I had to keep a secret.
A really big secret.
And it was REALLY hard.
But now, the secret has spilled into the national spotlight if you will, so I can now spill it. Which, by the way, I’ve wanted to do for what felt like ages.
On Monday, October 26th, I was in Los Angeles for a kick-off party, celebration and art exhibit. An art exhibit that I got to be part of. I was chosen by Instagram as one of TWENTY-EIGHT women, to highlight their new hashtag: #MyStory. A celebration about women using Instagram to tell their stories. Women who’re breaking stereotypes and gender roles. It was hosted by Rowan Blanchard (the Star of Girl Meets World — Apparently, all my friends that have kids, now think I’m super awesome because I met her!), and Marne Levine, the COO of Instagram. The event was curated by Jessica Bennett, a journalist and founder of the Feminist Fight Club (her first book comes out soon). Super, super cool chick doesn’t even being to describe her! Like seriously, I’m sad that all my kick-ass friends can’t meet her because she’s awesome. Oh wait, I said that already.
There was press, and Instagram celebrities, in addition to the celebrities I mentioned above. Tess Holiday – a model who founded @effyourbeautystandards was there. She’s super sweet and gorgeous, and her husband is awesome. There were tattoo artists, free divers, graphic designers/illustrators… seriously the list could go on. The gallery was filled with AMAZING women. Women of all ages, body types, and in all different walks of life. I met so many of the wonderful, talented staff at Instagram as well as Facebook too. I’m still reeling, all these weeks later.
That I was able to be part of something so amazing, still just boggles my mind. I made some new friends, and got to, if only for a short time, be part of a bad a$$ girl gang.
In addition to meeting Rowan, Marne and Jessica, I met most all of the other women photographers there, and I’m certain that my new friend Saskia and I will stay in touch. Whenever I get to go to NYC, I’m going to hang out with her. AND the two awesome gals (Nicole Zivkovic and Miki Nakano) that started the GONY movement. Seriously. They’re only high schoolers. I’d have never guessed!
And cooler yet:
We’re honored to be partnering with @Instagram on their #MyStory program. Every day, women use Instagram to share the visual narratives of their daily lives. In the process, they are building audiences and forging communities across the globe. #MyStory seeks to draw attention to these women –artists and activists, scientists and skateboarders, moms and midwives – who are breaking stereotypes, overturning clichés and helping others find their voice through personal and profound storytelling. We want to her your story too! Post an image that best shows your personal story and tell us about it using #MyStory – we’ll be featuring some of them here on our Instagram page as well as in the pages of the magazine for the next year.
I’m also fortunate that one of my long-time friends (we’ve been friends since high school), was able to come with me. We got to catch up with my cousin and his wife who live in LA, have a morning at the Beverly Wilshire Spa (while Julia Roberts was there, no less), and spent our evening meeting awesome people! It was so much fun. Again, I am blessed, lucky and so fortunate to live the life I lead.
I met some amazing people that night, and got to talk to a lot of folks who love my photos. Which is just crazy to me, seriously. If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you’re missing out, I’m telling you. You can find me here. Do you have an Instagram Account? Do you have a #MyStory? Be sure to use the hashtag if you do!