Hidden Gem

As a young woman, there are many female celebrities and public figures I look up to for various reasons, from Tracee Ellis Ross, Oprah Winfrey, and Michelle Obama to Lana Condor, Marsai Martin, and Yara Shahidi (honestly, I could probably write a whole book about all the women who serve as public figures, influencers, musicians, actresses, etc. that I look up to).

However, there are several other women and young girls I admire whose names aren’t well known. This page if for me to honor them; they are hidden gems that need to be recognized for simply being their empowering, amazing, inspiring selves.

Urban Dictionary defined a gem as “something amazingly beautiful, nearly perfect, or ridiculously incredible.” The hidden gems I look up to match that definition precisely. At the beginning of each month, I will update this page with a new hidden gem that I think the world needs to know about. I ask each gem ten questions during an interview, so she can be recognized for who she is. Without further ado, here is this month’s not-so-hidden gem.

Some people would look at that and probably think it means “Rest and Relaxation,” but not in this situation. “R and R” stands for “Rebecca and Reeve,” the first two hidden gems Simply Jamilah has featured. Rebecca was the first woman to be featured in March, and Reeve followed soon after, being featured in April.

All three of us are close friends. We have two group chats together (one called “queens” and another called “kweens”). We all grew close this past school year at the scholarship job we worked at (the one I often expressed my strong dislike for), but our friendship started to blossom during the fall semester. Honestly, there were times I probably would not have made it without these two (not sure if that is grammatically correct, but hopefully you know what I mean).

Anyway, though we are all friends, we are still different from each other (I think it’s kind of boring being friends with people who are exactly like you), and that is very evident in both of their interviews. I will have both of their interviews linked below, but I wanted to showcase snippets of them.

To start both of their interviews, I asked them about recently released movies. I asked Rebecca why she was so upset about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, to which she responded, “First of all, I always like Disney stuff. That’s, like, my favorite. Also, there’s been such a build up. Like, how long have we waited for this movie, like, 12, 14 years? I think that needed to be rewarded. Let’s acknowledge the great strides we’ve made, even though we’ve waited forever for that.” Needless to say, she was rooting for Incredibles 2. For Reeve, I wanted her to share her opinion about the movie After. Before the interview, I knew she wasn’t a fan of it, but this is what she had to say about what she strongly dislikes about it: “Everything. Literally everything. Specifically about the movie, the actors look like they’re brother and sister. Also, they’re about as bland as microwave white rice. It’s normalizing and romanticizing abusive relationships. It’s just poorly written. It’s a horribly predictive plot that’s been used 800 times before. If you play Russian roulette on Wattpad, 8 out of 10 are the same story.”

Considering I said we all grew close this past school year at the same scholarship job, it’s safe to assume we all go to the same university. Rebecca is a double major of marketing and statistics with a minor in leadership because she “would like to go into business analytics.” Reeve is an anthropology major; she chose it because “It kind of encompasses a lot of different stuff… in that it’s just the general study of humans. You have cultural stuff and psychological stuff.” Then there’s me– the interior architecture major with the radio/TV/film minor.

As I said earlier, we are all in two group chats together. While I was writing the interview questions, I thought back to the first group chat we created (queens) and the countless times we have called each other “queens” or “a queen.” This got me thinking about how supportive we are of each other, compared to some girls who have a difficult time supporting other girls; I decided to ask Reeve and Rebecca about it. Essentially, they both had the same answer, but it was told in two different ways. Rebecca said, “It’s a big thing of, like, we’re just now being allowed in a societal sense to be proud of one another because traditionally, you can have one person at the top. Now we can bring more than one person to a position of power. Why would we not help each other along? It’s not so much of we’re mad at each other; it’s we’ve not been physically allowed to do that, so how can we now be able to integrate that so seamlessly.” Reeve said, “I think it’s because of deeply instilled misogyny. It’s sort of like you have that knee-jerk reaction and then you have to step back. Even with more progressive teaching and stuff, it’s just deeply ingrained in us, and we just feel the need that we have to be competitive with each other to be better for men or to be better for ourselves because there’s more competition.”

As we near the end, I wanted to share the shows Rebecca and Reeve thought were worth binging in 2019:
Rebecca- Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Reeve- Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The X-Files

To finish it off, one last topic– relationships. Rebecca doesn’t really care for romantic relationships, and Reeve is currently in a long distance relationship (one that she’s making work really well). Since Reeve is the only one of the three of us who is in a romantic relationship, I wanted to know what her expectations were for a guy in a relationship, and she responded with (take notes!!), “To be my equal and treat me as their equal.”

I hope you enjoyed the past few months of meeting Rebecca and Reeve, two incredible women the world should know about. If you haven’t read their full interviews yet, A) you missed out and B) they are linked below (the questions are in the order they were asked, not written).


March 2019: Rebecca E.
April 2019: Reeve

Do you know a woman or young girl empowering others and providing light to the world? If so, I would love to hear about her. It’s time for women to uplift women, and I would love to read about a woman uplifting you. If you think she’s someone worth being featured on this page, let me know. I would love to interview her.