International Women’s Day 2024

8 min read

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Celebrating Identity and Resilience: Ibtihaj Muhammad’s Legacy

At a time when our sense of self is constantly challenged by the opinions and expectations of others, it is important to seek solace in our own authentic identity. Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, we wanted to shine a light on inspirational Ibtihaj Muhammad — a name that resonates with self-assurance and the bold defiance of stereotypes.

The Pinnacle of Poise in the Face of Adversity

Ibtihaj’s trailblazing feats are not merely logged in the annals of sporting history as memorable occurrences; they are milestones of monumental personal and cultural significance. Being the first American woman to don the hijab while competing in fencing at the Olympics, she challenged more than just physical barriers — she shattered societal expectations. Her bronze medal at the Rio Olympics was a key moment for female Muslim athletes worldwide.

The seed of resilience Ibtihaj sowed has blossomed into an empowering narrative that she elegantly encapsulates in her children’s book ‘The Proudest Blue’ and this quote from it, “If you understand who you are, one day they will too”.

A Reflection of Unabashed Authencity

Ibtihaj’s ethos resonates deeply, summoning people to bask proudly in their heritage and gender. In a realm frequently clouded with conformity, the clarity of her message urges us to own our narratives with tenacity and to wear our identities like an invincible armour, not a veneer to be polished for external validation.

Her words act as a beacon, illuminating the essence of why we must be staunch advocates of our own stories — and those of others who walk parallel paths of daring authenticity. It’s a call to acknowledge and cherish the mosaic of our existence, drawing strength from the diversity of threads woven into the tapestry of our being.

An Ode to Identity Through Artistic Expression

Translating inspiration into tangible expression, we created a short animation to reflect Ibtihaj’s poignant advice. This short piece celebrates the core message of her book, that knowing oneself is the prelude to teaching the world who we are.

Inspired by the artwork from her book, and her passion for character, Megan in our team explored several styles before reaching the final design. You can see some of her workings below:

Project development

The Unwavering March Forward

Ibtihaj Muhammad’s legacy leads us through the path she valiantly charted — a path that defies conformity, champions self-realisation, and uplifts an inclusive vision for the future. Her success, far transcending the realm of personal achievement, has become a beacon for many who dare to remain steadfast in their integrity amidst the waves of judgement and applause.

On this International Women’s Day, compelled by the enduring wisdom within “The Proudest Blue,”we encourage everyone to stand tall amidst the shifting sands of societal norms and be proud of who and what you are.

After all, “if you understand who you are, one day they will too.”