We are so excited to introduce the newest member of the Be Your Own Muse team, Emily Brice! Emily is a rising junior at our own alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is currently studying Public Relations. She’s passionate about the power of communication, personal growth, women empowering women, and the importance of being a global citizen.
We knew that Emily was a great fit from the start – the initiative she showed in reaching out to us, despite not knowing either one of us personally, earned her major #girlboss points. In addition to her courageousness, Emily is eager to help build the BYOM community and to contribute in a meaningful way. Her sincerity and desire not just to learn, but to make a positive impact for other young women really struck a chord with us, and we were pumped to welcome her energy and drive to the team!
We’re looking forward to growing with Emily and we can’t wait to show y’all what we’re capable of…’cause together, we’re better!
- Age: 20
- Location: Chapel Hill, NC
- Education: Rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Field of Interest: Public Relations and History
- What’s Your Favorite Thing About Yourself? My favorite thing about myself is my drive. I always want to be the best student, friend, daughter, girlfriend, person etc. that I can be. I love how it is always self-motivated and competitive, not to impress anyone else but myself.
- What Are You Currently Listening To? I have recently started listening to podcasts. This form of media is completely new to me – I would love some recommendations from the BYOM community – but I love Stuff Mom Never Told You and Throwing Shade. I also have gotten really into horoscopes lately. They’re my guilty pleasure.
Questions + Answers
What inspired you today?
The love and support that you can always find in female friends inspire me on a daily basis. My friendship with my best friend from high school is a clear example of this. No matter our history, time, and distance spent apart, my best friend and I always seem to come back to one another and support each other.
We started our close friendship in 6th grade and it has remained strong—against my predictions. Some obstacles for our friendship later in high school hurt the relationship and caused both of us to not do a great job of staying in touch in college. However, whenever something huge happens, she’s always one of the first people I feel like I have to tell. I recently told her some news, and was not expecting to get a sympathetic reaction from her (as it was one of the obstacles that hindered our relationship in high school). She rose to the occasion and immediately called me to shower me with unconditional and unexpected support. Her actions have inspired me this week and I continue to be uplifted by any and all acts of female camaraderie.
Fill In The Blank: I use BYOM for empowerment because it makes me feel like whatever my life becomes, I will be successful and find happiness in whatever career or passion I pursue.
Are you working on any projects that you’re particularly excited about?
I just started an internship at VIF International Education, which is very exciting because I value travel and I believe that teaching children how to be global citizens and have general cultural awareness is super important. More specifically, I am passionate about improving the image surrounding Muslim-Americans in the US. This internship allows me to dive into the world of international cultures while also working with social media and digital communications, which is another passion of mine.
I also have started journaling, which has been very important to my life as it provides me with balance and self-reflection.
What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means fighting for equality and inspiring other women to acknowledge their inner strengths and to share their triumphs and accomplishments. I believe that feminism is goal-oriented and women should be setting their own goals and not listening to outside, un-solicited opinions and comments.
Which BYOM feature has resonated most with you, and why?
It’s hard to choose just one. Obviously I love Amena Saad and her mother’s interviews as they relate back to my interest in the controversies in the Middle East and the misconceptions surrounding Middle Eastern and Muslim-Americans.
All of them are great, but one that pleasantly surprised me was Lindsey Raisa Feldman’s. When I first clicked on the post, I was curious to read it but I didn’t think it would resonate with me as much as others because sociocultural anthropology seemed over my head and some of her personality traits and activities were not exactly what I found in myself. However, it was the difference between myself and Lindsey that captured my attention and kept me reading.
It was great to realize that although we are two completely different women, with different strengths, interests and at different chapters in our lives, I could still relate and rally behind her cause and feelings. I especially loved what she said about “being human is a group effort.” I need to be constantly reminded of that as I am a super independent young woman, and sometimes I do not take the help I need.
Fill In The Blank: Forget that antiquated Coco Chanel quote. These days, girls should be two things: self-motivated and self-loving.
Who inspires you?
My mother is my biggest advocate and my daily inspiration. Her incredible ability to not only juggle a full-time job, keep up with me and my brother’s schedules, care for her aging parents, be a loving wife and still have time to volunteer is extremely inspiring. She is selfless, yet she knows how to stand her ground and to not succumb to what others want her to do. Most importantly, my mother always hoists me up and supports me after every low point.
For example, Mother’s Day weekend should have been all about her, but instead she put all of her focus on me. My boyfriend of three years had just broken up with me the Thursday before Mother’s Day weekend and I felt like my world was completely shaken. The whole weekend I was constantly battling grief mixed with anger, paired with the constant love, support, and care from my mother. I felt dumb for letting myself be affected this much by a boy, but he had been my best friend for the past three years. The uncertainty of my future and the upcoming summer kept me up at night and my mother was the one to stay with me and rub my hair until I fell asleep.
Looking back – exactly one week later – I can see improvement in myself and my dedication to my personal and career goals, so I guess I can thank him for that. I will never not love the guy who spent three years of his life choosing me, but I am accepting of the fact that he is not willing to fight for me anymore. No girl should ever settle for this and should be with someone who is willing to fight for the relationship and work through difficult situations, as I was.
Sure, lots of reality TV, time on Pinterest, phone calls with friends, and visits to see my neighbor’s chocolate lab puppy helped me recover over the weekend, but my mother is and always will be the center to any period of recovery and transition in my life.