Great American Women is about female empowerment, it is about unity, strength, and pride between all people. It is also about showing that America is not only what you see in the news or on twitter or in click-bait articles. No, our country- just like any country- is filled with smart beautiful individuals who are striving for a normal life; a life where people are heard and seen and are working towards a brighter future with their fellow humans. I chose women as my subject for this project because they are still fighting for basic human rights, because I go on instagram every day and see endless amounts of photos that portray women as mindless sexual dolls meant for posing certain ways, with little-to-no clothing and not even a hint of their own personality. I am sick of seeing my fellow humans objectified. Intelligent, important, complex and fierce women crafted who I am as a man and now it’s time to give back.
COMING SOON: More Great American Women
Great American Women Travel Edition!
I don’t know this woman’s name but what I do know is she is very kind.
After scanning tickets and loading up the plane, I made eye contact with her from my seat as she operated the walkway. She smiled and waved. I held up my camera and shrugged. She smiled in agreement. I snapped this shot through the window before the walkway got too far away.
josh! Mocked up two things for ya, but use whatever you like or both or none!
I. Hi I’m Mel Forrest. I’m a comedian and writer living in Los Angeles via NYC, Chicago & Delaware. I could ramble about why I love what I do, but at the end of the day I just like making people feel good and I hope to keep doing that for a long time.
II. Mel Forrest is a former singer, composer, game show host and tv personality who came to fame during the 1960’s with the hit classic, Holy Moly Let’s Rock & Rolly! With his Hollywood days behind him, this Philadelphia/ Chicago legend now hosts an a public access variety showcase, where people get a chance to become America’s next big star! The show features longtime friend, neighbor and former Woolworth’s manager, Lousef “Big Dick Lou” Silvestrini.
Hi! My name is Jessica Bombardier.
I currently live in Georgetown Massachusetts. Soon to be Salem. Used to be Denver ... and Aurora, Portland, Forest Grove, Wasilla, Reno, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo ... I’ve been around.
I’m a scientist by trade working on central nervous system drug delivery for an RNAi therapeutics company. Read: I play with mice. I’m a genealogist by hobby researching my own family tree as well as my husband’s. Read: I spy on dead people.
I have an insatiable need for adventure: experiencing the new, wandering not entirely aimlessly, and finding new pieces of my puzzle I didn’t know I was missing. This applies most obviously to travel, but also to the way I choose to interact with the world. I find that meeting new people is a thrill and I will take every opportunity to talk to a stranger. I also deeply treasure the bonds I make. There is a beauty in sharing a piece of you with another human in way that makes it impossible to go back to the way you were before ... contently bound. (Does that work here? #nerdjoke )
I have this bond with my husband Chris. He is a unicorn of a human. I believe that the universe somehow meant for us to have a shared puzzle piece. I take every opportunity to brag about him, including this one. He has an inherited medical condition called hemophilia, severe B. Despite this, he has become one of an extremely elite group of individuals (less that 500 in history) to successfully summit the tallest peak on each of the seven continents, the Seven Summits. Not only that, but he completed each one on the FIRST try! He is a unicorn.
He used this adventure to bring awareness to those living with this condition in developing countries, and the severe discrepancy in the the health care they receive. He’s now dedicated his life to serving those individuals. He is a unicorn.
We have a shared love of engaging with the world, it’s people, and giving all that we can to it. Life is an incredibly short ride. Look up. Put your arms in the air. And enjoy it.
This one is dedicated to my mom! She’s a professional gardener in NJ. Ann has a magnificent personal garden in her home yard. She also has designed a children’s garden at her church, as well as a meadow garden that supplies fresh produce, honey, maple syrup, pickles and pumpkins all summer and fall. Ann also designs and plants gardens and properties for top tier clients in the surrounding towns.
On top of all of that she gave birth to me and my brother, and put us through college by planting flowers and designing people’s yards. I worked a few summers with her, and it is HARD WORK, but very creative and satisfying. It is truly amazing to watch her take different pallets of flowers and all-but paint them into place.
Speaking of paint, she’s also a water color artist. Growing up my mom taught me about movies, introducing me to Woody Allen and movies like The Station Agent, Dummy, and the Christopher Guest films. I owe a lot to my mom for being a huge part of crafting me into the artist and human I am today.
Check out her work and play on her instagram accounts @fleurlady @meadowatercolor .
Helllllo 👋🏻 I’m Gabby Kono and I am a New Yorker who has been fortunate enough to split my time between Los Angeles and New York. I live in Los Angeles to pursue my acting career but my heart will always belong to New York. It’s hard pursuing a passion because a true passion requires sacrifice and my sacrifice is being 3000 miles away from my sisters and my parents and closest friends. So, I figured out a way to justify traveling back and forth.
My acting dictates that I live in Los Angeles, but my other passion, making pool floats, brings me back to New York, where my company is based. Both my passions share one common theme - a desire to make people smile. I want to be the kind of actress that makes my audience smile. And, I create fun pool floats that make people smile when they see it in their pool or are just relaxing on them while drifting along in their pool with the sun shining down on them. You see, I have always felt that the greatest gift you can give a person is the gift of a smile. But, as I have gotten older, I have come to realize that while making others happy is rewarding, it is also rewarding to invest in yourself. I guess I learned that from creating the pool floats. The sense of accomplishment I got from creating something from nothing is tremendous. So, I took that perspective of investing in myself and I applied it to my acting. I no longer felt I had to wait for my big break. I Was going to make my dream happen and the vehicle that I would choose would be something that I believed in.
That is how my new web series, Baker’s Dozen, was born. Baker’s dozen is a modern day sex forward romcom where a young girl navigates her life to find a new perspective on her life and gains self awareness . It is a self-love story that will bring a smile to my audience”s face while allowing me to share my voice and perspective. I am really proud of both my ventures and, mostly, I am proud in my decision to invest in myself. I am so truly fortunate to have the support of my family and friends, which makes taking these chances easier. But at the of the day I learned I had to support and believe in myself too. After all, you have to believe in yourself before anyone else can believe in you.
Hey y’all! My name is Summer and in case you were wondering, the sun shines directly out of my ass! 🍑☀️ My husband has confirmed this. He’s wicked smart and almost never wrong!
I live on the coast of South Georgia with my smokin’ hot hubby (35 yr), my smart ass son Chase (14yr), my infectiously happy daughter Ava (8yr), three annoying wiener pups Kobe (16yr), Arlo (12yr), and Barkley (6yr), and a hilariously dick-headed cat, Tamra (1yr). Living in South Georgia was never my plan, but making the most of what life hands me has always been my plan! I’m originally from Lynn, MA. It’s a hot garbage town just north of Boston and I LOVE it there!!!
I grew up predominantly in Central FL. Which is a pretty rad place to grow up. I was raised by a carpenter and a seamstress, so both of those vocations are usually at the forefront of any project I take on. And lately, I’ve been taking on projects-a-plenty! Last November my husband and I bought a house. Moved out of our old house. Took 4 months polishing that turd with the help of our family. Sold it in less than 24hrs on the market, for over asking price. Then got to work on our new home! While our new home doubled our living space and gave me a half acre of land to garden in, being that it’s an old house it has given us some trials and headaches. This house is my passion project. And since I’m able to do the work myself, seeing every detail daily brings me an immense amount of pride! I’m lucky enough to be a stay at home mom. Teaching my children the skills my parents taught me is of the utmost importance. Who else has an 8 year old daughter that can do cut ins in one room while you’re doing touch ups in the other?!? And who else has a 14 year old son that can sew his own curtains?!?
And, as with most moms, another one of my passion projects has been making sure my children don’t grow up to be asshole adults. While many 2018 adults find my parenting style unconventional and sometimes crass, this 2018 mom doesn’t care what they think! Do I curse in front of my kids? Yup. Do I make completely inappropriate jokes about selling my kids to the gypsies or point out the fact that it’s too late for an abortion right in front of them? Sure do. Do I scream “CUTE BUTT!” to my son, and “DON’T DISAPPOINT YOUR FAMILY THIS TIME!” to my daughter when they take the field at soccer? You betcha. They know I’m just trying to make them laugh in my own warped way! But they also see me driving around with ziplock bags of dog food to hand out to homeless people with pups. And they hear me randomly compliment strangers on the reg. They consistently witness me lending a helping hand even if help is not asked for. My parenting plan? Lead by example. Make ‘em good humans with a sharp wit. Make ‘em humble adults that put smiles on people’s faces. Make ‘em understand that moms and dads are just everyday people that happened to have had kids, so now they are holding on for dear life till they come out the other end of the parenting tunnel and they’re just praying they don’t fuck it all up along the way. Make ‘em realize that none of us humans know what we’re doing, and that’s ok! I’m all about raising 2 well rounded, sarcastic, creative, empathetic, confident, benevolent urchins who love unconditionally!
And once I’ve come through the other side of the parenting tunnel, look out world!!! Cause my husband and I are gonna tear the ass off of life and ride her into our golden years! We plan on riding her hard and putting her up wet. And that sounds filthier than I meant it to sound, but I’m standing by it.
My life motto: Make all the memories. Learn all the things.
Check out Summer’s new project @LookDadIMadeAThing
My name is Jessica Fife. I live in Nashville, TN with my 2 dogs. They’re my babies. I love living here, the people are awesome and it’s a beautiful green state. Oh and BBQ. Done deal. 😍
I’m originally from Whittier, CA. Lived the longest in Long Beach, CA. Amazing city. Miss riding my bike everywhere.
I love Jesus, and my faith is the most important aspect of my life. I have seen some miraculous things and to me there is no denying God’s existence, love & power. It covers everything in my life from my art, to teaching, to everyone I meet & love.
I’m an artist. I specialize in figurative surreal paintings but I also do a lot of commission work. Recently gotten into motorcycle helmets. So fun.I also am a Professor and teach at a local University. I love it.
My passion is to love people, in whatever way that may be. Sometimes it’s just listening or making them cupcakes. I’m not always the best at it but it is a huge driving force in my life. My other passions are art, music, nature, travel, gardening and interior design💕
My website: jessicafife.com
My name is Renu, I'm originally from the Midwest but at this point I've spent most of my life in New York.
I come from a family full of doctors, which is pretty standard for South Asian Americans my age, but I decided to go into film and television. Ironically I actually think I would have felt more confident pursuing medicine, despite the fact it literally deals in matters of life and death, because of its familiarity. Having a career related to the arts was a bit of a foreign endeavor, and while my family was supportive, they had some anxiety around it, too. Not out of judgment, but because at first they didn't understand what it was that I did for a living, and they wanted to know it would allow me to be financially solvent.
I studied English and writing and minored in cinema in college, but I ended up working as a visual effects producer for a long time. I might continue to do that, but I left my job recently and am taking a bit of a break. I've been doing the same thing and living in the same place for so long, and realized that after all these years of working and being sensible, I'm in a place where I can take a minute to think about other experiences I want to have. I'd like to spend more time writing and even making short films, but we'll see what happens.
I also want to be more involved in efforts to address social issues in India, specifically those relating to women's safety.
Hi my name is Colbie🐰
I live in Los Angeles and have two fur babies. My cats helped me feel grounded when I moved here at a young age and especially when I missed home.
I work with a digital content agency that focuses on the bleeding disorders community. The people I work with inspire me to stay involved in matters like health care and fighting for individuals rights. I see now how important they are, especially in parts of the world where people can not stand up for their own rights.
I do freelance makeup jobs, creating various makeup shoots from web series, to fashion photography, to special effects work. Check out some of my work on instagram @ColbieJaeMUandFX
My biggest passion is the ocean. I go to the beach as often as I can. I do volunteer work cleaning beaches. My favorite moments in life are in nature and I feel called to keeping this planet clean. Follow my personal Instagram to see which adventure I’m on next. @ColbieCrow
My next set goal for myself is to become a certified yoga teacher🦋
Natalie Rose Lynch
I am Natalie Rose Lynch. I live in Los Angeles but also New York, and also Cleveland, and also in Bali & Portugal. Everywhere I have left a little piece of my heart. I would just like to think of myself as a citizen of the world but I pay a mortgage in Los Angeles if you want the straight answer.
I am a trolly dolly by day and a doula by night. My work as both a flight attendant and a birth worker fulfill very different parts of me. I have an insatiable lust for adventure and also an inescapable desire to help women and babies in their most vulnerable moments. I also teach the occasional yoga class, guiding people to connect deeper to themselves and the moment. For play, well my work life in a lot of senses feels like play but when I am grounded I am a painter, poet, potter, storyteller, baby holder, athlete & scientist.
I am also love being a wife and redefining modern day marriage, the balance of choosing fidelity to myself AND to my partner again and again, every day. I am curious about people and although I’m a closeted introvert I spend a lot, if not most, of my free time just connecting to other humans. When I saw this photo it made me cry. I feel like it is such a honest representation of my spirit. It was taken on a day where I felt really connected to who I ever was and who I will ever become. (Thanks josh for being able to capture that). @meadownymph @birthwithintention .
My name is Kitty Wednesday, and I am a folk singer from Studio City, Ca.
Growing up in a home that didn’t support my passion for music, was very difficult. Not only was the encouragement lacking, but, I was also dealing with sexual, mental, and physical abuse. All of these circumstances unfortunately led me to seek comfort in drugs and alcohol, from a very young age. .
It took 15 years, 2 rehabs, and a dozen mental health hospitals, before I found out I had Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The trauma based therapies have changed my life so much, it is now my mission to spread awareness on the aftermath of child abuse, and the ways to heal from it.
“Clearing the Fog” is an album I’m currently working on. It is a real, raw, and gritty truth about how the past ALMOST took me out. I hope that in being honest about my experiences, I become the definition of a Great American Woman - one that demonstrates courage and strength, and in turn, saves another soul from losing its identity.
Nikki Borges is a Great American Woman
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Current Occupation: Just a Modern Day Renaissance Woman, EP of @instaminiseries , freelance Producer, Director, Photographer and Actor. Too much!
Play: I surround myself with music so going to concerts, record shopping, or even whatever I'm listening to in eardrums while on the subway.
“I'm honored you considered me to be a part of your Great American Woman series. It's taken me aback to think about what those three words mean during this time. What DOES it mean to be Great, to be American, and especially to be a Woman right now in 2018. As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, I know being American has meant a great deal to my family. Its afforded us the opportunity to work hard enough to build and enjoy a life we always wanted. I've also been surrounded by incredibly talented and fierce women I am fortunate to call peers and friends. I believe it's because of these two elements- indelible family and fervent women- I can only strive to be great.
There's a popular phrase in Spanish: "dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres" “tell me with whom you go about, and I'll tell you who you are.” I come from great women, I go about with great women, therefore I must be one.
Katy acts, writes, directs, designs and produces. “-aka making mooovies”. She also loves things that make her sweat like yoga and running. “Also, camping (although it's been a while). [And] rediscovering the miracles of this world through the explorations of my baby.”
“I remember this [photo]. It was a camping weekend with some of my best buds. This was at the end of a hike through the winding trails of Yosemite on a damp, cool day. My head was sweaty under that hat. At one point we all took a rest and as I sat and ate rice crackers on a rock i watched my friends eating their snacks on their rocks. We were being goofy- sharing a flask of whisky and making crowns out of twigs. I felt so full and happy to get to be loved by these people. Full truth tho: I was kind of depressed during this time of my life and had been feeling unworthy and like I didn't fit in, but not in that moment, under the canopy of drizzly pines with my tribe. Nature has the power of giving you perspective in that way. Just being in it clears my head.”
Cast Katy in your stuff. “I like to give myself over to sincere story telling.” Katy is in post prod for a movie she co-wrote and acted in, @sometimes_i_think_about_movie
Check her out at katywrightmead.com