Her Campus Leeds International Women's Day Interview: Ellis Ellena Idris

Hi Ellis! I’m so excited to talk to you today - could you please introduce yourself to Her Campus readers?

My full name is Ellis Ellena Idris and I’m 20 years old, born on July 31st which makes me a Leo. I was born in the Philippines but I’m half Malaysian and half Singaporean, and I’ve lived in the Philippines, Algeria, Malaysia (for the longest time), Austria and currently England. I’m a Journalism student in second year and my top two hobbies include playing sports and travelling.


So, how did you get involved with Her Campus and what sort of articles do you write?

I got involved with Her Campus because I’m close friends with one of the girls on the committee, Yasmine, who’s the senior editor, and she told our group of friends about it which prompted me to join. At Her Campus, I write articles on entertainment, culture, beauty and news.


What is your favourite article you’ve written for Her Campus?

My favorite article I’ve written so far would be my second most recent article about my experience as a third culture kid. I enjoyed writing it because it was a personal piece which I hoped would provide comfort to others who felt similar to me, and it was also a nice change to my usual writing on Her Campus!


That sounds so interesting, I’ll make sure to check it out! What does International Women's Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is no different to every other day. This is because women should be celebrated everyday because of the hardships they face, and the triumphs they accomplish. However, I appreciate the extra gestures and love spread on this given day to do that. To answer the question simply, I personally acknowledge it as a day to honour women in every aspect of life, as they are often overlooked for their achievements, on top of the struggles they face as a female.


What do you think makes an individual inspiring?

I think someone who has grown and learnt from past mistakes or negativity around them and seeks to make changes for the better - not only for themselves, but for others too. It’s hard enough to work on yourself, but to simultaneously extend that to the wider community is admirable.


Which aspect of your life do you seek inspiration for most?

I tend to seek inspiration for my mental health the most. I’ve struggled, and still struggle, with self esteem so for me, inspiration to love myself is really important.


Who is the most inspiring woman in your life?

I feel like this might be a typical answer but I would say my Mum. I didn’t realise it as much when I was younger, but as I’ve grown older and started to understand and realise the harsh realities of life, I understand that there are a lot of sacrifices mothers make that are concealed by a strong front.

I would also say my close female friends because I’ve known most of them for so many years and even now, I’m still discovering new things that they face which are difficult for any individual to handle, yet they continue to spread so much love and kindness despite any hardships they come across.

At the same time, I take inspiration from every woman I’ve met rather than one single person. It’s not a conscious thing where I look up to one person in every aspect, but rather I take inspiration and admire specific traits of every individual I’ve met in combination.


That’s so true about mums, I don’t think we fully understand as children just how much they do for us. What lessons have you learnt from the women who inspire you and how do you use them in everyday life?

To be kind and spread love to everyone you meet no matter what, because you never know what they’re going through, and that no matter how tough life gets, there will always be someone out there who cares for you. It’s just so important to stay true to yourself, because at the end of the day, you can’t please everyone you meet.


If you could meet any woman from history, who would it be?

I know she’s not really a historical figure but I would love to meet Zendaya. I think she’s easier to relate to and pay attention to considering she’s a similar age to me and she just seems so fun to be around and down to earth when she’s off screen. She’s also incredibly talented on screen; I love shows and movies she’s starred in - especially Euphoria. Considering the industry she works in is known to be quite toxic, it’s incredible to see that she’s remained true to herself and hasn’t stirred up any controversy.


I love Zendaya - good choice! How do you wish to inspire others?

I’d like to inspire others through my work ethic and struggles with mental health. I’m really passionate about my goals and never let anything get in the way of it, no matter what’s on my plate, so I’d like to inspire others to do the same.

Growing up, issues with mental health were something I suppressed, and I wish I’d had more people around me to talk to or get advice from so, although I’m still learning, I want to be that person for others.


You’ve given some amazing answers, thanks so much for your time today Ellis. For my final question, can I ask what will you be doing to celebrate International Women’s Day this year?

I will actually be submitting an article to The Gryphon on a woman who has changed the face of beauty - Winnie Harlow, so I’m pretty excited about that. But I’ll also be letting all my female friends and family know that they are loved and valued. I think International Women’s Day is such a great opportunity to do that.


Words By: Rosie Harkin-Adams

Interviewee: Ellis Idris

Edited By: Laura Murphy