Due to my new projects, I’ve been observing some trends on both social media and on my last trip to Italy. I’m also working on an upcoming project which requires my best knowledge, perspective, and opinions regarding the world of fashion. In order to do so many things, I’ve got to dissect, understand, and embrace my passion for fashion and all of its aspects. I needed to take time, be vigilant and present in my own environment.
I’ve been spending my senior-year-winter-break at home this time, differently from last year, when I was in Brazil. Both of these last two trips to my motherlands have been informative and constructive. They made me see my own countries with nostalgic eyes, an outsider mindset, and a personal affection for them. I went to Italy with a warm heart and a fervent mind, ready and willing to absorb as much information as possible, especially about my origins, family, friends, and purely myself.
Given this attitude, I started taking more seriously my writing and giving myself much more credits and pats to myself. I’m in a point of my life where everything is unsure, I’m very much alone in my choices, and I’m forging my thoughts and feelings by solely myself: as it should be.
In the past, I had one toxic trait: I used to compare myself to others. It was not because I wanted to be pretty or successful. In high school, I wanted to be accepted as I was, but a small group of people was willing to get me. I’ve always wanted to be seen and talked about for my brain, never for my looks. I always thought I was a bit ugly, you know, the geek girl, but I was never a sad kid. My shelter was my home-library, with whose books I could travel back and forth in my imagination and that was enough to me.
However, my toxic trait of comparing myself to others came up during my junior year in college, a moment in my life where I felt lonely and ashamed of myself in the most somber way. I thought I didn’t have any right to feel happy, loved, nor be interesting. All the things I cared for and loved seemed to fall and I deserved to not be happy no more. I was bursting of ideas, but I couldn’t execute them, so I felt discouraged to go on and I just wanted to go stand by. Basically, I was deeply depressed. So yeah, my temporary solution during this time of confusion was to compare myself to others, especially to other girls in the fashion industry. And it’s been sometime now that this toxic trait of mine has dissolved. And whenever comes back, I give myself a pep talk. I’m glad it’s over tho.
The beautiful side in us
Everybody is beautiful and nobody is beautiful. I grew up in an environment where black or brown women were not the subject of likeability. In the US, I found out almost the opposite. However, especially after my first heartbreak and some of my friends’ behaviors, I found (a bad) refuge in thoughts that would go like “I was left and dumped by all of them because I don’t look like these ones, I’m not exotic or wild like them, I still go to school, I have a baby face, etc.” And honestly, that was the worst thing I could’ve ever done. My very few friends who supported me during this time said that this behavior was legit because I was hurt and genuinely sad and I was missing being important to someone, but this kind of reaction was the worst one to choose, even though the easiest one to be dragged into. It is easy to blame or to wish to look like someone. However, after months of training and healthy isolation, I came up with a new mantra:
“You are you. You can’t be them. They are them. They can’t be you. It is logical. “You” is you. They are “they”. Close your eyes. Are you in your body still? Good, so you are still you. Deal with what you have. Your body is yours and you gotta make it work for you because the only person moving for you is you. You are yourself. They are themselves. They got what they got. You’ve got what they don’t have. You can appreciate what is up because you’ve been so down. You’ve felt and are alone, but never lonely because you have you“.
And this philosophy has helped many friends of mine and made me rise more and more. They could see my confidence and they could be more confident. They were happier and willing to listen to me more because they would feel more apt to approach to me ( I tend to isolate myself lots when I’m sad). I’m writing this because someone who feels down can actually benefit from these words. I know how it feels. If you need, read those words again as if it were a math problem: when you feel and love tons you gotta read and think shit in the most straight way as possible. And damn, that changes! You even love more, sigh. But a better and clearer love comes with this behavior. Love for yourself and for whoever/whatever.
Genetics helps you go fast, but it ain’t steady
Mother Nature gave us great bodies. They are all diverse and with them, we can do many things. When our bodies aren’t that simple to move with, they push us to engage other activities and mindset that force us to be punctual and positive in our lives. Give thanks.
I wasn’t given the gift of being tall or super skinny. I’m not even thick, voluptuous or lucky in love. Still, I give thanks to the universe for what I got. My height pushed me to focus on one kind of modeling, for example. My body structure and skin made me realize how rich and inspiring I could be with my diversity amongst different communities. And my perfect-imperfect body gave me the chance to explore my writing, making my hands the most powerful tools I could ever use: hence, my love for fashion and journalism, with which I could express myself through the art of writing and glamour.
I’m telling you this, dear reader: I learned to fully love myself the moment I embraced the fact that I needed to nurture everything that I liked to do, including crafting my intelligence and heart, my most personal and special things in my persona. I rather pay attention to what I think, love, and believe in with a specific intention. That’s the only way I can enter a room and make an impression without looking fly AF. And that’s the sexiest attitude I can break in any industry, especially the fashion one. It may take time, but my heart will be always full and that’s key.
Will I make it?
Am I pretty enough? Yes. Because the world is full of pretty girls and honestly, everyone is gorgeous. Do I have enough luck? You do, because you’re healthy. If you got health you got everything. If you got a roof, you do have some privilege. If you got the capacity to love and inspire others, you do have some power in yourself. Working in the fashion industry made me realize my pretty sides of my bodies and appreciate them. If I don’t like something, I can embrace its differences and create a genuine narrative around it. Fashion forced me to understand and take my privilege into consideration. As a light-skinned, multilingual, biracial young woman living in NYC I’ve experienced lots of envy and jealousy from girls and boys in the industry and on campus. When sad people see you happy they can do the weirdest shit to bring you down, especially when you’re out there for the sake of love and passion. However, my focus on fashion taught me that through my small privileges I could inspire others instead of being judged by others I shouldn’t pay attention to. Everything that I do or say must have a purpose. That’s it. Ty, next!
So yes, I believe that I will make it. I don’t know how. But I’ll be ready for any change while keeping my focus constant and tight. I’ll keep surrounding myself with only the right amount of people and skim the bad news in my life’s timeline.
I talked about my experience and what I am living right now. But this is a post to everyone who feels like shit. Who feels lonely and far from family and friends. Who has lost a person who loves tons. Because this time last year, I felt like I had nothing to give to the world. I wish I had come across a post like this. So if you’re sad: it’s gonna be better, when you’ll be tired of feeling sad. Of giving with no receiving. Of existing and not living.
It fucking helps.
And love will come around. Self-love, at least.
the curly flower