It’s not every day that you can pursue multiple passions at once and make them into a single successful career, but that’s just what 16-year-old Rebecca Juliet is doing! Rebecca has combined her passion for service with her love for music and the product is totally inspiring. Her most recent project, “Damsel in Distress,” delivers a powerful message that we girls can overcome any challenge and don’t need to be “rescued” to succeed in life. The best part is that all net profits from song purchases will go to Girls Inc. of NYC! Check out the hilarious vid and see why Rebecca is our newest queen of girl power!
How did you decide that Girls Inc. was the lucky and deserving organization to team up with?
We really wanted to create something that had the same message, and that is… the empowerment of women young and old, and the idea that women are innately equal and we don’t need a shining knight [laughs]. The first step was that I wanted to find something in NYC (where I live). I found there are opportunities for philanthropy everywhere, and I think our services are best used in a place that you know because you know the needs of that community. I was really fond of Girls Inc. in NYC because I’m keenly attuned to the importance of education. I’m a student right now, and Girls Inc. offers a bunch of different types of education for girls ages 6-18.
Was there ever a pivitol point in your own life where you felt like you were being treated like a damsel in distress?
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a particular moment where I’ve been like, “Wow, I am being objectified,” or put into a particularly servile position, but it’s a typical occurance that I’ll walk down the street and a guy will whistle or catcall me… and obviously that’s not the only kind of thing that’s happening in the world, but having something that’s so concrete in my daily life has really allowed me to see all that there is that we need to change about our culture.
How would you define feminism, and ultimately, would you call yourself a feminist?
I absolutely call myself a feminist. I know it sounds harsh, but there’s sexism and there’s feminism, and I feel like by not being a feminist, you are being a complicit in the system that allows for the perpetuation of the values that degrade women. I strongly believe that feminism is not about bringing down the powerful, but rather lifting up women to be on the same playing field as men.
Are there any other subjects on your radar that you’d like to tackle in a future song?
In my family we do some [volunteer work] surrounding hunger in New York. There are tons and tons of hungry adults, children and elderly in my city as well as nation and worldwide, and I would absolutely love to tackle that issue with some more music.
What was it like filming such a humorous video? Did you ever have to take a minute to stifle your laughter?
[Laughs] Oh, yeah! There were some parts of the day when I wasn’t shooting and I was watching people—I couldn’t control myself from laughing! Like, the entire crew was just dying of laughter… it was ridiculous! It was so much fun.
Why do you think girls need to hear the message of “Damsel in Distress?”
I think empowerment is a lesson that’s never over. I think it’s important for every demographic of women to understand that they don’t need someone else to do work for them. And I think it’s important for every demographic of men to see, “I don’t need to do work for a woman. She is just as capable as I am.”