History has a habit of pushing unsuspecting protagonists at the forefront of a battle. The journey often starts with a burning passion for standing for a personal conviction. A hero speaks up to be joined by other voices. Soon, we hear a booming chorus, and a swelling movement ensues. The powers that be will have no choice but to heed the call. That is Amanda de Cadenet’s story in a nutshell. She’s a multi-hyphenated and accomplished media personality, who is at the forefront of a new movement pushing for women’s equal rights. Bold Business reflects into the life, journey and bold leadership of de Cadenet, Founder and CEO of Girlgaze Inc.
Her Rise and Pivot
De Cadenet was born on May 19, 1972, in Hampstead, London, to famous parents. Her father, Alain de Cadenet, was a Formula One race car driver, while her mother, Anna, was a model and renowned interior designer. Blessed with good looks and talent, de Cadenet started her career quite early in life as a co-host for British programs. In 1992, after giving birth to her first child at the age of 19, de Cadenet moved to Los Angeles and pursued a career in film. She appeared in movies such as “Four Rooms” (1995), “Fall” (1997) and “Brokedown Palace” (1999).
While her foray into acting was short-lived, her interest in photography blossomed. Her pivot into the world of photography opened a whole new path to pursue. Through photography, de Cadenet was able to work with leading publications and magazines. She has also covered or interviewed popular cultural icons, including Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga, Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves. Most significantly, photography has allowed her to contribute to advancing the cause of gender equality.
On Finding Her Own Path
As a progeny of celebrity parents, de Cadenet’s life is an open book. Failed relationships, wrong choices, and time spent in juvenile detention center marked her journey to finding a sense of self. Yet, despite having lived an unconventional life in her adolescence, de Cadenet declares that she wouldn’t change a thing. While the journey was not a path lined with flowers and butterflies, it was undoubtedly filled with life lessons—life lessons that were bound to make an impact on de Cadenet’s journey later on in life. In her book titled, “It’s Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women”—a collection of poignant, intimate, and hilarious essays—de Cadenet turned to these lessons as references to illuminate the struggles women face in life. She notes, “The details may be different, but the experiences are not that different.”
The Bold Leadership of Amanda de Cadenet
A Bold Leader with Courage to Take a Stand
For centuries, women have been walking down a rough path in their quest for equal rights. From upending legal inequalities to the re-evaluation of gender norms and to the dismantling of structures that systematically relegate women to the sidelines, the battle is far from over. Today, de Cadenet is taking an active role in pushing for gender equality. Seeing how women in the field of photography receive fewer paid opportunities, de Cadenet launched Girlgaze. As a platform dedicated to creating more paid opportunities to female and non-binary creatives, Girlgaze is proof that the courage to stand up for one’s conviction is always worth the effort.
A Bold Leader Banks on Collective Strength
De Cadenet is a lot of things: photographer, author, talk show host, director, and producer. When wearing numerous hats and doing so many things all at the same time, it is easy for one to feel overwhelmed. However, de Cadenet’s resolve is built upon her ability to—as in her own words—“capture the essence of women through our universal language of shared experiences and solutions”. Through her interview television series “The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet”, of which Demi Moore is executive producer, she brings forth stories of inspirational women. Interviewing remarkable women such as Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan, Amber Valetta, and Lady Gaga has given de Cadenet the chance to create a space where women can support each other and rely on one another.
Bold Leadership of Authenticity and Sincerity
De Cadenet once shared in an interview, “That’s why I photograph women’s bodies… It’s the rolls of fat… whatever. That is beauty to me. That’s what I look for. It’s the truth. That’s real.” Indeed, her advocacies reflect her life philosophy. As a photographer and media personality, de Cadenet pushes for body positivity, in bringing uncomfortable topics to the table, and coming to terms with failure. For de Cadenet, being authentic is the first step toward success. Only after being true to yourself will you get to see your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Using various platforms, de Cadenet wishes to share these messages to every woman who is trying to find their voice.
In this day and age of social media platforms, there are a lot of occasions to compare oneself with others, to feel insecure, and for your self-esteem to take a beating. De Cadenet’s honesty, authenticity, and openness is a breath of fresh air. Through her platforms and social works, Amanda de Cadenet reminds every woman from all walks of life that it is okay to be messy, and it is alright to fail. What matters most is the fact that you tried and how gracefully you get up after each fall.
For more on Girlgaze and its push for gender equality, check out this story.