There are a lot of messages out there we girls hear quite often about how we should present ourselves: Be confident. Be poised. Be (fill in your buzzword of choice). But it's much rarer to find any direction when it comes to these encouragements. The organization I Am That Girl aims to provide women with these resources, not to fit into a defined box of what is considered "best" by society, but to be the best version of yourself according to you.
"I Am That Girl really is just to allow girls to feel not alone," organization founder Alexis Jones said.
Jones just recently released her debut novel that is titled with the same slogan as the organization. (You can buy the book now at Claire's.) Her longtime friend, fellow activist and actress Sophia Bush, wrote the forward for the novel.
"You want to create a scene where people are allowed to be their best self, but we're so often taught that our best is equal to perfect, that our best is only what is right," Bush told SheKnows. "And we're at our best when we're vulnerable, when we are open and open enough to say I'm afraid, I'm having a hard time, I screwed up or I did great at this. Whatever it is. We should look at ourselves as a whole."
Bush is best known for playing Brooke Davis on The CW's One Tree Hill, but that role far from defines her. Aside from filming her current show Chicago PD, she is an avid activist who supports multiple organizations in addition to I Am That Girl, including Pencils of Promise and Do Something.
"One of the things that Soph [Bush] does so well is that she engages with her community and that she informs her community, inspires, encourages and challenges her community. ..." Jones told us. "It gives permission for girls in our community to follow suit."
It's evident that Jones and Bush share a supportive and encouraging friendship. These ladies have had quite the experiences.
"The hashtag should be #rushjunkie," Bush explained, "because we love to do anything that gives you a rush like speaking onstage to thousands of girls or marching on Washington, whatever!"
The two also have plans to skydive in the near future.
"I've actually jumped out of a lot of planes," Bush said.
Jones agreed, saying, "Of course, this is something that you and I would choose to do."
The two talk about their plans casually and both agree that speaking onstage is more nerve-racking than skydiving.
"Jumping out of a plane, you literally just have to fall out," Jones explained. "When you're onstage, you actually have to look at the statistics and make sense."
These ladies aren't slowing down anytime soon either. In fact, Jones has a television show in development. She dished, "I've always been really passionate about highlighting different female role models."
While she isn't allowed to share specifics about the show, she did clue us in on its key themes. "For me, I was always really passionate about the opportunity of getting to talk about the things my generation are struggling with, which are wonderfully different than the things that Oprah and my mom's generation struggled with while also bringing in different people who I think are amazing, and they're going to make it [the show] strong with these inspirational stories of women. It's going to be a montage of all of that. There's opportunities to talk about what our generation is doing these days as well as interview people who we think are really bad-a**."
For Bush, she is busy at work filming her television show Chicago PD. When we asked her what she wanted to improve on in her life, she told us, "It's nothing new. At the end of the day, I think it's self-awareness, I think it's self-acceptance. That's a lifelong journey for most of us."
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