"Women, Remember Who You Are—Total Badasses": Cleo Wade's Unfiltered Advice

Photo: Courtesy of Cleo Wade

"If your words were a spell, what kind of magic would they make?" Cleo Wade asks us. The young poet, artist, and activist has built a cult following on the premise that words can empower people to be better, kinder, and more active in their communities. From her East Village apartment, the New Orleans native publishes poems, mantras, and affirmations—unapologetically in all caps and handwritten—to her 334,000 followers on Instagram. "Self-love: It costs nothing and you gain everything," says one of her latest. Her spell is one of love, kindness, and support.

This mission has propelled her to Instagram stardom (though she likely wouldn't want it labeled as such—she dislikes the term "It girl"). Two years ago, The Cut named her the "millennial Oprah." Last year, she delivered her first TED Talk. Today, she releases her first book, Heart Talk, a collection of over 100 original poems, mantras, and affirmations delivering digestible daily pep talks for a better world.

In a digital age where everyone is so focused inward, it's refreshing to see an empowered woman shifting her attention outward: on how we feel, why we feel, and how we can heal. Not one to shy away from social justice issues like gun control, inequality, and the criminal justice system, Wade speaks out through her words. But she also listens—tapping into the collective instability of our world and inspiring people to be kinder. "Our words are our first stepping stone in how we build the world and it is so important we use them with very precise positivity as much as possible," she told MyDomaine.

When we asked her to write a mantra for MyDomaine in the wake of her new book, it was straightforward: "Women, remember who you are (total badasses)."

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