media-obsessed world has led to the rise and rise of influencers such as Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Chiara Ferragni, who are feted for being … stylish and attractive. More than ever, we need to celebrate women’s real achievements and impact on society — not just their social media impact, says TRACY LEE, editor of Her World.

I’ve been an avid reader of women’s magazines since I was 13, and my psyche has, to a large extent, been shaped by the contents of titles such as Her World. 

Her World July 2016

Her World July 2016

Of course I enjoyed, and still continue to enjoy, the visual treat that magazines’ fashion and beauty spreads provide, alongside excellently curated suggestions of what I should be buying next.

But beyond that, it was the “real women” features that really struck a chord with me.

Fearless women who, when handed life’s bitter lemons in the form of illness, heartbreak or financial crises, manage to overcome their difficulties.

High-fliers who could have enjoyed the view from their ivory towers, but preferred to reach out to help the down and out.

Those who made it to the top of their chosen field through a combination of rare talent, sheer determination, and years of hard work.

Their stories stayed with me long after the latest It bag or must-buy lipstick had been usurped by yet another lust-have. Times when life was more thorny than rosy, I’d take courage from those heartfelt accounts of resourcefulness and resilience.

When I began my magazine career more than two decades ago, I was no longer just reading about these amazing women — I got to interview them, find out what made them tick, and share their stories with tens of thousands of readers.

It would make my day when readers wrote in to say they had been particularly moved by, inspired by, or could relate to, what our newsmakers shared.

Since 1991, Her World has honoured Singapore’s top women achievers through its Woman Of The Year award (WOTY) — the annual award celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, by the way.

woty15Her World Woman of the Year 2015

The title also launched the Young Woman Achiever award in 1999 to fete the successes of young women aged 18-35. Since its 2014 debut, the Young Women Achievers Forum has seen full-house attendances for its engaging panel discussions, which feature women careerists and entrepreneurs sharing their work-life experiences and tips.


Her World Young Woman Achiever 2015

From activitists to ambassadors, surgeons to swimmers, entrepreneurs to entertainers, bankers to bureaucrats, ministers to mountaineers, CEOs to chefs, photographers to philantrophists, these three Her World initiatives showcase the diverse range of female role models we have in our midst.

In a day and age where so many women spend so much time posting perfect selfies, and obsessing over what complete strangers in other parts of the world are wearing, it’s become more important than ever for Her World to champion the Singapore “sheroes” among us — those whose commitments, ambitions, interests and talents lie far over, above and beyond looking stylish and attractive in their #ootd.

Check out Her World’s upcoming September 2016 issue for in-depth profiles of the latest Her World Woman Of The Year and Her World Young Woman Achiever awardees.


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