At SweetEscape, we're all about honoring strong and beautiful women! Just like their predecessor Kartini, who fought for education for girls and women's rights for Indonesians, these 10 Indonesian women carry the torch that Kartini burned hundreds of years ago by thriving in their respective field: from arts and entertainment to fashion and beauty to technology via sports and philantrophy... sometimes even all of those at the same time! Suffice to say, these remarkable and extraordinary woman cover all the range and then some. Read below to find out why they inspire us here at SweetEscape, and why they will inspire you too.
This versatile entertainer became only the second Indonesian solo female singer to break into the international market with the release of her international debut, X , in 2017, which led her to not only being interviewed by the US edition of Vogue but also featured in one of the fashion bible's spreads. Aside from racking up numerous awards in Indonesia and other Asian countries, she has also established successful digital business ventures in the realms of fashion, beauty and entertainment, co-founding the popular fashion aggregator app LYKE.
After co-founding the biggest and most renowned startup in Indonesia, what do you do next? For Alamanda Shantika, the co-founder and former Vice President of Go-Jek, it's all about giving back: following her departure from the startup, she founded BINAR Academy in Yogyakarta, one of the few engineering academies in Indonesia. In addition, she also took part in initiating Gerakan 1000 Startup (1000 Startups Movement) and FemaleDev, to encourage Indonesians, especially Indonesian women, to establish startups.
To quote a recent hit, if you look at Elizabeth Rahajeng, you will most probably think she's young and beautiful. At the same time, she's also smart and stylish! This rising fashionista started it all the way most millennials do: blogging. Together with twin sister Maria, she founded and developed a fashion blog that quickly gained a sizeable following, which eventually led her to a reporting stint the 2014 New York Fashion Week and a coveted hosting gig on E! News Asia with Maria.
What did you do when you were 15 years old? If you are Faye Simanjuntak, you take matters into your own hand and establish Rumah Faye (Faye's House), a non-governmental organization aimed at combating rampant child trafficking. Although initially understimated due to her young age and the complex issue that she chose to tackle, Rumah Faye has instead flourished and become one of the very few NGOs in Indonesia with complete programmes that offer real solutions in preventing child prostitution. Not too shabby for a teenager, eh?
Badminton has always been a source of pride among Indonesians for the constant achievements made by its movers and shakers. The latest addition to Indonesian badminton's prestigious ranks of internationally-renowned athletes is Greysia Polii. Paired with fellow player Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, she has won the gold medal at Asian Games 2014 and the Superseries title at Korea Open the following year. All we can say is, look out for Greysia's next moves!
Olivia Lazuardy is not just another fashion blogger rising to fame thanks to her impeccable style and writing skills. Although starting out as a blogger, she sinked her teeth full on into fashion and honed in on her entrepreneurial skills, which eventually led her to opening her own clothing line and e-commerce, Calla Atelier, last year. But she doesn't stop there: Olivia has also modelled for high-profile brands, including Dorothy Perkins and Aigner. A fashion icon and mogul in the making? Definitely one to watch out for.
This diminutive Jakartan started out as an executive at a leading fashion brand before quitting her job to pursue her big dream: establishing her own brand. After making strides as a celebrity make-up artist, Lizzie eventually opened Beauty Space by Lizzie Parra, which started out as an online shop, at a mall earlier this year. A living proof that no dream is too big, even if you're a small girl - that's Lizzie Parra for you!
While twin sister Elizabeth focuses mainly on modelling and hosting, Maria has broken out as a pageant star: she was crowned Miss Indonesia in 2014 and subsequently represented the country at Miss World in the same year. When Elizabeth was approached by E! News Asia, so was Maria, as it was deemed to be a novel idea to have twin sisters as hosts. Lo and behold, the sisters became not only the first twin to host an E! program, but also the first Indonesians!
Talk about a badass mama! Not keen on being known simply as the wife of actor and comedian Ernest Prakasa, Meira Anastasia has forged her own path as an advocate and motivator for home workouts - especially for mothers who might not be able to go out and hit the gym - and self-love. She is also a noted scriptwriter, frequently collaborating with her husband for his films. It goes without saying that Meira is a shining example of a woman who's able to maintain her sense of self even as a wife and mother - precisely why we love her!
From one badass mama to another, Jennifer Bachdim also refuses to be famous just for being married to a famous person. A fitness aficionado, she is known for her fit psychique, leading to her being named as one of the Hottest Asian Wives & Girlfriends of Sports Stars (WAGS) by FOX Sports Asia. Although this might seem to be a given since husband Irfan is a popular footballer, Jennifer is also a blogger and vlogger, notable for covering a wide range of topics, from fashion, beauty, lifestyle to, of course, fitness, through the lens of a wife, a mother and most importantly, a woman.
It goes without saying that over 100 years after her untimely death, Kartini's spirit of breaking boundaries, owning one's sense of self and, above all, being proud and thriving as a woman has resonated with the generations that came after her - especially with these 10 fabulous women! Each and every one of them is redefining what it means to be an Indonesian woman in the modern times, and they are doing so openly, publicly, unapologetically and most importantly, in style. And may this spirit resonate with the rest of us too!
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