My feminist icon: Birdbox director Susanne Bier 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, Susanne Bier reveals why Alice Munro is her ultimate feminist icon.   

“I wanted to think of the universe when I looked at the moon.” ― Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women.

For a simple metaphor, it’s one which has always resonated deeply with me. It’s not just about encouraging women to think bigger, but also deeper. Why can’t we search for greatness and meaning in the simple things in life? 

That’s what I most admire about her writing; its simplicity. Alice knows that for her writing to be most relatable it needn’t indulge in grandiose ideas; the truth is our lives aren’t as exciting as they feel… but Munro always finds excitement in just how real her story’s feel.

Alice Munro in 1979.

As a working woman who takes her career (somewhat) seriously, I enjoy reading about the triumphs and tribulations of other, otherwise invisible women who face the very same dilemmas as both myself and (I’m sure) many others. These ‘invisible’ women are the ones who you simply presume lead sad and mundane lives and to give them soul and showcase the complexities of their existence is not always sexy, but heroic. 

Her skill at drawing out the humanity from her female leads is certainly something I look to replicate in my own work. Although Birdbox does take place in a very different world, I’d like to imagine that Malorie’s greatest act of heroism is as a mother and as a leader. Munro’s work highlights to me that women are heroes everywhere; whatever the size of the feat.

Images: Getty

Birdbox is available to watch on Netflix now

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.

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