I love this picture for so many reasons. I have to start with the fact that this is from our last Girls Night Out, with a 70’s theme. Dress up is always optional, of course, and in this picture you can see some of the gamut of outfits. Our party girl Krystin (our new HeartStories Marketing Maven), is in her gold sequins disco dress in the background, matching shoes and all. Me, in my “Made in the 70’s” t-shirt with bell bottoms and flowers in my hair. And my beautiful friend Vanessa, our beloved HeartStories photographer, in her svelte 70’s glamour girl pantsuit, capturing all the fun. There were ladies in everything from their normal street attire, business casual, yoga pants and Dezi, who arrived decked out from head to toe in full disco gear.
It’s become one of my favorite things about GNO.
Watching all the ladies show up the way each one feels the most comfortable is such a beautiful representation of our individuality. None of us are ever dressed alike. Whether it’s spa night, yoga night, floral designing, disco, or wine pairing, each woman shows up in whatever outfit she’s feeling for the night, and it’s perfect. Of course, we provided John Lennon style glasses, floral headbands, and peace sign necklaces for those wanting to bump up their 70’s game for the night, but absolutely nothing is required. I love watching it all unfold, as some women will show up in their normal attire and throughout the night, they will transform themselves into a fully costumed participant of the evening.
It’s a physical representation, of the shifts that are happening on the inside.
Showing up to an event like this with a large group of women can be hard, even when you feel like you know everyone. It’s especially hard when you don’t. Women can be really tough sometimes, but this group is proving that with the right intentions, and the right atmosphere, women can be incredibly empowering and supportive to one another, no matter how well they know each other. This GNO night is intentionally created to break down walls we’re so used to keeping up to protect ourselves.
It’s about putting down the barriers and truly connecting with women we trust.
Vanessa plays such a huge role in that. As a portrait photographer who specializes in women’s headshots and glamour photography, she’s been capturing all the beautiful individuality of our members in headshots for nearly two years. I would say she has an “eye” for beauty, but it’s really more of a heart for empowering women. She can instantly see, feel and draw out what makes each woman uniquely strong and beautiful. When she offered to shoot the Staying Alive GNO for us, I knew the images would be wonderful. But I don’t think I realized at first, what an extraordinary and vibrant representation of our sisterhood they would be.
These images represent women, showing up as individuals, and leaving as family.
We are family.
You and me, the neighbor down the street dressed entirely differently from you, the mom at school who doesn’t say much, the leader of civic group, the coach of the soccer team . . . all of us.
Look at other women from that vantage point today.
Look for her unique beauty and contribution.
If you look for it, you’ll see it.
to more love,