10 Favorite Media Platforms for Women and Girls

Most content for women and girls online – especially around empowerment – is usually what I call “S.F.S.N.” (Sounds Fabulous, Signifies Nothing). Which means that it’s usually all Rah-Rah and not a lot of real. I’m all for the sizzle but I’d like a heavy side order of substance, please.

 

That’s why I am taking the time to applaud the amazing platforms that pack substance in the content they deliver for women and girls. Right now, we are in an age where it’s critical for our girls to see themselves as the world-changing thought-leaders they are!

 

Here are my 10 favorite platforms:

 

Teen Vogue – Teen Vogue is playing at the highest level when it comes to telling stories that matter to today’s teenage girl (and well, everyone, really). Not only do they make relevant news and social topics easily digestible and engaging for teens, they also do a phenomenal job at giving girls the opportunity to write their own stories.

 

Bustle – I’ve been a contributor to Bustle in the past and I’d surely do it again. They serve as a prime source for healthy lifestyle tips and advice. If you love my #SelfCare17 campaign, you will love reading content on Bustle!

 

Equality for Her – Equality for Her is dedicated to uplifting the voices and identities of people across the femme spectrum. Inclusive to all femme-identifying people, their mission is to generate awareness about issues affecting the global femme community.

 

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls – One of my forever faves, APSG will always be held near and dear to my heart. They have always been and will continue to be dedicated to cultivating the authentic, smart girl (which is every girl).

 

Sesi Magazine – Sesi is on a mission to fill the void in mainstream media, where there is a gap for African-American girls. Sesi is released each quarter of the year with the simple yet vital mission of celebrating African-American teen girls.

 

GirlGaze – The founders of GirlGaze and I share a vision of putting more content in the world that is created through the eyes of girls. This platform is a shining a spotlight on the visual masterpieces and photographs captured by girls while building a virtual community of the world’s top female creatives.

 

Lenny Letter – Lenny features real, intimate stories from real women; a concept that is so simple, yet extremely effective in making a connection with the reader. They also post beautiful graphic illustrations of the women featured in their stories to accompany each article.

 

Awesomely Luvvie – If you prefer to read your news in a tone of “brutally honest and painfully humorous,” Luvvie is your reporter. Luvvie has a gift for taking any piece of news and making it 100 times more enjoyable to consume. She holds no punches and delivers pop culture content in a voice that you cannot deny.

 

MuslimGirl – This is the biggest and only digital platform specifically dedicated to amplifying the voices of Muslim girls. Even if you’re not Muslim, I guarantee you will read and watch stories that you can connect with and learn from on this platform

 

UpWorthy – UpWorthy is another one of my go-to websites for news happening in culture. The writers for this platform have an amazing way of making each story feel connected to the reader and I always feel inspired to take action once I complete an article.

 

Huffington Post (Voices) – HuffPo Voices is what I consider one of the hubs of intersectional media. I can always count on catching up to speed on the relevant day-to-day news through this website. It’s also a great place to read a variety of diverse voices and perspectives on countless topics.

#SelfCare17: Forgive Yourself

We’ve all been there—stressed, maybe a bit anxious, and instead of calming down, our brain decides to replay over and over again an embarrassing, mean, or just plain stupid thing we said any number of years ago. It happens and it’s rarely helpful. Though we can’t control the random flood of negative self-talk, we can do something about how it makes us feel. Forgiving yourself for past mistakes (big or small), accepting that you cannot go back and change it, and taking stock of moment-to-moment gratitude is a great way to practice self-care, even in your lowest moments.

Get Out: Why I Had to See It (At Least) Twice!

Get Out director,  Jordan Peele, developed a thought-provoking script and crafted a suspenseful thriller wrapped in powerful social commentary. I can’t say it enough, but if you haven’t seen it, you should see it! If you’ve only seen it once, make sure you grab it on DVD in May and share with a friend!

 

As someone who has dedicated their career to working on issues and creating messages that positively impact women, girls, and families, seeing this movie was a must. What I found was an experience and story that left me speechless, humbled, and tremendously grateful for every word. This film brilliantly brings to life the unsettling realities and complex effects of racism in America. It touches on so many social issues of family, society, and culture that I’m still thinking about it (and talking about it constantly with my husband)!

 

Here’s why you should see it a few times:

 

  1. Shortly after its’ release, Get Out has become the highest-grossing movie ever for a feature debut for a writer/director of an original screenplay. Patronizing great films gives room and resources for more great films to hit the box office!
  2. Seeing a suspenseful thriller that also has a strong comedic timing is a rarity! This movie will surprise you with elements that normally go unseen in blockbuster thrillers.   
  3. It’s a great opportunity to just listen in. With so much noise in our political climate, we need the chance to listen to necessary, yet sometimes overlooked perspectives. Through Get Out, Jordan presents a unique point-of-view on a very specific cultural experience through a multidimensional lens that can resonate with any viewer.
  4. Full of subliminal messages, it’s impossible to catch everything the first time. A second viewing offers a deeper look and listening of messages concerning race, relationships, family, culture, and society to name a few.
  5. It adds more concrete proof that stories produced and directed by people of color are profitable for the entertainment industry in more ways than one.

There’s so much to unpack from Get Out, and I can’t wait to see Jordan Peele’s next project!

#SelfCare17: Volunteer

Most writers will tell you they’ve suffered blocks where they focus on assignments and just can’t break through. Then one day they’re walking, showering, or shopping and BOOM! It all starts flowing. Well self-care can be a lot like writing. It requires focus, reflection, and self-expression. It’s a lot, and sometimes doesn’t flow as easily as we’d like. Volunteering is a great way to get your mind off of you. While doing good for others you can break through your self-care rut and feed the part of you that naturally nurtures. 

#SelfCare17: Tell Someone Why You Love Them

 

I’m not always the best at receiving compliments (I’m working on it!), but I’m great at giving them. That’s why I can attest that a good way to practice self-care is to tell someone why you love them. Not only is it nice to let someone know that you do, but also when you can articulate why — it gives you a deeper appreciation of ALL the good that is in your life.

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#SELFCARE17: UNPLUG

You know that peaceful moment at the end of the day when the whole world goes quiet and you’re left with just you and your thoughts?

Me neither.

These days if we want a little solitude we must make a conscious effort.

Take a moment, a day, or a week (okay, fine start with 10 minutes) and create a moment without distraction.

Then rinse and repeat.

This is a fundamental foundation of self-care. You deserve it. 

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#SelfCare17: Block a Troll

Girl, bye.

The old adage “choose your battles” has never been more applicable.

With the constant flood of news and 24-hour social media access, simply choosing who and what to engage can be exhausting.

We wade into difficult conversations and there are always some folks who want to gaslight, harass, and derail us.

It’s not constructive. It’s not healthy.

And guess what? It’s not mandatory that you engage. Part of self-care is choosing to opt out.

Don’t feed a troll. Block them!

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#SelfCare17: Stretch

Every time I stretch my body it always feels SO good. But I rarely do it. I just don’t think about it.

 

But we need to stretch to push our bodies, minds, and attitudes.

 

When we lean into the moments of discomfort, we can become more flexible on the other side.

 

Same is true for making social change. If we want to see the world differently, we have to stretch our own world view. So choose one thing this week that makes you stretch and go for it. Stepping out of our comfort zone keeps us curious.

 

And curiosity is a key tool for living a life well examined.

 

What will you stretch this week?

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Self-Care 2017: A Year Long Plan to Love, Fight, and Make Change

Whew.

It’s 2017.

Now what?

Congrats, we made it.

Still looking around a shit show of a government transition coming up.

And a year-long adventure of learning how to take care of ourselves while still fighting for civil and reproductive rights. You know, stuff you didn’t think you had to fight for in 2017!

But lest we fall into a slump of despair (that was SO last year) here is my pledge to you:

 

Let’s focus on Self-Care in 2017. In order to be good world changers, we have to start locally.

And I mean, super local…ourselves first. If we aren’t full of hope, anger, action, and community we just won’t get this world-changing work done. And as any good rule breaker, rebel maker, world changer knows…we have to fill up our gas tanks regularly in order to have the energy to SHAKE. SHIT. UP.

 

So here we go…each week I’m going to post one tip to help us focus on self-care while we also focus on making sure we America’s democracy doesn’t slip away while we are sleeping (or on our phones).  

 

I know it can get overwhelming. And we’ll want to numb out (again: phones) but try not to. Know that we are in this together. And please: if you have any self-care tips to add to this vibrant list – please send them our way on any of my social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) and help a sister out!

 

For this very beautiful first week of the year, my first #SelfCare17 tip is to: Release

 

Whenever you are close to releasing something negative in your life (a relationship, a habit, a belief system) it’s normal that your old patterns will come up? They are usually there for you to see how far you’ve come or to gauge how far you are willing to go to change your life. Don’t get stuck in the past. Focus on releasing that which does not serve you anymore. You will create a space for what is to come. And it’s going to be so good, I feel it!

 

Remember, release is a verb – practice it daily. Don’t hold on to stuff that isn’t yours. And make that space.

 

More soon!

Jess

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National Day of Listening

Most days when I sit down to write these posts, I have no idea where to start.

 

I think about writing something witty, snarky, silly.

 

I think about using the time to uplift, inspire, educate.

 

I feel pressure to speak about my work, the business, stuff that makes money.

 

But if I’m silent enough. And still enough. What comes to me is this…

 

Sometimes I don’t want to write anything. I want to be in gestation, growing new ideas and thoughts. I don’t always want to produce for production sake, and I don’t want to worry about whether or not it gets a response.

 

Today is our National Day of Listening, and that’s exactly what I decided to do.

 

In the silence, I can hear a smaller voice emerge, one that says to take a step back not forward. To sit not pace. To listen, not talk. And if I do listen, I can hear the tiny sounds of new ideas rushing to be formed and my patience rising up like a swell.

 

I sit and I listen.

 

And I always end up writing.

 

But it’s never what I thought it would be.

 

If you’re looking for something to listen to that will spark your inspiration and help you explore your inner thoughts, tune-in to our Talk To Jess podcast today or sometime this weekend.

 

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