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In The Know 002 - Interview with Tara Chandra

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10:00:00
I have been waiting (waiting) an entire month just to post this! Honestly? I really look forward to these monthly posts because they're so fun and I get to interview and talk to really cool kids who are really inspiring. This month I got to interview the very cool and very edgy Tara Chandra, who describes her style as being eclectic, loud, weird and extra. We talked about how she puts together an outfit, the reason behind her starting to discuss feminism on her channel and also style inspiration!

                                                                                                                                                                           
James Coomer - @internetjames - www.internetjames.co

I’ve loved your Youtube channel for a while now but I can’t really assume that my readers will have been too. For the sake of argument would you mind introducing yourself (a quick get to know me kind of summary) and your blog/Youtube channel?      

Hi! I’m Tara, a 19 year old girl (she/her) from Sydney, Australia. My favourite colours are pink, yellow and orange. I began creating content around 4 years ago on YouTube and my blog. I later created a public Instagram and started posting fashion/lifestyle content. Nowadays, I mainly focus on YouTube and Instagram as they’re my favourite platforms to work on – taking photos and video editing. My Instagram is 95% filled with outfit photos, and my YouTube channel is focused on fashion, lifestyle, self-education and miscellaneous videos


 
What kind of impact do you want your online presence to have on others and the fashion community as a whole?

I think my ultimate aim is to ‘inspire’ other people to dress however they want to dress without fear of judgement. 

 
What influences your style and can you name some people/artists that have had an impact on your style? 

Other people are probably the largest influencer for my style. When I see someone else wearing something I find aesthetically pleasing, I try and incorporate the underlying look into my outfits. However, most of the time I just wear what I think looks good. I think my ultimate style icon is Iris Apfel. She’s 95 years old but still killing that unique style! She’s fearless. 

 
James Coomer - @internetjames - www.internetjames.co

Recently you’ve included videos on feminism and also have talked about identity on your Youtube channel in the past. Why did you decide to make those videos and talk about those topics?

My ‘Tara Talks’ series is one of my favourites. They’re all about self-education which has stemmed from self-realisation and the desire to be learning more in a non-conventional text book kind of way. I make these videos because I talk about topics I think people should know about. These are topics that are personally important to me. I am using YouTube as a place of expression and a platform to share my opinions.

 
My series focuses on people of color and how they impact the fashion/beauty community. Does your identity and culture impact your fashion in any way? If so how?

I don’t think my identity and culture directly shape my fashion style, but rather it influences my experiences, abilities, access to things and outlook on life (to name a few). With all other factors included, I could say that it does have an effect on what I wear, but in general terms I don’t think so. However, I have begun to embrace my culture, wearing more traditional prints and pieces as a form of self-acceptance and confidence in my cultural identity; as I move away from my experiences and understandings of internalized racism.  

 
  Your sense of style to me is whimsical yet edgy. It’s very unique and not something that can be easily replicated. With that in mind how do you go about choosing what to wear and what accessories to pair with it? 

Thank you! My style doesn’t have a set structure, which is what makes it different. More often than not, I wear things solely for colour-coordination purposes. I look at individual pieces and work from there. I can’t explain my process that well – but create a base and then add 10 accessories to top the Christmas tree off. 

 
Gemma Brookes - @gemmabrookes_ - www.goldandsoul.com

With the new year just coming in what do you hope to see more of and less of in the new year? 

I’d love to see more acceptance, and less judgment/hate.

 
Are there any brands or designers that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

UNIF, hit me up.

 Are there any projects (things like fashion campaigns, collaborations, etc) that you’ve been working on that you are looking forward to sharing with your followers?

I’m constantly doing fun shoots and collaborations with upcoming photographers and businesses which is always fun. I’m doing my first styling gig with a photographer which will be awesome. We’re hopefully going to try and get that into a magazine. 

                                                                                                                                                                           

If you are digging what Tara is saying (and how do you not?) then you can visit her youtube channel and her IG. She recommends you watch her No Black Clothing Challenge , UNI / COLLEGE LOOKBOOK #5, SS16 LOOKBOOK, and her TARA TRAVELS || USA video.  


What I've Been Watching Lately

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03:00:00

I usually don't watch that much Tv but I have been lately and I've been gorging myself on Netflix. I've started and finished so many movies and shows on Netflix than I think I ever had? I thought I might share with y'all what I've been watching this past month.

Watched and Finished



The Messengers

Okay so this show had only one season run and it wasn't that great but as someone who really loves biblical fiction and things that involve angels and demons (and yes I am a huge reader of Angels & Demons the book) I really liked it. I mean there was a ton of twists near the end and I was shocked, SHOCKED at certain parts. And also before two characters even met, I knew, I freaking knew that they would be together.  Aside from that there is a lot of action and there's a lot of interesting twists and additions to this show. I really liked a lot of the characters and kinda didn't hate anyone. Except the accent of the Man was kind of annoying at first but then it was kinda alright? Idk, if you got a day to spend and want to spend it on alright tv and you're also someone who loves stories involving demons and angels (in the biblical sense) then check out The Messengers on Netflix.



The Office


Just throwing this out there I skipped the last two seasons because once Michael was gone I didn't care but I did watch the last episode. Before this, I have never watched any episode of the office and I didn't care to? It just wasn't what I was interested in at the time and it just didn't appeal to me. Well so and so years later I finally got around to watching the whole thing and I liked it. I laughed a lot and I kind of liked the deadpan style it's in (because I'm really into some British comedies and the style obvious borrows a lot from the UK version). I'm not wild about it, but it's nice for wanting something to marathon.

CrazyHead

It's basically about two girls who see demons and then fight them. It's got a lot of relationship things in it and it's got some cliche parts but they're the good cheesy kind. Also there are some deceptions and betrayals you see coming from 10000 miles away but they don't hurt any less. If you watch this show for any reason, it should be to hear how freaking great the soundtrack is. I mean it's killer, so much so that I listen to it on Spotify on a regular basis.

The Travelers

It's a pretty interesting concept that isn't the same old "people from the future come back to the past to save the future by altering the past" storyline. I really liked this show (I do have some grievances obviously) and I can't wait for the next season of it. I'm actually really shocked by how some of the storylines and relationships have developed over the course of the story. And also I'm kind of shocked by how twisty everything is and how at one point no one in the show understands whats really going on. I love that aspect and it isn't one of those "this person knows something and everyone else is in the dark", it's actually just no one understands jack about anything.

Watched and Stopped


Roswell
This is your classic 90s show about a girl who falls in love and helps out a supernatural being while keeping his secret. He, is an alien form another planet and shes just your average ordinary girl. Roswell is okay, I mainly stopped because I didn't want to get too attached to the show. I have this thing where I skip ahead in the seasons and read the plot of each episode on netflix in order to give me ideas about if I want to continue the show or not.  And I was not interested in what I saw. Though I must say I love the tone of the show and I also love the softness of the main male lead's voice.



Glitch
I started glitch and got3 episodes in before I just stopped. The show was okay, I just got bored with it. LIke there are about 3 shows in my List that deal with this kind of topic (people come back from the dead and no one knows why!) and I just didn't care for most of these characters. I kind of got annoyed with Kate and James at one point (both separately and together). I was annoyed with Kate because she was upset that James moved on (it's such a cliche kind thing and it's not really her fault I'm annoyed) and I don't really get what James deal is most of the time or his goals it's just a no from me.

Watched and Haven't Finished


Voltron
I know I know I'm late to the party! But in my defence I have no defence. Voltron is great. It's got an interesting plot line, pretty decent characters and the voice actors are great. I haven't finished all of the first season but I will get to it. Also I just wanted to say that my favorite is Hunk. Also Allura is an A+++ character, 100% would recommend. And she's voiced by Kimberly Brooks who is like...my icon? My voice acting idol? She along with a few others (like Cree Summers) are basically the voices of my childhood and also like my favorite voice actors period.

Beauty & The Beast
I'm not talking about the upcoming movie starring Emma Watson (I don't really care about that tbh!) but I'm talking about the CW show. And I have only started the first season (and haven't finished) but I am excited for the next seasons. I thought it was pretty interesting and exciting and I loved the interactions between JT and anyone else. Not trying to be funny but I am aching for interactions between JT and Tess, because I imagine it to be 10x funnier than any other interaction. Also I think the premise is really unique. I have read a ton of beauty and the beast reimagined stories but this one is pretty different.


What have y'all been watching? Got any recommendations?


A (disjointed) Thought About My Hair and Conforming

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19:00:00
I love my hair. I really do. It's probably my crowning (joke intended) glory. It brings me so much joy and pride and I secretly smile and screech with happiness every time I wash my hair and see it all curl and kink up. But sometimes it's not really easy to have afro-textured hair. I mean aside from all the you know obvious maintenance stuff that comes with it.

Some days I sit down, look at my hair and think "You know, some days I really want to relax the chooks outta you". And a lot of the times it's due to two things. One, my hair reflects my existence and if I feel stuck emotionally or creatively, the first thing I want to do is change my hair. But the most important reason is because I view my hair as being a very political statement. It didn't start off that way but I've come to love my hair as the statement and the message that I believe it gives off.

However that doesn't mean that I love the way that I feel with it. Now don't get me wrong I love how free and excited and I don't know, powerful I feel with it. I love the way I stand out but it's a double edged blade. Some days I don't love it. Some days I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb and some days I don't even know if I like the way I feel when people look or interpret me with it.

And its days like those that I feel like going back to relaxed hair. Because I don't fit in. I feel like I stand out in bad way. I feel like a million stares are aimed at me and all of them are telling me "No."

The feeling of fitting in and conforming can feel so good. It can feel wonderful to just fit in and to feel like you belong among others. Maybe it's apart of human nature to enjoy fitting in and to enjoy feeling apart of the a wider community. Or maybe it's some thing that has to do with the fact that black hair has been a large part of the oppression of black people. You don't fit in because it's human nature but because you have been coerced into conforming to white standards in order to feel this sense of community and safety?

I don't know if I like conforming to society and assimilating. I like existing the way I do and looking different and being weird and strange. But, it's not that easy to be different and to always love being differnt.

Take for instance this, I don't know if my hair ever looks good. Yeah it looks soft and fluffy and I'm pretty sure that if I was back home people would think I had left the house with my hair undone but still I can't tell if my hair looks good. It never looks as shiny as it does when it's straightened and I have no basis on the way natural hair and afros are supposed to look like when they are done well and done poorly.

You know and I can't quite say it's because Afros can't look bad, or if it's because Afros and natural has always been thought of as being ugly and so now that I find beauty and empowerment in my hair I can't tell if I think my hair is ugly or not done nice because it isn't or if it's because I'm projecting those ideas on my hair at the same time I'm thinking about how pretty and fun my hair is. It's like two opposing messages going to one location and having the resulting message being a weird combination of the two messages.

I mean at least I knew if I was having a bad hair day when I permed my hair straight. Now? I'm not really sure.

I guess when you choose not to conform to white standards of beauty, you have to find some other way to identify a personal beauty in order to have a baseline, because they don't necessarily exist in a way that is as defined as white standards of beauty. I mean so much of the western world have been dominated by euro-centric beauty standards that in terms of the way that woc find out what beauty means can be a little foggy.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this in exact ideas its just this: Having an idea of what beauty standards are and choosing to go against that is powerful. But choosing to not conform can be hard. It can be heavy and make you stand out in ways that make things harder, may make you feel strange and may make you feel like you stick out. And it can make you feel great. It's a powerful force. And I personally haven't gotten to the point where I feel comfortable not conforming yet. Or at least not in it's entirety, not yet.

Behind the Blog #001 - The Basics

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18:49:00
I've been writing a few posts that have nothing to do with blogging which is kind of how I like it! But it's always good to change things up and discuss the business behind the blog and so that's what this post is all about. Think of this as the bones of the blog. I might further talk about blog inspiration and things like that at a later time but I think it's best we start at the foundation of the blog. I also promise this will be a short blog post!

I started my blog not too long ago (I think summer of '16?) and I've been at it for a whole half a year. I have no idea to describe my blog. It is a small blog that I can't imagine will be of any interest to anyone aside from a very niche group of people that includes only me and myself. But I love it. To be honest, it's a place for me to vent and discuss issues that are important to me, but I also want this to be a kind of a place for young woc. I haven't really figured out how it will become that place but I think it's in the works.

As I stated somewhere before on my blog, I started blogging a while ago and had another blog that I promptly got sick of and deleted. I have a great love affair of deleting things I've created and starting over. It can be rejuvenating. And that's how I view this blog here. It's fresh, and I honestly love writing and I write so much more than I have ever written for my old blog. And i feel like this blog is going somewhere you know? I was previously a beauty and fashion blog and I felt bogged down by that. I didn't have a lot of products to go through and I felt bored with it, which was so bizarre because I love beauty and fashion. I think switching to a lifestyle blog and focusing on writing things I want to talk about rather than stressing about what I could talk about when  dont have much makeup to begin with is invigorating.

I have a few posts that are in the line of discussing feminism and different aspects of how our world affects me and things like that. ANd surprisingly they aren't my favorite posts to write. I mean I love them but I also have issues with writing them. It is very difficult for me to write these posts because I usually come back and re-write them more and more. As my language and the knowledge I have about these topics change and develop, the way I talk about them change. And it can be hard to try and discuss things when it's not as easy for me to juggle all my thoughts and not be kind of preachy or a know it all. I don't think I pull this off quite as well as I think I do, but this whole mode of thinking is a process and it's a way to change your thinking. It's difficult and I guess I worry a lot about those posts and I don't think I have any new opinions or ideas to add to the topic. It kind of decreases the fun of them but I do enjoy those posts a lot, nonetheless.

I enjoy writing up a review posts or even a kind of normal lifestyle post. I think it's fun and it can be a relief to write them. I don't worry too much about the way I'm trying to write and all my thoughts, but rather I'm focused on writing an interesting post (which I don't think I pull off quite as well as I think I do). I think it can be fun to sit back and not have arguments with myself about what I'm writing and just write.

Since I'm slowly starting to write more personal based posts about me and my ideas about certain things, I'm actually really enjoying those kinds of posts as well. But it can also be difficult trying to put concepts and flashes of thoughts and feelings into proper sentences. But it's really therapeutic and I enjoy it a lot more than I really thought I would.

Anyway this is the bare bones you need to know about my blog. I guess I will write up some more future posts about how I come up with ideas and pictures and what not.

Tell me the basics of your blog! What kind of posts do you dis/like writing?


Get to Know Me Tag

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17:50:00
New Year, New me right? Ha, no let's be real I'm still going to be the same old me and probably even more me than I ever have been. I guess that's the beauty of getting older, you are more comfortable with who you are and are also so much more comfortable exploring the different intricacies of your personality and what makes you, you. With that being said, wouldn't it be super fun to know more about me, and who I am? Nobody tagged me, but who cares, I tag me.


1. Are you named after anyone?
Nope not at all. 

2. When was the last time you cried? 
 Oh I cried when I got my bunny, Presto. And it was because my other rabbit (who my dad found) died that morning and I was honestly so upset and heartbroken over Houdini dying that my parents left and got me a new rabbit and I basically cried while wrapping my arms around Presto's cage. Her first memory of me, is me sobbing all over her cage....good times...

3. Do you have kids?
Nope. 

THIS IS PRESTO!!

 
4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? 
No probably not. I personally think I'd find myself annoying or really scary/standoffish.
5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
I think my sarcasm has actually toned down a lot these past few years. So no I don't think I do!
 
6. Will you ever bungee-jump?  
Heck no.

7. What’s your favorite cereal? 
I love (love love) oatmeal. I think that should count as cereal since it's hot cereal. But if were talking about cold cereal I really do love a bowl of mini wheats. Except they have to be slightly soft from sitting in the milk.

This is also presto...she has no idea how a camera works tbh

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
I notice how they dress, their eyes and also makeup. I'm kind of into how people present themselves and how they express themselves (or don't) so I notice those kinds of things right away.
 
9. What is your eye colour? 
Brown.



10. Scary movie or happy endings?
Happy endings. I really like cheesy movies.
 
11. Favorite smells? 
I love anything that smells of fruit or sugar. I also love the smell of like toasted spices and also the scent of cold air (don't even question me on this!). Also the smell of the ocean during the summer is the best and the smell of like....rabbit hay...and the smell of tea.
12. Summer or winter?
Summer except I'm kind of enjoying winter (like with the snow and all) surprisingly. I don't like the cold but winter isn't so bad. Everything is really sad looking though.
 
13. Computer or television?
Computer 
 
14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? 
 Um Canada? 

15. Do you have any special talents? 
 Ha, no. 

Picture I took of the Bermuda Aquarium when I started working there. Also ignore the date on the picture it's wrong


16. Where were you born?
Bermuda 
 
17. What are your hobbies?
Okay I love cooking, drawing/cartooning, reading,and I do enjoy a bit o' tv every once in a while
 
18. Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have a dog and a cat and I have my bunny Presto. 
 
19. Favorite movie?
The Goonies because I am a Geek 
 
20. Do you have any siblings?
Yep 
 
21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Um I think I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was a kid (I also wanted to work at the Aquarium which I did! High five to younger me) and tbh I'm not that far from where I was. I'm going to be a biologist just not the kind of biologist I thought I would be. I'm a cooler kind of biologist now and younger me would be in awe of me.

Now that you know a bit more about me, tell me about y'all! Choose a question and tell me the answer to it! I also tag any of y'all who want to do (just pretend your name is right here).