May 1st, 2016- Tess
Hi! I’m Tess Levin, 20 years old, and I am still a student. I go to University of Southern California (Fight On!) and I am studying Marketing and Psychology.
Why do you think women judge each other so harshly?
That’s honestly a great question. I think that society has wrongly taught us that we need to be better than someone else to succeed in the world. It has taught young women that if someone else is beautiful that they cannot also be beautiful. Our lives as women have turned into a constant competition with one another to make ourselves feel worthy of the word beautiful.
What do you think young women need to hear more often?
I think we need to tell young girls that they matter to the world. That they don’t need to listen to the media. They don’t have to be a size 0, 5’10, and exotic to be beautiful or to make a difference in the world. Each and every one of these young women are perfect and contribute to the world, making it a better place. We as a society need to show young girls that there is much more to themselves than what is on the surface.
What do you think is your best quality?
Hmmm, I’d have to say my best quality is my intolerance. I know everyone just read that with a perplexed look on their faces (lol). But honestly, I don’t tolerate disrespect or impolite actions or words. I think its an amazing quality because it has allowed me to surround myself with the people that only want to build me up rather than tear me down.
What inspired you to become the person that you are?
I would say that everything I have encountered growing up has molded me into the woman I am today. My own experiences as well as those of my friends. I would say I am observant and like to learn from other people’s lives as well as my own.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My greatest accomplishment has been starting my own cupcake business. I started it my Senior year of High School. This is my greatest accomplishment because I was quite young but it was rare to see a young woman have drive to start her own business. Society sees it as a rarity even when older women become successful in the business world. I loved this part of my life journey because I wanted to inspire others to chase their dreams and break gender barriers as well.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Wow I could write a novel about all the advice I would give my younger self. I think the most important piece of advice I would give myself would be to just love myself. It is cripplingly difficult to love yourself in a society that told you that there was always something to improve. But fuck society! Love everything about yourself. Your hair, your toes, your stomach, the way you wheez when you laugh. Literally love every bit and piece of you because you are beautiful inside and out.
How do you find ways to be happy?
I feel like that has really been a struggle in my life. I think a lot of us have dealt with sadness and not really knowing how to get out of that state. For me, it was all about making time for my hobbies. I loved to bake, hang out with friends, read, write, and watch TV (it is almost criminal how much TV I watch). Even if it was just for 30 minutes or an hour I made time in my day to let myself enjoy a simple pleasure.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to say that I am publishing my first novel Fall 2016! It is titled Forever Waits. It is a young-adult romance novel and I would love for everyone to keep an eye out for it! You can follow my journey on my Instagram @tess_levin and WordPress: misstesseliot.wordpress.com and I would love to speak to every single one of you about anything on your mind.
Also a big big thank you to Chloe. You are inspiring and I love that you are here to empower women and make a change. You will truly make a difference and I can’t wait to see what your future holds! Thank you for interviewing me and letting me be apart of this!