Writing by Quincy Malesovas
To inspire. To represent. To empower. To support.
Her Words exists for all these reasons; it exists for every woman- so that they can see the validity in their own thoughts, words and actions- so that they can break down the perpetuated concepts of how a woman “should” be and form their own ideas instead.
Her Words is an alternative media outlet. One that provides a space for female-identifying people to share their stories of hardship and trauma, but also victories and conquests.
These stories are represented through a collection of brief video interviews that can be viewed on YouTube and on the Her Words website. All are under ten minutes long, but are jam-packed with important dialogue on sex, gender, self-love, body-image and other pertinent topics. These are topics that are often disregarded in mainstream media, where nothing breaks the surface and the outward portrayal of the self is everything.
But Her Words wants to get deeper- to “crack into important, constructive and inspiring dialogue on the real challenges affecting those who identify as women”. While the series is still in early stages, it seems to already be having a profound effect on those who have seen it thus far.
I attended the series launch in Collingwood last week, where cheese and crackers and locally-sourced beverages were on offer, décor was consciously curated and smiles could be seen all around. Not because of free food or the delightful buzz of alcohol, but because an energy could be felt amongst the crowd. You know when you watch a touching movie or even a commercial- one that sends shivers down your spine yet ignites warmth in your heart? That could be felt tenfold at the Her Words launch.
When the screen lit up and the series trailer was played, the room was in silence. A room filled primarily with women, who seemed struck by a concept that was catered entirely for them.
I could feel an air of confidence amongst everyone I encountered as I floated through the warehouse that opening night. That’s what Her Words aims to do- instill confidence in women and female-identifying people, make us laugh, make us cry, make us feel like we’re not alone.
Although I was instantly drawn to almost everyone I encountered at the Her Words launch (I probably fell in love at least five times that night), I had to do most of my admiring from afar. I did, however, manage to chat to a few attendees, all of whom had nothing but positive feedback about the project. I heard statements along the lines of “I wish something like this had been available for me when I was younger”, “these videos should be shown in schools”, “I thought I was the only one who faced this insecurity; it’s so comforting to know others have shared experiences.”
While most videos at the moment focus on topics related to self-love, the content of Her Words may evolve with time. Nonetheless, it will always inspire dialogue on female-specific concerns, raised in sensitive yet boundary-pushing ways. Because the only way to ever bring about change is to rock the boat a bit, to question what we know, research what we don’t, engage in conversations both with others and with ourselves.
Her Words is the antidote for a female-bashing media culture. It’s a chance to nurture oneself back to a spot of neutrality or (better yet) positivity regarding one’s self-image.