What is your name and what do you do/what is your passion?
My name is Dijah, I'm 19 and I'm an aspiring model.
In what moments in your life do you feel most powerful?
The moment in my life that I felt the most powerful was the moment I refused to be insecure about my image. Growing up most teens can admit that they've had body image issues, whether its their weight, their skin or even the way they dress. And for me my insecurities revolved around my image; that being mostly my skin. Being a young black female, growing up it was hard for me to accept the skin I was in when not too many people were fond of it. Because I'm dark skinned it was a little hard for me to accept my own color because I didn't live in a neighbourhood with many black kids. I came from a place where all the other girls looked the same and I was kind of the odd one out. It drove me crazy that a lot of the role models my friends had looked similar to them, where as all my role models looked nothing like me (which definitely made it hard to relate).
When I got to high school I got picked on for being darker than other black teens, I'd get called burnt, dirty, a cockroach because people thought it was funny. It took a serious dig at my confidence and made it hard for me to love me and I don't think that's fair. I believe that everyone should be able to love themselves unapologetically regardless of their circumstances. I grew out of my teens and came to college and met a community of coloured women, through York University's BSC (black student committee) who were not only proud of their heritage but absolutely in love with the people they were becoming. It was through joining this group that I soon saw the beauty in being unapologetically my self.
What women have been most influential to you?
The women who are the most influential to me are the women who are carefree and true to themselves. I grew up studying and practicing art so I'm very big on supporting people who aren't afraid to pursue their visions dreams and ideas just like the woman who runs Easy Period. I look up to a lot of female creatives in music, fashion and art like; Kehlani (singer), FKA Twiggs (singer), Princess Nokia (rapper) and Yes Julz (promoter, marketer and business owner). These to me are all women who have worked very hard to bring their visions to life, these are women who don't let anyone stand in the way of their success. And that to me is what it means to embody feminism.
Do you have any advice for our easy community?
In terms of advice all I can say is that no matter who you are or where you're from or what your circumstances are, do not ever be afraid to push towards your dreams and reach your goals. If you have a vision and not many people understand it do not let that be the reason you get discouraged! Do not be afraid to ride your own wave and be the leader!