Mikaela Michelle On Racism

Given the situation in the US right now, we asked a few empowered women about their thoughts and feelings on the issue. One of them is social media influencer Mikaela Michelle, who has a huge fan following on Instagram, more than 22,000!
(www.instagram.com/mikaelaamichelle)

Here is what she shared with us:

“Social media is not only the biggest platform I have, the audience I have here is also highly influential. I feel like I have a responsibility to address the horrible events of last week with the unfair, disgusting death of George Floyd. I’m sorry if it took me a while to talk about it here, I have so many thoughts I didn’t know where to start.

I am so sad to be living in a world where racism is still SO PRESENT. You know it is, even if you’re not subject to it. As influencers, it is our duty to speak up about these issues, fight for what is right and fight against racism online AND offline.

If you think your voice doesn’t matter, you are wrong. You’re an influencer on social media and you’re an influencer within your close circle of family and friends. Your words have an impact, whether you believe it or not.

We have to educate ourselves and others and fight together against racism and the unfair treatment of people of color around the world. PLEASE USE YOUR PLATFORMS to spread knowledge and awareness.

Being non-racist is not enough. We all need to be activists. Don’t be scared to take a stand on social media and fight for what is right. You might get unfollowed by some but guess what, whoever remains will be that much more loyal and engaged. That is who you want in your audience. Don’t be afraid to lose a brand deal either! If you can’t stand behind a brand just as much as their product, the collaboration is not worth doing! That should never keep you from speaking up against racism.

If you are a person of color, I am with you. I am so sorry for the missed opportunities you may have had, sorry if you have ever felt like you needed to change who you are or how you act to please a broken society and system, sorry if anyone has treated you poorly just for being who you are, sorry if you’ve been through traumatic experiences just because of the color of your skin. My heart breaks for you. I promise I will do better to fight this fight with you.

If you’re a white person, please acknowledge your privilege and stop challenging the way people of color feel when they speak about their experiences, just listen. Educate yourself and PLEASE, educate others around you that you know engage in racism. It’s uncomfortable to call out people in person, but it’s necessary at this point and I feel like having these conversations in person is the best way to change someone’s way of thinking. Please don’t be afraid to speak on your platforms. I know you might be scared of phrasing your thoughts in a way that will be perceived wrong but at some point, we can’t stay silent.

Here are some resources :

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ “ – Mikaela

Lua Jones On Racism

Given the situation in the US right now, we asked a few empowered women about their thoughts and feelings on the issue. One of them is entrepreneur Lua Jones, who runs ‘Dear Teenage Me’ (https://dearteenageme.com).

Here is what she shared with us:

“At school, when I was about 11, I remember being shown a video about slavery, racism and the civil rights movement. It rocked me to my core. I felt my first huge flush of white guilt. I was outraged by my own skin colour, at how people that looked like me had done such despicable things. I was knocked sideways and it stirred up in me a great ‘need’ to do something about it!

However, in reality, I did a whole lot of nothing, nothing of any repute. I simply began identifying myself as ‘non-racist’. Soon after that, I embraced everything black culture and upheld it, celebrated it, exalted it. I wanted to be on ‘their’ side. I looked to black music, language, countries for my redemption and solace and to quell this white guilt. And, as I have talked about before, in fact, what I now realise I did, was in fact to appropriate black culture. My own naive and uneducated way of attempting to be an anti-racist. I know now to do better.

Looking back, I see that I felt stopped in my plight, the plight so clear to my 11yo self who felt called to address the racial injustices of the world, and be an ally. Instead, I worried; about what others would think, whether I could even make any difference, about getting it right/wrong, or what might happen to me if I stood out in a crowd and be the only one to speak up. I was also scared of being vilified by those I was trying to ‘help’, or that I would be called-out for being racist, a ‘white saviour’ or bad feminist, and that I might lose credibility, or admittedly, even lose some of my own privileges, god forbid! Also, at play, was ultimately how much energy I needed to ‘give’ to this, when in reality I could totally ‘get away’ without addressing it, because it didn’t affect me directly. And hey, there are other battles to fight right? All this, clearly my own white fragility and privilege at play with a good ol’ dose of ‘not my problem’.

I am now seeing so many people ‘stand up’ that haven’t before. And, I am so pleased to see this happening, it’s a shame of course that it hasn’t happened sooner, but I do believe it is never too late, what matters is right now, who we are being about it RIGHT NOW, and we must stand up now!

To those who remain silent, your silence is deafening!! Because finally, this is erupting and we are already late to the party. I personally can see how much of a coward I have been. That there have been so many things that I believe in and have wanted to bring to light, and yet I’ve stood back, held my tongue and waited until others would go first, because I wanted to feel safe amongst a crowd. I have been a fraud with no conviction.

This shows me just how much it takes to be a leader, and although I identify as a leader, I often do not act as so. This is how I must do better.

And.. I am human and admittedly it is difficult to step up sometimes, so we must forgive ourselves for that – guilt is not useful here! I know that I could keep on endlessly educating myself before I act, but this is no excuse anymore, the time is now!

I have to take risks, speak up and be prepared to fail. If I get it wrong, I will learn, and I am learning.

I am committed to being a part of the solution.

I am in awe of those who stood with Malcom X and marched peacefully in 1963, knowing that their lives would be at mortal risk.

So please, white people, we need to stand up, and we need to be the MAJORITY of people marching and protesting and making these waves, and be of service to POC, using our white privilege so that they can no longer be hurt by systemic racism.

And we must act with peace. Take your egos out of the equation, do not make this situation worse, it is not about you!

The only way to overcome this plight is through love – as with anything. We must bring gentleness, understanding, innocence, goodwill, modesty, generosity, flexibility, proper principles, honesty…

White people can make a huge difference, we cannot expect POC to be always calm when the system has been hurting them for so long, they are disproportionately affected by EVERYTHING right now!

I have privilege and I will do my best to use it correctly, and though I am very upset and want to cry today over all this, I will not, because I am grateful, I know how lucky I am to be able to live with this privilege of being white in the world today, and not feel as if my life is at risk or considered to be worth less than another – every single day of my life.

I am making my own reparations and I hope you are too.”

Legends Of The Fall – Reeta

Meet beauty with brains Reeta Josan, one of the models of our ‘Legends Of The Fall’ autumn fashion feature.

“Hi I am Reeta. My favourite hobbies are dancing and fashion/ style. I am passionate about acting, modelling and fashion blogging. My goal is to grow my career in modelling and be successful in the fashion industry. If I get a chance for acting, I will definitely take up the opportunity in future.

My family is a great source of inspiration for me. My aim in life is to be successful and build a career in my desired field. I also aim to spread love, positivity and the knowledge of Indian culture in foreign countries.” – Reeta.

Interview With Businesswoman Heidi Cuijpers

Meet our featured beauty with brains Heidi Cuijpers, a businesswoman based in Perth, Australia.

“My name is Heidi Cuijpers. I’m a wife & mother of 2 boys, I cherish my family. I live in Perth, Western Australia and have my own online beauty, health & wellness store of botanically based, vegan certified, cruelty free, pure, safe, beneficial products created by Arbonne.

HeidiCuijpers.arbonne.com/

https://www.arbonne.com/pws/heidicuijpers/tabs/home.aspx

& my Facebook page Healthy living with Heidi

https://www.facebook.com/Healthy-Living-with-Heidi-107909484196048/

I have been a career driven professional & I was a model & modelling teacher. I’ve studied management.

I like to help others find hope and strength , I believe you grow through what you go through. I support other women’s success, I inspire & create healthy recipes, healthy attitude, mind, body and soul.

I love being able to have my own business bringing my passions to life. There is always beauty in being yourself. “ – Heidi

Here is an interview with her.

  1. What are your goals in life? Have you achieved them?

I have achieved most of my recent goals, which were getting married & starting my own business. But I always have personal development goals & professional goals. I like to set yearly goals for myself, I break them down from year to monthly to weekly to daily. To make it easier to monitor my progress. You can apply this in any goal – Studying, Finance, Weight loss etc. I want to lose 10 kgs this year, about 1 Kg a month, I will monitor weekly my progress & I will exercise daily for an hour. 2. Who or what inspired you to do what you do?

My family inspire me, I like to lead a healthy lifestyle & love inspires me, I love what I do. I also have a vision board, a collage of pictures & affirmations that remind me of my hopes, dreams & goals.

  1. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I see myself doing more travelling. It’s not a goal for me at the moment but In future it will be, among other things on my vision board.

Legends Of The Fall – Pallavi

Meet beauty with brains Pallavi Gupta, one of the models of our ‘Legends Of The Fall’ autumn fashion feature. She holds the title of Mrs. Congeniality, which she won at the Mrs. India Worldwide 2020 contest held in February 2020.

“Life isn’t easy, it has never been. And that is one thing I appreciate about it, because victories and happiness that come post hard work, feel the sweetest. Having struggled a lot to carve a niche for myself, here I am, in the land of dreams – Australia.

A round the clock mom, 9 to 5 administrator and a Ph.D Scholar – Namaste I am Pallavi Gupta, born and brought up in the city of culture, pride & heritage – Rangeelo (colourful) Rajasthan. We arrived in Sydney last year in June 2019 and by God’s grace started working with Victoria University as Student Administration and Examination Officer soon after.

I have more than 15 years of work experience including two years in contact centre which helped me groom my communication and inter personal skills. Through those experiences I have learned to interact with a diverse group of people, which has increased my ability to relate to others. I consider myself a public speaker and would like to be a television presenter. I am passionate about cooking and love experimenting, be it either in the kitchen or with my looks.

I won the title of Mrs Congeniality during the Mrs India Worldwide 2020 contest held in February 2020, here in Sydney. Thereafter developed a keen interest towards modelling and if given a chance would love to continue to do modelling. My aim is to become a successful professional and would love to help the under privileged children someday.” – Pallavi

Domestic Violence

The recent fatal stabbing of Kamaljeet Sidhu (27) by her husband in Quaker’s Hill (Australia) is very saddening and alarming. According to the news, she had gone to the police some time ago and taken out an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against her husband but was still living with him. There has been a spike in domestic violence victims seeking assistance amid the coronavirus lockdown.

While abuse can happen to anyone, according to statistics women are more frequently the victims. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95 percent of the assaults on partners or spouses is committed by men against women.

It can be very hard for domestic abuse victims to express themselves or to seek help and women often hope that their partners will change with time. Domestic violence victims also often blame themselves and think its their fault.

Women need to understand that it’s not their fault and that a violent man isn’t worth staying with, because of societal pressures or any other reason. We as a society need to raise more awareness, and help women find their voices. If you or someone you know need help and are based in NSW, please don’t hesitate to contact the NSW statewide domestic violence line at 1800 737 732 or any of the other numbers in the list (by
https://www.womenssafetynsw.org.au).

Some charities that you can contact are the Lisa Harnum Foundation (https://www.lisahf.org.au) and the Harman Foundation (https://www.harmanfoundation.org.au).

Legends Of The Fall – Sony

Meet beauty with brains Sony Reddy, one of the models of our ‘Legends Of The Fall’ fashion feature. She owns a fashion boutique: ‘The Pink Mirror’ (https://www.facebook.com/The-Pink-Mirror-104544564473112/).

“I am the mother of a 6 years old boy. My hobbies are watching TV, socialising, cooking and painting. I am passionate about modelling, to be confident in my own judgement and desicions, learning something new, having adventures, travelling. My goal is to grow my career in Modelling, to grow my fashion boutique and build my career in the desired field. My dream is to see myself successful , strong and confident in every step I take.” – Sony Reddy