WHETHER IT’S the latest reality series to binge on or one of the gazillion glossy women’s magazines to thumb through, there’s no shortage of women being misrepresented in the media. I mean how many girls are really identifying and nodding their heads with The Oxygen Network’s “Bad Girls” or airbrushed ads that may or may not be a Photoshop fail? And what’s sad is that although ladies make up 51% of the U.S. population, it’s not just on screen that women are getting shafted — our gender is still massively underrepresented behind the camera as well. According to research done at The Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media, “Across 1,565 content creators, only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female. This translates to 4.8 males working behind-the-scenes to every one female.” With low numbers like these, it’s fair to say that most female perspectives, values, and body images are not being accurately projected throughout, well, almost all major media and entertainment outlets. So where are all the real women being portrayed? The women that look like real people and live meaningful lives defined by their own values and not the ones dictated by how the Kardashians live or what politicians in Washington think they should be.
Realizing this void of diverse female awesomeness on the big screen sparked the creation of the documentary film, “The Goddess Project.” In 2012, creators, producers, and best friends based in L.A., Holli Rae and Sara Landas decided to put their lives on hold to fulfill their dream of finding real women role models. Backed by their first Kickstarter campaign that raised $10,000 from people all over the world, they filled two suitcases, piled into a school bus donated by a “kind stranger” painted with colorful murals, and hit the road. In a “Thelma and Louise” fashioned road-trip, they set out on a mission to find real women (aka Goddesses) from all kinds of backgrounds, professions, religions, and walks of life, and document their stories. What lasted six months and covered 10,000 miles, resulted in capturing interviews from over 100 remarkable women from New York to California and dozens of cities in between. The duo found women in the most “serendipitous and magical ways.” Rae and Landas explained that their “brightly painted bus became a magnet that attracted amazing women” everywhere they went. Proving that like most definitely attracts like when it comes to finding Goddesses.
“We interviewed artists, mothers, healers, business women, and scholars about the life changing experiences that shaped them to become who they are today.”
Shared experiences, common threads, and similar story lines began to emerge and organically take shape. “We learned that even though we are all so different, many of our fears and obstacles are the same. And that women across America want to feel connected and be understood,” they shared. And most importantly, “that women are ready for more representation.”
The initial goal of the film was to create “a film that showcases multifaceted women being open, honest, and real.” But what Rae and Landas witnessed first hand in the making of this film was the incredible transformation that comes when you find a role model who is relevant to you. The message became loud and clear, that the raw realities of the women they met were more inspiring and authentic than the fluff we are used to seeing on film screens and throughout the media.
The aim of this unique documentary is to bring women together, and bridge the gaps that society tries to build that separate women from one another.
But the project still needs a little more love. In an effort to gain more funding to see the film through to its final completion, a second Kickstarter campaign has been launched. And with only a few weeks left, there’s still time to pitch in and help. Support this important film spreading the stories of extraordinary women, just like you.