“We’re just a group of girls making time for other girls to hang out.” This is the purpose of WGRLTIME according to Kat Delaney, a junior at Westmont and the co-founder of this group. “We’re like a sweet little sisterhood,” Kat explains. “But it’s not a club; it’s a community.”
Kat’s friendship with Alena Nemitz, the other co-founder of WGRLTIME, sparked this desire to create such a space for other girls. The two weren’t a close pair at first, often finding themselves afraid to talk to each other. However, once they finally pushed past anxiety and built a friendship, they couldn’t help but wonder why they’d let societal pressures and fears keep them from being together for so long.
WGRLTIME was created out of this desire to break down the barriers placed between women. “Alena and I just wondered, ‘What if we made time for women to get to know each other?’” Kat explains. “Being at Westmont can sometimes encourage you to pretend to be ‘fine.’ It’s not honest. By putting up a facade, who are you deceiving except yourself?”
Creating a genuine space doesn’t have to be difficult, according to Kat. Keeping their activities “free, fun, and flowing easily” allows their community to remain vulnerable and open. “We want it to be simple, like girl time should be,” Kat affirms.
Part of these activities includes empowering women to love themselves. One way they’ve encouraged this idea is through their Instagram page, where they post words of empowerment and occasional challenges. One such challenge is their “No Selfie September” challenge, where the women of Westmont are tasked with not posting selfies for the month of September. Why? Kat explains, “Selfies aren’t bad. But our intentions behind it can be so toxic and harmful to us, such as wanting to appear busy, to validate to other people that we’re interesting, or to impress a guy.”
WGRLTIME encourages the idea of embracing one’s natural beauty. Shakayla Manwarren, a junior at Westmont, reached out to Alena and Kat just for that reason. “She said she wanted to work with Alena and I to make sure that women of color felt like they could belong here too. Shakayla has a great heart, and has helped bring such an accepting environment to WGRLTIME — I can’t stress that enough,” Kat stated. Manwarren is at Westmont in San Francisco, and was unable to personally comment on her position.
Creating a community of women that does not feel pressured to compare themselves or be intimidated by each other is a huge goal for all three girls. “It’s so easy to envy someone from afar. Up close, though, you see that really you’re the same in some ways and different in others, but that those differences are beautiful too!” says Kat.
WGRLTIME hopes to host events every month. The next event is in the planning process, and Kat encourages women at Westmont who are interested to keep an eye on the WGRLTIME Instagram page, @wgrltime.
Reaching out to others and making new friends can certainly be intimidating, but Kat, Alena, and Shakayla are striving to create an environment where women from all walks of life can come together without social pressures or expectations. “Come as you are, wear whatever, have some snacks!” Kat encourages.