Dan Reilly There are thousands of artists in Austin for SXSW, and I'll be…
- Posted on May 27th 2011 3:00PM by Melody Lau
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But when it comes to social issues and politics, the singer-songwriter stays relatively mum. That might be why some were surprised when Cosentino recently released a YouTube video in support of The Planned Parenthood of NYC Action Fund and announced Best Coast would be holding a June 16 benefit concert in New York to raise money for the health organization.
"I feel like it's better to keep your opinion on matters like this to yourself," Consentino tells Spinner. "But when it comes to something like Planned Parenthood, which I believe so strongly in, it's really hard to keep my mouth shut."
Consentino immediately jumped at the idea of putting together a benefit when she learned that the organization, which help educate young women and provide vital health services like pap smears, has come under fire. As lawmakers attempt to defund Planned Parenthood (not just in the States, but internationally, too), Consentino began to brainstorm with her manager about ways to bring awareness to the issue, adding that she "went back and forth about ideas" until they settled on the concert.
"The benefit show felt like the best way to help and get the word out," she says. "I have been a supporter of Planned Parenthood since the very start. As a woman who has grown up in a family that has dealt with the struggles of female cancers and such, I've always been a huge supporter of any organization that helps women prevent female diseases."
Cosentino reveals that she's been going to Planned Parenthood since she was a teenager and says the organization has been "nothing but good for me, and so many other men and women that I know."
"It just breaks my heart to think that people don't support such a lifesaving organization," she says. "That's why I want to put on this show -- to hopefully sway non-believers and help them learn more about Planned Parenthood and what they do."
Upon announcing the June 16 show, Consentino was met with both positive and negative reactions. But in the age of Twitter and social networking, she's gotten used to people weighing in on her actions.
"People are always going to voice their opinion, especially on the Internet when they can be anonymous and hide behind a computer," she says. "Some people were really upset about my support for Planned Parenthood and some were really happy and excited; I've received more positive feedback than I did negative though, which was awesome.
Consentino views her "celebrity" status as an important asset in spreading messages like this. She understands that while some people may not take her seriously it shouldn't stop her from trying to bring attention to this and other important causes.
"I have sat around for way too long in my life and let serious issues pass me by and have thought to myself, 'Wow that really sucks,' without really doing anything about it. I support tons of organizations, and hopefully someday in the near future I will be able to work with them as well."