As 2016 draws to a close, we have done a round up of 10 wonderful people whom have made our 2016 better. They have made us laugh, they made us cry and they have inspired us to be better. For that, we thank you.
Simone Biles (Gymnast)
Winning four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics, Simone Biles dominated 2016. She’s also had a gymnastic move named after her, due to the difficulty and prowess of her work that secured her medals. From her athleticism, to her Zac Efron fan-girling, we love the message of Girl Power that radiates from her. She’s shown us that you can be short, you can be black, you can be girly and you can be champion.
Hannah Hill (Artist)
(Twitter / @Hanecdote)
As well as working on a University degree, posting hundreds of body positive photos and being an all around babe, Hannah Hill, aka @Hanecdote, created the most amazing meme of the year. With over fifty six thousand retweets, her feminist take on the popular Arthur meme took fifteen hours for her to embroider. We thank you Hannah, and look forward to seeing more of your work!
George Takei (Actor)
The actor and helmsman of the USS Enterprise, offered his unexpected full support to our Valentine's Day #NeonMoonCelebrateYou Campaign! He has persistently demonstrated how woke he his through online activism and is a refreshing ally.
Frances Cannon (Artist)
(Jade Florence Mulvaney / @35jfmm)
Major Instagram Feminist babe and artist, Frances Cannon featured in our favourite Neon Moon pics of the year! Taken by the wonderful Jade Mulvaney, on a 35mm camera, Frances looks like a goddess and we couldn’t be more in love! Her art is all about body positivity and self acceptance, and she is also a founder of the Self Love Club. This is a movement that has seen lots of women tattooing the words onto their skin, to remind themselves that loving yourself is important. Thank you Frances, for helping us to accept ourselves.
Olly Alexander (Musician)
Member of musical sensation Years & Years, actor, and all around wonderful person, Olly has had a great year. He has achieved a number one album, worn incredible outfits to challenge gender stereotypes and hyper masculinity, performed with Kylie Minogue and been involved in a new campaign to help men with depression, using music. Olly used their Glastonbury set to empower the LGBT community, with a speech; "I’d like you to join me and say ‘no thank you, fear’. To say ‘fear, bye’. To literally shove a rainbow in fear’s face." Olly is redefining what it means to be a man, and for that we love him.
Yusra Mardini (Athlete)
(Gordon Welters for The New York Times)
Yusra Mardini is not just any athlete. Whilst fleeing from war torn Syria, the motor of the boat she was in with nineteen other people failed, so she swam the boat to safety. For three and a half hours, her and the three others onboard who knew how to swim, pulled the boat through the water, saving the lives of all those onboard. Mardini then went on to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as part of the Refugee team, demonstrating her talents and tackling the dehumanisation of refugees. She won her heat in the 100m Butterfly, and placed 41/45 participants. She’s a hero.
David Bowie (Musician)
The start of 2016 brought very sad, and unexpected news, with the death of David Bowie. The world mourned for his loss was so enormous. Bowie always blurred the lines between gender and inspired generations of musicians, artists and everyday people to be to themselves and let them know that it’s ok to be weird. His final album, Black Star, was released 2 days before his death, showing that he was true to his word right up until the end.
Millie Bobby Brown (Actor)
The Stranger Things Actress has inspired us all this year to be strong and unapologetic. With her buzz cut hair and androgynous character, she has put a middle finger up to any expectations placed on young girls. When praised for her work, she said, “At the end of the day, I just do my job. I love my art. But I genuinely want to change the world.” It’s hard to remember she’s only 12, when she speaks with so much strength. The world is yours for taking Millie!
Tess Asplund (Activist)
(TT News Agency/ Press Association)
At just five foot three, Tess Asplund stood up to a group of three hundred uniformed Neo-Nazis in Sweden. When asked why, she said, “It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street.” The picture went viral, her defiance both shocking and impressing the world. On the picture, Tess had to say; “I hope something positive will come out of the picture. Maybe what I did can be a symbol that we can do something – if one person can do it, anyone can.” Her strength and bravery are inspiring.
Justin Trudeau (Politician)
Time and time again this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demonstrated his progressive values. A self-declared feminist, he had this to say on media frenzy surrounding his views on gender equality; “I will keep saying that until there is no more reaction to that when I say it, because that’s where we want to get to.” He marched in this years Pride March, and also personally met Syrian Refugees at the airport and handed them coats. We love you Justin!
Thank you all for a whirlwind of a year. Let's hope that 2017 is even better.
Love, Neon Moon x