Model Adwoa Aboah is the founder on the Instagram account @gurlstalk which later became a website and is receiving a lot of praise for her posts that are getting girls to talk about feminism. Vogue’s article interviewing Aboah says that using the hashtag #letsgetgurlstalking as a call to arms, Aboah spreads a larger message of honesty and openness for young women, a message she also plans on taking into local schools via an upcoming workshop.
The About Me section on the website states:
“Gurls Talk is a movement that strives to create a platform where girls can openly share their experiences and feelings in a safe and trusting environment. We are working together to create a community of girls from all different backgrounds, looking beyond external differences, and focusing on the essence of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century. We strive to show girls that you are not alone, and that by opening up and sharing your personal stories, you too can discover that many others are going through the same things. Gurls Talk is about working together, empowering, and taking the time to listen…”
By using her platform to boast a freedom of ideals and a breaking with the norms has helped her evolve into a star to follow. She says in her interview with Teen Vogue that her inspiration came from “the women who came into her life when she needed them the most — the women who actually saved her life”. With Gurls Talk Aboah wants to create a space wherein girls can have honest conversations about everything. It’s weekly program to educate girls on mental health and addiction and eating disorders, but instead of it being a lecture coming from a teacher or a woman twice their age, it will be from women these girls can relate to, women who are speaking from experience.
Vice Magazine comments that with 35k Instagram followers and growing, and a website that launch last October, Gurls Talk is the best friend you wish you had growing up, a voice to speak out on body image, feminism, self-perception, and empowerment. Frank, intelligent, and deeply personal, it documents everything from Adwoa’s road to a personal recovery, to calling out the Kardashians for their use of social media (“Between you, you have 45 million followers, and this is what you use your platform for?” she asks incredulously), to insights into inspirational feminist artists and writers such as Gloria Steinem and Lena Dunham, to simple feel-good mantras (‘Be you and be proud’).
The most important message she would like girls to take away from Gurls Talk is, “be vulnerable, be open, and be true to yourself. I found when I was trying to be someone else everything was so much harder. But when I was true to myself, I felt so much freer,” she says, with a wisdom far beyond her years. “Give out positive energy and things will come back to you in ways you can’t even begin to believe.” Last year’s Italian Vogue cover shot by Tim Walker was a huge turning point for the model, who has since starred in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, and H&M. “The Italian Vogue cover meant so much to me, not so much because I was on the cover,” Adwoa says, “but because I saw a different light in my eyes. There was nothing behind them for so long. I had completely shut away from my family, my friends, my sister, but now my spark is back.”
Vice continues with pointing out that Adwoa’s spark is more than back, it’s dazzling, and the future looks bright for the her. Next year she will make her movie debut, starring in Rupert Sanders’ adaptation of Japanese manga classic Ghost in the Shell, opposite Scarlett Johannson. “It was a dream come true to act alongside Scarlett!” she beams. “She is one of the coolest and most down-to-earth women I’ve ever met.”
“In these turbulent times, an intelligent, passionate, and emotionally attuned role model is exactly what we need. Let’s get girls talking.”
“I call myself a feminist and I’m proud to say that, but I think the modern-day feminist can be anyone. It can be a model on the cover of a magazine, it can be a mother of five, it can be a working woman, a woman who chooses to stay at home, a woman who decides not to shave her armpits in protest—it really can be anyone drawn to the idea of equality. I really think it is about doing things for yourself and not being held back by what society views as appropriate.”