JULIA BAYLIS AND MAYAN TOLEDANO ME AND YOU KAT SLOOTSKY DOUBLE OR NOTHING

JULIA BAYLIS AND MAYAN TOLEDANO

INTERVIEW

PHOTOGRAPHED IN BROOKLYN
BY KAT SLOOTSKY

 

GIRL FRIENDS, MEANING GIRLS WHO ARE FRIENDS, ARE HAVING A POP CULTURE MOMENT. THERE’S THE SUCCESS OF THE APTLY NAMED “GIRLS” AND A LITANY OF OTHER FEMALE FRIENDSHIP-THEMED MOVIES AND SITCOMS; THE INSTAGRAM REALITY OF TAYLOR SWIFT AND CO.; US MAGAZINE SPREADS AND MORE. THE ZEITGEIST'S SATURATION HAS EXTENDED TO THE POINT OF BACKLASH, WHICH LIKELY MEANS TWO THINGS: 1) THE FACTION ACTUALLY HAS TRACTION. 2) FEMINISM STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO. TAKE AS FURTHER EVIDENCE RECENT ANTI-CHOICE LEGISLATION IN TEXAS AND DECEPTIVELY DOCTORED VIDEOS DESIGNED TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD. SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN THE PAPARAZZI-FRIENDLY COFEE DATES AND POLITICAL FRONTLINES LIES ME AND YOU.

 

Founded by real-life best friends Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis, Me and You is a holistic embodiment of the magnetism, charm and power of women and female friendship. It is a brand selling female-inspired stickers, t-shirts and underwear with statement scripts like “Don’t Touch” or, simply, “Feminist,” accompanied by kisses. It also a website that serves up empowering, creative videos, photography collaborations and more. The company’s boundaries are fluid because its mission lies not in the medium, but in the message: Feminism is not a trend. 

 
JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO ME AND YOU KAT SLOOTSKY DOUBLE OR NOTHING
 
JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO ME AND YOU KAT SLOOTSKY DOUBLE OR NOTHING
 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY?
Julia: There are so many...most recently being in the ocean with my boyfriend and dancing all night with my high school friends when I visited Canada. 
Mayan: When I was about four years old, my parents went on vacation and left me with my aunt for a week. I had the best time staying with her, and when they came to pick me up they brought me the coolest, shiniest pink BMX bike. I felt like a princess. 

WHAT DO YOU DO BEST?
Mayan: Purchase stickers, stay in bed.

IF YOU COULD RELIVE A DAY OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Julia: The day I was born, so I could do it all over again in a completely new way.
Mayan: Each and every one of my birthdays, over and over again.

 

 

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO ME AND YOU KAT SLOOTSKY DOUBLE OR NOTHING
 
 

 

 

A SUMMER SONG
Mayan:

 
 
 

A SONG FROM THE FIRST ALBUM YOU OWNED
Mayan: 

 

Julia:

 

A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR PARTNER
Mayan:

Julia:

 
JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO ME AND YOU KAT SLOOTSKY DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

 

YOUR MOST RECENT INSTAGRAM POST
Julia:

JULIA BAYLIS INSTAGRAM DOUBLE OR NOTHING
 

Mayan:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

 

YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD PICTURE
Julia:

 
 

HOW DID YOU FIRST MEET YOUR PARTNER?
Julia: At school.
Mayan: Julia and I met in the sad halls of fashion school and have been inseparable ever since. 

HOW WOULD YOUR PARTNER DESCRIBE YOU?
Julia: Othergirrllll (spelled exactly like that).
Mayan: Chill or annoying? I'm not sure. 

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Julia: Working with your best friend means lots of laughing, crying, being weird, being gross and being naked. 
Mayan: That we're best friends! Our friendship is based on creativity and mutual understanding, and will always come before work. I personally feel more creative when I get to make stuff for my friends and people I love. It never feels like work and you get the best results. 

WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE?
Julia: Catcalling.
Mayan: When I shoot girls and see myself in them. A lot of time when I try to tell someone else's story, I find myself in it. It gets mixed in when you feel close to someone. Female intimacy has a lot to do with vulnerability and it's a subject that I go back to often.

WHAT DO YOU WISH WE TALKED ABOUT MORE?
Mayan: Our real experiences as women: What we go through with our period every month, PMS, menopause, pregnancy, abortion.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 14-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Julia: Stay weird. And be nice. 
Mayan: Don't look in the mirror so much! Stop comparing yourself so much to others. You can only be the best version of yourself and you're probably already perfect. 

 

 

A KISS
Mayan:

 
 

 

 

A PERFECT PICTURE
Julia:

 

 

 

 

 

Mayan:

 
JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING
 
 

A SONG YOU HAVE LISTENED TO TEN TIMES IN A ROW
Mayan:

 

A DANCE SONG
Mayan:

 

A SUNDAY MORNING SONG
Mayan:

Julia:

 

 

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE KISS?
Mayan: With my best friend, Yani, in a bar in Tel Aviv about five years ago. We weren't friends yet, but we were so attracted to each other, as though we already knew everything about what our friendship was going to be. 

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LIFE TO LOOK LIKE IN 20 YEARS?
Julia: Lots of travel, food, happiness and health.
Mayan: I want to be happy, healthy and well traveled. I want to see my family more and to own a hotel that has a whole floor just for my best friends. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
Julia: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?
Mayan: I hope that we get to see everyone we love who has passed away and that everyone is the same age, shape and gender.

A QUOTE YOU LOVE?
Julia: "I believe that feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women, even if we wouldn't make certain choices for ourselves."  Roxanne Gay, Bad Feminist: Essays

 

 

A PLACE YOU HAVE CALLED HOME
Julia: Bermuda, twice a year with my grandma.

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

 

A TRUTH
Mayan:

 

 

A SONG THAT REMNDS YOU OF AN EX
Mayan:

 

A SONG YOU SING ALONG TO
Mayan:

Julia:

 

 

 

A FAVORITE STYLE MOMENT
Julia:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING
 
 

Mayan:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING
JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

 

 A CURATED SELECTION OF IMAGES ON THE SUBJECT OF WOMEN
Mayan:

 

 

WHAT DOES FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU?
Julia: Women supporting other women and advocating for women's rights.
Mayan: Supporting other women and being supported, promoting equality and having equal opportunities, reclaiming our femininity and sexuality—the way we view it, free from what is expected of us. 

WHY DO YOU THINK GIRLS AND WOMEN CAN BE SO CATTY WITH ONE ANOTHER?
Julia: I think that the media tries to pit women against one another. This notion has become worse and worse with the invention of reality TV.
Mayan: It goes back to what we see and what is offered to us. We see women in mainstream media being one tone: pretty, attractive, lacking in personality and competing over men, rather than having actual opinions and motivations. Because we still don't have the same opportunities as men, we feel like we have to compete with each other, not realizing there's room for all of us to be aspirational. The beauty industry teaches us to hate everything about ourselves and to compare ourselves to extreme ideals that don't exist in reality. I think that love and self-acceptance are the first steps to supporting one another, 

SOMETHING YOU REGRET?
Julia: Times when I was too much of a pushover, being scared to speak up. 
Mayan: Honestly, nothing.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, IS TOO SERIOUS TO BE JOKED ABOUT?
Mayan: Rape.

 

 

THE SKY
Julia:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

 

 

YOUR LOVE WHEN YOU WERE 16
Julia:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING CHLOE SEVIGNY
 

A SECRET
Julia:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

 

A ROAD TRIP SONG
Mayan:

A SONG YOU'RE EMBARASSED TO LIKE
Julia:

 

 

A CONFLICT
Mayan:

 

THE LAST TIME YOU WERE LONELY?
Mayan: I feel lonely all the time, but I've learned that it can be empowering. Loneliness puts me in a creative mood and I tend to write down things and ideas. When I feel vulnerable, I become more aware of my surroundings.

YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?
Julia: I will never object to a good slice of pizza.
Mayan: Pizza and ice cream.

THE BEST THING ABOUT NEW YORK?
Julia: When you are here, you feel like you are seeing everything first.
Mayan: People.

FRECKLES OR DIMPLES?
Julia: Both.
Mayan: Freckles.

'70S OR '80S?
Julia: Definitely '70s. 
Mayan: '70s.

TRUTH OR DARE?
Julia: Truth.
Mayan: Dare!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE STUCK IN A HOUSE THAT WAS CONSTANTLY DARK OR ONE THAT WAS CONSTANTLY BRIGHT?
Julia: Bright!
Mayan: Constanly bright. My apartment in New York has lots of windows and at night it's lit with all sorts of colored lights. Lighting is everything. 

 

SOMEONE YOU LOVE
Julia:

JULIA BAYLIS MAYAN TOLEDANO DOUBLE OR NOTHING

 

THE LAST LINK YOU SENT
Julia:

 

 

 

A MOMENT THAT CAPTURES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARTNER
Mayan:

 

 

 

YOUR LAST GOOGLE SEARCH
Julia: Spice Girls Spice World

 

YOUR FIRST EMAIL ADDRESS
Julia: aintnohollabackgurl@hotmail.com

 

 

A LINK THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR PARTNER LAUGH

 

THE THREE WEBSITES YOU VISIT THE MOST
Julia: GMAIL.COM, ITSMEANDYOU.COM, IWANNABESEDATED.TUMBLR.COM

 

WHO ELSE SHOULD WE INTERVIEW FOR THIS AND WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD WE ASK THEM?
Julia: Barbara Ferrera and Diana Vera. Ask them why they're so awesome.


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