Julie Zeilinger is the founder and editor of The FBomb (thefbomb.org), a feminist blog and community for young adults that recently partnered with the Women’s Media Center, the media organization founded by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan. She is currently a staff writer at Mic (mic.com) and is also the author of two books — A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word and College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year. She has been named one of Forbes’ 2016 30 Under 30 in Media; Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake The World”; one of the “Eight most influential bloggers under 21” by Women’s Day Magazine, and has appeared on MSNBC, NBC and Fox News. Her writing has been published in the Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Forbes, Jezebel and CNN among other publications.
What do you do best?
I think I do my best work as an advocate. This can take the form of amplifying high school and college-aged feminists' thoughts and beliefs on the FBomb, the website and community I founded as a teen, or trying to draw attention to the issues and causes the mainstream media frequently ignores through my own writing.
What makes you the best?
I'm at my best when I'm surrounded by genuinely supportive people. I think the people in your life can significantly impact both your personal and professional well-being. Spending time with people who don't value hard work generally or who are ambivalent about others' happiness or success can have a very real, toxic effect.
What are your aspirations?
I want to use my position and privilege to help amplify the voices, perspectives and experiences of individuals normally ignored by the mainstream media and society at large and to fight for a world in which equal representation and treatment of all is the norm.
Writing my first book, "A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word" is definitely one of my biggest successes, in no small part because the process terrified me. I started the book at sixteen and had no idea what I was doing and grappled with imposter syndrome on a daily basis, but ultimately learned so much about the topic, process of writing and myself.
Most Challenging Moment?
When the FBomb, the website I started for young feminists, first started gaining traction, I had my first experiences with online harassment. This was not only unexpected, as I hardly anticipated many people reading the blog, but there was little cultural understanding of how emotionally and psychologically taxing online abuse is at the time. At 15, I seriously considered giving up based on these comments and emails, but ultimately (thankfully) decided to continue writing and editing.
I really do try to live my personal and professional life by the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. The motto "lift as you climb" also resonates with me. Especially as a woman in a relatively male-dominated industry, I try to promote and support other women's work whenever I can.
I'm very close with my immediate family. I talk to my parents and brother every day and they have always been the most supportive people in my life, but I've also had a number of professional mentors to whom I'm very grateful.
I love New York City. It's an undoubtedly challenging place to live, but the energy and spirit of collaboration and innovation is unparalleled.
I wouldn't be able to do my job (or, really, live my life) without my iPhone or laptop — boring but true.
I recently challenged myself to read one novel a week, which I've been really enjoying. I've also always loved to cook and bake. There's nothing as satisfying as eating something delicious you made yourself, especially when shared with friends.