A Conversation with Nina Moran: On Empowering Young Women

Posted by: Kania Anggiani

A Conversation with Nina Moran:
 On Empowering Young Women

As a tribute to Kartini, and as a part of our #darlingconversations, we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with one of the most inspiring modern feminists today Nina Moran - who has been consistently building a platform for young women for more than a decade through her ever-growing company. Little did we know, Gogirl! has evolved from just a magazine into content, community, and commerce.

For Nina Moran, it is a pure joy to empower young women. With such passion, through workshops and collaborations, she strives to remind women to achieve their dreams by believing in themselves.

What’s your daily schedule like?
It’s not the same every week. Since I've just got a new role in the company, I’ve been trying to get more and more collaborations, therefore, I’ve been meeting a lot of people. At the same time, I've been traveling very often - which I'm trying to balance it out because I don't like to be away from my kids for way too long.

You have 3 children, I believe the eldest is entering pre-teen I assume? You must be super busy juggling between work and family. So tell me, what sounds like a good day to you?
Yesterday was actually a good day for me. I just got back from Bali for a brand's launching event. The good part was when I had the chance to people-watch. I felt like a sociologist who observed people. I was around influencers at the event. The way they worked was fascinating, I’ve never seen that kind of dynamic.

But in general, a good day to me is a balance. Since I’m an introvert, I charge myself by being alone. A good day for me starts with my morning meditation. Throughout the day, I’ll be working. If I can go home before 6pm, it would be awesome. I would end my night reading my book or listening to my e-book. Before bed, I’ll be having a conversation with my husband. 

With all the things you've done and achieved, I see you as a modern feminist. What is feminism to you?
Feminism to me is acknowledging that every woman has their own dreams. As long as she holds on to that dream consciously, that’s power in itself. I don’t want to be that kind of person who defines one thing and then pushes my definition onto others. For me, feminism is realizing the power in every woman’s choice, whatever that might be.

Having said that, I do admit that there's probably one choice that I disagree and have been voicing lately - I'm concerned at the increasing number of young girls wanting to get married at a very young age. It's not that I don't respect that, it's just that, to me, it's more important to do more with your life and develop yourself first so you can achieve your dreams. Let's not think about marriage yet, it will come to you when it's time.

As a mother of 3, what kind of values do you instill in your children's upbringing?
I’ve always told my children, “You have a choice, as long as you choose it wisely, that’s good for you. What’s more important, you have to honor each other’s choices and decisions."

Do you raise your children differently?
Yes. I raise them differently not because of their genders, but more of because of their personalities. Every child has a different character and it needs different ways of upbringing. I’ve told my firstborn son who is also way older than his siblings, that he has to be more aware that at certain times, I want him to protect his sisters while I’m not here.

Apart from that, I’ve also told him to remind me how to honor myself. For example, whenever I stand in front of the mirror for way too long, he will remind me to stop doing that. To him, all women are beautiful. I don’t even remember when I taught him that! But I think I’ve told him to always encourage people whenever they feel discouraged. For the girls, it’s more like empowering them to believe in themselves.

"To be alive in this era feels like an opportunity to experience myself in this form and to decide whether I want to recreate, reinvent, expand the concept of myself or just be."

You and your sisters started Gogirl! around 13 years ago with a strong core in feminism, how has that been effective and what's the impact on modern society these days?
We just love magazines, we have ideas of what we want to talk about within a magazine. We always believe that we need to just do what we love - if our work becomes impactful, that’s the greatest honor. But to be honest, I don’t know how to measure the impact of my work. It’s impossible. It’s something that I have to ask you and everyone else.

You believe in "be the change you want to see in the world", how do you implement that value in your own personal life?
It’s been the same since I was young, it’s just manifested in different ways. My purpose is to always empower people. It gives me joy. It makes me feel like, if I can have an effect on one person, I can die tonight. I want to be that voice in your head that tells you, more than anything, you have awesome potentials and you can do awesome things the moment you decide. There’s no way we can always be on the top in life. When we're doing great, just remember that this could end anytime, and on the other hand, if we’re at our lowest, it could end anytime too.

"To be alive in this era feels like an opportunity to experience myself in this form and to decide whether I want to recreate, reinvent, expand the concept of myself or just be."

Last question, what does it feel to be alive in this era?
In one of my meditations, I asked myself, “How do I love myself if I don’t remember myself?” After meditating for a while, I was shown who I am. I’m an ever-present soul and I have always been this loveful energy. My biggest joy is loving. My soul is a seeker. I’m pretty humorous and curious. To be alive in this era feels like an opportunity to experience myself in this form and to decide whether I want to recreate, reinvent, and expand the concept of myself or just be.

"I have been longing to make the acquaintance of a 'modern girl,' that proud, independent girl who has all my sympathy! She who, happy and self-reliant, lightly and alertly steps her way through life, full of enthusiasm and warm feelings; working not only for her own well-being and happiness, but for the greater good of humanity as a whole."

- R. A. Kartini

Text by Elisa Kuswari
Photographs by Asita Yulia
Creative Direction by Kania Anggiani

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