How do you think other people would describe your style?
I feel like I do a lot of extremes, so sometimes I’m crazy out there. I like to express myself a lot with my hair, so a lot of times it’ll be that my hair is up in some funky updo. I might have a cool outfit with it, or I’m just in a sweatshirt, sweatpants, hair up in a bun, ready to go. I’m either one or the other, so I think that’s where my friends would describe me: either extreme.
Do you think that perception is apt?
I think so. I like the way I dress; I think I found my way into my own style. I remember when I was a kid trying to figure out what I wanted to be and how I wanted to express myself, it was a lot of going through different phases. My parents bought a lot of my clothes for me, so it was a lot of taking what they gave me and trying to make it fit what I wanted it to be, even if it wasn’t exactly the piece I started with. I don’t know how to describe it; it was given to me, so I had to make do with what I was given. I did a lot of cutting — I have a lot of crop tops. I like to cut things, tie things. I do know how to sew; I’ve sewed very few things because it’s kind of haphazard. I embroider too, there are a few sweatshirts that I’ve actually embroidered things on their sides or where the pocket would be.
What would you name your look?
Do you know Beyoncé? When she was singing, before she was Beyoncé, there was a whole Sasha Fierce moment. I think I would go with ‘subtle fierce.’ It’s not something that you immediately look at and you’re like “Oh! Oh!”; you look at the pieces, and it’s like, “Okay, she was putting a little bit of thought into that.” I tried to match the bucket hat with the jeans. The jeans are fun with these big pockets. I went a little loose with the pants to go along with the tight top. It’s subtle thought that goes into it. So, I call it subtle fierce.
Can you tell me about your hair?
I used to hate my hair. I didn’t know how to style it. I didn’t know what to do with it. I grew up in a predominantly white town. People didn’t look like me, and I didn’t look like other people, so it was very confusing. Other girls would straighten their hair every day and wear it up in all these different other styles, and I just can’t do that with my hair. Finally, my mom was able to find a hair stylist who did curly hair. She cut my hair for the first time, and ever since then, it has been amazing. It was finally shaped the right way, and it looked good. Then I started learning how to style it, searching YouTube, “How to style Black curly hair.” It was really a process of falling in love, and the past four years are when I really started to take care of it, too — shampooing and washing it. I learned how to do hair masks, and it would come out looking so much better than it looked when I was growing up. Not only does it look better, but it feels better. I love doing fun things with my hair. I put it in fun little double Minnie Mouse buns; I have it in braids right now; I’ll wear it all out. I recently dyed it — which is fun because I never even thought about dying my hair growing up — and I thought “What the heck — I want it to be red, so it’s going to be red.”
Did you have a ‘big chop’?
Third grade was when we finally found the hair stylist that can do my hair and she went, “Wow, whoever has been cutting your hair before this has been doing a trash job. We can either cut it off in increments over a small amount of time, or we can just cut it all off — all the damaged split ends. You’ll just start new.” My mom then asked, “What do you want to do?” I just wanted it all off. If you look back at my third grade pictures, I have a really short afro. I just cut it all off! That was the big chop.
If you could speak to the whole world, what would you tell them? What is your message?
People should be less concerned with being quiet and trying to fit in all the time. I’m loud. I’m obnoxious. I’m in your face. I feel like the world would be so much more fun if everybody was a little bit more into that. We should be like, “Yeah, we’re going to say what we think.” Sometimes I say things that are completely wacky, and they sound a little dumb when they come out, but I tried! I think people should be less concerned with being quiet and fitting in; they should be living their truth — your most authentic self!