Chances are good you’ve heard of Smart Girls at the Party by now. How could you not? It involves Amy Poehler! But maybe you haven’t taken the time yet to check out the website, click around, and dig through all of the great content there. Well, lucky for you, I’m here to highlight why Smart Girls at the Party is my newest internet obsession.
Here’s a great description from the site: “This is where you might learn about something you would like to experience. You might learn about a woman you’d like to emulate. You might learn a new perspective or an unfamiliar custom or a new way to talk to yourself about something. It is our hope that you will learn more about your truest self.”
Smart Girls at the Party’s motto is “Change the world by being yourself.” There are two things I love about that motto. First, the BE YOURSELF bit. We hear “be yourself” so often that it’s pretty much lost all meaning for a lot of us, but I love that here, being yourself is presented as a journey and a goal and a state of being, all at once. And then there’s the “change the world” thing. I love that Smart Girls encourages girls to take their talents and interests and DO SOMETHING with them.
Here, in handy-dandy list form, are my favorite parts of Smart Girls at the Party:
1. Smart Girl of the Week. The site features a “smart girl” who has actually changed the world by being herself. Sometimes the smart girl is famous (Dorothy Dandridge, for example) and sometimes she’s not. Either way, this feature focuses on the girl/woman’s accomplishments and how she used her unique qualities to make a difference. Real role models, presented in a non-boring way.
2. Poetry! By Marge Piercy, no less.
3. Ask Amy. You’ve probably seen Amy Poehler’s great advice videos, where she honestly and kindly answers questions about all sorts of things that real girls worry about (and she never makes them feel like they should change).
4. College! There’s a big emphasis on college basics. What are dorms like? What’s it like to study abroad? What’s it like to have a roommate? You know, the stuff smart girls are actually worried about.
5. Books! There are lots of posts about books and reading and just learning, in general.
And finally, what I love most about Smart Girls: it’s about DOING. Whether it’s charity work or reading or making something or cooking or traveling. Basically, the site encourages girls to try new things in order to become more interesting and become their authentic selves. That’s some stellar advice, whether you’re in high school or, ahem, 26. I’m not ashamed to admit that I, an adult, am really and truly inspired by Smart Girls. I can’t think of many things more important than encouraging young girls to be smart, curious, and inspired. As I know from experience, being a girl is tough (I’m sure you remember, too!). We often talk about that, but I feel like many of us don’t really take it all that seriously. But when I remember the things I thought and said about myself in junior high, I feel so sad. Dealing with such weird societal pressure to look and be a certain way at such a young age is no joke. Smart Girls encourages girls to do more than just look cool or be attractive. It encourage them to actually do things to make themselves happy and make a difference.