This is an initiative by actress-comedian, Amy Poehler (I am not well acquainted with her work). I remember watching Amy and Tina Fey at the Golden Globes and being in awe. In ‘Blink’, Malcolm Gladwell interviewed a producer who gave a then unknown Tom Hanks a chance to showcase his talent. The producer explained that the reason why he backed Tom was that he was funny and ‘nice’ at the same time. He said that when it comes to comedy, it is important for people to forgive the comedian. He further explained comedians often make fun of others and their beliefs. A successful comedian makes fun of you, but he/she is so nice, that you just don’t mind! Basically, the humor is coming from a ‘good heart’. You are taking potshots but there is no malice in your heart. I felt this when I saw Superwoman aka Lilly Singh’s videos. I felt this when I saw Amy and Tina. And when I discovered that Amy has this initiative, I started loving her more!
The description of Smart Girls’ Facebook Page says:
We emphasize intelligence and imagination over “fitting in.” We celebrate curiosity over gossip. We want you to truly be your weird and wonderful selves!
Like the name suggests, the initiative is for young girls (women are also invited). Young girls are so vulnerable. Basically, the culture wants them to hate themselves. To survive this conditioning is nothing short of a miracle. Of course, one can and one has to find strength within. But girls and women need community as well. Being a part of a community empowers you. Human beings want to belong. This need is often exploited. Since the need to belong is such an integral part of being human, some people often exclude those who are not ‘normal’. Alienation breaks a human being’s spirit. However, when you discover that there are people like you, that you can be who you are, that you do not have to torture yourself to “fit in”, you find the courage to throw away your masks.
I wish there was something like this during my teens. Teenage is a beautiful but extremely scary phase of life. That’s when you need a community like Smart Girls, where you can find inspirational women who are doing amazing things, older women who want to share their wisdom, girls of your age who are going through the same shit as you. Smart Girls’ does all this with a lot of wit and humor.