5ft 4, brown skin, mid-length dark hair, big eyes, slim(ish), resting bitch face with an air of ambiguity are some of the things that sum up my external identity. Who I am isn't just what you see on the surface, and that is something using social media has really got me thinking about. Instagram in particular creates this overall sense of “black and white,” only two very extreme versions of yourself are put on display - your image and what your selling through your image to all your followers. It begs the question, what happens to all that grey matter which makes up who you really are?
Well, my grey matter is composed of being 24, diagnosed with Bipolar, a Muslim woman, South Asian, a sexual assault victim, a sister (of THREE brothers), an introvert, shy, quiet, anxiety ridden, hyper organised, a mental health advocate, a campaign assistant, list obsessed and so so much more. You don't get to see those things in photos, you probably wouldn't even guess it. Of course you can’t see these things duh, nonetheless, they make me who I am and effect how I choose to portray myself. Having worked in environments where identity was heavily scrutinised made taught me I don't need to focus in on just one aspect of who I am - for example being a Muslim woman - instead I want to explore my identity as a PERSON on a whole.
Sharing my looks and my lifestyle isn't a matter of falsifying elements of my life. I tirelessly put tonnes of energy into what I put out there. Every image is tied to a mood, a feeling and a thought, all of which I set out to share with you through my writing. In that respect I am trying to set myself apart from the usual “look at me and my amazing life” set we see everywhere. My life isn't always amazing. I don't always look how I do on the days I shoot my looks. The days that aren't so great like when I am just running errands, working and even sometimes being incredibly lazy and watching too much Netflix, make me all the more grateful for those where I am doing what I love: writing, shooting my curated outfits and seeing it all come together on my blog.
This weeks look is just one example of many to come, inspired by my thoughts on how identity is portrayed on social media. As the saying goes “nothing is ever black and white” hence this monochrome ensemble. I’m making my point, even down to the stitching in the garments everything is black and white. See, all that thought! Theres definitely always more than meets the eye.
Shop the look:
White Shirt Body, Zara - Similar here
Trainers, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
Libra Coin Necklace, Vanity and Rose
Amelia Gold Necklace, Cinco Store
Oval Ring, Annina Vogel
Crown Ring, Annoushka
Photography by Hayley Ku'unani - Instagram @thoualone