There’s not a ton I’ll be able to brag about when my days come to an end, but one thing I can say is – I know a supermodel; other than my wife that is (whew, close call). Ok, maybe I don’k KNOW a supermodel, but close enough.
About 3 years ago, as I was just starting to get my name out there with this whole writing thing, I received a DM on Twitter from a page called Feminine Collective. We spoke back and forth for some time. They asked my opinion on their site, and we talked about maybe partnering with them one day. I even told them the hilarious/super-embarrassing story of asking my wife (on our very first date no less) what it meant to be a feminist; that’s a story for another time.
Eventually we connected via our personal Facebook profiles, and I finally got to meet the face behind the Twitter handle. When I first met Julie, I couldn’t help but feel like I had seen her before. Did I see her on Facebook years ago, or were we somehow in a group and I wasn’t remembering her? Or was this some weird glitch in the matrix and I was having some crazy déjà vu? It wasn’t until one of our random conversations that this happened:
Julie: Oh well, I use to date John Stamos in my former life.
Me: What?!? GTFOH!! For reals? What former life? You can’t just tell me you dated Uncle Jesse and not explain!
Julie: I’m a former supermodel. We dated for like 3 years.
Me: (in stunned silence)…..Are you being for real right now? You’re a supermodel???
Julie went on to tell me stories of her time as a supermodel, and in the end how it all led her to where she is now; co-creator of FeminineCollective.com, and a short time later, creator and publisher of the book Feminine Collective: Raw and Unfiltered Vol 1.
After getting to know Julie over our online chats I spent a lot of time over on her website, reading story after story; devouring wonderful writing of women succeeding and uplifting each other, to stories of abuse and mistreatment of women, and how society had failed them. So many authors, with so many stories; it was my version of literary heaven. But my favorite stories were from Julie herself. Post after post of Julie meeting some actor, or former athlete, and even kings and dignitaries of other countries. And while that may sound awesome or fancy, each story told the tale a young woman who men saw as an object to have. Something pretty to look at, and to own. But with each story you also saw the that young woman growing, changing, evolving to the strong woman you see today.
From the outside, without knowing Julie on a personal level, people will see glitz and glamour, and a youth spent jet setting around the world, wearing the finest clothes and meeting the coolest people. And, while all that is probably true in a way, I’m sure Julie has a slightly different view on all of it.
I was honored when Julie asked if I would like a copy of the book, because of course I did! I offered to review it and to tell all my blog followers about it. It was one of my favorite reads of 2016, and I still smile when I see it on my bookshelf. But as awesome as the book is, it’s what Julie and her partner did after the book released that really inspired me.
The ladies from Feminine Collective donated a large portion of their profit from book sales to the Women’s Center of Los Angeles (WCLA), an organization made up of women and young girls who have survived trauma. WCLA is a community of dedicated women with the shared goal of guiding, educating and supporting women and girls to attain the knowledge, confidence and courage for a life of personal success.
Julie has lived a life many of us could only dream about. She’s met, dated, partied, and associated with some of the most powerful people in the world. After a mega-successful career in modeling, she would have every right to sail off into the sunset, spend time with her kids and friends, and never be bothered again. Instead she is cultivating talented writers to come together and talk about a much needed topic – feminism. And even more, she letting young women out there know someone cares.
And that’s why Julie inspires me.
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