To the little dancers, dreamers and believers, this one's for you. Empowered to believe they could become anything they wanted, this International Women's Day we celebrate females the world over through the lens of the Aje Insiders who did just that. Sharing intimate images from their childhood dance days, they share their view on what it means to be a woman in 2020 and why you should never underestimate the wide eyed, tutu clad girls of tomorrow.
International Women's Day
Meet the Aje Muses
This little dancer grew up to be the Creative Director and Founder of Aje
'For me, as I embark on a journey into motherhood, being a woman more than ever means being human, and embracing all that being human entails, in all its' weird wonder, in this beautiful world of ours. It means finding beauty, strength and solace in my own being and intuition, and ultimately in nature.'
THE HONOURABLE JULIE BISHOP
This little girl grew up to be the Chancellor of the Australian National University and former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
'Be authentic and confident in who you are - for if you’re trying to be a man it’s a waste of a woman!'
This little ballerina grew up to be the Retail Operations Manager at Aje
'To me being a woman is a gift. We are mysterious and magic, but above all we are strong, and most certainly stronger together.'
This little ballerina grew up to be the Marketing Director at Aje
'I know that gender equality starts with me and the small and large actions I take to support my fellow humans. Whether that's in the leaders I work for, the team I support, the people I vote for, the friends I keep, the freedom of speech I use, the money I spend, the families I love and the youngsters I raise. If we remember the step towards equality starts with ourselves, we can use our ripples of influence to bring great tides of change.'
This little girl grew up to be a Photographer
'To me being a woman is a gift, as you are the bearer of children. You have the ability to create a human life inside your own body. That is the most magical experience in the world. We are strong and very valuable to society, as are men, and together we are even more powerful.'
COUNCILLOR JESS SCULLY
This little girl grew up to be the Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, Cultural Strategist and former Festival Director of Vivid Sydney
'I’m 11 here on stage and winning a prize in the Sydney Morning Herald young writers competition. I remember being so thrilled at being at a university for the award ceremony (Western Sydney University) and I think it was my first time on a campus... it gave me such confidence to have that kind of endorsement of my writing and I think it really helped me find my voice.'
This little dancer grew up to be a Journalist and co-host of podcast After Work Drinks
'This little girl had no idea aged 7 that the world isn't the same for her as it is for little boys who grow up to be men. I was raised by a single mother who taught me I could be anything I wanted and IWD is such an important reminder of how far we still have to go before that's actually true.'
This little dancer grew up to be the Marketing Assistant at Aje
'Ntozake Shange once said "Where there is a woman, there is magic." This is something I truly believe in as there is no limit to what we as women can achieve.'
This little dancer grew up to be the Digital Marketing Manager at Aje
'What I love more than anything, as I get older, is being a cheer squad for the women in my life. My mum taught me that when you're going through something hard and you don't know why, it's so that one day you can help another woman through the same thing.'
JIAWA LIU OF BEIGE RENEGADE
This little girl grew up to be a Content Creator and Director
'This is a photo of me improv dancing in front of my first grade glass in Shengyang, China (the one in the middle). I loved dance, art and writing, and my family were super supportive by sending me to all the lessons I wanted to do. The problem was that I was such a tomboy and was always getting in trouble. They said I was uncontrollable. I climbed trees and tried to play with the boys, and on one occasion, I even fell down a well. I was told constantly, 'this is not how a girl should behave', but this concept never made sense. I turned out alright, though! For me, International Women's Day is about reminding us that we needn't change who we are and what we want to do because of other people's expectations.'
This little girl grew up to be a Photographer
'It’ll be great when gender doesn’t come into it, when going for a job, going into a meeting, or walking on to set, or wherever really. It’ll be great when we achieve things only based on merit.'
This little dancer grew up to be the Ecommerce Manager at Aje
'Born with a fire inside, and determined and dedicated to keep it lit. As women lets add to this burning desire.'
This little girl grew up to be the Digital Content Director at Aje
'I was so incredibly lucky to grow up in a world where I was oblivious to any kind of gender inequality. I was always pushed to be the best I could be, inspired to believe I could achieve anything I set my mind to, always surrounded by the most inspiring women. It's only as I grow older that I realise how far the world is from this utopic reality, and how I am sadly one of the fortunate few to have this upbringing. I will strive every day to do what I can to make this a reality for every single woman in the world. Because all it comes down to is equality. Nothing more, nothing less.'
This little girl grew up to be the Chairperson of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
'We must recognise and honour the women not just today but always. For their trailblazing must continue to burn inside us all, the ones we know of and the ones in our homes. When women make positive change, we do so for EVERYONE.'
This little girl grew up to be the PR and Events Assistant at Aje
'Being a woman to me means to speak your truth, to know your worth, to be strong but gentle, to be kind but firm, to feel deeply and to love fiercely.'