The New Girl Scouts: Girl Power Meetups

On Sunday evening, I found myself laughing and joking on the phone with three girls I had never actually met in person. I was chatting with the leaders of Girl Power Meetups in Baltimore, a group that aims to bring female creatives of many different backgrounds together. GPM was created by Samera Paz, a Washington, DC photographer, who aims to unite all girls across the world. GPM’s first meetup was in DC in December, 2015 and since then, the number of girls involved just keeps growing. Only five months ago, GPM was starting up and now it’s spreading into different cities, Baltimore being one of them. So that’s how I ended up, at 6pm, sitting in my bed, smiling at the insightful and honest conversation I was having with the three leaders of GPM Baltimore. I talked to Demi, Tray, and Kira, the three leaders, about their plans for GPM Baltimore and their inspirations, as well as high schoolers Emeline and Kory (from Beast Grrl Zine) about the GPM Baltimore meetup on May 1.

Zipi Diamond: Tell me a bit about yourselves!
Demi: I’m a 22 year old vegan, trying to change how people look at veganism and trying to spread the knowledge of health. I hope to help people discover themselves and I’m constantly discovering myself too.

Tray: I’m 22. I do a lot of things. I’m an overall creative - I do photography, I write, I have a podcast with Demi and a few other girls. My main mission is to “love always” and to change the world.

Kira: I’m 20 and I’m a student, dabbling in photography and looking at different mediums to express myself.
Emeline and Kory: We are two 17 year old editors of Beast Grrl Zine.

ZD: What sort of art do you all do? Does “girl power” play into your art at all?
Demi: My art is food. I share my art at every GPM meetup. I bring food to each one and open non-vegan minds. I just come out feeling inspired and that plays into the food that I create and the energy and the love that I put into it. Being around that type of energy is great.

Tray: Girl power plays into my art innately and inherently because I am a girl and I just do whatever I want, no matter any type of rules or guidelines or boundaries. I do exactly what I feel in the moment.

ZD: How would you like to see GPM grow?
Tray: I want to bring everyone together, like every girl in one place, and have a big parade or something to showcase their talents and art. Kind of like girls scouts, but way more awesome. Girls, young women, and women get put down a lot so it’s up to us to empower each other. We talk about all of these things, but what’s the next step? This is the next step: coming together and GPM spreading across the world and a sense of love and empowerment among young girls. Once that happens, it’s an unstoppable force of nature and it’s gonna be sick.

Kira: I don’t want GPM to be only for people that are into art. I want it to reach girls in general. It’s cool to get different perspectives on life and see girls being scientists or doctors or stuff like that.
Emeline and Kory: We’d like to see GPM Baltimore grow into a safe space for artists and female-identified individuals all over the city. Going to a girl power meetup is a really powerful experience that can really bring us together and create a connected and loving community. There are a lot of women doing really great work right now in Baltimore and we’d like to see GPM become a point of connection and a space for collaboration.

ZD: What did you guys talk about at the meetup?
Demi: We talked a lot about how a lot of girls compare themselves to each other but you have to realize that we’re all on different parts of our journeys and you just gotta be you and focus on you because that’s what really matters.

Tray: We talked about how important it is to know who you are. That’s the most important thing in the world. You can’t rely on other people to tell you who you are. You have the control to make everything a reality. People have to realize how powerful we are, young girls and young women. We want everyone to leave with that.

Emeline and Kory: Everything from Mercury in retrograde to self esteem. We also did an art share, which I think is done at all GPMs.

ZD: I know you guys did an activity about creating your own superhero. What’s your superhero like?
Tray: My superhero was a photosynthesizing human, so, basically she was doing what the plants do and getting all of this energy from the sun and transferring it into light and glitter and giving all the rays and sunshine of love and happiness to everyone she sees. And growing four leaf clovers everywhere so everyone can be happy!

ZD: Any last comments?
Tray: Look out for the next Girl Power Meetup and I want to tell all girls that, no matter what it is they do, like if you like math or research, cosmology, writing, just do whatever makes you happy at every moment of every day. Love yourself, spread love, be love, give love. Smile and come hang out with us and be our friend.

Kira: Speaking things into existence is real. This will sound corny, but do whatever you want and what you’re passionate about.

Demi: It’s okay to be different. That’s an important one too.

text and visual: zipi diamond
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