30 Under 30: Lauren Mayberry

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Lauren Mayberry performing

HOW on earth are we meant to write a profile about someone like Lauren Mayberry in just 500 words? Like seriously. How. Send help.

A no-makeup, no-filter selfie by Lauren MayberryFirst things first: if you don’t know who Chvrches are, go listen to one of their songs on Spotify or YouTube or whatever. Pretty incredible, right? Lauren Mayberry is their lead singer. They’ve played some massive gigs – Bonnaroo, Coachella, SXSW, Firefly, T in the Park, and Lollapalooza – and have toured all over the place.

That kind of success for a 28 year old from Thornhill would be more than enough for Lauren to be considered an inspiring woman under 30, but of course she is also a total badass feminist whose fame has been characterised by a total refusal to take any shit.

Like that time she wrote an op ed in The Guardian after Chvrches launched their first album addressing sexism and misogyny in the music industry.

‘What I do not accept […] is that it is all right for people to make comments ranging from “a bit sexist but generally harmless” to openly sexually aggressive. That it is something that “just happens”. Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not. Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to “just deal with”.’

Can we get a massive hell yeah?

Or the time she was interviewed by Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker (it’s fine we’re not jealous NBD) and was completely up front about her feminism.

‘It’s inevitable that people are going to find out about my natural, god-given feminist rage. People are like, “Why are you angry all the time?” It’s like, I’m not angry. I’d like to think I’m a reasonably nice person, but unfortunately when those conversations come up, it does make me angry. It should make people angry.’

Or then there was the time that she wrote an incredibly powerful and moving account of her experiences with emotional and psychological abuse in a Lenny letter last year, and reached out to the millions of men and women who have experienced psychological violence to tell them they are not alone.

Image of Lauren MayberryOr when she and Meredith Graves were an anti-sexist dream team in this conversation with PaperMag. Or when Chvrches and Death Cab for Cutie, who were playing together in North Carolina earlier this year, pledged all proceeds from those shows into organisations promoting LGBTQ rights in response to the ‘hateful and dangerous’ House Bill 2 (aka ‘the bathroom bill’).

Or when she helped found the mind-blowingly awesome women-led collective TYCI in Glasgow (who we love, and who you should check out right now. As in right. Now.) Or when her response to a heckler at a gig last year was so beautiful you could cry.

We couldn’t get in touch with Lauren to chat with her in person, probably because she’s, I don’t know, playing the main stage at Firefly Music Festival or something. But she’s already shared so many incredible messages for young women in Scotland, so we will just pick one of our favs to leave you with, from her interview with Corin Tucker:

‘Nobody is strong 100 percent of the time, or falling apart 100 percent of the time; sometimes you’re doing both at once.’

You can keep up with Lauren by following her on Twitter at @laurenevemay or by checking out her band, CHVRCHES, on their website , TwitterInstagramFacebook, or YouTube. You can also hear her on some brilliant TYCI podcasts on their website!

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