Sexuality, harassment, cyber-bullying, body shaming, dating, friendships, shame.
These are subjects that have touched all of us whether we like it or not. First hand or passively.
Sometimes we even might have been the guilty party.
Nobody is innocent – especially in this time and age.
How many times have you dashed to your room after school or a night out because of an unpleasant experience you were too afraid to open up about? How many times have all of us sought comfort in the wrong ways, as a result to growing up in a society where shame and silence is perpetuated?
As teenagers (and people in general) raised in a society where sex talk is taboo and personal experiences are often hushed in fear to be shamed, it is hard to keep going and flourish as confident young adults.
Few are the ones brought up by open talk families – our parents were raised by our extremely conservative grand parents after all – and even when that’s the case, the internalized misogyny and trauma we carry unconsciously in the back of our head stops us from speaking freely.
Even more so in 2018, a time when oversharing is daily routine and social media becomes our “secret diary”, we struggle to freely discuss our traumatic experiences and search for ways to overcome our ordeals because our audience is more prone to attacking us instead of trying to understand and start a conversation.
So where is our safe space? Where can we openly review our dilemmas and get guidance without being victimized and chastised for our actions?
Well, the Gucci Gang and Svetal Chassol have come together to provide an answer to that question by creating Safe Place, an online media platform with the aim to give girls and boys a space where they can talk about their experiences without being judged.
The idea came about after summer 2017, when one of the girls came back from a vacation in the South of France with her mom. The camp were they vacationed happened to be on the grounds of a hippie community and hosted a sexologist/counsellor on site for guests to consult on whatever matter.
Typical hippie shit, you might think – but it really sparked something in the brain of Thais.
For the first time she was able to open up about her “becoming a woman” battles and it became a mission for her to be able to support her peers in this journey.
With the help of her manager Svetal and her best friends Anna, Angelina and Crystal – whom at just 16 and 17 years old are way cooler, cheekier and in tune with themselves more than I could ever be – they started working on developing the project.
They created an email address and threw it on the interwebz with the hope to lend an ear to those in need of a shoulder to lean on.
Needless to say from the 12th of September 2017 – date of their first PSA – to 12th of March 2018 – date of the launch – they received an insane amount of submissions and snippets of people telling their stories.
Episode 1 has just launched but they are already discussing expansion.
Safe Place aims to become a physical location in Paris, where girls and boys can come in, discuss, feel each other out and learn from their past with the guidance of experts, role models and people who “have been there” before.
A social club for personal improvement and self expression, where creativity is nurturted and judgment is banned.
Words by Naomi Accardi
Photo courtesy of Safe Place.