Friday Inspiration: Gurls Talk
“I literally thought it was going to be something so complicated”. Having a triple bypass? Moving to a new city with a warehouse worth of stuff? Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro without hiking boots? Funnily enough, none of these are correct. The answer is in fact far more mundane, far more run-of-the-mill, far more everyday: Adwoa Aboah is referring to the simple act of talking.
In 2016 Aboah set up Gurls Talk, a platform for women to talk about body image, mental health and sexuality. Having seen first hand through her work as a (fabulous) model the ridiculously high expectations and demands put on the female body, at the same time as the massive lack of frank and open discussion around depression and mental health, Aboah decided something had to give. Gurls Talk began as an Instagram account, encouraging women to share their experiences of mental health difficulties through sending in short videos, posting gorgeous, feminist artwork and publicising important issues. Proving incredibly popular, it expanded into its own website, featuring contributions from badass women continuing the conversation. Its mission is simple: “Gurls Talk is about working together, empowering, and taking the time to listen.”
What strikes us the most, on both Gurls Talk’s website and social media, is the tone of celebration: women are praised for speaking up about difficult issues, applauded for their bravery and resilience, and supported by the online community in their responses to what they are viewing. In a world where internet trolls are even more common than fidget spinners, it seems remarkable that Aboah and her team have managed to create such a welcoming, inclusive, and friendly internet space.
We think a lot at Element HQ about how we can create a space for Element participants to feel comfortable enough talking about issues around mental health and wellbeing, about building positive identities, and about creating a network of respectful, brilliant women and men. Thanks Gurls Talk for being a daily inspiration, and for championing the best gift of all - the gift of the gab!