Monday, November 28, 2016

Gurls Talk

Gurls Talk is a movement that strives to create a platform for girls to openly share their experiences and feelings in a safe and trusting environment. Gurls Talk was set up by Adwoa Aboah, the beautiful, British freckle-faced model who has experienced the hardest and darkest times of her life over the past two years.  She struggled with depression and addiction which amounted to an attempted suicide at the end of 2014.

Now sober, Adwoa is using her battle as a stepping-stone for other young girls. She has created a safe space for others to talk about the issues which every girl faces growing up from losing your virginity to getting your first period. Gurls Talk is a forum where female creativity is used as a tool for change. 

She first launched @gurlstalk on Instagram and now has a growing fan base of over 58K followers. As the current face of Calvin Klein and the former face of Topshop, she has turned the perceived 'glamourous' supermodel stereotype on its head. Her inspirational Instagram account addresses important feminist talking points with the aim of giving girls a voice.  

Adwoa snowballed on top of the success of her Instagram account by setting up the Gurls Talk website earlier this year. The site is a private page and invites girls of all ages to submit their questions/concerns/comments via email. From there she issues a response and welcomes them to a chat group of other individuals who are sharing similar experiences. Anonymous submissions may also be given. 

Gurls Talk is like the best friend every girl wishes she had growing up. The forum documents Adwoa’s road to recovery and speaks out on a range of issues such as body image, feminism, self-perception and empowerment. She cites the likes of Lena Dunham and Meryl Streep as inspirational role models,while giving out a healthy dose of inspiration herself:  
"You can be a mother of five [and] a business woman...You can be anyone you want".
This March, Adwoa’s best friend, model and actress Cara Delevingne also opened up about her battle with depression on twitter. The tweet explaining her rough patch of “self-hatred” was shared over 10,000 times. This highlights the absence of mental-health discussion in the public eye today.

Adwoa explains that the most important message she would like girls to take away from “Gurlstalk” is to “be vulnerable, open and true to yourself.” She wishes to shift society’s focus from the academic to the emotional. She passionately believes in this emotional/academic equilibrium which so many young women have lost in modern day society,
"... there has to be a middle ground between dealing with emotions and educating on mental health, addiction and eating disorders as well as teaching kids how to balance their time tables". 
In these turbulent times, it is very refreshing to see a passionate and emotionally aware role model like Adwoa Aboah. Let’s use this platform to speak up, we can all get involved in the conversation with the hashtag #letsgetgurlstalking. 


Julie Maguire said...


Thank you for such an informative post on such a relevant topic in today's society. Mental health is, for reasons unknown to me, a very taboo subject. Therefore, I am always very admirable of those that speak openly about it in spite of the stigma associated with such illnesses.

Growing up I was a big fan of the Disney Channel so when Demi Lovato opened up about her own struggles with depression and bipolar disorder I was both upset and impressed. I found her honesty exceptionally brave but also very beneficial to others experiencing similar things. She is now an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and is doing great things to encourage the education of others to learn about it also.

Please see < > to learn more about her work and experience.

Flamingo said...

Thank you for this post, Louise. It makes me feel hopeful and impressed that a public person would use their fame and fan-base as a change tool. I really like the idea of submissions to the website in any form (in writing or any kind of art), although it is frustrating not getting to see them as the website is private. I guess once someone is invited to a chat group, they get broader access to the different materials and discussions.

Gurls Talk makes me think of Lenny Letter, the feminist website and newsletter created by Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner ( The newsletter provides a forum for writers, actors, screenwriters, artists and others to discuss their views. The Letter often features interviews of fascinating people as well. I feel like both Gurls Talk and Lenny Letter have the same goals and ways of attempting to promote change. How inspiring!

Earnest Femingway said...

Louise, I think Gurl Talk is another great example of the power of discussion spaces and the power of using technology to connect. We rightfully have spent time in class this year on the power of media, good and bad. With strong social media platforms it seems like it is easier than ever to find others who share your interests or your struggles; if platforms like these save just one person from spiraling out, they have exceeded any monetary value. Another one I thought I would drop here is a subreddit, /TwoXChromosomes ( It is a fascinating online community and even I have found posts that I could relate to.