Gemma Styles: What's a Girl Crush?
#girlcrush: not a girl getting squashed, but the heart-eyed way you feel about a girl/woman/lady/queen. Thanks to Nobody’s Child for making me the first to feature in the campaign!
I’m Gemma – I spend a lot of my time online… and then a lot more time writing about it. I’ve grown up alongside the internet and, like most ‘millennials’, have got swept up in the world of social media. My experiences have made me quite reflective on the effects that online life has on our real lives. Are they separate things? Do our online and IRL personas end up being different sides of ourselves?
Having a “girl crush” is about more than just thinking someone has good Instagram photos. It’s fine to be a fan of someone because you like how they look – but what’s more amazing is truly appreciating the substance of a person.
Considering the vast spectrums of the internet, a huge portion of the people we see online are, in a lot of ways, the same; young, skinny, white women. These people are individuals - and there’s nothing wrong with who they are – but the social saturation of this “perfect” girl means that most of us rarely see pictures of people we can relate to, or see ourselves in.
A lot of the talk bandied around about girls and their crushes and their BFFs are focused on celebrity. This makes perfect sense in our culture. Everything is held up to be judged and these are the women, and the people, who are found to be what we want or like. It’s great to see women celebrating their female friendships, with tight knit groups lauded as the “squad” that we should all be aiming for; I think it’s important to remember though that we should be applauding these girls for their kindness, encouraging each other and being supportive – not just because they all have great hair and look good in hot pants.
For me, a girl crush doesn’t have to be someone ‘perfect’: women are real, and flawed, and incredible – those I aspire to be like are the people who accept themselves, have talents and are unapologetic about who they are. (It’s pretty hard to do.) I’m the Executive Editor for a site called La Femme Collective. We launched pretty recently and already we’ve featured women from various backgrounds doing a wide variety of jobs, running their own businesses and facing their own challenges. My favourite part about the stories is hearing the un-glamorous parts – late nights and balancing your life – that make a reader more able to appreciate these women as people and not mythical success creatures.
Through campaigns like #girlcrush, let’s spice up the pool of women we’ve been given to idolise and decide for ourselves! Whether you admire their sense of humour, business acumen, kindness, discipline or style choices, a girl crush is someone personal to you, who you love for your own reasons… Why not tell them (and Nobody’s Child!) so we can help more girls value themselves and to show off the amazing women they’re crushing on.
From oversized tee dresses to high waisted culottes, check out Gemma's top wardrobe picks - Fashion Gems - over on our main site now, or find out exactly what went on during her above photoshoot at God's Own Junkyard.