It’s not often we see girls and young women honored for their intelligence, but that’s exactly what Smart Girls at the Party does.
Smart Girls is a ten-episode web series created by actress Amy Poehler, producer Meredith Walker, and musician Amy Miles. Poehler says the show was created, in some ways, as a response to the, “lack of celebration of the unique original girl,” and to, “represent real female friends and celebrate that stage of life where you write down what you want to be when you get older, before too many people tell you no.”
Poehler introduces each segment as: “the show that celebrates extraordinary individuals who are changing the world by being themselves.”
Such extraordinary individuals include Rachel, a twelve-year-old engineer and “friend to all robots”, Kenaudra, a ten-year-old dancer who teaches Smart Girls creators about the art of Praise Dancing, and Ruby, an animated seven-year-old feminist who tells Poehler, “If a boy can do the monkey rings, so can a girl!”
In an episode featuring sisters Lea and Sarafina, the two girls answer a question at the same time and Lea apologizes for talking over her sister. “No, not at all,” Poehler reassures her. “At Smart Girls at the Party we have no rules about when to talk, who to talk to, or what to talk about.” Miles, Walker, and Poehler then proceed to talk at the same time for a few seconds. The brief moment was a refreshing alternative to the idea that women and children should be “seen and not heard.”
The show succeeds in encouraging girls to focus on developing their unique talents. The interviewees are not talked down to, as girls their age often are. In fact, the Smart Girls creators allow their guests to teach them. Anna, the chef, teaches the hosts how to make bruschetta, and Anna, the yogini, teaches them a few of her favorite poses.
Each episode ends with a dance party where Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Will Arnett, and other stars casually appear alongside the interviewees.
The most recent episode aired four months ago, but fans can catch up on previously aired episodes on the Smart Girls YouTube channel, and can connect with others through the official web site’s community page, or the official Facebook page.
Though Smart Girls at the Party is geared toward pre-teen girls, I don’t see any reason older women can’t join in on the fun. The episodes hold up at any age. The show also reminds women how important it is to not only be role models for girls, but to let girls be role models for us. Smart Girls is a much-needed reminder of how many things girls can and do achieve with their brains, and how fun that kind of achievement can be.