Boston based babes, Julia, Claire and Vendela are dealing us out a very special hand with their Bad Bitch cards, paying tribute to the women who run this world.
We spoke with co-creator, Julia, about the why the cards are so important in the current U.S political climate, what makes for a 'bad bitch' and what's next on the 'cards' for her.
1. Where did the idea of Bad Bitch Cards come from and who is involved in the project?
I started a design studio shortly after I graduated from college and became very busy, very quickly. I was starting to feel burnt out - at 23! - and decided to start making time for side projects. I've always been very interested in feminist culture and female leaders, so it felt natural to pursue something that empowers women through design.
I wanted to design a card deck because they're both functional and beautiful, and after doing some research found out card decks are typically male-dominated and early decks of cards had no queens! So this is a deck of all Queens. I brought Claire into the project because she's an unbelievable illustrator and designer, and Vendela coded the website (check out that flip animation!). They're amazing for donating their time and for making my passion project theirs as well.
2. In your opinion, what defines a 'bad bitch'?
A bad bitch is a female who excels in her role, breaks glass ceilings, follows her dreams and is unforgiving about it. They don't have to be famous or be CEO's or be making loads of money - they can be a mother, teacher or volunteer. I think it's really important for women to truly believe we can do anything, because we can. The fact that we're still having a gender equality conversation is frustrating.
"This is a deck of all Queens."
3. Following US election results, we've seen a rise in female artists expressing their outrage/sadness/passion throughout their work. In what ways does the Bad Bitch Collection act as a way to express your political and social views?
Like many, I was in a total state of denial over the election results. We originally timed the cards to be released with Hillary's election, so it was a major shock when she wasn't elected... after giving ourselves a couple of days to grieve, we got to work. The original site was all "Yay Hillary! Girl power!" so we had to rewrite almost all of the content. We were angry, devastated really, so it felt therapeutic to rewrite everything.
To me, one of the most upsetting outcomes of the election is how disconnected I feel from my country. I've always been very liberal, and I live in a liberal bubble... Boston is one of the most liberal cities in the USA... so it's shocking to me that people could vote for a man who ran his campaign on being mysogonistic, sexist, xenophobic and racist. It feels like a major loss for women.
Releasing this collection is exciting for us because it feels like women need to be empowered now more than ever before. And if we can help even a tiny bit, all of the work is worth it.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4. If you did another deck of cards based entirely on fictional female characters, who would be your top five?
Hmm... that's hard! Definitely Leslie Knope because she’s hilarious and amazingly confident. I think Hermione Granger is an absolute badass, so she would make the list. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, though she's a bit violent, because I love how unrelenting she is. Khaleesi from Game of Thrones because... it's Khaleesi. Finally, Peggy Olson from Mad Men because of her amazing rise from assistant to ad agency star.
5. If Bad Bitch Cards were an episode of Sex and the City, what would they be and why?
I think it would be “One” from season 6. It’s full of tiny little female empowerment moments - Miranda tells Steve she loves him first which is a really vulnerable, powerful moment. Samantha starts to accept her age after finding gray hair and Charlotte has a miscarriage, which is obviously extremely painful. I love how real everything is and how supportive the women are of each other. I’d like to think that #badbitches, especially the ones on our cards, support each other no matter what their differences or opinions are.
6. In your opinion, who is the baddest bitch in the pack?
I really do love them all, but Grace Hopper is my favorite. She was a computer programmer for the Navy, and was such a crucial part of the team that people called her “Amazing Grace” and named a missile destroyer after her. She served during World War II, at a time when women playing important roles in the military wasn’t common… I can’t imagine what she had to overcome.
7. What next on the, pardon the pun, cards for you?
Continuing to work at my studio - my clients are great and a lot of the work is meaningful, so I'm happy. I'll also continue to work on #badbitch cards with Claire and see how we can expand it to be more impactful - our main mission is to spread knowledge about all of these women, and hopefully inspire women and girls to take on more leadership roles and be #badbitches. If people buy the cards, that's great, but it's not the reason we're doing it.
On a personal note, I'd like to figure out a way to give back more to my local Boston community - whether it be through design or something else. So that's what's in the cards for me in 2017!
You can buy Bad Bitch Cards here.