Meet Ilana: Founder of Just Girl Project
FASHOM: What do you do for a living?
Ilana: I have run my own digital marketing agency called nailed it! media for the past 7 years. Simultaneously, I work in the pop music industry as a singer/songwriter.
FASHOM: What’s your general sense of style/fashion like? Do you stick to a particular kind of dressing – either feminine or masculine or do you experiment with both?
Ilana: I love vintage fashion, urban outfitters, and sassy shoes. I am all about blinged-out loud jackets and funky skirts. I love the Mod era. Twiggy was a huge inspiration for me growing up! And I adore grunge and rocker style as well. I’ve recently gotten a bit more into street fashion and the sort of androgynous/Bieber look that American Apparel has sort of endorsed. My style is all over the map, but I really like making a statement in subtly sexy way.
FASHOM: How much do you think the social norms and mainstream media have constrained people from expressing themselves through their looks.
Ilana: I think the media has actually influenced us to be more free and unique with our style choices. I try to encourage influence through media involvement. I enjoy expressing myself by being inspired by those around me and by the celebrities and influencers that I look up to. Publications such as Vogue have challenged me to wear things outside my comfort zone and look at fashion from a more aesthetic POV. I think it’s awesome!
FASHOM: How did you overcome such constraints. What can people do to overcome these constraints?
Ilana: I think beyond comparing myself to every girl that walks my way, I have tried not to place blame on the media and society. I try my best to work to better myself every day through my own positive self-talk and by working on my own personal development. I can work to promote change with my own voice, such as my movement (The Just, Girl. Project) and influence the media in a positive direction by doing my part to encourage and inspire.
FASHOM: What inspired you to create Just Girl Project?
Ilana: A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a startling subculture: social media accounts devoted to the promotion of anorexia, bulimia, and self-harm. It broke my heart because, not only did I feel saddened by these negative messages, but I also related to them. I think we can all agree that there are plenty of negative messages being fed to girls throughout the media, society, and within their personal lives. But, let’s be honest, no one can ultimately bring us down if we decide to own how incredible, amazing, and unique we are! I believe every person, both girl, and boy, holds the power to create their own happiness.
The Just, Girl. Project is a fiery movement that empowers girls to embrace honesty, passion, and struggle. Through the power of art, this project relates to and empowers girls to be the utmost honest version of themselves, take responsibility for who they are, and go after what they are most passionate about.
FASHOM: How do you deal with criticism from others?
Ilana: I internalize it and reflect. It’s hard not to take things personally, so I do my best to take much of what is thrown at me with a grain of salt, but a reflective attitude. Sometimes feedback is crucial for growth and awareness of self and other times, it’s coming from a place of insecurity on the other person’s party.
FASHOM: What was the best advice you ever received about being true to your self?
Ilana: “Never be with anyone who doesn’t want to be with you.” – Do not work too hard to impress and prove yourself to people who do not value you. To be true to yourself is, to be honest about what you need, and that includes surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you so that in turn you will appreciate yourself.
FASHOM: Any message you would like to send out to the world?
Ilana: Be brutally you. Life is way too short to be anything less—then believe in the beauty and frustration of your dreams…and go for it!
Follow the Just Girl Project on Twitter.
Writen by Raven Davis