We’re just fresh from our insightful and inspiring Tatty Devine X Venus Libido launch event earlier in the week with Young Women’s Trust. On the night we were joined by members of their Advisory Panel, a group of young women and non-binary people who have direct experience of the issues Young Women’s Trust campaign on and we’ve invited them (and a few more!) to share their valuable experiences on a series of blogs to highlight the amazing work that the charity is doing for young women.
First up, let's introduce you to Josie (she/her). An aspiring artist looking for an opportunity to start a tattoo apprenticeship this year, Josie has been through a few things in the past which led her to turning to Young Women’s Trust. She spoke to us about how being involved with the charity has changed her life...
How have you been involved with Young Women’s Trust so far?
I've been involved with Young Women’s Trust for just short of 2 years now, as an Advisory Panel member, and it's honestly been one of the best decisions I've made - from attending the residentials and the training sessions that have shown me journalistic skills as well as online data protection and so much more! Even being able to get involved with workshops, conferences and debates has been so uplifting, and being able to photograph some of these has been really beneficial for trying to improve my skills there!
Venus Libido designed the “Feminist” artwork on the theme of smashing stereotypes and taking feminist action. What does that mean to you?
I absolutely adore the design Venus created - for so long there's been ridiculous ideas on what a woman "should" be, which is frustrating to try and live up to these absurd ideals, so I'm loving that she challenges this in it! A feminist is many things, but there's no limit on what one can or cannot be - it's about time that the world realises this, and actually starts making changes that not only mean equality, but provide a world in which women can thrive.
How has being involved with Young Women’s Trust helped you to take action and help other women?
Being involved with Young Women’s Trust has given me more knowledge and awareness on a lot of issues that women face, so on a more personal level, I'm able to help and direct those close to me when they need it, and help point them in the right direction if I'm not too sure myself. But being able to speak about the issues that I (as a chronically ill person, now unemployed from losing my job on furlough, and having experienced sexual harassment) have faced, and then having women reach out to me and say how it's inspired them, and how they have a little more confidence to speak out as a result, is honestly one of the best parts. Knowing you can make a difference is a whole other level of special.
We’re helping to fund the AMAZING work of Young Women’s Trust so together we can help young women to have a brighter 2021 after a difficult year in 2020. What will help you stay motivated in 2021?
Ooh, that's difficult, haha. I WAS going to try to get a tattoo apprenticeship as soon as it turned 2021, which may not happen anytime soon now! But anything creative is always so inspiring for me. Seeing people create online has been so motivational, and getting the opportunity to get to know some of these people is even more so, because whilst it's difficult to physically be there for people, knowing we have each other is definitely a comfort. I guess in short, other people are my motivation, my friends, and the Young Women’s Trust family without a doubt!
What’s your number one piece of advice for people who want to be stronger feminists and help other women in 2021?
My number 1 advice is always going to be to believe in yourself so much more- all too often we put limits on what we can achieve, and for what? We're scared of the negatives, but focus on the positives- and you have plenty of them! Some people may question you at various points in your feminist journey, but believe in yourself just that bit more, because it means you're being noticed for it! Believe me when I say that whenever you do some sort of action as part of your campaigning, people do notice, and the love they have for you grows even more. I've had people message me saying they listened to the interview I just had, when I didn't realise anyone was listening, and that they love how I'm actually doing something about this issue, and it warms you right to the core.
What inspirational women do you follow on social media that will inspire you in 2021?
I follow a variety of accounts, really! But some of my top favourites are Sara Shakeel, who uses artwork to celebrate femininity and women, Halsey - for being so authentic and empowering, as well as being an LGBTQ+ icon, and some of my more personal ones are @Clarasinclairart, who is an INCREDIBLE tattoo artist, and is so motivational it's ridiculous- and with the tattoo industry being largely male-dominated, it just makes my appreciation and fan-girling of her go up more! But I've also recently been a massive fan of Ximena Vasquez (@Womensmagick).
HUGE thank you to Josie for being a part of our launch night and showing bravery to speak about such personal issues and her work in empowering others.
Think Young Women’s Trust could help you too? They offer coaching, guidance on CV and job applications as well as a whole host of additional support with anything from education, housing to mental illness.
If you’d like to donate to the charity, each piece of our Tatty Devine X Venus Libido jewellery sold donates £3 to their cause and being the BEST conversation-starters you’ll be able to spread the word about their incredible work! You can of course donate directly here, too!