Let’s Hear it for the Girl: Manifestos for Girls

by Sofia Budinich

When I used to think of manifestos, political views, government agendas, and official statements came to mind. But after reading Hannah Hoffman’s manifesto (she’s an amazing gallery owner and artist in LA), I realized that maybe manifestos aren’t just for political authorities, and maybe they had more influence than I thought. It turns out that a manifesto is simply a verbal declaration of the intentions or motives of the issuer. Remember that style advice your best friend might have told you that has stuck with you since forever? Or those inspirational words to live by you always seem to be Pinning? These are all manifestos, words that help you choose your life’s path! Pretty exciting, right?

So here I’ve made a list of the Top Ten Manifestos that have followed me through the years. From motherly advice to revolutionary declarations, these are my Top Ten.

1. “The Make Art Manifesto,” Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon wrote this manifesto when asked to go speak to art students at a community college in New York, thinking of the the things that he had wished someone had told him before he had started out in the art industry. I’m particularly a fan of #2, if you aren’t sure of what you want to do, sometimes just doing things helps you figure out where you want to go!

2. “Don’t Worry,” Eleanor Roosevelt

I’m sure just about any teenage girl can empathize with the struggle of knowing, or trying to know, how others perceive you, and the great Eleanor Roosevelt certainly helps put me at ease with this quote. Think about it, when was the last time YOU thought all day about that how someone was dressed or something awkward they might have done? Probably never right? So when you feel embarrassed about that time five years ago you did something embarrassing or shameful, just remember these Eleanor’s words.

3. “6 Impossible Things,” Alice in Wonderland

This declaration by Alice is probably a strange manifesto to include, but it has been a huge help in my creative life. Thinking impossible things might sound crazy, but I’ve found out it helps our imaginations and horizons expand and grow. When was the last time you thought of an Impossible Thing?

4. “Mother’s Advice on Bullies,” My Mother

“There will always be a Draco Malfoy in your life, which means you are Harry Potter”

Since Kindergarten I have been a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, so when a boy started teasing me at the tender and fragile age of six, my mother gave me some anti bullying and self worth advice that have stuck with me to this day. There is always going to be someone to bring you down in your life, and most of the time, they just think it’s the OK thing to do, and they don’t realize that it is definitely NOT okay to use hurtful words and actions. So next time you’re upset about the “Malfoy” in your life, remember that it will pass, and you are always the hero of your own story

5. “Beauty Begins,” Coco Chanel

An all time fashion icon, Coco Chanel makes an important point to remember, for fashion and for self image. When you are yourself, there’s nothing better, because you obtain the feeling of being beautiful inside and out!

6. “Cultivate the Habit”

I’m not quite sure who to attribute this lovely piece of lifelong advice, but it seems like something that should be an essential part of everyday life, somewhere between brushing your teeth three times a day and doing your homework. Remembering to be grateful even when we haven’t had the best day/week/year is hard, but it’s a habit that has only positive consequences — for you and for the people around you. It’s an amazing feeling when someone recognizes your hard work, so when you recognize that of others, it is sure to feel great.

7. “Be Silly,” Ralph Waldo Emerson

These simple words keep me on the right track. They might seem simple, but in the stress and hustle of day to day life, reminding ourselves of living life simply, helps put everything into perspective.

8. “I have Learned,” Maya Angelou

One of my literary idols, Maya Angelou, has a way of expressing things we might not have realized, or haven’t learned yet, making these profound words deeply relatable. Angelou’s words of wisdom will definitely follow me throughout my life

9. “Think in a New Way,” Russell Einstein

One of the most important declarations from a scientific, humanist, and political view, this manifesto was signed by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein after the aftermath of the nuclear explosions in Japan. It details the importance of the regulation of nuclear weapons for the good of mankind, and is most definitely still relevant in today’s world.

10. “Modern Manifesto,” Young Women Speak Out

A modern manifesto written for and by girls around the world, presented by the National Alliance of Women’s Organizations (NAWO) for the European parliament. Click here to learn more!



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