I used to be one of those "I only have male friends" girls, for most of my life. I just couldn't figure out how girls became friends so quickly with each other, and I always ended up feeling left out.
I'm not sure if it's just wisdom that came with age, but I realized in the last few years that female friendships and community are so incredibly important to feeling understood, supported and inspired. I strongly believe in community over competition, and celebrate women in their accomplishments because anything we do, we do in the face of adversity, and our society fails to respect and celebrate us.
March 8th has always been Women's Day in Russia, so it's been a pleasure to see it expand into the states as well. I kind of can't believe that we're in 2018, and there's still so much misogyny in the world, but at least things are changing in this moment.
Building and supporting a community of women around me has been the most important and gratifying thing I've ever done. There is so much love, support, and inspiration being in a group of positive women who love women. Our culture has trained women to hate on each other, to be cliquey and jealous, to blame each other for cultural and male issues. Our reality is so hateful for women, but we accept it because we don't know anything different, and because on an individual level, we just need to survive.
I'm excited for this brave new world. I'm excited to move beyond hating each other, and into supporting each other and being inspired by one another, because when one of us wins, all of us win, and together we can change the world.
My motto in life:
"The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who's going to stop me." -- Ayn Rand
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in Los Angeles.