Has your social media ever made you feel like you need to be someone else? Well, The Hungry Orchid (THO) is a digital platform that makes you feel the precise opposite. When you experience our content, you feel better, not sh*ttier about yourself. Our intention is to empower, uplift, and interconnect women of all identities through storytelling.
The world has been whispering to us ever since our little minds began comprehending, that we are not enough. That our self worth is dictated by everyone but ourselves. That our beauty must be purchased. That it is our responsibility to be a very narrow definition of pretty and not much else. That we aren’t as valuable as someone with external genitals.
Existing in the world becomes exponentially more complicated when we experience multiple injustices based on race, sexuality, physical ability, social class, and other facets.
Have you heard of the doll study? Originally executed in 1947, it was recreated in 2010 for CNN when researchers presented children with five cartoons that ranged from light to dark skin tone. The children were asked to point to which cartoon is smart/dumb, nice/mean, good/bad, and so on. White children associated their own skin color with positive attributes and darker skin with negative attributes. Black children also had bias toward whiteness, although not as strong.
These kids were 4-5 years old. At 4 and 5, we already begin understanding the constructs of the world. You are already internalizing messages from TV, the cosmetics aisle, your peers, etc. about where you fit into the world.
We have a lot to unravel and repair. But at THO, we are starting with stories. Telling the stories that don’t get told about women. About all the different lifestyles we live. All of our flaws. And our complexities.
So why is it so important to tell our stories?
Stories foster unity. In order to achieve space in the world as whole, complex, equal beings, we as a community of women, must be unified. When we understand each other’s nuanced experiences, we become emboldened to stand up for each other even when the injustice doesn’t affect us personally.
Stories humanize us. For so long, we have been portrayed in mass media through binoculars held by someone at a far distance without any idea about our contexts. It is time for us to take control of our own narratives.