Fashion and Feminism

Hi readers,

Growing up, I’ve realized that a ‘feminist’ is not an easy thing to be. First of all, you have to put up with a ton of people that don’t even understand the modern implications of the term ‘feminism’. And then we have the skeptics that ‘don’t believe in’ feminism. Last but not least, we have the hypocrites that define themselves as ‘feminists’ but simultaneously cannot help but depend on traditional, biased gender roles. But it’s even harder to be a feminist while being a fashion geek at the same time.

Feminism, defined by the Google dictionary, is ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men’. Makes sense, huh? Equality, as in being given equal opportunities and rights, as in being given an equal, fair, starting ground.

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Fashion and feminism are two things that I’m most passionate about. They both have the inherent ability to empower women in a way that no other concept can. The two concepts are often compared and merged to achieve a contemporary understanding of look-ism and women. What is it in feminism that relates it to fashion? Does fashion have its roots in feminism?

Anyone who is remotely involved in fashion would know that Mary Quant, the owner of a boutique in London called Bazaar, officially introduced the miniskirt to the world during the 1960s. The 1960s were an era of revolution in a number of fields such as  philosophy, politics, religion, and fashion. People would challenge previously accepted social standards, and it was during this time that young girls would experiment with shorter skirts and different styles. The miniskirt gradually rose to fame and became popular. I guess you could say the miniskirt was a representation of the earliest form of feminism. It showed that women no longer had to be suppressed and have limited garment choices. Women could choose to show their own legs if they wanted to. 

But the thing is, feminism in fashion in today’s world takes a slightly different form to that of the 1960s. This is the era of Miley Cyrus, of Lady Gaga, and all the other ‘provocative’ artists. While explicitly putting your body on display was originally considered feminist, people are also voicing out their opinions from the other side of the viewpoint, that the oversexed culture is not feminist at all. People are starting to argue that wearing revealing clothes to get attention goes against the principle of feminism itself, since, in a way, it’s sexual commodification.

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(image above: Mary Quant, creator of the miniskirt)

I’ve noticed that more and more people are turning against the 1960 miniskirt theory of feminism, and are extensively getting fed up of the oversexed media full of women that look like they just got out of the shower.

This shows that fashion isn’t just used for empowering women (by providing women with a basis to express themselves freely), it now has the counter effect of degrading women without them even knowing it. Of course, not all revealing garments can be branded as anti-feminist. It’s the premise or reason behind wearing(or more like, not wearing) them that determines whether a certain style of fashion is feminist or anti-feminist.

Don’t forget to comment, like, and follow! To comment or like, just click the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post.

Image Credits: http://www.lasedna.com.ar/camila-moreno

The Graffiti Culture

Hi readers,

Graffiti is a controversial topic and a widely infamous form of expression which, interestingly, falls awkwardly in between the two categories of ‘art’ and ‘vandalism’. It’s one of those unsolvable, continuing,  Möbius strip-like subjects that have people fervently arguing on both ends. While graffiti is respected and even preserved sometimes as pieces of original artwork in some places, in others, it’s degraded and frowned upon as a crime.

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Graffiti originated in New York, but there’s evidence of ancient ‘graffiti'(more like ‘wall paintings’ back then) in Rome, Italy, and also from ancient times. Graffiti has developed/is developing rapidly. Ever since graffiti became acknowledged as a renowned art category by some people, the graffiti culture has been thriving, and is spewing out newly established artists and graffiti art platforms every year. (I don’t see much in Korea though… I don’t think it’s as prevalent here as an urban art form or as a social issue.)

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(image above: Graffiti artist Lee Quinones.)

“Graffiti is art and if art is a crime, please God, forgive me” – Lee Quinones

Lee Quinones is one of the rising artists involved in the New York City Subway graffiti movement. Here are some of the comments on Lee’s video about art on the Khan Academy website.

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(image above: comments from https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/MoMA/moma-artist-interviews/v/moma-lee-quinones)

The collision of viewpoints on the issue is interesting. While graffiti does definitely have merit as art, in a way it’s also destroying someone else’s art(the building). So how should the logic work? I think it depends on where your personal values lie. We’re not yet completely sure whether graffiti should be a severe crime or a harmless antic, but one thing we do know for sure is that it’s becoming more and more pervasive, and it’s unstoppable.

In fact, graffiti can be seen almost anywhere in the world, sometimes in the most seemingly impossible places. 

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(Yeah, I know, seriously-how did they do that?! )

As you can see, graffiti can exist on wherever and whatever we, the human race, can get our hands on. Since it’s such a widespread issue, even TV series like Switched at Birth or 90210 feature graffiti as a thought-provoking topic. Graffiti also makes frequent appearances in music videos or as backgrounds of urban magazine fashion shoots.

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(image above: from Switched at Birth, ABC Family.)

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(image above: 90210, The CW. Ivy and Diego’s graffiti wall.)

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(image above: fashion photoshoot from http://www.carlton-photography.co.uk/carlton-photography-blog/a-fashion-photography-shoot-northern-quarter-manchester-graffiti-and-snow/)

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(image above: from the music video of ‘Ugly’ by 2NE1.)

I remember my mother saying “This music video beautifies graffiti too much.” while we were watching 2NE1’s music video for ‘Ugly’. And I remember thinking, “Mum, it’s just a music video! They’re trying to express freedom and rebellion, let them do what they have to do to let the message get through!” But at the same time I also felt uncomfortable because of my acknowledgement of mass media portraying a type of vandalism as merely cool and beautiful.

I’ve noticed that mass media targeted towards the younger generation depicts graffiti in a way that makes it seem artistic, cool, and even beautiful. In modern music, movies, TV etc.. graffiti represents youth, freedom, excitement, the art of the people, and ironically, exquisite crime. I think this is because younger people are usually more compelled to graffiti as an art form. It’s the youth that bears the role of being the rebellious rugby ball in society. It’s the youth that wander around the streets with their tousled hair and ripped jeans, excitedly looking for a nice wall to paint their heart out on.

Is it cool? I’m confused. The logical, brainy part of me says “That’s technically vandalism, and vandalism is a crime. Graffiti is childish and in a way, immoral.” And then the #YOLO, teenage, free-spirited part of me keeps popping up and shouting “IT’S REAL ART IN ITS MOST ORIGINAL FORM!! IT’S EXPRESSION AT ITS BEST!”

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Amid all this confusion, what I find the most intriguing about this strange art called graffiti is that in a lot of cases, the things written on the walls are actually very deep and thought-provoking, and the fact that these meaningful messages or implications are put on walls in the context of graffiti makes it even more artistic, in a certain way. For graffiti artists, the process and the actual deed of putting their art up, against social regulations, are indeed part of the art itself. This almost convinces me that graffiti should be considered as legit art, since it does what art should do-provoke people’s emotions and thoughts-and does it well, sometimes it expresses certain themes in a much more convincing way than it would have been if it were hanging on the wall of a posh art gallery.

What do YOU think?

Don’t forget to comment, like, and follow. To comment or like, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box a the end of this post.

Image credits:

http://www.loveitsomuch.com/

Interview with YouTube star Motoki Maxted

Hey readers : D

Here I am with another wonderful interview post. This time I got the chance to talk to the YouTube star Motoki Maxted. I’m a huge fan of his channel, and I bet a lot of you guys are too (or will be in the very near future). Motoki is seventeen (the same age as me) but it’s quite hard to believe because he’s so much more mature and self-actualized than I am.
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(Konni: K, Motoki: M)

K: Why did you start making YouTube videos?

M: I watched Ryan Higa’s (nigahiga) videos for a couple of years and thought he was one of the coolest people ever. After finding him, I watched others like Kevin Wu (KevJumba) and Mitchell Davis (livelavalive) and loved everything about what they did. I’ve always been interested in anything TV/Film related so I tried out what they did in hopes that I could put a smile on anyone’s face that watched one.

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(image above: Nigahiga!)

K: When I first started my blog, people were making fun of it and telling me it was useless(Now they’re all super supportive!). Motoki, how did your family/friends react to your videos at first? Was everyone supportive?

M: My friends have always been pretty low-key supportive. Someone will once in awhile tell me they liked the latest video or ask when the new one coming out. My parents on the other side have never been that supportive. They don’t fully understand how it all works and always tell me to do other things instead. It kinda sucks cause it’s hard to explain to them how important it all is and how successful I am at it.

K:  How do you feel about being exposed(in terms of personal information/your face being known) online?

M: It’s pretty awesome, I’m not too much of an attention seeker but when it comes by itself, makes me feel cooler than I probably am haha.

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K:  What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever told you? : )

M: I don’t really get too many weird comments, some that stick out usually just talk about my eyebrows or lips in detail.

K: Have you ever been to South Korea? What’s your impression of Korea and why?

M: Sadly no. From what I’ve seen of South Korea, it’s hella hip and I would love to visit sometime. I used to watch some Korean shows and listen to Kpop so I already like a lot of things about Korean culture.

K: What do you think of the current fashion industry?

M: I’m really digging the way a lot of stores have started to make the transition into simplistic designs and that kinda resemble older styles.

K: Are you fashionable?

M: I try to be whenever I’m not too lazy to look good. Stores like H&M and Forever 21 are my favorite places to hit up.

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K: If you had to choose between having a job you’re passionate about but being totally broke and having a well-paying job and being a billionaire, what would your choice be?

M: I’d be a billionaire, save up, quit, then I could do the things I’m passionate about.

K: What are you scared of?

M: Rapists

K: What makes you cry?

M: Kim Jung Un.

K: If you weren’t born into the environment you’re in now, and you were born in a random place somewhere on this planet, what do you think you would have grown up to be by now?

M: Probably not, everything in my life led up to where I am now I’m am glad it did.

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Reader-submitted Question: What kind of women are you attracted to?

M: The ones that breath.

Reader-submitted Question: Are you a virgin?

M: Yup, I try to stay away from relationships ’cause they take up time I could be spending online lol.

That’s all for today! If you liked this interview, don’t forget to like, comment, and follow. To like or comment on this post, just click the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Comment box and Like button at the end of the post.

Here’s a big Thank You to Motoki for doing the interview. : ) Click here to check out his Facebook page.

Have an amazing day filled with happiness.

The 8 things I’ve learned during my 17 years of life so far

Hi readers,

Since the title basically explains this post, let’s begin!

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#1. Quit Facebook.

Facebook is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. It’s convenient and fun, yes, but it really doesn’t help. And despite what your instincts tell you, you don’t need it. Who cares whether the obnoxiously pretty, mean, popular girl in school looks good in her new duckface selfie or not? In fact, I’m going to quit right now.

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#2. Don’t keep trying to compete with the people around you; compete with yourself.

I was always a competitive person. Sometimes competition is good. In elementary school, I remember getting a nosebleed while doing long-distance running during a P.E. class because I was trying to outrun all the boys. I remember it as a proud moment. I tried my very, very best to prove to myself that I was just as fast as the boys, and I actually did outrun some of them. However, sometimes my competitiveness can get the best of me. For me, it used to be really nerve-wrecking when the kid next to me was studying something that I hadn’t yet looked over, or if the guy on the opposing team in a debate round sitting across me had more research papers on his table. But honestly, looking back at myself, it’s a stupid thing to do. It just made me more upset and panicky every time, until my nerves eventually got out of control and caused me to break down again and again. Now I know that the best way to complete a task at hand, whether it’s test preparation or getting ready for a street dance contest, is to just focus on yourself and cater to your own needs, not struggle to keep up with the other kids, because that won’t get you anywhere.

#3. Pain is in your head.

I’m mildly lactose-intolerant, and I love cereal, so yes, I know what pain feels like(almost). The most terrible thing that could happen to me at school is probably me needing to go to the toilet during class because the big bowl of milk I drank in the morning is churning all around my insides. It’s not only embarrassing to have to interrupt class because of your personal intestinal situation, it also  hurts in a way that makes you want to rip all your hair out and roll over on the floor. In the past, I used to start panicking and getting the sweats whenever I felt even a slight jiggle in my stomach. But through my 17 years of coping with my lactose-intolerance, I’ve learned that if I pretend that everything is fine, it actually is and will be fine. The brain can be tricked into thinking that the physical body is fine, and therefore getting rid of the pain. It was actually proved scientifically, so it’s legit, guys!

#4. Never quit school.

I’ve been attending super competitive, top-class  prep schools since middle school, and I know exactly how it feels to be squashed under a mound of excellent, bright kids who are smart and competitive. It’s tough, it really is, especially when you used to be the smartest kid around in primary school and suddenly you drop down to the bottom of the pile. I’ve wanted to change schools many, many times. Why didn’t I? Because I realized that it wouldn’t make any difference. These are the kids that I’m going to have to deal with in society, and I might as well start toughening up now. I just try to cope with my situation. This is all going to amount to something bigger one day(hopefully. maybe. maybe not).

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#5. Don’t diet.

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I try to diet, and I just end up eating more than I used to eat and gaining weight, not the other way around. I know that I will start eating a lot again tomorrow, so why go through the agony of trying to starve to look thinner? Besides, who cares if I don’t look like Miranda Kerr? I’m totally attractive the way I am(no.)

#6. Don’t plan out every single teenie-tiny detail of the day.

Come on, I know I’m not gonna do all these things at the right scheduled time. It’s just going to stress me out and make me feel worthless at the end of the day. I now just make a simple list of things to achieve, and try to work those into my day without stressing about being 10 minutes late for my ‘study Literature and have dinner at the same time’.

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#7. Turn off the TV.

A lot of teens my age seem to worship their TV sets, but I’ve never really been obsessed with television. But the thing is, when someone in the same room as me picks up the remote control and turns the TV on, you can’t help but sit and watch with them. It’s really hard to finish writing that business email with a turned-on TV in the room.  It’s like the TV is sucking all the energy and attention from the room.  It makes me waste time and feel stupid afterwards. Moreover, my personal opinion is that the television is going to die out soon. We have iPads, super-slim laptops, tablet pcs, Samsung Galaxy Note, etc. There are so many devices that are out there in the electronics market(or still being developed at this very moment) that we can watch videos on. Unlike the television, which requires you to abide by broadcasting schedules, the internet has billions of versions of what you’re trying to watch. You can watch the content at any time you please, at any place you want, and you can even skip some parts if it gets boring. Plus, the best thing is that you can watch your stuff individually so that YOU DON’T INTERRUPT THE WHOLE ROOM BY TURNING ON THE TV.

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#8. Avoid applying makeup unless it’s for a special occasion.

Not only does it ruin your natural complexion, but makeup can really make you look like you’re trying too hard sometimes. I’ve learned that it doesn’t necessarily improve my looks. Having makeup on can actually make you look less appealing than you would look without it. And if I’m gonna have to be judged because of my appearance, I want people to judge me based on how I really look. Plus, I think it’s a huge waste of time, energy, and money to spend on trying(and rarely succeeding) to look good. But keep in mind that I’m not AGAINST makeup. I just think we could all benefit from not overdoing it every day.

If you liked this post, don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe! (To like this post or leave a comment, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down to the end of the post. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box.)

Image Credits:

We Are Not Your Friends: Facebook’s Promote scam

http://startempathy.org/blog/2012/07/why-regularly-abled-students-are-competing-spots-special-ed-classrooms

http://livelighter.org/elimination-diet-woes/

http://bobdemoss.com/2009/12/12/why-i-dont-watch-tv-reason-437/

http://drprem.com/beauty/4-winter-beauty-mistakes-to-avoid/

Interview with editor of Kimi Magazine, Ciara Rose

Hey readers : )

Today I’m proud to introduce the lovely Ciara, who runs Kimi Magazine. Besides being one of the best magazines in the world, Kimi Magazine is a magazine that’s different from your average magazine- all its profit goes to an organization called ‘Eating Disorders Victoria’ in Australia. Kimi promotes new talent(artists, models, musicians etc), a healthy lifestyle, and healthy standards. Ciara has done incredible work for Kimi Magazine, and has helped and inspired people to love themselves for their own individuality. She’s my newest role model and I can guarantee that you guys will also look up to her after reading this interview. So bring your friend, sister, brother, parents, or whoever else you think needs some inspiration and warmth right now, and without further ado, let’s begin!

(Kimi Magazine’s website:http://www.kimimagazine.com/)

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(image above: the cover of the premiere issue(issue #1) of Kimi Magazine.)

(K:Konni, C:Ciara)

K: Hi Ciara! First of all, introduce us to Kimi Magazine!

C: Hello Konni, lovely to meet you!
Kimi Magazine is a fashion, culture, music and art magazine that aims to evoke positivity and warmth in its readers. All our pages are colourful and bright, all our stories are optimistic yet realistic, and intend to lift your mood. And most importantly, all our models are healthy in mind and body. We sell copies for $15 each, and 100% of the proceeds earned are injected into the budget of the amazing team at Eating Disorders Victoria. Every donation counts!

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K: Why did you start Kimi Magazine? What got you inspired to make Kimi?

C: I had the idea for a couple of years before I began the project, because it was only last year when I first realized that I’d saved enough funds to get it started! One of my closest friends has been in and out of psychiatric wards suffering from an eating disorder since we were 9. The wards have white walls with little colour, and to my horror, most of the girls were reading mainstream fashion magazines and watching Next Top Model! I understand that many people like these shows/zines, but they aren’t going to help these sick patients recover. So I went to buy my best friend a fashion magazine that used realistic, non-photoshopped models and had stories that didn’t mention ‘calories’ or ‘bikini bodies’ … and noticed that there were none. Why? I thought. Why can’t there be a fashion magazine using a range of models? Why can’t there be a fashion magazine with only minimal and necessary editing? Why can’t there be a fashion magazine that has recipes that aren’t focused on weight loss? Why can’t there be a fashion magazine that you can read, start to finish, without feeling like you’re not good enough? Something had to be done… and from that day onward, I had decided that no matter how much effort, cost, tears or stress it would require, I would do it myself.

(K: I truly admire your passion and great heart. You’re a wonderful role model to this generation. Faith in humanity restored!)

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(Model: Stefania Ferrario. Photographer: Georgia Wiggs. Make-up: Pip Davies. Stylist: April Montgomery. Kimi Magazine.

LEFT-before image retouching, RIGHT-after image retouching. This photo shows how minimal Kimi’s photoshop retouching is. Unlike a lot of other magazines that rely on airbrush and photoshop to create inhumanly-perfect images of skinny girls without a single blemish on their skin, Kimi Magazine does not alter the model’s physical features at all. They simply make the image brighter and clearer, so that it’s suitable to be published.)

K: What are your prospects for the future of Kimi?

C: I believe the media has a hugely harmful impact on young girls (and increasingly, boys!), jeopardising their wellbeing. This extract, from the EDV(Eating Disorders Victoria) website, is rather alarming:

“In 1998, 38 months after television first came to Nadroga in Fiji, 15% of girls [aged 17 on the average] admitted to vomiting to control weight. 74% of girls reported feeling “too big and fat” at least sometimes. Fiji has only one TV channel, which broadcasts mostly American, Australian, and British programs.”

This, and masses of other evidence, is irrefutable – our media is greatly influencing our ideas of beauty in a negative manner, and it is about time somebody took a stand. Cue Kimi – a project that I’ve been hoping can act as a light at the end of the dark tunnel we’ve been trapped in for so long. I want Kimi to grow in sales, not only for the charity’s sake, but so our message can reach a wider audience. Owning a piece of untainted media could have a huge impact with some expansion… Hopefully, this will give us more of a shot at opposing the intentionally confidence-crushing magazines that have flooded our mainstream media.

(K: Again, I’m touched… I hope you achieve all of that, so that more people can break free from the negative influence of the media.)

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(from a Kimi Magazine editorial with models from “Plus size” agency BELLA Models. Photographer: Dennys Ilic. Models: Claryssa and Belle at BELLA. Hair and makeup: Kat Desouza. Stylist: Brittany Hendriks. Post: ISKA.)
K: Now tell us about YOU, Ciara! How old are you, what are you studying/what did you study, where did you grow up..?

C: I am 21 years old, from Melbourne in Australia (it’s true – the weather is crazy, four seasons in one day!). I am currently studying my third year of a Bachelor of Youth Work at Victoria University.
Whilst I was fortunate enough to grow up in the middle class and attend a private school, I never associated with the materialistic attitudes adopted by many of the people around me. Though I was in a wealthy household, my dad in particular ensured that my sister and I earned our own money from a very young age. I started waitressing at his restaurant when I was 13, and am very grateful for the work ethic that has been ingrained in me. My mum has also been very influential – she is currently nursing for an Indigenous community, which involves leaving the city to live in isolation for weeks at a time. Her generosity and selflessness has undoubtedly had a very formative impact on me.

K: What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when picking an outfit to wear?

C: “Does the outfit reflect YOU?” – definitely the most important thing to keep in mind! Wearing an outfit that is not “you” is, in my opinion, very easy to see, as the person in question will not look 100% comfortable. Whilst I hire stylists for my photoshoots, I will ensure that they choose clothing that reflects who the model is, and NEVER have them dressed in anything outside of their comfort zone… Hence the importance of meeting all my models before hiring them. I can get a vibe for who they are and take note of their individual style. But most importantly, it helps me guarantee that they’re a lovely human being who I will be proud to feature in this project. These are the models that really glow in any outfit, and this is illustrated in the editorials!

K: Why is fashion important?

C: Fashion is, or should be, who we are inside expressed outwardly… allowing us to embrace what makes us unique, to show the world a little something about ourselves. My best friend and I have similar style – we love clashes in textures and layers… we love beads and sequins… we love daggy, patterned jumpers that are three sizes too big… we love secondhand and pre-loved pieces… we love jewelry (that we generally make for each other!).

We are both very imaginative and creative people, who feel nostalgia for our childhood days of stick-on earrings, friendship bracelets and overalls… When fairy dresses weren’t a “costume”, but a perfectly acceptable item of clothing we could (and would!) wear five times a week.

 

(preview of desginer Dorothy & Evelyn. Photographer: Alex McKay. Model: Em at Maverick. Makeup: Jacki Botans. Kimi Magazine.)

K: What do you think teenage girls these days need the most? What piece of advice do you have for us?

C: Teenagers are under so much stress on a daily basis. Parents, teachers, fellow peers and the media are just some of the many sources of pressure and standards. They dictate how we’re meant to look, what we’re meant to desire, who we’re meant to be… It can really take away our sense of individuality.
My suggested solution is embodied in my life motto: “Whatever floats your boat, without sinking someone else’s.” What I mean by that is, do whatever makes you happy, so long as it doesn’t require the sacrifice of somebody else’s wellbeing. Look how you want, dress how you’d like, act as you please – if it makes you happy and doesn’t create unhappiness for anyone else, then there’s no harm done! Follow the beat of your own drum! And anyone who criticises you for something that doesn’t impact them or anyone else in a negative manner is NOT the kind of person you need in your life. It sounds simple and yes, easier said than done, but it’s really the most personal advice I have. It’s worked for me! I’m the happiest I’ve ever been since I’ve started staying true to this motto 🙂

K: You featured some musicians in Kimi… I’m just curious, what kind of music are you into?

C: Whilst growing up, my mum and dad were kind enough to introduce me to a range of music that I still love to this day! My favourites would have to be Bjork and Jeff Buckley, probably because I not only fell in love with their music, but also deeply respect who they are and what they stand for. I also adore David Sylvian, who I think is one of the most underrated musicians of all time!

K: What did you want to be when you were a little girl?

C: My first career choice was a forensic pathologist! That seems quite gory for a little girl, but I was always very curious and loved a good mystery. My sister and I read the Goosebumps books, watched Scooby Doo, and were obsessed with our favourite boardgame – Cluedo! (I was always Miss Scarlett and she was always Miss Peacock, or the game would not begin.)

(K: Haha : ) I remember being too scared to read the Goosebumps series…)

K: What do you think of Konni Kim Designs?

C: Konni, I think you are wonderful. Especially taking interest in a project on the other side of the globe, and going out of your way to help us spread the word. I have been eager to talk more about Kimi on a larger scale, and you are the first platform I have been offered. So a thousand times, thank you! 🙂

(K: That’s so sweet, Ciara! Thank you so much. You really inspire me and I think you’re a wonderful person. I hope to be a great woman like you someday!)

K: Are you fashionable?

C: Fashion is in the eye of the beholder, so I have no idea how to answer this! To those who like eccentric, eclectic fashion then yes, I suppose so. But my style wouldn’t be ideal for those who opt for the chic and sleek, like my sister (studying her Masters of Architecture) – she gravitates towards structured clothing in shades of mainly blacks or greys, and looks really elegant and classy in everything she wears. My style would not suit her, just as her style would not suit me, as our outfits reflect who we are (polar opposites!). It’s all a question of preference.

(K: I completely agree.)

K: What’s your average day like? Are you very organized and busy, or do you tend to lounge around and get inspiration from random things?

C: I am very busy all the time, and I couldn’t have it any other way! Last year I decided to join my certificate and diploma degree together to save myself a year of study; this meant I was at university Tuesday nights, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Friday mornings and every 3rd Saturday – on top of that, I had to fit in 250 volunteer hours to complete my course. Fridays and Saturdays when most people are going out, I would be working til early morning, as that’s the only hours I could fit in a job… And the little spare time that remained after that hectic schedule, I spent on the Kimi project! But this lifestyle is my choice – I love positively contributing to society. The rare day when I don’t do anything productive, I really don’t feel like myself!

(Photographer: Georgia Wiggs. Food stylist: Christabell McDonald. Model: Oats the Rabbit! Kimi Magazine.

The rabbit is adorable!! The food is making me hungry…)

K: Are you an artist?

C: I am a musician, if that counts! I used to study the Bachelor of Music at Victorian College of the Arts, and also started a diploma of jazz piano at Ballarat University. Whilst I love and miss studying music, I am much happier continuing it as a hobby, as pursuing youth work is my true calling.

(preview of featured artist Brian Cheung on Kimi Magazine.)

K: What is one item in your wardrobe that you just NEED to have and can’t ever throw away?

C: Since I am a sentimental person, it would have to be the sparkly blue scarf that my best friend knitted me for my 21st birthday whilst she was in hospital… I used it for a feature in issue one, you can spot the musician Asami wearing the beautiful scarf in some of the shots!

K: What were you like when you were seventeen?

C: At 17, I was very scattered in terms of my goals and dreams. I knew I wanted to end up in a career that would be humanitarian, but had NO idea what to specialize in! Whilst I had known Amelia since birth (our mothers were friends before we were born), she moved away to Albury, and it wasn’t til 4 years ago that we became close again. It was during this time, witnessing her struggles and her strength firsthand, that I decided I wanted to contribute to the field of Eating Disorders. Visiting various wards on a daily or weekly basis opened my eyes to a myriad of deficiencies in the system; these realizations crystallized into certainty of what wrongs I wanted to right in this world. She is constantly my inspiration, whether we’re seeing each other every day or whether we haven’t caught up in months. Her brave endeavors are the reason I’ve evolved from a confused 17 year old into a confident and passionate adult.

(K: I’m so happy for you! Please keep up the awesomeness so that people like me can continue to learn from you and be inspired.)

K: Who is your girl crush/idol?

C: I absolutely love Robyn Lawley, an Australian “plus size” model. As well as being breathtakingly beautiful and a dedicated health advocate, she is very intelligent and politically educated. You can see pictures of gorgeous Robyn in an article for issue one!

Aaand that’s a wrap, guys! : D

I hope you enjoyed this interview-I DEFINITELY did. Ciara is such a talented young woman, and I was head over heels in joy when she agreed to do the interview for my blog. It was such a pleasure to talk to her and learn more about Kimi Magazine and about her life and philosophy. So here’s a massive THANK YOU! to Ciara for sharing her insights and thoughts and providing us with such thoughtful answers.

My dream used to be to ‘be the editor of a glamorous fashion magazine’. Ciara inspired me to change that dream to: ‘be the editor of a fashion magazine that can actually support people of all sizes, both genders, and of any racial background, promote healthy standards and mindsets, and inspire people to just love themselves!’ 

Don’t forget to check out Kimi Magazine’s website and Facebook page:

http://www.kimimagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kimi.mag

And get your hands on a copy of Kimi Magazine if you can! : )

If you liked this post, don’t forget to like, comment, and follow! To like or comment on this post, just click the title of this post, then scroll down, and you’ll see the Like button and Comment box.

See you again next time!

-Konni

I got criticized for wearing a sleeveless top

Hi readers,

Today I went to a middle school reunion. It was great-there was an amazing buffet(PORK RIBS!!!), loads of teachers(I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing), and last but not least I got to meet all my old friends. When I walked in with my friend, we said hi to everyone, got our food, and sat at the table that our other close friends were sitting at. We were all having a lovely conversation and talked about our lives, who we were dating(I’m currently dating my foldable sofa-bed), and of course, about old times. It was then when one of my friends mentioned how I used to be approximately a year ago. I do admit that I was crazy back then(compared to my current state)-obnoxiously being flirty, wearing weird makeup, trying to be friends with every single person so that I could be liked by everybody…etc etc.

My friend said, “Remember that time you showed up wearing a green sleeveless top with tassels at the bottom? Everyone thought you had gone mad!” 

armygreen

(I’ve looked all around my house for the top…but I failed to find it, so here’s a similar one that I found on the internet.)

It was a strange moment for me. I was trying to figure out whether I should laugh along and agree with her(and the rest of the kids sitting at the table) or be sassy and assertive. At first I thought, ‘What was so wrong about me wearing that top..? I actually like that top!’ And then I started slowly chewing my pork ribs(ugh. that’s a distracting word.) and thinking and over-analyzing(typical Konni). It made me really uncomfortable.

On my way back home from the reunion, I came to the conclusion that their(my old friends) culture and their experiences are too different from my own for us to have the same standards for what clothes are “crazy”(if there are any at all). Is showing your shoulders a crazy thing to do? Sure, that top wasn’t plain, but I would never call it “crazy”. I grew up in London and all my life I’ve been so attached to the idea that I should not be influenced by Korean standards of clothing, and that I should be the less conservative person. (I’d like to clarify that I don’t mean to say that all Koreans are conservative and that people on the rest of the planet are less conservative. I’m referring to the majority of people, and to the notable differences in popular culture between Korea and other places like the UK.) I think it was rooted in a sort of guilty pride that I was different from the other kids who had spent their whole childhood in Korea. It was my identity, and it still does remain as a part of me.

I didn’t wear that top to look ‘cool’ or necessarily to attract attention. It was just who I was back then. I’ve never regretted wearing that top around. I guess it shocked my friends, though.

Don’t forget to comment, like, and follow : ) (to like or comment, just click the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the end of the post.) Thanks!


Image Credits: http://www.sheinside.com/Army-Green-Tassel-Round-Neck-Loose-Off-The-Shoulder-Tshirt-p-87162-cat-1738.html