My slogan for this blog is ‘24yr old writing about fashion and fun’. Because yes, I love to write about the positive things in life. But hell, this does not mean that I do not lie awake at night thinking about where our world has gone wrong. Especially this last week, a lot of us are asking the same question. So in this photo series, I’d like to be critical for once – because discrimination and racism in specific, does keep me up at night. More than once.
I love this world. I love the beautiful landscapes, the people in it and I especially love all our differences. But it seems we are getting scared of these differences, instead of embracing them. Sure, all this negative news about terrorist attacks and wars make me scared of ‘the unknown’ too. But I will not let that fear win. I will not let hate or negative people like Trump win. I do love to meet different cultures, people and religions. Yes, even in 2016.
With this photo series I’d love to shed a light on this issue. It’s all too easy to blend in with your group. To look at the world as ‘us’ against ‘them’. Hiding in the safe comfort of your own religion, political belief or skin color. In a sense clothes reinforce these differences even more. As long as we wear the same as the rest in our group we’re safe. As long as we blend in, just like I am doing in this photo series, nothing bad will happen to us. But what about those people who fall out of this group, or belong to more than one group and feel lost, running in between. What about these people who are ‘different’ from us, so unknown and scary? Will we not let them in to give them the basic life quality they deserve just because we do not understand their language or religion?
In my pictures I personate the famous quote ‘Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil’ (Ok, the last one does not fit but you get the picture ;-)). We tend to turn a blind eye to the messages about drowning refugees or gays that were sentenced to death just because these people are different from ‘us’. When will we stand up for these people, start seeing, listening and speaking about and to them? When will we start respecting people for who they are, all their differences included? I also plead guilty – I’m not a perfect human that gives all my money to charity or spend all my time in a refugee centre helping out where I can. But I do greet the homeless guy on my way to work every day, and I tend to sneak him some money from time to time too. Even though his world is so different from mine, I’d love for him to know that I do not see him as someone who is not welcome in my group.
So try to welcome everyone with an open heart, including all his or her unique features. It can start with easy and small steps. Take the time to ask your Muslim colleague how his Ramadan period is going, tell that person with her expressive clothing style that you love her diversity or let your gay friend know why you appreciate it so much that he remains himself no matter what. But most of all – respect one another the way they are. Whether this is black, white, small, big, Catholic or Jew. And dare to be yourself too! If it’s all too scary to you, you can start with one of my favorite items to express yourself with: fashion. So wear that crazy skirt you haven’t worn because you are too afraid of the reactions or put on that extremely red lipstick even though you know people will stare.
Open up your heart for differences, open up your heart for each other.
“This is my submission for the Zalando Style Icons // Creative Content Icon”
And as always – lots of love,