by Lucy Rance
There's nothing we love more than a girl who knows exactly what she wants in life. Opinionated, intelligent and ambitious are some of our favourite qualities in a fellow girl boss. So we just had to feature Scarlett Curtis, women’s rights activist, all round sassy feminist and creator of The Un-Idle Collective - "a group of badass humans committed to being idle no more."
Scarlett's work has been featured in publications such as The Guardian and Elle, and her story recognised and shared by The Daily Mail and many more. She talks openly about mental health, anxiety, eating disorders with a goal to normalise these usually taboo subjects, and we love her for it. We caught up with Scarlett to chat about her blog, her job and her girl-collective.
Tell us a little bit about The Un-Idle Collective - how did you come up with the idea and why was it important for you to start it?
"I moved to New York three years ago because it was a city I had always admired and respected for its inclusivity and diversity. I chose to live here because I love the city, the country and the people in it. I think like a lot of people I was seriously overwhelmed and shocked by the dialogue surrounding the election. It represented the exact opposite of everything I love about this country and it quite literally breaks my heart to suddenly see the rights of women, people of colour and so many other minority groups stripped away. Coming from England seeing such similar things happen in my home country I felt I could see this global movement away from inclusivity and acceptance happening across the world and it’s been terrifying to see.
Right after the election I just felt this massive wave of 'WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO?' I began attending a lot of activism meetings and community gatherings and trying to find small ways to take action in my everyday life. Me and two friends - Emma Bates and Arden Rose - started the Un-Idle Collective to form a group of people who are ready to stand up for what they believe in. We want to find a way to make activism achievable - something you can do as part of your daily life. At the moment we’re working on arranging meetings where we discuss the issues we care about and get advice from non-profits and other activists on how to take action and make real change."
What do you hope to achieve this year, and what's your end goal with The Un-Idle Collective?
"We’re only at the beginning of this group and my real goal is to arrange more of these discussion group meetings and by the end of the year to have developed a model that individuals can take into their schools, workplaces and universities to start arranging these meetings themselves! I think we all need to be meeting more face to face and not just online! I love online and social media but I think when it comes to activism I’ve really felt the need for an IRL component to. "
You talk a lot about mental health issues. Is this something you have dealt with first hand? and why do you think it's so important to talk about these usually 'kept quiet' subjects?
"When I started going through my depression and anxiety I felt such a sense of shame around my mental illness. I felt like i was the only person in the world going through it. I saw all my friends posting pictures online and felt like such a freak because I could barely get out of bed without having a panic attack. When I started talking about my experiences with these issues on my blog it was almost the best thing I could ever have done for my recovery. It took away so much of the shame I was feeling and when people started to respond saying they were going through the same thing it was such an incredible feeling. There’s such a stigma around any kind of mental illness but I’ve seen so much progress in the last few years around reducing this stigma and I think it’s something we can all work on. We need to be using our social media to post what’s really going on in our lives as well as nice pictures of avocado on toast!"
Check out some of our favourite articles by Scarlett below...
Has Anxiety Become 'Trendy'?
A New Generation of Feminists
How to Make Friends When You've Moved to a New City
Find Your Fight (we were pleasantly surprised to learn that Scarlett's parents founded Comic Relief!)
Make sure you follow Scarlett on Instagram and check out her blog, to learn more about her story.