My goal when I first started blogging was to share my love for fashion and menswear one outfit at a time. Initially, I didn’t see much beyond fashion. I don’t think it was intentional, but mainly because in the beginning it was just a hobby. Little did I know that two things would happen. First, my views of fashion would go beyond product and more into viewing fashion with activism. Second, that I would want to become more of an activist than a fashion blogger. I guess God has a way of showing you new spaces when He knows that you are ready to conquer them.
Just a month ago, in honor of Women’s History Month the New York Department of Health held a summit in recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The event provided emotional and professional support to women in HIV/AIDS and people of color organizations.
I was invited along with dapperQ to help lead an interactive discussion about beauty and self-care. Some of the topics discussed were: how does society define beauty? What this means personally to them? Embodied cognition, discrimination, and the importance of self-care. How people can utilize social media to create communities of common values in the democratization of beauty.
I’ve really enjoyed sitting on panels over the last couple of months, but having an interactive discussion meant even more to me. It can be hard for a person to open up and be truthful around total strangers because of fear, criticism, and judgment. More often than not, it is even harder for women to open up because of the insecurities they may be facing due to “societies standards” especially with regard to beauty.
It was amazing to hear the women in the audience share their experiences and stories with us. It seemed as if they felt right at home once we shared a few of our own. I often say, if I have to be the example to make someone else feel comfortable enough to be themselves then so be it.
I cannot wait for my next panel discussion or summit. I truly believe this is what I was called to do!
Breakdown barriers and create awareness to be free enough to be you!