By Gabrielle Fellows
“Lose 20 pounds in a week! How to keep him interested! Stock up on hot spring styles!”
For many college-age women, this is the kind of literature supposedly written for them. It’s not about the trials and tribulation of college and doesn’t satisfy what many young women are looking for when they reach out for reading materials.
Molly Longest and Katherine Crowley understand, and for this reason, they’ve created TheLala.com.
The Lala is by college women, for college women. The site began when Longest and Crowley were sophomores at Purdue University and discovered that all of the women they knew were finding and consuming negative media or media without any real weight. What started out as purduelala.com, a campus-specific site used to show the girls’ writing samples for internships, transformed into TheLala.com, a multi-campus website that grew to have over 300 contributors from over 100 universities all across the world.
“When we started the website, we wanted to start a positive media mission. Websites geared towards college women was sort of fluffy and concerned losing weight or keeping your man interested,” Longest said. “We were surrounded by amazing powerful girls and this didn’t seem to appeal to them. This was an important time and it seemed like everything out there was bubblegum-y. So we started this website to satisfy the need that was clearly there.”
Sarah Jones is the Youngstown State University representative for The Lala and believes that the site is one that authentically resonates with college women, their challenges and their accomplishments.
“I feel like I’ve connected personally with about 90 percent of the articles that they put on there. There is other media focused towards other girls that is positive, but it doesn’t feel authentic,” Jones said. “Since the girls that are writing the articles are in college, and a lot of college girls have similarities, they understand what you’re going through. It’s all about the little positive things.”
The Lala has been around for close to a year and a half, and in that time, Longest said she has found out an incredible amount concerning women and the media and technology industry.
“We’re based in New York, and we have found that, at different media events, we’re grouped in the tech sector since we’re an online only publication … and there aren’t that many women. We walk into a room and we’re the only women there,” Longest said. “We’re also very young, and we’re probably the youngest people there. At first, we thought it was going to be difficult because there weren’t any women, but then it turned into realizing that we we’re being an example for other girls. The stereotype that women can’t do things is horrible. If she’s nice, she’s weak; if she’s strong, she’s a bitch. Gender stereotypes can’t work against you in a work environment if you don’t let it. Man or woman, you have to stay true to yourself. Be true to yourself and your work style and you’ll be alright.”
The Lala will be hosting an on-campus event in collaboration with YSU’s Victoria’s Secret PINK chapter. For updates, check the YSU PINK social media sites.