The reason I joined GirlSense &NonSense as a co-editor was clear to me from the start. Every fiber of me believed in its cause to share the works, perspectives, and voices of emerging women artists. Every girl, every woman is an artist. The capacity is there in each one of us, but do we acknowledge it? Do we think it matters? Do we think we matter?
The answers to those questions lie in the responses Pamela and I got from our contributors for the first issue of GirlSense & NonSense. As Pamela wrote in her first issue reflection, “Every piece that was submitted came with prefacing phrases like this: I know it’s not perfect or I’m not the best writer or I wasn’t sure what to write or Can I make it anonymous?” Not only that, one page never even made it to the first issue of the magazine because one contributor became so overwhelmed with a lack of confidence and the fear of sharing her art on the magazine. That contributor was me.
Here I am, an educated young woman bent on supporting the cause of other young women artists, and I did not believe in myself as an artist. Deep down, I didn’t think my work mattered enough; I didn’t think I was enough. How had that seed of doubt been planted in my heart? And why? It wasn’t until I had a conversation with fellow co-editor Pamela about our experiences with the first issue and some of the challenges we faced, that we both realized that girls and women just like ourselves often feel like our efforts aren’t ‘good enough’, that we don’t matter because we have never been told that we do.
The representations of women in the media have repeatedly shown us that we are valued as objects, not as creators or artists. We (myself included, big time!) have become experts at hiding our creative expression behind makeup tutorials, fashion pins and bridal boards on Pinterest, and never-ending streams of selfies on Instagram. Why is it that we are so comfortable with presenting and expressing our bodies and not our minds, our works as artists?
I asked myself this question and realized that the concept of sharing my art, my mind was foreign. But, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. From one girl to another, it’s time we embrace not only our bodies but especially our minds and spirits. It’s time we celebrate our works as artists. This is as much a challenge to myself as it is to all girls who have never had the confidence or the opportunities to do so. The road ahead of us will not be without challenges, but the least we can do right now is take another step together. Ready? Let’s go!
We invite you to read our (flawed, imperfect, incomplete) first issue and celebrate the young women who’ve unapologetically shared their stories, minds, and art with the world around them. View now by clicking the image below:
And if you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter; we’re @gsandns. Tweet us your favorite pieces from our inaugural issue and use #weneedwomenartists. Join the conversation and speak up!