The society in which we live is overrun with Instagram posts and social media blasts. Social media constantly makes headlines in the news, and as a result can affect many of the things we do on a daily basis. On Good Morning America, anchors discuss the effect of smartphones on today’s youth and what new trends are emerging from Instagram. Society is also a growing reflection of badass, fashionable women who have a large influence on social media: Beyoncé, who many believe is the rightful queen of humanity, has 116 million followers on Instagram, while Kim Kardashian West tweets out to all 56.8 million of her followers multiple times a day.
The numbers show that women can have a voice and millions of people will listen. This also shows that, although the #MeToo movement is alive and still fighting, women continue to be a massive influence on society and have found forums to express themselves -- and their bodies -- without judgement.
In New England, a group of female creatives are looking to further that narrative. Boston is home to Girl Magic Meets, an artist collective made up of women who want to create without worrying about the male gaze and direction.
The group was founded in August 2016, making this month its two-year anniversary, and consists of artists, models, photographers, and bloggers. Every couple of months, the group will host a meet-up in which creatives from the area will get together and collaborate on mini-photoshoots, usually based around a theme. Girl Magic Meets also creates a safe environment for women to discuss their craft and post freelance opportunities, and as a result all the girls have become a community and hype each other's work. Girl Magic Meets co-founders Brenda Phan and Nancy Fields attended many Instagram meet-ups before deciding to host their own, and the very first meet-up wasn’t an intentional gathering -- the pair and some of their friends simply dressed in all denim and white for a fun photo shoot together. However, it went over better than Phan and Fields had thought it would and they were encouraged to host more events in the future.
Fast forward to today, and there has been a total of seven meet-ups over the past two years, from highly populated events to small networking mixers. Girl Magic Meets has more than 500 members on their Facebook page and their Instagram is home to features from various photographers and members. Their Facebook page is invite-only, but Fields insisted that everyone should feel comfortable joining the group. Keeping the group private gives all members the opportunity to show their work without judgement from the outside world.
“Anybody who identifies as a female woman, we’re all supportive," Fields says. "We’re open for anybody. We want it to be a safe space for girls and people who identify as women to view it as a non-judgemental place.” But what about men that support the cause? Girl Magic Meets welcomes male photographers and videographers, but for now, the group is asking for only female models to attend. The founders made it clear that as long as someone identifies as a woman, then they are encouraged to show up as their badass selves and get in front of the cameras.
So what’s in the future for Girl Magic Meets? The pair would like to plan more meet-ups for creative and bring the events to different states for a change in scenery. But when it comes to girl power, that’s going to stay part of the Girl Magic Meets community. The group is having a Pride meet-up in August and details will be posted soon on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
I had the privilege of attending Girl Magic Meets' recent meet-up based around Streetwear. Check out the stylish ladies and the overall scene and vibe below.