Rosa Mercuriadis | Sick Sad Girlz

by BJ Panda Bear

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Lately our cultural conversation has been focused on mental health and the ways which we can destigmatize people suffering, we often overlook those who are physically ill and disregard the various psychological traumas that can come with living with these paralyzing ailments. As for being a woman in the world in 2019 and especially in the United States, with frequent interjections of our current presidency, you’re kind of fucked. (actually don’t get fucked they might stop you from fixing that)

Being sick and sad are all on the same team as far as Rosa Mercuriadis is concerned. Earlier in the year the music manager took to the gram to launch @SickSadGirlz, along with graphic artist Laura Beth Schneider. The Instagram account which nurtures a community of fems has garnered a following of people trying to find support and continuously opening up the dialog to the underrepresented population. Following an entry post from Lena Dunham, the community saw an extra boost bringing them to the front of the conversation, announcing that these Girlz were here, talking a loud and could not be ignored.

Growing up with Rosa as teenagers in the backstages of clubs and concerts, I saw my friend struggle through addictions, mental health issues, as well as scary bouts with several physical afflictions. I spoke to her recently to check in on where her platform began and where it is going.

Can you please send me deets on the group

Sure! I started it like 3 months ago and it’s a safe corner of the internet for any girls that have ever been sick or ever felt sad. It’s gotten a lot of attention quickly, I think in part because it doesn’t address one singular topic, anything you feel we wanna talk about!

Why is it so important to have a platform like this right now?

Despite all the progress that has been made in women’s rights, we are still habitually told that we shouldn’t take up too much space and that we should suppress our feelings. With that said, I think the internet can be a really scary place, so my intention was to carve out a safe space for women to share their stories and be vulnerable without fear.

How has the response been? Do you feel that speaking about it and growing the community has helped to establish the dialog and support the people who are sick?

The response has been incredible, I think because we are dying to talk about how we feel! Especially those of us with physical, mental and spiritual sicknesses. We want that space so when we got the word out, a community spoke back loudly, which is so amazing not to feel alone in this world!

How do you feel that this fits into an intersectional identity. Is there something we can do to get this conversation going in spaces where the stigma may be higher

I called the group SickSadGirlz because being called sick or sad or a girl felt like majorly dismissive. So to me anyone who has ever felt dismissed fits into our world. But we could definitely be doing more to get that message across, so let’s start here! If you have ever felt dismissed for your feelings or your gender, we want you and your story and most of all we love you.

What has the communal response been? What was the best message you gotten?

Community response just lovely, all girls willing to show up, tell their stories and help other girlz in need. I love the community friendships that have come out of it so far! We want to do more in person events in the future so girls can feel that more tangibly. Best message was a girl telling us reading the stories of other women saved her life, which is wild and beautiful.

Where do you see this project going in the future. Do you swing this going to an IRL space like a summit and activation

That would be a dream! For now I get a lot of requests for a podcast or YouTube channel, so figuring out what that would look like. Focused on growing the community so we can share incredible stories from around the world.

Do you see the people you work with in the music industry reflecting and needing this support and community as well?

I feel like on a personal level I hear it constantly, but on a public level it’s definitely under addressed. I would love to find a way to bridge the two sides of my life and do a project for #SSGz in music to feel like they have space to share and participate

Is there anything you want to discuss or push. Projects for the fall?

Watch this space ;) I have so many ideas so we’ll see what comes out first!