This mom is recognizing badass women in the most colorful way possible.

This is not your typical art project.

Michelle Villemaire is a mom living in Los Angeles who wants to teach her two daughters about women's history.

Sure, she could just crack open a text book or conduct a few Google searches. But that's not how Michelle rolls. She's more...well, original in her approach. 

Michelle is a mom on a colorful mission. All photos from Michelle Villemaire, and used with permission.


Both of her daughters love art, so she decided to use it as a teaching tool to reference strong women of the past. 

And that's how she came up with yarn bombing.


Yarn bombing means placing colorful yarn creations on park benches, parking meters, and trees throughout the city. But it's about more than just decoration.

Each yarn bomb also carries an inspirational quotes recognizing great women throughout history.

One of many yarn bombs in Michelle's community.

Her girls are completely onboard with the idea. 

"My daughters love it," Michelle told Upworthy. "They think it's so beautiful and magical, but most importantly they love the message behind it."

Michelle's 8-year old daughter is excited to help out.

And the community? They're loving it too.


"I've received a ton of compliments and a lot of people braved Los Angeles rush hour traffic just to see the yarn bombs in my neighborhood," She said. "If you live here, you know there's no bigger compliment than that."

And with that, Michelle and her team of 15 volunteers took to the streets to spread good yarn vibes everywhere. 

Check out a few of her favorite bombs (and women). 

Keep in mind, these designs aren't meant to resemble the women they represent in any way. 

Eugenie Clark 1922-2015

Clark was an Icthyologist (a scientist who studies fish) popularly known as “The Shark Lady." She was a pioneer in scuba diving for research purposes and used her fame to promote marine conservation.

This particular yarn bomb was created by Karyn Newbill Helmig, a high school marine biology teacher. And yes, it's a shark — not a bird.

Yuri Kochiyama 1921-2014

Kochiyama was a human rights activist who spent three years in a Japanese internment camp during WWII.

“I didn't wake up and decide to become an activist. But you couldn't help notice the inequities, the injustices. It was all around you.”  - Yuri Kochiyama

Rosa Parks 1913-2005

On December 1, 1955, Parks, An African-American woman, refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger. 

Her act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. 

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.” - Rosa Parks

Amelia Earhart 1897-1937

Earhart was the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, she disappeared over the Pacific ocean during a flight in 1937. 

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” - Amelia Earhart

Mae Jemison 1956 - present

Jemison was an physician and the first African-American woman to travel in space. If that wasn't enough, she also served in the Peace Corps, holds nine honorary degrees, and almost became a professional dancer. 

“People may see astronauts and because the majority are white males, they tend to think it has nothing to do with them. But it does.” - Mae Jemison

Helen Keller 1880-1968

Keller was an amazing social activist who was deaf and blind.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.”  - Helen Keller

​The benefits of Michelle's work don't end with beautifying the city and teaching people about women's history.

For starters, knitting and crocheting is known to help reduce anxiety and enhance self-esteem. Michelle knows how important that is as she raises her two young daughters.

"I'm going to make sure my little ones create many handcrafts," she said. "Just so we have a nice reserve of self-esteem for high school."

And once the yarn creations are ready to be taken down? Michelle transforms them and donates them to women's homeless shelters in Los Angeles.

This yarn bomb project is touching people through the community. It even got the attention of the Mayor of Los Angeles.

People all over Los Angeles love Michelle's work. Even Mayor Eric Garcetti gave her some props by sharing her yarn bomb video on his Facebook page. 

Kudos to Michelle for bringing her community together and celebrating Women's History Month in an extremely colorful way. 

More

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended


Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

SK-II

"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

SK-II
True
SK-II