So you still think that feminists are man-hating monsters who don’t shave their armpits and hate sex and lipstick? Let me tell you something: You. Are. Wrong! And you probably also think that clothes, make-up and diets are all girls care about: Wrong. Again! There are so many cool websites out there these days, providing clever, useful, honest and inspiring content for girls and women of all ages and backgrounds, proving that modern girls and women can be both feminists AND girly. Here are some of my favourites:
Rookie: “Rookie is a website for teenage girls. With monthly-themed content, we update three times every weekday, and once a day on weekends.”
Well, my teenage days are long gone, but Rookie is still one of my favourite websites on the entire www. Rookie offers everything the young indie heart desires and is the ultimate resource for whimsical collages, DIY outfits, Sylvia Plath and Patti Smith quotes, indie rock playlists and life advice from cool celebs such as Jon Hamm, edited by the awesome Tavi Gevinson (who has been around the internet for ages and is still only 18 years old!) and her long list of contributors.
But the website features also a lot of serious content – about broken homes, school bullying and eating disorders, just to name a few. I would have loved to have had such a platform back in the day, providing smart content aimed at empowering girls instead of bluntly informing them about the latest make-up trends. I particularly love how they also address many issues often left out by other media, such as LGBT, gender identities and black feminism.
HelloGiggles: “HelloGiggles is a positive online community for women (although men are always welcome!) covering DIY and crafting projects, beauty, friendship, sex & relationships, pop culture, pets, television & movies, nostalgia, fandom, tips on savvy and stylish living meant to inspire a smile. Founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi. Reader contributions are welcome and published daily.”
Yes, you read correctly: the Zooey Deschanel, plus a former xxx-actress and a writer. HelloGiggles is a bit more mainstream than Rookie, featuring a lot less intellectually challenging content. Still, they cover a ton different topics and many cool articles, always with a positive attitude.
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls: “Founded by actor and writer Amy Poehler and producer Meredith Walker, the Smart Girls organization is dedicated to providing a healthy alternative to so much that is being marketed to young people on the internet. Our motto is: Change the World by Being Yourself. (…) We emphasize intelligence and imagination over “fitting in.” We celebrate curiosity over gossip. We are a place where people can truly be their weird and wonderful selves. We are funny first, and informative second, hosting the party you want to attend.”
Such a great, great initiative by my icon Amy Poehler (all hail Leslie Knope!). Smart Girls not only features a lot of smart content, but also regularly puts truly inspirational girls and women of all fields (sports, academia, arts, politics…) in the spotlight – always staying true to their mission to empower girls of all ages, backgrounds and with all kinds of interests.
Lean In: “The book Lean In is focused on encouraging women to pursue their ambitions, and changing the conversation from what we can’t do to what we can do. LeanIn.Org is the next chapter. We are committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. If we talk openly about the challenges women face and work together, we can change the trajectory of women and create a better world for everyone.”
After the success of Sheryl Sandberg’s well researched book of the same name, the Facebook COO and one of the most influential women in the world launched a foundation and online platform, aiming at empowering women at work and fighting for equality both on the job and at home. The website features a lot of inspirational stories from and browsing trough the different testimonials is a perfect source for regaining confidence after a hard day at work or in school.
On the same note, I really recommend “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” to all my fellow girls who rock their job – regardless your field or career-level. It presents a lot of research and practicial advice on how to deal with sexism, lack of confidence and other obstacles. Or, as it states on the website: “Lean In is packed with practical advice for women on how to believe in themselves, pursue any goal and take a seat at any table.” Check out Sheryl Sandberg’s fantastic Ted Talk for a little foretaste. I am sure you will be hungry for more afterwards!
#girlboss: The book #girlboss by Sophie Amoruso is a younger girls’ version of Sandberg’s Lean In – another read I highly recommend! In her book, 31 year old Amoruso tells her impressive story of how she worked her way up from selling a stolen book back in her grunge days to building a highly successful eBay store for vintage clothes, to now running one of the world’s biggest online shops.
It features also success stories and career advice from other inspirational women and loads of funny anecdotes. After the success of the her book, the rock’n’roll entrepreneur launched an online platform of the same name. She also launched a foundation, providing grants for promising female arts projets. Unfortunately, the blog has gone a bite quiet in recent days, but I hope they will go back to posting great new content soon.
Ban bossy: “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”
The #banbossy campaign was launched by the Lean In Foundation in collaboration with the Girls Scouts of America, with a super amazing video featuring some of the coolest leaders of our time – from Beyoncé to Diane von Fürstenberg (scroll down to watch the video). On their website, they provide leadership advice for girls, parents, teachers and managers alike and also feature some inspirational stories about girls who run the world, events etc.
Unfortunately, just like #girlboss, the website has gone a bit quiet recently. So, in case anyone in charge there is reading this: Pllleasee come back soon with more brilliant content, as your work is so, so important to pave the way for future leaders!