A group of about thirty Whittier women sat in a circle with dimly-lit candles abound as each one shared their aspirations, some of the struggles they have had to overcome, and personal attributes they were proud of.
“Embrace your inner Goddess” was the mantra at the Hartley House on Friday, Mar. 31, as each girl showered each other with smiles and compliments. Some even teared up from the excitement of being at a social mixer with girls as unique as them.
The party co-hosts, senior Philosophy major Alex Cory-Wright and junior and double major in Studio Art and Global Cultural Studies Emilie Hotz, explained that the inspiration of this event went back to their enlightening experience at the Hsi Lai Buddhist temple when they took the “Simplicity” philosophy course. “There is such a healing power in opening your heart and being mindful of others,” Hotz said.
After the Jan Term class ended, Cory-Wright and Hotz were invited to a classmate’s party that she called a “Goddess Party,” along with all the girls in the class. Hotz recalled the room being filled with rugs, incense, vintage guitars, and a variety of food. The message behind the party inspired them to start a tradition here at Whittier to host more social gatherings to bond and bring out the creative gifts and the inner child in all of them.
“A Goddess Party really celebrates the inner-spiritual beauty and sisterhood of women,” Hotz said. “During the Goddess party, the topic about how girls nowadays are competitive towards each other was something that was acknowledged and something I think should be changed. We should be supportive of each other and should strive to change that dialogue.”
Last semester, Cory-Wright and Hotz collaborated with and Violence Intervention Prevention Corp president Eryn Wells to put together the Goddess Party. “We thought that a Friday night ‘girls just want to have fun’ party would help bring diverse individuals together,” Hotz said. “When you think about how guys interact with other guys, you see that they just like to chill and be goofy. We, as girls, need that sometimes, because just going for coffee and talking about all the drama and our boyfriends can be very draining. So we wanted to provide a safe space that is more lively and soothing for other girls on campus, because there is a simplicity in playing and having fun.”
At the party, some girls laid on mats and colored their own unique coloring sheets featuring Ryan Gosling, Frida Kahlo, and Sailor Moon while also taking selfies. Others made a dance circle and chatted with one another while indulging themselves with chocolate brownies, fresh fruit, and some cherry soda. Hotz got the girls out of their seats when she turned up her boombox to the rap song “I Don’t Really Care If You Cry” by Lil Uzi Vert. “Work it,” the girls said as they cheered and danced the night away.
Sophomore and Anthropology-Sociology and Spanish double major Amanda Lane was intrigued by the title of “Goddess Party” on the flyer her friends showed her. “I wanted to de-stress from my long week and wanted to be a part of something that embodied female empowerment,” Lane said. “I wanted to come here and have a good time and maybe make some friends. I am really loving the self-love. I have actually talked to some girls here that I haven’t before. I just feel like this party helps build community as a whole.”
Also there that night was sophomore Natalie Graf, who thought that, despite the lack of school spirit and turnout at most events as she sees it, this one was different. “When I go to events, I am usually one of the only ones there, but when my friend told me about this event, I heard some really cool music and the vibe was really comforting,” Graf said. “I think what really brought me here was the idea of a type of sleepover with transcendental love; just opening up to other girls without feeling judged. I have never felt more love in a room full of girls.”
To finish the night, the girls eagerly played Mafia Whittier College edition with main characters including Campus Safety, the Health and Wellness clinic, and innocent Whittier College students who suffered unexplainable deaths. Mediators Cory-Wright and Hotz turned the tables by shocking the town with refrigerator and pool deaths. “The girls really got into the game of Mafia and really bonded over it,” Hotz said. “What was really great was that the girls approached both me and Alex and said they wanted to host a party like this again next semester.”