This interview is one that truthfully I questioned doing all together. Not because of the interviewee in anyway but more so the people I thought I would offend.

This worry right here is the problem. It is the whole reason why I needed to affirm that this space I have created is for motivating and inspiring no matter what anyone thinks and to prove to myself that others negative opinions don’t matter.

So, let me take you back to the beginning. I was reading an article about a month ago online about the Women’s March and when I got to the end their was a suggested article section. This section like every other suggested article section listed a title, little blurb and photo of other articles within this same genre. The picture alone made my mouth drop.

I immediately clicked not even skimming the article title, but knowing I had to read. I scrolled down to find the images because I couldn’t believe someone was really brave enough to plaster this message through art. I scrolled to the first image and sat staring at it for quite some time.

 

Blissfully Lively Trump InterviewThen, I kid you not I began to cry. Like a blubbering little baby sitting at my desk, alone at home feeling helpless. Upset at the world and confused as to how someone could say such cruel things.

The images sickened me. Those images were of now president Donald Trumps words plastered over naked women’s bodies. These words were direct quotes degrading and speaking down towards women. Truthfully they made me so upset, some quotes so graphic & degrading I didn’t want to share those here in direct quotes, but to give you all a little context they were quotes speaking to putting a value on a women based on her chest size, degrading speak about a women performing oral sex, etc! THE LIST GOES ON.

This being said this interview isn’t to dwell on the past or harp on what we can’t change but to rise up, come together and support each other. Stand up for what we believe in and demand the respect that we all deserve!

Without further Ado I give you Aria Watson, artist, photographer and college student who brought the “Signed by Trump” collection to life.

BLHi Aria! Please Introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively Readers.

AW: Hi! My name is Aria Watson and I am an eighteen year old college student from the not so sunny Seaside, Oregon.

BLI saw your Signed by Trump artwork and was so moved! What triggered you to create this?

AWI’m so glad my photo series touched you! I started creating #SignedByTrump a few weeks before the election. However, once the election happened and I saw that Donald Trump had won, I knew I had to work harder on this project and spread my message. I was actually 2 weeks too young to vote this year, so making the series was kind of a way for me to do something about the election. As a proud feminist, hearing Trump say “grab them by the p***y” and talk about how he could do anything he wanted made me sick.

Women are not objects. The fact that he has said this, and other things like this, but still won scares me. I’m afraid that words, and even actions, like this will become a social norm now that he is our president. Another reason I created #SignedByTrump was because I noticed that making Facebook posts was not doing anyone any good. I used to make statuses to voice my opinion, but words on a screen weren’t going to change anyones thoughts. Using visuals can really grab someone’s attention, so I decided to mix my political opinion with my love for photography.

BLI know some of us can feel insecure, or worried to voice our opinions especially during the pivotal college years, but you seem to deal with this so gracefully. Did you ever feel nervous about releasing this work? And if so how did you overcome this?

AWI can totally relate to anyone who feels scared to speak up and loudly about their opinion. As soon as I started posting my opinions on social media, people were quick to judge me and even send me rude comments. However, I learned really fast not to care about what others have to say when they are behind a computer screen. Thankfully I’ve yet to discover what it’s like for someone to get so upset about my opinion to my face, but online is a different story. I just think that if someone is too afraid to call me up or say it in real life, that their opinion really isn’t worth it. Besides, I’d much rather get my opinion out there and meet others who agree with me, than sit here wishing I had the courage to speak up. For anyone who is nervous to talk about their opinions, I think they should just think of the quote “Do one thing everyday that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Blissfully Lively Womens march interview

{Aria displaying one of her photographs at the Womens March}

BLI think this work you have done is so powerful {I even bought a sweatshirt from your collab with The Outrage} do you have any plans to expand your line?

AWThank you so much! I actually got myself a sweatshirt too! I am not planning on expanding the line at all. I wasn’t even planning on having a line, but the opportunity arose.

BLNo matter who someone voted for, or party affiliation what is one tip you can give to people going into this new year and new presidency?

AWI think the only thing I can say to anyone going into this new year is that we are stronger together. Find people who believe in the same things as you, and stick together. We are always stronger together.

BLWho is one women in any field that you look up to the most, and why?

AWIf I’m being honest, I started reading Fight Like a Girl by Megan Seely and instantly looked up to this woman. I highly recommend reading that book and learning more about feminism. Megan Seely is an incredible woman and I definitely look up to her.

BLAny last thoughts or tips to woman working to make their opinions heard in 2017?  

AW I think women just need to come together and not be afraid to speak up and take action. I don’t think any action is too small.

This interview blew my mind that someone in such a difficult stage of life {the college years can be a hard time of finding yourself etc.} can be so open and honest about her views. It’s hard voicing our opinions at any time, but to feel confident and brave enough to do so as a 17 or 18 year old women is inspiring!

I shared this interview today to give ladies some motivation to stand up for what they believe in {if Aria can do it, we all can} and remind them that {words from Meryl Streep will do this more justice than anything I could come up with} “disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose”.

xo,

Lauren