If you follow the blog on Instagram, you will have seen me talk about this in the past few weeks. It is something I am so excited about and can’t wait to launch later this month. I love where I’m from and proud, but the truth is there is still a lot of stigma surrounding Surrey and one thing in particular that I want to see changed: I want to change what people think about when they hear the term ‘Surrey Girl’.
If you’re not local to the area you may not know what I’m talking about (but chances are you do, because I’ve met people on the other side of the world who knew what a ‘Surrey Girl’ was), but for those of you who’ve spent some time in the Lower Mainland, you’ve probably heard the term, and we all know it isn’t meant as a compliment. And if you’re from Surrey like me, you’ll likely have been the target of cheeky/ rude/ derogatory comments because of where you’re from. And that’s a big part of why I wanted to see this project through- because I’m tired of the stigma and that even as an adult, I can’t escape the title of ‘Surrey Girl’.
Since that term doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, I thought why don’t we change what it means? Change what people think of when they hear the term ‘Surrey Girl’? And that is the message behind The Surrey Girl Project: that being a female from Surrey is not a bad thing, that we are strong, diverse, and talented girls and women proud to be where we’re from. Surrey has come a long way and I’ve been shown some of those changes (more on that in another post), and I’d love to see more positive momentum continue on a level we can all participate in. The City isn’t perfect- where is?- but why should we pause when people ask us where we’re from and alter the answer because of the anticipated responses we might get (and yes, we get them- ‘ooooh you’re a Surrey Girl’ *wink wink*)?
So what is The Surrey Girl Project?
The project will be a collective effort between OHP and several local businesses and organizations to create a series that features women from the area- born and/ or raised in Surrey- and highlight their talents and diversity, to show how amazing it is to be a Surrey Girl. Our hope is to flip the term upside down and give it a makeover. We’ll have fun with it, have a few laughs (because let’s face it, there has to be a little bit of humour with this, at least to start given what we’re trying to do) and hopefully start to change what the term means and what pops up when you search #SurreyGirl. I’m sure there will be some cheeky comments, some eye rolls, and critics, but that is exactly why a project like this needs to exist: to infuse positive and make change. I don’t expect every single female in Surrey to come on board, but for the ones who like what we’re doing, even if just a little bit (whether they still live there or have moved elsewhere), I hope they’ll help us make this project amazing.
The project will launch here on OHP later this month including a collection of photos of the women selected to be featured in the first series (we’re hoping there will be more to come), with individual profiles being featured on Surrey604 in the months following the launch. Thanks to Locomotive Clothing, each lady will be showing off her City pride in a Surrey Community tee, with Ally Fotografy helping us capture the message behind the project with her beautiful photos. We are also hoping to shoot a large group photo of any ladies interested in supporting the project as a fun way to include as many supporters as possible.
We hope to have fun, create something amazing, and trigger some positive change. Be the change, right? So here we go.
Want to be involved? Show support?
If you like what we’re doing and want to help spread the word, please share about the project on social media and tag us #TheSurreyGirlProject (add in #SurreyGirl too so we start loading that hashtag up with good things!).
If you’d like to include a Surrey Girl sign in your photo, I’ve created a few printables to choose from like the one in the photo above. To print, simply download and choose which one you want to use. Have some fun with it and tag us so we can see how you’re helping show what a Surrey Girl REALLY is!
A BIG THANK YOU to the partners who’ve helped bring The Surrey Girl Project together so far: