Confession: I've been checking my social media notifications every 5 minutes for the past 72 hours. What used to be a couple-times-a-day task has now turned into a 24/7 dopamine drip. The reasons? A phenomenal public response to a project I worked on. It's been thrilling to watch a movement take shape around truly positive ideals. A movement that also has some pretty high profile names attached to it (me and Taylor Schilling mentioned in the same article? Hi.) Also I just googled myself. (No thrills there: turns out there are a LOT of Chelsea Snows out there, and some of them are doing very ridiculous things. No way I can compete with that.)
So this project. I was approached by Wildfang after having met with their creative director and sharing my fangirl-level desire to work with them on a project. They were developing a collaboration with the million-strong girl-power organization I Am That Girl. The two teams joined forces and came up with the idea to launch a line of limited-edition illustrated enamel pins each inspired by an outstanding woman's very own example of a "you got this" moment. My role would be to take the ideas given by said outstanding women and illustrate them into tiny, colorful little images.
As you may or may not know, "you got this" is one of my favorite 3-word pep talks. So when they explained this project to me, I had that tingly deja-vu feeling, and was like "fuck yep."
The project launched on on Friday, and that day I woke up to a text from my dear friend Molly (the awesome person responsible for connecting me to Wildfang to begin with) with a link to this Huffington Post article. Then a few hours later two more links to Bustle and InStyle. It's amazing what a good PR person can do. But it's even more amazing what a truly great project can do.
When I was a kid (going into 7th grade) I attended a day-long girls' self-esteem workshop. It was a hotel ballroom type affair, with trays of cold cuts and all the country time lemonade you could drink. I believe it was called "Express Yourself," their logo a lavender butterfly.
I got a free ticket to this event because my mom's store provided some of the clothes for the fashion show (and I got to model them, every girls' dream). I didn't know anyone there (although I would later), and felt very out of place. The kids at my school definitely did NOT get invited to posh shit like this. I wish I had a photo to share but I don't, so just picture me in an oversized jumper with a dropped hemline, a turtleneck, white keds and bobby socks, and a pretty fucked up perm.
So I am an impostor at a self-esteem workshop. I remember being asked to write down my favorite thing about myself. I stared at the blank sheet of paper, stared at the pencil in my hands. I didn't know the answer. I was just a kid--a tomboy for the most part--who was still years away from puberty, but becoming aware that it was a thing I needed to be concerned about. I wrote down "my fingernails" because I was staring at my fingernails, and when I read it aloud, the lady gave me a disapproving, pitying look. I remember having my "colors" done, and learning that I was a winter, not a fall like I had hoped. I remember leaving that workshop feeling like a pile of shit. Not empowered. No self-esteem. I left wondering what was wrong with me.
That was 1988. Fast forward to 2016. Imagine being a girl right now. Imagine a world where you can go and find a community that believes this:
I have a brilliant heart and a beautiful mind. I am me, a perfectly flawed, beautyFULL work in progress. I promise to lift other girls up, have their backs, and make it safe for them to be exactly who they are. I'm on a mission to raise the standards for how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves, and how we treat the world. Every time I look in the mirror I’ll remind myself that I’m not alone, that I’m beautiful, that my voice matters, and that I am enough. (from iamthatgirl.com)
And then imagine another world where you can buy clothes that aren't oversized jumpers with dropped hemlines (or worse, the shitty sexualized clothing that girls are sold these days). Imagine a world where feminist isn't a bad word. A world where short hair is chic and nobody tells you what color palette you should stick with--cuz this girl is clearly a winter, and she is rocking some serious earth tones:
Imagine a world where a woman is about to become president of the United States.
So yeah, I'm proud of this. It feels good to work with rad people (seriously, the most fun, kind, professional, smart, creative people) on a rad project. It feels good to watch it explode. (Speaking of which: BUY SOME PINS!) Now excuse me while I check my Instagram...