JACKIE EMERSON IS a 21-year-old Stanfordite with flaming hair to match her exuberant spirit, who also happens to be friendly with Jennifer Lawrence after working alongside her as Foxface on the first film installment of the Hunger Games series.
That last part is intentionally included as an afterthought—because after half an hour with Jackie, “intimidating starlet” seems so far from an accurate description of her persona. And, frankly, while the movie title is impressive as a hot Hollywood enterprise, I would argue that Jackie’s involvement is not the most impressive thing about this intelligent and innovatively compassionate young woman.
When asked to discuss her work off-campus, Jackie really lights up, and we both know why: because it’s time to discuss She’s So Boss. “When I go to the conferences, I do these big panels for girls about having a healthy body image and ‘real talk.’ It’s basically just opening the verboten door,” Jackie says.
A new multi-media brand at the intersection of entrepreneurship, feminism, and activism, She’s So Boss aims to ignite the confidence in young women to pursue and demand leadership roles--after all, the patriarchy won’t dissolve itself.
“There are so many things we’re told we shouldn’t talk about and that aren’t okay to talk about: mental health, family issues—I mean, body image is included in that—you know, things that we’re supposed to be fine with. And they need to be discussed because everybody is going through them… I’ve dealt with my own issues about it. I’m still dealing with my own issues about it.”
Speaking with Jackie is like a crash course in millennial womanhood. In discussing body image and confidence, Jackie draws the line between being insecure and having insecurities. After all, our media aesthetic is designed to give people—especially women—insecurities, but it remains our duty (and prerogative!) to overcome those insecurities and reclaim the confidence to be a leader—to be so boss.
“Every single time I do one of these things,” Jackie elaborates on the conferences, “I always walk away from it [thinking], ‘This is what I have to do with my life.’ I don’t how, I don’t know in what capacity, I don’t know how that’s going to work, but this is somewhere I feel completely and utterly grounded.”
Ironically, Jackie seems to already be one of the most grounded young women to walk The Farm. Out of any number of subjects, she gets most excited raving about her beloved room(soul)mate, Niharika Bedekar, yummy food, and being on stage.
A very active thespian on-campus, Jackie dedicates a substantial amount of time to her theatre groups and various stage performances because that’s where she learns and grows the most; not only as a young actor, but as a person.
In discussing her work with The Stanford Improvisers, Jackie recalls, “Our teacher once said, ‘I think people are their best selves when they improvise’ because it’s all about just being positive, staying present, being super in-the-moment, supporting everybody around you, saying ‘yes’ to every suggestion and celebrating failure.”
At PULSE, we are more than enthusiastic to celebrate Jackie’s failures because we know they will be at the feet of her even greater successes. And watch out, world—because someday you’ll be answering to a woman because, at a conference many years ago, an exuberant flame-haired woman taught her that she is so boss.
By: Katlyn Alapati
Photography by: Ameeqa Ali
Let's Get Real:
Check out Jackie’s newest project: LET’S GET REAL, a video forum for getting to the nitty gritty of life, opening our mouths, our ears, our minds and hearts.
"LET'S GET REAL is a youtube campaign about YOU. It is founded on the belief that everyone has a story to share, and that the process of sharing our stories can help both ourselves and others, in turn creating a positive, open-minded, and strong community. No one is alone. And no one is as perfect as they may appear to be. LET’S GET REAL is the place where we can all come together and find the beauty in our shared humanity.”