What do a TV commercial, Gloria Vanderbilt, and activism have in common? Well, let me tell you…
Long, long ago on a cold winter’s night (aka January) my twin Alicia called me and said she had a great idea for a project. Little did I know how much that idea would change the next nine months of my life.
**Cue dramatic lightening**
#GETBEHINDUS is a social activist art video that celebrates the multiplicity of women’s experiences by empowering women-identifying people & their allies to get involved. The most amazing thing about #GETBEHINDUS: it was produced by an all-woman team, which is shockingly rare.
#GETBEHINDUS is like a refreshing glass of water in these thirsty times.
If you haven’t listened to “Jeans On” by David Dundas, you are missing out. Inspired by Gloria Vanderbilt’s denim ad and a personal come to Jesus moment following the 2017 presidential elections and Brexit, #GETBEHINDUS became our call to action. The next thing I knew, I was recording a cover of “Jeans On” with my talented friends Reid and Yisa. Yes, that’s my voice in the video #cringe. And my butt:
Isn’t it great?! The video, I mean. I’m not talking about my butt, or am I…
A few might consider it controversial to have the women in the video not speaking and shaking their asses into the camera. Fair enough. But this was intentional. We purposefully used a traditional feminist tactic of subverting the social gaze. The activist patches became the physical representation of each woman’s agency. Patch = Voice. Pretty smart, huh?
The killer patches were HAND-PAINTED by the uber-talented Alicia. She created each patch in collaboration with the wearer because we wanted to make sure everyone felt their authentic voice was being represented in the video, even if my team didn’t agree with it.
Why? There is so much tension and anger in the world right now, even between people fighting for similar causes and objectives. We wanted a diverse group of people of different ages, races, faiths, ideologies to come together, represent their causes, and provide strength and support to each other.
We acknowledge that this video does not provide a complete solution for the issues represented, but hopefully, it inspires thought, response, dialogue and/or action, which is practically a gateway drug for positive change.
I’m hoping that this project inspires others to become activists, even in the smallest of ways. If my friends and I can do it on a shoestring budget, so can you.
Step 1: Get off your butt! (Not literally, obviously)
Step 2: Get your activist jeans on!
Step 3: And support a cause that matters to you!
Here are three ways you can #GETBEHINDUS:
1. Make and share art that addresses a cause you feel passionately about.
2. Volunteer at an organization whose work you admire.
3. Support brands and/or impactful organizations that represent your beliefs.