UO Interviews: MS. RPRSNTD - Babes

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Get to know Skater Girls: Blaire, Helen, Charisse, Erin and Jaquita and learn more about the upcoming pop-up MS. RPRSNTD - an inclusive photo exhibition celebrating women of color - here at Space 15 Twenty from September 8-10th.

Photos by Adrienne Williams

Blaire White

Hi There! Tell us a little bit about yourself: what you do and where you are from? 

Hello! My name is Blaire aka mBtheLight fka​ Monica Blaire (whew!!! that was a lot just typing it lol...) I am an artist, specifically I create experimental, vocally driven compositions/performance all in the name of celebrating sound and holding a small space in the world for things that are not the norm...I am from Detroit, born and raised, and currently residing in Atlanta dreaming of LA

Why is the Ms. Rprsntd movement important to you? 

Ms. Rprsntd as a movement is so important to me because its inline with my vision for myself and for the greater good. For a large portion of my career I feel as though women, especially women of color, have found it difficult to just be. For me this project starts with gender and goes beyond to show humans being and that defining ones self can be a revolutionary act.

What do you hope for people to take away from the Ms. Rprsntd Pop- Up?

I hope that people take away a greater sense of themselves from the Ms. Rprsntd Pop-Up and can get closer to the idea of seeing their reflection in all of the women represented here. I think the pop up goes beyond inclusion and leans heavily on creating a new social norm. Great art does that and I believe this pop-up will be the first of many to come. ​

Helen Davis

Hi There! Tell us a little bit about yourself: what you do and where you are from? 

My name is Helen Kelly Davis, I also go by helen of joy! I was born in the U.K., raised in canada and now reside here in la. I work as an actor, dancer and model as well as in the hip hop world in the form of the battle rap community. I am mixed (my grand father is from Cuba) and I am very proud to consider myself a strong, black woman! 

Why is the Ms. Rprsntd movement important to you? 

This project means the world to me because it finally represents something I can feel a part of. This world is very set on categorizing everyone and genuine individuality is hard to come across. Adrienne has always given such respect to every walk of life and when she gave me the opportunity to be a voice for mixed race women I jumped at the chance. Sometimes I have felt I don't belong in one world or another but now I fully accept my unique qualities and I hope girls out there find confidence in their own by seeing me be a part of this! 

What do you hope for people to take away from the Ms. Rprsntd Pop- Up?

I hope they take away a vast appreciation for all women of color and see the beauty in every individual. I hope they now see that we don't always have to be in sexually suggestive positions to get people to notice us. I hope that it helps the world become a more accepting place and I truly believe it will help contribute to that. 

Charisse Tellez

Hi There! Tell us a little bit about yourself: what you do and where you are from? 

My name is Charisse. I'm a native Angeleno and a first generation U.S. born citizen. I was raised by very strong, beautiful, resilient Mexican women. I'm not a feminine, delicate flower. I am a warrior, a survivor, and a product of the streets of L.A.

Why is the Ms. Rprsntd movement important to you? 

The Ms. RPRSNTD movement and the message it delivers is very personal for me. At 19, I became a mother. With no real education, I relied mostly on books to gain knowledge and learned how to navigate in a society that viewed me as a burden. It took me most of my life, and overcoming a lot of abuse, to see my absolute value. My daughter is now 15 years old and living in a world where our culture is openly vilified on a daily basis. Despite this, she sees beauty in my skin, the same beautiful brown skin that she wears. It took me having a daughter of my own to fully recognize my own beauty. And it took this project, and all of the incredible people involved in it, to remind me that I am still a strong and beautiful woman.

What do you hope for people to take away from the Ms. Rprsntd Pop- Up?

My hope is that this project helps women AND men recognize that there are endless forms and manifestations of beauty. I hope it can fan the flames of courage and creativity in our youth to be who they are and offer no apologies for it.

Erin Porter

Hi There! Tell us a little bit about yourself: what you do and where you are from? 

I'm from LA born and raised. I'm currently an Assistant Director and mental health facility for Teen moms in the foster care system. Also my best friend Stephany and I have started a non profit called Flourish LA. Which is geared towards building self esteem and self love among young girls. 

Why is the Ms. Rprsntd movement important to you? 

This project means so much to me for a few reasons.

1. I've never seen anything like this before and there was definitely a void. Girls need representation and voice no matter what they're doing. When you enter a world where no one looks like you or relates to you its hard to understand where you fit in or that you're amazing just the way you are.

2. Adrienne created this awesome lane where it's ok to not only boastfully celebrate and learn about ourselves as women, she also created a space where we could celebrate and learn from other amazing women as well. She put together people and themes that we may have encountered in our everyday life and at the end of the day we all had so much in common. 

What do you hope for people to take away from the Ms. Rprsntd Pop- Up?

Respresentation MATTERS for everyone. It's not only about people of color being able to see themselves in a beautiful light. It's also about other people (white people i guess) seeing people of color in a more positive light and doing cool stuff so that they are able to realize that even though our stories and experiences aren't the same we are worth being recognized. 

Jaquita Ta'le

Hi There! Tell us a little bit about yourself: what you do and where you are from?

Hi! I'm Jaquita Ta'le aka Eartha Littt. I'm an Actor, Voice Over Artist, and DJ. I'm also a proud LA native!

Why is the Ms. Rprsntd movement important to you?

It's been a great honor to be apart of this incredibly important project that celebrates the beauty, determination, drive, and strength of WOC.  I'm 100% here for creating space where young women of color can draw inspiration and feel emboldened to step into a scene or role that felt previously closed to them. Visibility is everything!

What do you hope for people to take away from the Ms. Rprsntd Pop- Up?

I hope people start noticing the kind of images of WOC we've been fed by mainstream media and continue the work to dismantle them.

Check out more information on the MS. RPRSNTD pop-up + event line up here!

Follow MS. RPRSNTD on Instagram

MS. RPRSNTD