Attitude and Artistry:
“I think the most iconic thing [about my style] is my attitude. I grew up in a culture where women are expected to wear certain things and expected to behave in certain ways … The more I found myself internally, the more it is reflected to the outside world. I’m confident, outgoing, friendly, and open minded and when it comes to my style I feel like I project the same characteristics.” – Kader / @ForeignBlogger
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The color pink makes everything look pretty 🎀 This look using only NYX COSMETICS @nyxcosmetics Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette Crystal Pink Glitter liner (to brighten up the inner part of my lids) Gel Liner Can't stop won't stop foundation and concealer Highlight and contour pro palette Chic Appeal lip lacquer
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This picture was taken last year around this time. I just realized how much I've changed emotionally. A lot can change in a year. Changes can be good or bad. However, staying positive at all times is the key. I've been practicing positive affirmations daily for the most part and it helped my mental health so much! Everything is aligning, things are getting better, positive changes are happening as long as you're ready to receive 💕🌸✨😇
Something she loves about her culture is that “Everyone cares for each other. There’s no way you would be forgotten even in a very crowded family. There’s so much controlling but deep down i know it’s because there is so much love and care. However, we just don’t know how to respect one another when it comes living life differently.”
She expressed disdain in explaining her clothing choices, saying people “don’t need to ‘understand’ to stop feeling judgmental. Why not just accept whatever that you see instead of trying to modify or create meanings to understand it.”
When it comes down to it, she says, “Fashion and style are very personal so I’m pretty sure I do have things some may not like.” and though she’s confident and expresses herself without fear of what others think, it’s still damaging when people misunderstand you.
“Definitely yes [I’ve felt misunderstood by how I look]! As I said before, women are being judged all the time when it comes to fashion. If you show “too much” skin they may call you names or just assume things that are not true. This happens to many of us including myself … At first, people think I’m mean or I don’t look ‘approachable’. But I think it’s all because judgmental thoughts.”
Full Interview Transcript:
Alissa: If you had to describe your style in one word, what would it be? – Why?
Kader: It’s hard for me to choose just one word but I would probably pick “mix”. I think I can be really classy, sexy, street, casual depending on my mood.
Alissa: What matters most when you’re choosing what to wear?
Kader: Where I’m going matters when I pick my outfits. However, depending on my mood I can dress completely different to the same event.
Alissa: What kinds of clothes do you feel most comfortable in?
Kader: I like when clothes hug my figure. I like looking and feeling glam and sexy. I love wearing dresses. But there are times I enjoy being in sweatpants. I am not a fan of jeans. I also love to wear different colors. Colors make me happy. I enjoy combining different colors on my outfits.
Alissa: What are you wearing right now?
Kader: I’m wearing a high waisted satin black joggers which fits tight and pink leopard print open back crop top. I paired it with black heeled sandals and a silver clutch. I’m also wearing silver dangling earrings.
Alissa: If you had to describe this outfit in one word, what would it be?
Kader: Chic. I think this outfit is sexy but not too much also glam but comfy.
Alissa: What’s your favorite part of this outfit?
Kader: First, the color because I love pink. Second the fitting. I love how the satin jogger hugs my curves and snatches my waist.
Alissa: How did you feel when you got up and put on this outfit?
Kader: This is my second outfit of the day. I feel great in both outfits. If I don’t feel good in an outfit I’m not wearing it. It’s very important for me to feel good in an outfit.
Alissa: What motivated you to wear it?
Kader: I’m going out with friends tonight so I had to change what I had on earlier.
Alissa: When you look at the color/s you are wearing, what does it make you think of?
Kader: Hot pink leopard crop top is giving me life right now. It looks young, wild, and fun but then my black satin joggers balance out the whole outfit. Also my silver bag and earrings add a nice touch as well.
Alissa: When you look at the print/pattern you are wearing, what does it make you think of?
Kader: Leopard and snake print are very trendy this year. I feel trendy, fun, and risky since hot pink leopard print is not very the norm.
Alissa: Does this outfit differ much from the other outfits you wear?
Kader: Yes, I would usually wear a dress when I go out but I wanted to switch it up and wear pants this time. However, I think my style can be edgy and glam at the same time so this is just one of those moments.
Alissa: What colors do you gravitate most towards wearing? – What are your “happy colors”?
Kader: Pink. Pink. Pink. I love pink. Seeing pink or any pinkish color makes me happy. I love wearing colors in general but pink is definitely my fave. I also love neutrals too. Neutral colors feels so grown, sexy, glam.
Alissa: What colors do you avoid?
Kader: For the longest, I refused to wear red. I have no idea why. I hated the color and I thought it looked awful on me. I started loving it more and more as I get older. Honestly, I don’t have any problem with any color. I love all the colors. As long as they go with my vision I would wear them.
Alissa: What kind of fashion item would you consider to be a “must have”?
Kader: It depends on your lifestyle but, personally, a pair of heels is very important to have. A pair that you can wear with many outfits and on different events. A nice bag is very important as well. If you’re not into colors, you can always spice it up with accessories and adding color to your outfit with your bag would be very chic.
Alissa: Do you have any patterns or symbols that you especially love adding to your style?
Kader: I loved adding accessories to my outfits. And recently I’m in love with leopard and snakeskin prints.
Alissa: What do you think is most iconic about your style?
Kader: I think the most iconic thing is my attitude. I grew up in a culture where women are expected to wear certain things and expected to behave in certain ways. When I finally found myself and my own style my attitude change as well. I don’t care what people think about what I wear or how I look. Especially women, across the globe, are judged all the time for the amount of skin they show or how they carry themselves. I want to say f*** all the stereotypes. What you choose to wear is called fashion but how you carry it is called style. I encourage everyone to find their own style and be unique.
- Alissa: Can you describe the cultural expectations you faced growing up?
- Kader: Women are expected to be in a certain way in very culture. Yes depending on the culture expectations can get worse or better or any expectation women face is very unfortunate. In my case, women were expected to wear more conservative clothes. People would look at you differently if you show “too much” skin. I really don’t know what “too much” stands for however all I know is people get intimidated by confident women. So I was expected to wear conservative clothes at all times.
- Alissa: When did you decide to say “f*** it” to all the stereotypes? What was this journey like, how did people react, and how did you feel in the process? Was it difficult at first to not care what others think?
- Kader: I decided to say f*** it when I realized that this is not who I am. I like to wear mini dresses, crop tops, skirts, etc. I felt good in clothes that I choose to wear. Dressing up got more and more exciting for me the more I got to wear what I wanted. People always have so much say whether you do something good or bad so why not do what you want.
- Alissa: What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had or lesson you’ve learned in rediscovering yourself?
- Kader: The most important lesson I’ve learned is you cannot please everyone so you should not rely on anyone’s approval to be happy. Happiness and unconditional love are key to life. No matter what, be happy and have unconditional love for everyone. I think people judge one another because they lack unconditional love. When you feel unconditional love for people, you never even think about judging anyone.
Alissa: Do you have any favorite pieces that are sentimental to you? What’s their story?
Kader: I have a couple necklaces from my parents and I love them so much. One of the necklaces has all three of our names. They gifted me that on my birthday. We live in different countries so whenever I wear that necklace I feel like they’re next to me. They also gifted me pearl necklace which I have never worn as yet. Also, a couple accessories that my boyfriend bought me have bigger meaning than their price tags or brands.
- Alissa: What are your favorite memories or things about your parents that come to mind when you think of them?
- Kader: My parents are very old school but they try to understand the modern world as much as they could. I love my parents very much and am so grateful for all they’ve done for me.
- Alissa: What are some things your parents passed on to you that have helped you in your journey of expressing your best and truest self?
- Kader: I can be different, but I should never forget who I am and where I come from. A person who forgets where they come from can never go far in life. These are some of the sayings that they would repeat all the time. I also think it is very important to never forget your journey. What you’ve gone through this far is all because of a purpose you have and once you forget that you will lose your purpose. Never forget why you started it and all the ups and downs.
Alissa: What is the most important thing for you to feel good in an outfit?
Kader: I need to feel confident in the outfit that I’m wearing or it will show on my attitude. There is not a specific thing that would make me feel good in an outfit. Just how the fit makes me feel.
Alissa: How well do you think your style encapsulates who you are? / What do you think your style says about you?
Alissa: Have you ever worn something that didn’t feel like “you”? – What was it like?
Kader: One day I had to attend a cultural event and I wore a dress. It was a midi dress, loose-fitting and long sleeves. I was feeling uncomfortable, agitated, and annoyed all day. It was just a bad day.
Alissa: When did you start feeling like your clothes said something real about who you are?
Kader: Everyday we choose what to wear and it is a form of self expression. I see it as speaking without words. When we speak, we choose certain words to describe ourselves and through our styles, we visually express who we are. Once I started having these thoughts I wanted to express myself the way I wanted to not anyone or any cultural expectations wanted me to.
- Alissa: After you freed yourself from the cultural expectations that you felt were holding you back, what kinds of things were you hoping to visually speak about yourself through your clothes?
- Kader: I hoped to see that we all can be different and still share the same culture/religion/traditions. We don’t have to wear, talk, walk, listen to the same music, enjoy the same food to share the same culture. I can wear a mini dress and enjoy Chinese food but I’m still from the same culture as the people who try to judge me because I can enjoy other culture’s goods.
Alissa: What did it take to define your style? What was your journey?
Kader: The more I found myself internally, the more it reflected to the outside world. I’m confident, outgoing, friendly, and open-minded, and when it comes to my style I feel like I project the same characteristics.
Alissa: What do you think people’s impression is of you and your style?
Kader: Whenever I step outside I always get a bunch of compliments from random people and I love saying nice things back to them. I always get questions about my outfit or my makeup.
I think at first people think I might be mean but once they get to know me they always confess. I think people think you’re too “bitchy” when you dress up in a certain way–but not at all. You can dress like a pastor and be a pimp. I really think social media messes up people’s heads when it comes to judging people by their appearances. Nobody should judge my personality by the things I wear.
Alissa: What do you wish people would understand when they see you? / What do you wish people could see in you?
Kader: I wish people [would] just appreciate the fashion and not worry about anything else. I see people judge women who wear certain clothes or they would sexualize it instead of just appreciating the fashion.
Alissa: We all have insecurities… It’s part of what makes us human, and i believe it’s actually a huge thing that helps people connect and understand each other. What do you struggle with?
Kader: As a child I was overweight so I always struggled with my weight. My belly fat is something I do not like. However, I’m not crying over the fact that I have a belly. It is what is. Accept it or change it if you can. I love eating too much to get rid of my belly at the moment, but maybe in the future I would have a flat stomach.
Alissa: Do you own any fashion items that you absolutely love, but think others wouldn’t like? – What is it?
Kader: Fashion and style are very personal so I’m pretty sure I do have things some may not like.
Alissa: Have you ever felt misunderstood because of your style or how you look? – How does it feel to be misunderstood?
Kader: Definitely yes! As I said before, women are being judged all the time when it comes to fashion. If you show “too much” skin they may call you names or just assume things that are not true. This happens to many of us including myself.
Alissa: What’s something you think people misunderstand about you?
Kader: At first, people think I’m mean or I don’t look “approachable”. But I think it’s all because
- Alissa: I’m curious: Where do you think judgment comes from? Or what do you think causes people to become judgmental?
- Kader: I definitely think judgement comes from lack of love. If one has unconditional love, they would never think about judging a person because they would have love for everyone no matter what people do differently. I believe unconditional love is a natural state for our souls but our ego blinds us to the point where we cannot feel unconditional love anymore. I’m not saying to agree with everyone’s opinions rather I’m saying that have pure intentions for everyone. When you have that, no one’s differences would bother you to the point where judgmental thoughts appear.
Alissa: What type of people or group of people do you feel most misunderstood or judged by? (this question isn’t meant to judge other people, but instead to give an audience perspective for me to write from and help understand you more deeply.)
Kader: I prefer not to name any group of people but I would say that people who blindly follow any beliefs that don’t give everyone an equal ground are the people who judge others. They believe in certain things so blindly to the point where they start judging others who don’t think, behave, or look like them.
Alissa: If people were not judgmental, what do you think your style would tell them about you?
Kader: My style would show them confidence, femininity, and being true to yourself.
Alissa: If you saw somebody dressed just like you/in an outfit similar to yours, what would you assume about them?
Kader: I would not assume anything. I would just think she/he has a nice taste :).
Alissa: What do you think makes a person “beautiful”?
Kader: A person’s intentions make them beautiful. Setting an intention is very powerful. We wake up every day doing the same things, feeling the same emotions and expect to have magical changes in our lives. People are not aware of the power of setting intentions. Set an intention to be a positive person. Set an intention to be more mindful. Set an intention to add value in other people’s lives. When you set intentions for beautiful things, you become more beautiful inside and out. Also, beautiful things will start happening to you.
Alissa: What do you think is the most beautiful thing about life/in the world?
Kader: I think most beautiful thing is to add value in people’s lives. Imagine how the world would be if everyone had unconditional love and pure intentions for one another. Love is the most beautiful thing. Feeling grateful is the most beautiful thing. I can go on and on. Hard to choose one thing.
Alissa: If you could paint a picture of what you wish life was like, what would it look like?
Kader: If I could paint a picture, it would look like a ball of energy in the middle of the universe surrounded by many different planets and stars which contains many colors and look dynamic. We are all energy. Everything is energy. I wish everyone realized how powerful we are once we deeply connect with the universe.
Alissa: What would a perfect day be like for you?
Kader: A perfect day for me will start at 6 am with meditation then I would sleep a couple more hours. I love doing my makeup so it usually takes me 1-2 hours which I never understand how time passes by. I also enjoy the process of picking my outfit for the day. I would try multiple outfits to find the one for the day. I would enjoy a little dance battle with myself in front of my mirror :). I love going to the city and walk around find little, cute places to eat or drink. Take bunch of pics/videos. I don’t require a lot to have a perfect day :). I also love going out at night to dance and be wild time to time but not necessarily.
Alissa: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Kader: Anywhere that has a fair amount of nature and city life. That’s why I love New York even though it gets draining time to time.
Alissa: If you could go all out, dressing as “crazy” as you want and not having to care about whether it was practical or not, what do you think would be amazing to wear?
Kader: This is a tricky question :). I think I would wear something that has a long train. It would probably be light pink tulle with many layers and a deep slit on the side. I would definitely have rhinestones all over the top part. I need to think more about this to come up with something real crazy :).
Alissa: Life gives us a lot of worthy things to pay attention to–Which are the most important to you? /What do you value most?
Kader: I used to worry and value materialistic things. However, I realized that no matter what you own/have if you can’t find happiness find within them, what’s the purpose of life? I value anything that brings me joy, love, and happiness. The more we are attached to things or others, the more our happiness is dependent on external things. Find happiness within and value whatever helps you keep that level of consciousness.
Alissa: What do you hope your existence brings to the world?
Kader: I hope my existence brings value to others. I don’t want to just leave this earth without adding value to anyone.
Alissa: What’s something you love/value about who you are?
Kader: Even though I grew up in an environment where people judge one another all the time, I intuitively knew that was wrong. I would like to say it is very easy for me to accept the people as who they are instead of labeling them.
Alissa: What’s something people couldn’t possibly know by just looking at you?
Kader: Hmm… This question made me think for some reason. At first, I wanted to say people possibly wouldn’t know anything by just looking at me but that’s wrong. You can tell or assume so much about the way a person looks. Their hair, skin color, accent, and even style can give some information about the person. But at the same time all those assumptions can be wrong as well. I’m not sure how to answer to this question. However, people will only know very little only by looking at any person.
Alissa: What would be an AMAZING compliment regarding your style?
Kader: An amazing compliment regarding my style would a simple “you look good” or “I love your outfit”.
Alissa: What would be an AMAZING compliment regarding your personality?
Kader: Knowing people can be truly themselves around me makes me happy. I love when people say “I feel very comfortable around you”. I think many of us have many different masks that we wear around others and I love to make people comfortable around me no matter how weird they think they are.
Alissa: Could i ask a couple more questions to finish tying together the story?
Alissa: What are some things you love about the culture you grew up in?
Kader: Everyone cares for each other. There’s no way you would be forgotten even in a very crowded family. There’s so much controlling but deep down i know it’s because there is so much love and care. However, we just don’t know how to respect one another when it comes living life differently.
Alissa: Say somebody comes up to you, they value “modesty” and don’t understand why people wear form-fitting clothes, but they genuinely want to understand so they can stop feeling judgemental about it: How would you explain it to them?
Kader: I would only tell them that they don’t need to “understand” to stop feeling judgmental. Why not just accept whatever that you see instead of trying to modify or create meanings to understand it.
Alissa: Why do you think the culture you came from cares as much as it does about its version of “modesty”? What does modesty mean to them?
Kader: Every culture comes with modesty. Some cultures came along way and have different understanding of modesty and some cultures have very strict rules and path that they force you to follow.