So here’s a long story:
I was born from a dad from Surinam and a mom from Indonesia.
From primary to high school I received my education in predominantly white neighbourhoods of affluence.
I was picked on constantly for not wearing designer shoes, for being “weird” because of my culture, being too outspoken or too ambitious.
Within my social circle I was made fun of for my heritage, culture and food.
This being the norm of my surroundings, I taught myself to laugh it off and tried to ignore it. But honestly, it made me feel insecure, ugly and uncomfortable.
It wasn’t until my 20s that I had a breaking point. I was holding back tears, while this girl who I’d considered a friend, made the remark while we were in a restaurant that I’d never seen real food before and this was the first time I’d worn actual clothes, all of this “just for laughs”
I realised, that I’d been living my life condoning this kind of treatment by people who saw me as lesser than themselves and used me as a racial comic relief. I was living in a social jail.
After that incident, I cut ties with everyone who treated me that way. That meant having very few friends left, almost none. It was a very lonely and painful time in my life, but I never felt so strong and liberated. I doubled down on embracing my culture and passion for playing with my appearance. Soon as I did, I started meeting all these amazing people who wanted to either learn from me or partake in my ambitions. In stead of being picked on, I was celebrated for my individual approach.
I feel more vibrant than ever before, because I can truly be my authentic self.
In the past years I’ve met younger girls and guys who have a similar upbringing and are going through the same struggles I did. I just want to let you know..if you choose yourself, instead of those around you…your people will find you eventually. So don’t give up!
Puma gave me the opportunity to invite 4 of my most loyal followers to Amsterdam's first #DOYOUSESSIONS. Girls who wanted to be a part of it, sent me an email with their #doyou story and I picked 4 winners.
@Lissa.Brandon and I gave a workshop for the #doyousessions were we guided our followers through self expression and how you can play with your image. Read more about it in Cosmopolitan