In the Wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, a Younger Generation is Leaving Their Mark
When Darling and our partner Aerie heard about “It’s Our Turn,” a conference organized by and for high school girls in the LA area, we knew we had to be involved in some way. With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in full force, younger girls are taking notice and taking action.
Here’s the mission statement of the conference:
“IT’S OUR TURN: YOUNG WOMEN’S CONFERENCE AT BRENTWOOD SCHOOL” IS A GATHERING OF TEENAGE GIRLS IN SEARCH OF WAYS TO TRANSCEND POPULAR CULTURE’S PORTRAYAL OF YOUNG WOMEN. A VARIETY OF FEMALE LEADERS, MENTORS, AND PERFORMERS WILL ADDRESS ISSUES THAT MOST CONCERN GIRLS. OUR GOAL IS TO SEEK WISDOM AND GUIDANCE FROM OTHERS, EMPOWER OURSELVES, AND INSPIRE THOSE AROUND US.
Both Darling and Aerie wanted to show our support, so this past weekend, we did. Over 1,000 young women from grades 7-12 convened at Brentwood School from schools and organizations throughout Los Angeles.
Scroll through the gallery below to get a first-hand look at what the conference entailed:
Conference keynote sessions ranged from women entrepreneurship to women in sports, comedy, tech, politics, Hollywood, music and dance. #AerieREAL Role Model Iskra Lawrence joined the afternoon keynote panel to discuss “Real Identity in an Airbrushed World,” facilitated by Darling’s own friend and mentor Jess Weiner.
Also included on the panel was poet Natalie Patterson and Brentwood Student Raquel Arabelo. Together, they shared their thoughts on what being a “role model” looks like in today’s world and how important it is to be a change-maker in your own world, speak up and challenge the status quo.
During the afternoon breakout session, Jess Weiner facilitated Darling’s second panel: Iskra, Natalie, Rebekah Shannon, Photo Director at Darling, and Heika Burnison, Producer of self(i.e.), Darling’s feature length documentary created in partnership with Aerie. The discussion was around “Authentic Confidence in an Airbrushed World.”
This interactive session allowed for the students to become Editor-in-Chief of Darling for the day by giving everyone a cover image, a Darling logo, an inspirational quote and free reign of what they wanted their headlines and themes to be.
Throughout the day, students and guests visited the Aerie & Darling lounge, where they could have a meet and greet with Iskra and have their photo taken.
Nobody left our lounge empty handed. Aerie and Darling gave away tote bags, beautifully designed with Natalie Patterson’s empowering poem reading I am enough, I am enough, I most certainly am enough, a pair of Aerie undies, samples of Iskra’s new fragrance, and issues of Darling Magazine.
Darling and Aerie were truly inspired by the initiative of these young women to hold space for deeper conversation and encourage one another to be a true force of change.
Inspired by Aerie’s incredibly powerful new family of #AerieREAL Role Models, including body positivity activist Iskra Lawrence, gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman, actress and activist Yara Shahidi and singer-songwriter Rachel Platten, a few of us wanted to share who has been a role model in our own lives:
My friend Cindy is like a big sister to me and has the most generous heart. She’s incredibly smart and driven but never at the expense of being wise, fun and open to others. I always took it as a compliment when someone would mistake me for her or think we were actually related.
One of my most treasured role models was my high school graphic design teacher. She was a beautiful example of womanhood to me: intelligent, capable, gracious, compassionate, hard-working, and kind. She is also the individual that introduced me to Darling for the first time! I’m forever indebted to her for opening my eyes to the power of creativity and the joy of investing in another person.
One role model that comes to mind first to me was my yearbook teacher in 9th grade. She gave me an old Canon A-1 film camera and told me to go try it out. I told her I was worried about ruining a whole roll of film since I had never used one and she replied, “failing is how you will learn”. She always had a kind hope in me that no one else had shown me before then. I will cherish the time and kindness she invested me always!
One of my role models was my high school English and History teacher, JamiLyn. She was so strong yet so kind at the same time and really shaped my voice as a writer. She had a special knack for challenging me (even to frustration sometimes) for my good. She was honest in the most loving way, which really pushed me to see my potential.
Honestly my biggest role model is my mother. Wherever she sees a need in culture she learns how to fill it, and thus has started inner city elementary schools, gotten her PhD in psychology after 40, organized a mentorship program for women, and written a book (among other things). She has proven in her life that you don’t need to be boxed in to just one path or vision, and always encouraged me to refuse the status quo.
One of my role models was my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Osbourne. She was one of the first people who encouraged me to write and taught me how to express myself through poetry.
When I think of who has had the greatest impact on how I view myself and others, I think of my three best friends from college. At such an impressionable and moldable time in life, they each in their own way taught me what an intentional friend looks like and how to model both empowerment and compassion. The older I get, the more I realize how precious such time-tested friendships are.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Aerie. We’re proud to partner with brands that strive to create better, more realistic media for women. All thoughts and opinions remain Darling’s own.
Images via Darling Intern Rachel Shoppy