These 10 remarkable women have all captured our online imaginations with their style, wit and wisdom. As the South African blogosphere matures and deepens, we thought you should know and appreciate the established, the new, and the ones to watch. No doubt there are others out there, toiling away, looking for an audience. Let us know who they are and where we can find them.
1. The Magazine Queen
Hurricane Vanessa – “Is there more to life than sex and shopping?”
The editor of Cosmopolitan SA and editorial director of Associated Magazines, Vanessa Raphaely makes witty observations on popular culture, fashion and publishing. She’s not afraid to be controversial or put herself out there, but still maintains an aura of professionalism (probably because she actually knows what she’s talking about). That’s quite a trick in “look-at-me” blogland.
2. The Pro
Cape Town Girl – “Tales of the Pretty”
Alex van Tonder (aka Cape Town Girl) started off with the wonderfully acerbic advertising-oriented blog, My Branded Life. She then expanded her scope with the massively successful Cape Town Girl, writing about life in the city bowl with her sharp tongue firmly in cheek, wracking up sponsors and fans in a way that makes other bloggers jealous. Like it says on the About CTG page, “If you’re taking me srsly, you’re doing it wrong.”
3. The Bad Mommy
ExMi – “I’ve been things and seen places”
She’s not really bad, quite the opposite in fact. ExMi can make the most unmaternal woman think being a mom is cool. Swearing like a trooper and being hilariously honest is her forte, which makes ExMi both very amusing and gut-wrenchingly real at the same time. The intelligence and quality of her writing is exceptional too. We can be grateful she didn’t become a lawyer as planned – what a waste of talent that would’ve been.
4. The Socialite
Baglett – “because life is one big boyfriend and trust fund hunt”
Reading about this Joburg-based blogger’s life, loves and friends is a bit like reading someone’s diary… if that diary was written by a Bridget Jones / Belle Du Jour / Adrian Mole hybrid. She describes her experiences in a style that causes you to laugh out loud and think, “I know exactly what she means!” Baglett is the best friend you wish you had and the girlfriend you wish you’d never broken up with. She’s damn funny too.
5. The Activist
Jennifer Thorpe – “Jeneral Ideas”
A women’s rights advocate. Jennifer’s Mail & Guardian ThoughtLeader blog is often a site of frank debate. She tackles contentious issues concerning women’s rights, HIV, rape and abuse. This isn’t a “fun” blog, but it is a vitally important one. While the rest of us are having our nails done, Jennifer is championing awareness for those women who don’t have a voice. She also runs the My First Time project.
6. The Marketing Nut
Brand Slut – “The Good, the Brand and the Ugly”
Commentary on advertising, branding and cool new products, with a dash of tech and a touch of food, all bubble-wrapped in the cheeky package that is Brand Slut. I’ve never seen a blog with this many versions of its logo, courtesy of Miss Brand Slut’s many friends and admirers. The wrapping is still fresh on this blog, but it’s definitely one to watch.
7. The Innocent
Being Brazen – “my random thoughts, lists and ramblings”
If there’s one word to describe Being Brazen, it’s “sweet”. This blog is full of pretty girly things and kind words, from bunny heart-shaped necklaces to beautiful Gossip Girl dresses. Unaffected and guileless, it makes a nice change from the usual smart-aleck humour of other blogs. It’s as frothy and lovely as candyfloss.
8. The Aesthete
Miss Moss –“Sharing things that are nice to look at.”
South Africa’s version of The Sartorialist, Miss Moss posts an eclectic collection of classic photography, art and illustration, quirky objects and original design. She also makes uber-cool playlists available for download (everything from David Bowie to James Brown). Visually striking with a retro vintage feel, this is blog for looking at rather than reading.
9. The Stylist
Kim Gray – “X”
Kim Gray styles fashion and décor for South Africa’s top magazines and gives us a peek behind the scenes. Her blog is always filled with the latest trends, fantastic finds and beautiful objects – everything from handbags to scarves to jewellery. Happily, Kim has also set up a shop so you can purchase some of her exquisite discoveries. This is the go-to blog for stylish inspiration.
10. The Presenter
Lize Kay – “A little girl with a big mouth, big heels and big dreams”
A tall, blonde, unicorn-obsessed, cupcake-baking, shoe-loving radio and rugby presenter? Lize Kay is certainly eclectic. She also regularly gets behind the scenes at SA’s top entertainment and music events. Sometimes philosophical, sometimes whimsical, it’s Lize Kay’s unique personality and light touch that makes this new blog worth reading.