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leanne woodfull

Leanne Woodfull has been arguably Ireland's most vocal influencer when it comes to the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment. 

The blogger, who began her website Thunder and Threads in 2009, has called out other influencers on a number of occasions for refusing to touch on the subject.

In a recent Instagram story, Leanne once again drew attention to the issue, saying: 

Instagram / Leanne Woodfull

'History is being made as we speak. The information is out there.'

'There's absolutely 0 excuse to not acknowledge Repeal the 8th or to encourage people to go out and vote – except, if you prioritise ego, money and following. '

'Inform them. Be on the right side of history. One month left. Use your voice.'

 

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Leanne has spoken at length regarding her feelings about Irish influencers not promoting political change on their platforms. 

Her encouragement has often been met with a mix of approval and disapproval – with some feeling that bloggers should not be forced to put their name to a side of the debate if they don't wish to. 

'The silence from my peers in the blogging and social media world confuses and upsets me daily,' she penned previously, in an open letter to Irish bloggers published on her website.  

 

A post shared by Leanne Woodfull (@leannewoodfull) on

'We have each worked hard on and attracted influential online platforms, that people venture to to hear our words, thoughts and recommendations.'

'Somehow, human rights and tragedy don't fit into those platforms though for the majority – despite the influence to help and educate at hand.'

'Today's youth look at bloggers and social media influencers quicker than they do television celebrities or pop stars. We have a bigger clout at our disposal, yet it goes to waste. Every single day.'

'I have no respect for your silence.'

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With only 12 days left until Christmas, we decided it was time to contemplate which Irish influencers really reached us with their initiative, creativity and contribution to society, online or IRL.

Here at SHEmazing HQ, we want to pay homage to the influencers who utilise their platforms to actually make a difference in people's lives. 

Whether it's committing themselves to cruelty-free living, promoting body positivity, or actually speaking out against the veneer that can mask the reality of making a living online, here are 12 fierce females whose message really spoke to us in 2017. 

12. The Skin Nerd

Everyone has some skin issues at some stage of their lives, and when it happens, it can be tough to deal with in an online culture that sees many models, celebs and influencers airbrushing their skin into oblivion. 

Luckily Jennifer Rock, aka the Skin Nerd is on hand. Since the development of her Cleanse Off Mitt, Jennifer has been helping to normalise the existence of skin problems, while advising Irish women on how they can soothe break outs and perfect skin texture. 

 

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11. Naomi Clarke

Naomi, or The Style Fairy as she is known to her Insta followers, fills her feed with feminine fashion and parenting pics.

Along with her aesthetic snaps and style tips, the mum has always been open with her followers about her struggle living with Type 1 Diabetes. 

The blogger has even given a talk at Temple Street Children's Hospital, in order to help teenagers living with the condition. Yas queen. 

10. Enya Martin

If laughter is the best medicine, then a trip to comedian Enya's Facebook page could cure a medley of ailments. 

The Dublin-based comedy queen has been cracking us up all year with her relatable sketches. 

Giz A Laugh has been brightening up our darkest days over the last 12 months, so we had to honour Enya for her comedic contribution to our lives.

9. Irena Drezi 

Visibility for plus-size women in the fashion industry has come on leaps and bounds, but there is still a way to go. 

Not Another Agency model Irena uses her Instagram to promote body positivity while showcasing her distinct fashion taste to her 90k followers. 

'My biggest mistake was constantly comparing myself to others, there was a fixed image in my head that portrayed 'perfection' when in reality it doesn't exist,' she wrote on the social media site.  

'As a model I'm categorised as 'plus size' when really the average woman is a UK size 12/14 like me. Stop striving for perfection and just accept yourself.'

 

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8. Veg Huns

The Veg Huns (how much do you love that name?) are a triad of Dublin-based gals promoting an ethical, plant-based lifestyle. 

Their combined YouTube videos, Facebook page and Instagram give wannabe vegans a place to find hints and tips on transitioning to the lifestyle with a distinctly Irish feel. 

They also promote Irish businesses who make things easier for the thousands of vegans living on the Emerald Isle. 

 

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7. Siobhan O'Hagan

Siobhan has built one of the most substantial Irish fitness followings, and is carving out a health and fitness empire of her very own. 

The PT has admitted that she isn't a fan of the word influencer, and while she may be a key player in Ireland's fit fam phenomenon, she is always open about the gruelling mental and physical aspects of body building. 

'One thing I never really planned for was to be a social media influencer,' she previously told SHEmazing

'I’m not even a fan of the word, but I realised that I am always my own advertisement and now I feel like I am living in my own little reality TV show.'

6. Anouska Proetta Brandon

While Anouska may be known for her razor sharp style and equally sharp photography skills, this year she put her name to an environmentally-friendly initiative. 

Coffeangel this year created a KeepCup in an effort to combat the fact that up to 2 million coffee cups end up in Irish landfills every single day.

Anouska, who was involved in the campaign production, put her content creation skills to good use in her captivating video about the concept. 

We also commend her for her honesty regarding her over-bleached locks, there aren't many bloggers who would admit to making a beauty mistake, and we're pretty sure every blondie has come close to this one. 

 

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5. Sarah Hanrahan

As well as being one of the most authentic and down-to-earth bloggers out there, this year Sarah branched even further out of the typical 'influencer' conversation topics by discussing sponsored content. 

Using her Instagram as a platform, Sarah candidly discussed the over-saturation of sponsored content, hallmarked by #ad, we see on social media.

Reminding her followers that there is an unfollow button for a reason, she pointed out that they don't have to be at the receiving end of unwanted ads if they choose not to be, a risky move for any influencer.

Luckily, even Sarah's sponsored content is well thought out, creative and credible, and so she is one of few who could reliably comment on the matter.

 

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4. The Food Medic

The Food Medic, aka Dr Hazel Wallace, has always argued the case for healthy, balanced eating. 

The junior doctor and qualified PT is a fitness 'grammer with a legitimate education in human health. 

Hazel has also been open in the past about struggling with mental health issues, and is a solid reminder that it is as important to care for your mental health as it is your physical. 

In the last 12 months, the doctor also tacked the issue of dangerous skinny fit teas which began cropping up online, promoted by everyone from the TOWIE cast to the Kardashians, by promoting a campaign to remove dangerous laxatives from detox tea. Amazing role model, much?

 

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3. Anna Geary

Former Cork camogie star Anna Geary is passionate about women in sport. 

The wellbeing coach is intent on keeping Irish families fit and healthy thorough a wholesome combination of healthy eating and sport, which is clear from her work on Ireland's Fittest Family. 

Anna keeps things relatable on her Instagram, showcasing her glamorous side as well as her down-to-earth nature. 

 

Happiness is….  What is your happiness? #memories #throwback #camogie #CrokePark #surreal #dreambig #2014#

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2. Leanne Woodfull

This year, long-time blogger Leanne Woodfull took a step in an ethical direction by pledging to only promote cruelty-free products and companies on her blog and social media channel.

This is a refreshing change from influencers who never give a second thought to the ethical implications of their most recent makeup haul. 

The pro-choice Dubliner also made a bold move by calling out other bloggers for their silence on the issue of abortion rights in Ireland in an open letter on her blog, Thunder & Threads

'The silence from my peers in the blogging and social media world confuses and upsets me daily,' she wrote.

'We have each worked hard on and attracted influential online platforms, that people venture to to hear our words, thoughts and recommendations. Somehow, human rights and tragedy don't fit into those platforms though for the majority – despite the influence to help and educate at hand.'

 

A post shared by Leanne Woodfull (@leannewoodfull) on

1. Andrea Horan

Where to even begin with Andrea Horan?

As well as inspiring women across Ireland to don their most dramatic, animal-print statement pieces, the Tropical Popical entrepreneur is the creative force behind some of Dublin's most innovative concepts. 

In the last 12 months alone, the abortion rights campaigner has encouraged major discussion about Ireland's anti-abortion laws through the further development of The Hunreal Issues.

The business woman and fashion force is also fighting period poverty by encouraging women to drop off extra sanitary supplies to Tropical Popical to be distributed to homeless women in Dublin who otherwise would not have access to feminine hygiene products. 

 

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If you’ll excuse the mouthful, trolling couldn’t be more of a trending topic right now. We’ve heard the tale again and again of many different public figures receiving horrific anonymous hate online – and another recurring theme seems to be that social networks are unwilling to take much (if any) direct responsibility for this kind of messaging.

Leanne Woodfull, one of Ireland’s biggest blogging success stories, has had to deal with some horrific personal slurs from trolls. I had a chat with her about dealing with negative backlash, her thoughts on karma and how trolls are allowed to let loose online…

What runs through your head when you get trolled, and how do you cope with the constant threat of it re-occurring when social networks such as Twitter can’t be relied upon to shut down abusive accounts?

It genuinely makes me worry about the human race… and my own generation. It's like people have become completely blind to general human guidelines and morals; the internet has blurred a line that is crossed far too often.

It usually goes over my head now and I block instantly and try and forget about whatever was said but when there is a mob going at you, sometimes you literally just need to step away and switch off from it all.

I like Twitter, but there are far too many loopholes in their terms of service that actually serve to accommodate trolls. The block button does virtually nothing bar letting someone follow you. They can still see all of you tweets, photos etc. if you're not on private. 

What has made the link between blogging and online bullying such an issue here? Is this a case of old-fashioned Irish begrudgery?

I honestly think Ireland is a nation of begrudgers, it's an old saying but it's true. People hate seeing others in their age range do something not only for themselves, but also something different. Now don't get me wrong, a lot of people are mature and nice enough to congratulate or at least ignore you if they dislike you, but a large minority of people love nothing more than to hop on the hate bandwagon to be honest. It's really sad to see and experience, especially when we're such a small country – it's too small for the negativity it seems to produce. It obviously happens all over the world but it seems to be extremely apparent here.

Recently, the story of Alanah Pearce reporting trolls to their mothers has gone viral. What do you think of this approach? Is it realistic?

I think it depends on the person to be honest. I'm sure if the parents of some Irish teens saw some of the things said about me in regards to my surgery and depression, they would be absolutely devastated upon finding out that someone they brought up is capable of such viciousness.

However, I'm a huge believer in karma. Sometimes I think it's best to let things blow over – in Alanah's case I believe it was sexual verbal abuse, so that's another thing altogether. When it comes to the regular "X and Y is a bitch, she's ugly, she's yada yada yada" it's best to block and ignore. If you end up hunting down their parents to show them what they say, you're only digging a deeper hole and putting some bad karma out there.

Realistically, businesses and companies have blacklisted many people already due to public trolling – especially in Ireland. Media/ journalism students for example should be aware of the "internet footprint" and that everything you say online, stays online – if you publicly post abuse and your full name/ photos and college is on your website, well, you've kind of already walked yourself into something anyway.

Karma works wonders and to be honest, it helps me sleep at night knowing that because I know people who put out such anger and hate, always get it returned to them in some way or another!

Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis.

Images via Instagram

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