My feminist icon: Hera Hilmar reveals who inspires her

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Stylist is running its first ever feminist advent calendar in 2018, with a remarkable woman revealing who her feminist icon is every day until 25 December. Here, Hera Hilmar reveals why Bjork is her ultimate feminist icon.

There are so many icons in my life, and people who have inspired me, especially in my family. But on a larger scale, my icon would be Bjork – which might be a bit of an obvious thing to say since I’m from Iceland!

It was so interesting for any woman growing up in Iceland, not just from my generation, to have someone as inspirational and cool as she was to look up to. I was inspired to see an artist both go her own way and go as far as she has, and I’m still inspired by her now.


“It’s just fascinating to see anyone, especially a woman, take five steps at a time when many would only take one”

It’s just fascinating to see anyone, especially a woman, take five steps at a time when many would only take one. She’s kept her originality and her voice for decades, all while getting her music out there, and she is still constantly reinventing herself. You have to be a very strong character to do that.

In an artistic way, the world of acting can consume me a little bit, so it’s important to have someone to look up to, someone to remind me to keep my voice. Actors have to play different characters all the time, so we need to remind ourselves that we have a voice, too. And Bjork especially reminds us that people from small countries can go and have a voice in the big world.

Bjork has always been in my life; I was tiny when I heard her music for the first time, and it’s been around me ever since. I’ve grown up with her, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve made an active choice to keep listening to her music.

I saw her perform in London when she was releasing an album, Vulnicura, about the emotions she had felt surrounding her divorce, and I just cried. I have never cried at a concert before. I felt like what she was so singing was so honest and personal, and I could relate to it. I could listen to that album over and over.

Remarkable Women Awards 2019

philosophy are the official partner of Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards 2018 and, for every day in December, Stylist is asking a remarkable woman to tell us who her feminist icon is, and why. You can see more inspiring and remarkable women here.

Mortal Engines is released in UK cinemas from 8th December.

As told to Sarah Biddlecombe

Images: Getty

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