I think inspiration runs in a circular motion so here’s to hoping I can inspire all the incredible gals as much as they all inspire me. Badass Women is a series about capturing that positive energy and spreading it. Wanna help? Read about these cool girls and share their features with the women that inspire you!!
What is your relationship with beauty?
I prize the beauty in life, both appreciating the material beauty you can see, and the beauty of interactions you can feel. I try to make my life as beautiful as possible through my space, my clothing, and my actions. I am an advocate for romanticising one’s life, and think some rose-colored glasses can help elevate everyday life into your own personal work of art. I am also a notorious crier, and am often brought to tears by the beauty I see in life. From seeing people speak kindly to each other to basically everything animals do, I love seeing the ways that kindness can be beautiful. In today’s world, where it seems like every day there is a new news story about an atrocity or a political scandal, it is so important to seek out the beauty in people and the world.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I’m definitely not a morning person so I try to do things in the morning that I look forward to, as my body needs some convincing to throw off warm covers and face the day. I always start my morning with my skincare routine. I love the ritual involved with taking care of my skin, and it is a form of self care for me to use natural oils and serums every morning to keep my skin healthy. On the weekends I also try to cook myself a good breakfast, and do yoga to stretch and recharge. Treating my body right by taking care of my physical self helps me stay balanced emotionally, and prepares me for the rest of the day.
What’s the best book you have ever read?
As a prospective English major and book nerd, this is the hardest question ever. I am a huge fan of expressive and lyrical prose, which Nabokov’s work kind of exemplifies for me (Lolita is a fascinating and very often misunderstood book, it’s super interesting to look at through a feminist perspective). I also love poetry, ranging from Pablo Neruda to Mary Oliver. Reading is so important to me because it allows me to take on others perspectives, and by extension get a chance to live through experiences that I would never otherwise experience. I love to read works by authors of all races, genders, and socioeconomic status to expose myself to differing avenues of thought.
If you could give advice to yourself as a ten-year-old, what would you say?
When I started my women’s group (a program aimed at empowering and educating young women to use their voices and pursue their passions), I always had my young self in mind. Outwardly, I am a very different person now than I was in those years, but I do believe that the moral core that dictates my actions was there all along. I would emphasise that listening to my passions, the things that truly drive me to do what I do every day, are the things that will bring the most success. In the early teen years, others will pressure you to conform to their expectations (that are generally born out of insecurity). By listening to what makes you happy, and pursuing those things wholeheartedly, you will both be happier, and more fulfilled.
What’s something you can’t live without?
My puppy. Spending time with dogs is the easiest way for me to destress, and I love seeing the pure joy that dogs exude. There’s nothing like a good cuddle with a big fluffy dog.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in San Francisco, California, and then moved to San Diego to be closer to family.
How old are you?
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about equal representation in media, women’s rights, literature, fashion, films….the list goes on. Throughout my life, I hope to find ways to get involved in all these passions through the intersections between them. If anything, I’ve had difficulty with just how many things I’m passionate about, as I want to do so much!
What do you think are the best ways for teens to get involved in marches, protests, and social justice?
For me, the biggest step was first understanding that I had the right to stand up for what I believed in. As young women, we are often discouraged from taking stands about our beliefs, and called crazy, bossy, or overly emotional. When I realized that the injustice in the world was something I had a right to be upset about, and furthermore, that these emotions were valid, it set me free. With the current political climate, there are so many opportunities for teens to get involved in social justice. You can volunteer at so many worthy organisations (Planned Parenthood is always a favorite), go to protests, write to elected officials, there is basically endless opportunity. As far as organizing goes, one of the most important things for teens to do is reach out. As young people, we have a lot of passion, but often don’t know where to start. I’ve found that if I work up the courage to ask, there are so many experienced people willing to help make young people’s dreams a reality. Finally, I urge all young people who are inclined to get involved by running for leadership positions. Whether it’s starting a club, or preparing to run for office someday, taking that responsibility has the power to make real change.
Talk about the most challenging thing you’ve overcome, how did you do it?
I have had many serious health issues in the past few years, leaving me unable to accomplish everything I’ve wanted to do. I’ve been continually sidetracked from making change or learning new skills by a new illness pushing me back into bed. For a while, I hated my body for failing me, and resented my inability to keep up with everyone else. I am still in the process of fighting my health issues, but I have now realized that while they are difficult and keep me away from other things, they have made me so much stronger and so much more empathetic. I have learned that I cannot hate my body, as it is the only body I have, and that I should not compare myself to everyone else. Every day that I can get out of bed and do something I love is a victory, and seeing these small things as the blessings that they are has transformed my life for the better.
What tips do you have for balancing school work and a social life?
Ahhh, the eternal question. For anyone going to school, this is undoubtably a struggle. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and definitely value doing well in school, but I do believe it is all about balance. Treating your mental health well through spending time with friends and being happy will actually improve your work ethic and leave you inspired and recharged. For me, coming up with specific time every week dedicated to doing whatever I wanted really made a difference. Every Friday after school, the books and homework would go away. I made a point every Friday to either spend time with friends having fun, or to pamper myself with a bath and some trashy TV. I also always advocate for going to concerts of artists you love, even if there’s school the next day. You can always make up a test or quiz, but you might never get another chance to have that experience. Work hard, but keep yourself healthy, happy, and inspired too.
If you could pick a song to be the theme song to your life what song would you choose and why?
This might be a bit strange, but ever since seeing the movie Almost Famous (an amazing film that everyone who loves 70s music and fashion should see), I have always maintained that the song Tiny Dancer is the best song for singing in the car with the windows down on the highway. I would want my theme song to sound the way it feels to be singing at the top of your lungs with someone you love, windows down and feeling completely free. And for my social justice theme songs you can’t go wrong with Respect by Aretha Franklin, as I’m fighting for everyone to receive the same fundamental respect that all deserve.
Where you can find Elena: https://www.instagram.com/elenascottt/
How to get involved with Planned Parenthood:
Liked this post? Make sure to share it!!
Are you a badass woman who deserves to be featured? Make sure to click ‘Contact’ above!!