Hi, everyone! It’s Claire! How goes it? Things have been extra crazy for me lately, but really when aren’t they? This past August I was chosen to attend the 2015 Teen Choice Awards along with a group of nine other incredible young woman. (For those of you who don’t know, the Teen Choice Awards are like the Oscars for young people). The whole experience was surreal. Mostly because I had grown up watching the awards and wondering what it would be like to be a part of them. Then there I was, up on the stage. The strangest part was that I wasn’t there as a celebrity or a fangirl; I was there as a role model. The nine other girls and I were chosen because of what we had contributed to the world, and I couldn’t have felt more honored to be a part of it all.
The day started with meeting the other young women, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was the highlight of the day. Befriending them was even better than meeting Ellen, and that is really saying something. Every single one of them was amazing. For the first time ever, I felt like I had found other people who thought like me and lived similar lives as me. It is easy to see the world as being on its way to destruction, what with everything said in the news and on TV, but I believe that as long as women like them exist we will all be just fine.
Then came the red carpet- my first one ever might I add- and I was terrified. It was a whopping 90 degrees outside and I was standing there in the hot sun, sweating like a pig, and trying to act cool around all the celebrities walking past. In all honesty though, it didn’t really dawn on me how insane the whole day was until we were back inside, seated in the same isle as Britney Spears. I couldn’t help but think how in awe my 13-year-old self would be if she could see me now. For the first time since turning eighteen I felt grown up and oddly accomplished.
When it came time to actually go on stage, all my nerves had faded. At the end of the day, this whole thing wasn’t about me. It was about noticing and awarding the young women out there who are doing everything they can to make the world a better place. I was honored to be a part of an award show that is trying to focus more on people’s contributions and less on their level of fame. Being a part of the Teen Choice Awards reminded me of how important it is to lift each other up, and to acknowledge to beauty in everyone- especially the young women out there.