In 2015, the Ghanaian-American-English model, Adwoa Aboah, came up with an idea: Gurls Talk. #GurlsTalk began as an Instagram account and now includes live events as well as a website which publishes stories, photos and illustrations sent in by girls from all over the world. Aboah describes Gurls Talk as a space for young girls where there are other women for them to talk and relate to – without judgment.
In December 2017, Aboah, 25, appeared on the first cover of Edward Enninful’s #NewVogue. However, as a young girl in school, she realized that a safe space for her as a young woman did not exist. She had nowhere to go and no one to talk honestly with about things like anxiety, body image, depression, periods, or relationships.
GURLS! Thank you so much for the best day. We had people from all walks of life come in and share their story. Thank you to every single person that traveled to the event from 2 blocks to 20,000 Miles. Also thank you to @coach and @teenvogue for the support. Where should we go next gurls?! #coachgurls
In various interviews, Aboah has been honest about her own struggles in the past, including the time she spent in rehab for a drug addiction and her attempted suicide. As well as helping others, her Instagram account has given her a reason to keep going and to do something positive with her voice. Gurls Talk has become both a place to share and listen by encouraging conversation through posts on Instagram. Using her own, Aboah has also given these young girls a voice.
Her platform on Instagram now has over 150,000 followers. Gurls Talk is a community that shares personal stories and inspired artwork online, as well as a place where girls are free to ask both female experts and Aboah questions in live streams. Talking to Vogue Spain , Aboah explained how the rise of the Instagram model and her becoming an “It-Girl” had given her a platform and different sense of responsibility. “I can reach someone with a selfie,” she says. “Why can’t I give them words, wisdom, confidence and my own insecurities that someone in the middle of nowhere can relate to?”
As someone that is heavily involved in the fashion industry, Aboah has the unique support of designers like Donatella Versace and other supermodel friends like Cara Delevingne.
Last July, the first Gurls Talk festival was held in London and on March 11, 2018, a Gurls Talk festival was held in New York for the first time. The one-day festival in Brooklyn, in collaboration with Coach and Teen Vogue, had over 780 attendees and featured various panels on mental health, body positivity as well as yoga classes and a poetry slam.
For more information: visit @gurlstalk on Instagram or www.gurlstalk.com