Coming-of-age stories typically pinpoint a teenager’s transition from awkward, naive highschooler to empowered, capable adult. However, these narratives tend to leave out the fact that, because of societal pressure to be small and delicate, women tend to take longer to feel comfortable taking up space within society. This theme of coming of space threads throughout OK, I Feel Better Now — asserting a need to break the cycle of society’s gendered expectations.
After learning to play the guitar at a young age, Hoppenjans began writing songs around the age of 12. At the same time, the budding musician picked up a copy of a popular music magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists issue and was disappointed to find only two women, Joan Jett and Joni Mitchell, listed among 98 men. Disheartened, she thought this meant women couldn’t be rockstars. Now, with OK, I Feel Better Now, Hoppenjans is making strides to become one of those guitar-wielding role models her younger self regularly sought out — while inspiring young women to ignore toxic stereotypes, embrace their identity, and claim their space in the world.