Revealing Myself | Originally Posted on Lace in Light Blog

Original Oil Painting by  Phoebe Sherman.

Original Oil Painting by Phoebe Sherman.

Originally Posted on Lace in Light Blog

Feminism came to me like a close, outraged friend. A feminism you could have coffee with and discuss the implications of the events around you.

I grew up in a privileged family in Marin County, but I understood this idea of justice from a young age.

I was a “bossy” girl, and later a “tease.”

I was taught by my peers that leadership was not welcome in female form. And later, that woman were meant to be looked at and conquered sexually.

I fed into this. I offered my body up to the world, gave this shell of skin to the people around me. I was not me. I was a service, an exhibition, an illusion of what was. I played the part. I was an actress, a chameleon, I could be whatever you wanted me to be.

I learned to throw up at 13. My friend taught me one day in the middle school bathrooms at Hall Middle School. She taught me how to hate myself. How to wear thongs under skirts and spin around on the field so boys could catch a glimpse.

I continued casual bulimia into my freshman year of high school. My body was different than the other girls. I had a tiny little waist and an apple of a butt, two barely there raisins for breasts. The throwing up gave me a sense of control, and was a good “fuck you” to my parents.

As high school continued, I was donned “Blue Balls Queen” by some seemingly nice boys. I was the girl that teased and made-out with boys but said no to sex. I was prodded and poked, boys searched for answers within my insides. They thought the higher and harder you pressed against my cervix, the more fun was to be had by all!

In college, my bulimia returned. This time it was fierce and consuming and completely taxing. I drowned myself in self-hatred and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds. To say my thoughts were repetitive is an understatement. It wasn’t that I was overweight. (Although any or most bulimics will tell you that if you want to lose weight, binge-eating and throwing up is not the way to go about it). Binge-eating was a way to “cure” my loneliness. It was a physical reaction to my depression and anxiety. Oh you had a bad day? Have a box of girl scout cookies. Oh, you ate the whole box and you probably don’t feel that good? Think I’ll throw up now.

It was a vicious cycle.

I think I finally told my roommate. My thoughts were toxic. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was encouraged to get help.

I went to therapy, and read a book called Intuitive Eating, which made so much sense to me. Eating when you’re hungry. Stopping when you’re full. Simple. Yet, revolutionary. A theory I understood in concept, but really am only starting to embody now. I started to recover from the eating pattern itself, but what really saved me was my discovery of yoga.

Yoga cured me. It taught me I was responsible for my own happiness. It taught me my body was meant to move and be treated with respect. It taught me that I didn’t have to be perfect, that I didn’t need to look perfect, and that even the physical practice of yoga was a journey and I needed to have patience. I learned to breathe. I learned to trust my intuition. I learned that my body was not the enemy, and even the world wasn’t, and we had the power to change our own reality, our own relationship the circumstances around us.

During this same period I discovered feminism. I was already an Art Major, but being the Virgo I am I craved a second discipline. I took a World & Sex class and discovered the world sucks especially for women and women of color and women of poverty, and I wanted to help.

There was so much anger in my Feminism program though. And YES obviously there should be anger. There should be lots of anger, the world is a terrible and sucky place. But to me a lot of the feminism was jargon and deconstruction, with not a whole lot of solutions.

I wanted a solution. I wanted hope.

These are still things I want today.

For me, yoga and feminism go hand in hand. We have the power to change our interior. We have the power to change our own heart. We have the power to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and the people that surround us. THIS IS HOW WE CREATE COMMUNITY. To me, this is feminism.

Taking care of ourselves and the world around us is a REVOLUTIONARY ACT.

After school I became a certified yoga teacher, but I knew I also wanted to do something with my art. I was already painting and making prints and selling those a bit. But I knew I wanted more.

I came up with my first uterus print right before the first Women’s March. My first print was a success. I ended up screen-printing my uterus design on fabric and making pouches. I wanted to give 10% to Planned Parenthood. I made patches for jackets, and eventually pins.

Last year I gave over one thousand dollars to Planned Parenthood. That means I sold $10,000 worth of uteruses!! (uteri? Still up for debate). I couldn’t be more proud of myself. My uterus designs continue to sell.

Today I am re-focusing on community. I founded Girl Gang Craft, a resource for women artists, healers, and small business owners. We’ve had two successful craft fairs and have another one scheduled for April 14 in Oakland. This will be our biggest event! We will have 40+ artists, healers, a bar, and a restaurant pop-up. Girl Gang Craft strives to help small business owners brand their businesses and connect to their audiences. Making community is it’s own form of resistance.

Oaklanders, we hope to see you at the Spring Show.

Ladies, you can join our gang here: www.girlgangcraft.com

Support planned parenthood by buying your bestie a uterus pouch or pin:

https://www.girlgangcraft.com/shop/uteruses-before-duderuses-girl-gang-starter-pack

 

Thanks for listening,

I love you!

Xoxo

Phoebe

 

Untitled design.png

Phoebe sherman

is the founder of Girl Gang Craft.

follow her on instagram & check out her site.

Time's Up!

Illustration by  Phoebe Sherman.

Illustration by Phoebe Sherman.

A few nights ago, Oprah said, “A new day is on the horizon!”

And it is! Can you feel it? Oprah was the first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe award. In her acceptance speech, she told the story of Recy Taylor and Rosa Parks. In Alabama, in 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother who was abducted by six, armed, white men when walking home from church. She was raped and left blindfolded by the side of the road. Rosa Parks took her case, and together they tried to persecute the men that destroyed Taylor. And although they did not receive justice at that time, they started a movement that continues to this day.

Oprah used this story to say remind us that this time is up! Justice must be served moving forward.

If you haven’t seen the whole speech, you can watch it here:

Did you see the women from the Golden Globes last night? Did you see the public outcrying of truth and support? Time’s up!

This is why I’m here. Sometimes it takes a reminder in the form of the fabulous Oprah, to get me to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.

(If you don’t know what I’m doing yet, check out www.phoebesherman.com but I will also discuss who I am and what I’m doing if you keep reading)

It’s so easy to get caught up in sales, to do lists, and “creating content.” Sometimes, the internet feels like a black hole and a popularity contest all at once.It can make me sick with greed and jealousy. It’s a spiral of, “Why don’t I have that?” or, “Why can’t I be like that?”

This thirst for MORE MORE MORE is something I’ve always had. And yes, sometimes this thirst is benefical.  My friends know that if you want shit done, you come to me. I have goals and to-do lists. I can multitask like crazy, and the sheer number of things I do in a day astound people. But why am I doing these things? What drives my passion? Why do I need to create? And why do I create what I choose to create?

There are plenty of reminders why I need to create. One of these reminders came when I listened Oprah’s speech. These moments are sometimes jarring and sometimes gentle. The reminders come in the form of spells and tarot readings prompted by The Many Moons Workbook  by Modern Women. (You can find the book here or at local stores like Resurrect, Oakland). The reminders come in the form of a Tribe, the collective welcoming of a new group I’m working with through the Hell Yes Academy lead by Pat Bailey. A new tribe feels charged and readies me to say “HELL YES.”

The more jarring reminders come in the form of  posts from my peers sharing their #MeToo stories. The truthful words sting, and remind me of my own experiences and the collective experience of women and minorities who have been stepped on, torn apart, or  taken advantage of. A reminder comes to me when a woman in medicine who lives in Kentucky (whom I met in Belize) tells me there’s only one abortion clinic in the whole state (not a Planned Parenthood even) and they’re only sometimes allowed to perform abortions. She tells me she used to work at two sister high schools that cater only to pregnant teens. Two high schools in the same town where the only students are pregnant teens!

This whole past year has been a giant reminder of why I do what I do. This man who sits in the White House has actively bragged about sexual harassment. The time is ripe with a need of protest and activism. The outpouring truths from women in Hollywood has highlighted abuse in other environments. This collective screaming of truth has ignited my power and identified my purpose. This year of authenticity and shouting from the rooftops has empowered me to create thought-provoking, political, and personal art, but also has invited me to hold space. A space to gather collectively and explore a way to better ourselves and better our world.

I hold space in my yoga teaching, I hold space in the events we create for Girl Gang Craft, and I hold space by donating to Planned Parenthood and creating a safety net for those in need.

I acknowledge my privilege as a white, sort-of Jew, woman from a wealthy suburb.

But,

Me too

Me too

Me too

Me too

All of us.

I dedicate this business to you.

To the boy in 11th grade who called me Blue Balls Queen because I was collectively known as someone who would only make out. To all of you boys who called me a tease for the same reason. To the boy I was in love with for 6 years who asked me to keep it a secret after we kissed, and wouldn’t talk to me ever again after I told a friend. To the boy who grabbed me and held me down and eventually chased me as I ran out of his house and into my car after I said no. To the emotionally abusive alcoholic ex-boyfriend who taught me the term “gaslighting” (if you don’t know what this term means check out this article). To the gay restaurant manager who would comment on the other girls boobs to me, talking as if we were friends, and as if he could not possibly be misogynistic because of his sexual preference. To this terrible, terrible absolutely incompetent president who is a known sexual predator.

This is also for you. This is why I choose to create. This is why I choose to harness community. This is why I choose to donate. This is why I choose to write and think and paint and love.

I choose to move forward with heart and passion. I ask you as well, Why do you do the things you do? I invite you to float into 2018 with the question, How do I lead with love? How do I create a business that is heart-forward? Please feel free to share in the comments.!

That’s it for now, gang.

Thanks for hanging around at Girl Gang Craft. Here's to the launch of the Girl Gang Craft BLOG!!! Stay tuned for artist and entrepreneur interviews, tips and tricks to run a business, and so much more!

I love you!

Xoxo

Phoebe Sherman (Founder of Girl Gang Craft)

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Phoebe Sherman

is the founder of Girl Gang and an artist herself.

Find out more at her website.

 

 

PS Want to be a guest writer on the Girl Gang Craft Blog? Please send me an email at girlgangcraft@gmail.com.