GirlZ, Interrupted: Media For Bad Girls

Hello, kittens.  It’s me, Zara, your lesbian big sister. I have an announcement. Purr! Meow!

After a decade of thinking, contemplating, dreaming, brainstorming, failing, getting rejected, picking myself up off the floor, persevering, and most pressingly; getting gritty as fuck — I’ve decided to follow one of my absolute loudest intuitions yet:  To expand this little ‘ole blog into a real media and apparel brand.

The Crazy Sad Babes Club — (which rest assured will still be crazy, sad and teeming with babes) — from this moment on will only answer to her new ~chosen~ name: girlZ, interrupteD. The same name as our first podcast.

I feel like I never truly understood what the mission of The Crazy Sad Babes Club was at her core until I started recording the girlZ, interrupteD podcast with my creative partner in crime + dyke princess, Dayna Troisi.

Dayna Troisi.

When Dayna and I started brainstorming our podcast, we decided we wanted do something we hadn’t seen our peers in the perfectly-curated-Instagram-mental-health-space do — be fucking bad. Talk with zero hesitation about the most grotesque parts of our sex lives, wax poetic about our eating disorders, cry mascara tears over our hammer-smashed hearts, chit-chat about our depressive episodes and embarrassing drinking-on-antidepressants mishaps. We would do what we do in private: Laugh our way through unspeakable traumas and ever-spiralling shame. Cry when we want to cry, bitch when we want to bitch, contradict ourselves whenever we felt like it without apologizing. We made a vow: No matter the pressure, we would refuse to tie our truths up in pretty pink bows (we save the pretty pink bows for our hair because we’re kinky bitches stuck in the age of trauma).  We would tell the truth even if it didn’t fit the agenda of a particular movement. We would tell the truth even if it made our parents uncomfortable (we’re SO SORRY moms!). We would tell the truth even if the truth was ugly, morbid, funny, classless, alienating or disruptive. Because the truth is the most important thing. Every time a truth is revealed a depressed angel gets her wings. 

Buy this beautiful print by the amazing artist Nicole Swerdlow!

The truth is so powerful, the gate-keepers fear it more than they fear God, or bankruptcy, or public humiliation, or their wives finding out about their homosexual affairs (I had to go there, sorry). Because the truth exposes what is real and what is fake and once you’ve been exposed to the truth you can’t be lied to anymore. The truth begets more truth and that kind of unabashed honesty freaks out the powers at be. 

But it doesn’t freak us out. It turns us on! 

We called our podcast girlZ, interrupteD because a) We’re Jewish/Italian girls with big mouths who don’t know how to engage in the art of conversation without incessant interrupting and b) the 1999 film ‘Girl, Interrupted’ starring bisexual icon Angelina Jolie is our favorite mental illness movie ever. I mean who doesn’t identify with over-medicated babes wreaking havoc in a high-brow East Coast mental ward? If that’s not a metaphor for the culture, I don’t know what the hell is, honey.

Screenshot from Girl, Interrupted

While I’ve always been stripped naked and raw in my writing, I take it to a whole new level in the Podcast. Maybe that’s because I feel so safe with Dayna (even though she doesn’t ask for my consent when she takes her shirt off in front of me! What a predator!). Maybe it’s because audio is my favorite medium. Maybe it’s just because the older I get, the less and less I give a flying fuck what the Becky’s of the world think. I want to take the non-disclaiming, blazingly real, wildly creative, uninhibited energy of our podcast into the blog. And in order to do that, I’m expanding what the Crazy Sad Babes Club means. The truth is, this isn’t a blog about being crazy or sad, it’s about being a babe who isn’t afraid to interrupt anyone or anything, even herself. In fact, I would argue that the word “girl” and the word “interrupt” are consequential juxtapositions. Girl is usually synonymous with quiet. We are many things (medicated, buxom, sexual, sweaty) but we are NOT quiet. We are GirlZ, Interrupted, bitches.  (Also in the context of this site, “girl” is an energy, not a gender).

I’ve worked for many different media companies, production companies, agencies, publishers. And while all of my experiences have been deeply beneficial and I’m eternally grateful to everyone I’ve worked with throughout my career, I’ve always been a bit of a misfit in the space. I’m a proud lesbian, but being gay isn’t my whole identity. I love fashion and feelings and books and acrylic nails and ruining parties with my dark, trauma-driven humor, too. I guess I’ve never been “queer enough” for queer media (I don’t know what “queer enough” means, either. It’s just feedback I’ve received). I grapple with depression and anxiety, but am also a relentlessly, (toxically!) positive person. I love love love wellness but I hate hate hate the serious, condescending tone of the wellness world. I came tumbling out of the womb a radical liberal, but I genuinely enjoy talking to people who don’t agree with me. I’m super into fashion but would rather discuss my narcoleptic bowels whilst clad in designer clutching a glass of champagne on Christopher Street over sitting front row at Fashion Week. I drink booze. I get horrendous, apocalyptic hangovers whenever I drink wine. But I still drink wine. I get Botox injected into my forehead every six months or so. Sometimes I blackout and wake up in bed surrounded by torn up bags of chips. I take psychotropic meds to keep the demons at bay and I love what those man-made chemicals do to my brain. But I also love pilates and slug back a gallon of filtered water every single day and journal and do “breath work” and pray to Lana Del Rey in the shower and meditate every other hour. 

Women’s media loves to shove big, expansive women into tiny little boxes. You’re the wellness bitch or the mental health bitch or the self-deprecating bitch or the fashion bitch or the queer bitch or the beauty bitch. If you’re a wellness bitch, you better wear white leggings and post color-corrected pictures of your avocado toast with gluten free bread. If you’re a fashion bitch, you better be a size 0 or be plus-sized and make every single style post about #bodypositivity. If you’re a queer bitch, then every experience of your life MUST be viewed through the lens of queerness otherwise you’re problematic.

But you know what? I find all of this role-playing, all of this imagination-less casting to be impossibly boring. Because let’s face it: it’s inauthentic! No human is a prototype. If you crack anyone with a beating heart open, you’re going to find they are full of clashing contradictions. 

And while I like to wear monochromatic clothes from time to time, I find the clashing contradictions that live inside the guts of real, live people, to be the chicest shit in the world. 

So welcome to GirlZ, InterrupteD. A media group where babes are allowed to be crass, un-PC, flawed, honest about their disordered habits (without the performance of faux shame), sad, crazy, bad, good, healthy, sick, slutty and sweet, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Most of all, this is a place where girly entities are allowed to be the most forbidden thing of all: FUNNY.

And on, you will find Dayna and I’s podcast, a newsletter, badass articles + essays + poems (yes, poems. Don’t @ me), workshops, courses, art and apparel (coming in spring!). 

And, like always, we’ll deep dive into everything style and stigma; beauty and breakdowns; mayhem and magic; meds and meditation. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned on this journey, it’s this: so many things can be true at once. So let’s talk about the wonders of Wellbutrin and the peacefulness of Prozac. Let’s marvel over the power of organic Turmeric and the prowess of bad bitch cocktails. Let’s gab about self-care and deep dive into self-harm. Let’s gossip about mascara and weep mascara tears. Let’s forgive ourselves for our magnificent failures and celebrate our magical manifestations.

So cheers to you, our interrupteD girlZ squad. Welcome to the revamped club where the most powerful weapon in the world is you, in all of your, naked, honest glory.

My debut book GIRL, STOP PASSING OUT IN YOUR MAKEUP: THE BAD GIRL’S GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR SH*T TOGETHER is available NOW on AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundAUDIBLE, and BAM! If you send me a screenshot of your order, I’ll send you swag!

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