And who am I?
This very question, four simple words strung together and tied into a bow with a single question mark, managed to launch a wildly successful television show, a New York Times bestselling book series, and basically gave birth to the cornerstone of Freudian psychological science. From Sigmund to Serena and Blair, it seems everyone has a weird obsession with figuring out exactly who they are, and what they stand for. I suppose it’s only human nature, to not only seek a sense of self recognition in ourselves, but also in the people we interact, invest, and choose to surround ourselves with. Maybe that’s why I went to such great lengths to borrow the non Mom-approved, (at the time, anyway), Cecily Von Zigesar novels from my older friends, or why I still find myself rewatching Gossip Girl episodes in my spare time today, and not just to avoid the inevitable Introductory Psychology paper. Although the husky Kristen Bell voiceover wielded her power by keeping her identity a secret, I’ll try to be a little more straightforward.
Who is The Curly Effect?
The answer to this is, like most things, not altogether that complicated. However, being myself: a person with a penchant for long sentences and even longer explanations, I’m almost 100 percent liable to make this whole thing much more intricate and elaborate than it needs to be.
Starting from present day. A quick snapshot of my life right now would be the equivalent to a Norman Rockwell painting, pretty bland, nothing extremely out of the ordinary. My name is Nasri, I live in Connecticut, I am currently seventeen years old, and in May of 2015 I’ll be wrapping up my first full year at university. All that’s missing from the image is a white picket fence, and a dog of some kind…a cocker spaniel maybe? Throw that together with a sketch of me and my pile of sadly overpriced textbooks and you’ve got an instant classic, ready to hang next to American Gothic in a gilded frame.
Alright, alright. So I may have a bit of a thing for sarcasm. But it’s really just a cover to hide the fact that, after starting and running two separate blogs and going onto the third with this project, I am still absolutely terrible at introductions.
I guess we’ll start from the top? Good idea?
Right. Let’s try this again.
So, who/what is this thing?
As somewhat clumsily aforementioned, TheCurlyEffect is the story of me, Nasri Charles, seventeen year old college freshman. Fun fact: the name “Nasri” is actually Arabic, and means ‘my victory’. It’s a nice sentiment, I like to think. Your name foreshadowing a path to your own inner greatness. Your own victory.
While we’re speaking of victories, well, that’s the main reason I decided to start this blog. Ever since fatefully stumbling upon a fashion blogging spotlight on eleven year old Tavi Gevinson in Teen Vogue when I was about the same age as she was, or, in other words, not a teen or anything remotely close to Vogue (hot pink and orange Adidas with matching pink guacho pants, anyone?), I have been enamored with the world of fashion blogging. For as long as I can possibly remember, I was intrigued with the sparkling snow globe of glitter that I saw as the fashion industry. Whether it was designing, modeling, makeup, it didn’t matter: I wanted to do it all. I could never pick just one element of the fashion world that called to me, but instead spent basically every moment between the ages of five and eleven and a half trying to dip my sticky hands into every possible dimension of the business. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do, and in a desperate hurry to figure out what exactly that was, I threw myself with abandon into sewing, sketching, and practicing runway struts in my mother’s Nine West heels. There was no question that the world of fashion was the place for me, but even in a world where you feel you belong, it’s still so painfully easy to get lost.
Blame it on being a Gemini, as my birthdate of May 26th plops me squarely in the astrological realm of the twins, known for having two distinctive personalities and a struggle with finding balance, but it was increasingly hard for me to find an area of the industry that seemed to fit my mighty ambitions. In a business where everyone seemed so married to their distinctive sectors (designers were designers; models were models, as anyone who has ever seen one or two episodes of Project Runway will quickly tell you), there appeared to be no space for someone who couldn’t limit their hunger and drive to just … one …. thing.
The answer? Why not create your own space? In the video game of the fashion world, being introduced to the fashion blogger alternative was like being handed a flash drive stocked with cheat codes. Bloggers can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and it didn’t take me long to realize this. With a few strokes of a computer keyboard, the click of a camera, and a basic understanding of juvenile web design, in an industry with no space left at the fringes for fidgety floaters like me, was suddenly this opportunity to create spaces of our own: free from rules, boundaries, and restrictions, to run wild with our ambitions as we please. The perfect solution.
As someone who has always enjoyed the literary and the written, combining the two things that make me most happy and fulfilled in the world, writing and fashion, made the discovery of fashion blogging as a viable career option the equivalent to a deep sigh of relief. All it took was a quick subscribe to TheStyleRookie, followed by The Man Repeller not long after, for the floodgates to be opened. And with the opening of said floodgates, the reality that, no, I didn’t just have to do one thing, I could brand myself, through my blog, into anything, wasted no time setting in.
With my own platform, I wouldn’t have to choose between a love of fashion, writing, photography, art, music, and editorial and creative prose, but instead could mold all of those separate aspects of who I am and what I love into one cumulative representation of myself.
And who am I?
Well. If you stick around here long enough, you’ll see that I am ambitious, with a flighty attention span, and a decent wit, backed with a dry joke or two. You’ll see that I am opinionated, not just with my stance on pattern mixing and monogrammed handbags, but also on issues of social justice that permeate the fashion industry. You’ll see that, like my personal style, my tastes in music, art, books, and even life, I am always evolving, never too long standing still. You’ll see that I love documenting my life in pictures, whether it be the clothes I wear, the places I go, the people I meet or the concerts I attend. You’ll see that I have big hopes that don’t involve this small town in Connecticut in which I currently reside, and you’ll see that I am determined to make my life an Andy Warhol Exhibition, or maybe a MoMa showing of Basquiat, but definitely not a Norman Rockwell. You’ll see that eventually it is my dream to write as fashion journalist for a fashion magazine such as i-D or Nylon, and continue to become an editor of my own magazine someday, a diverse publication making fashion accessible for all, especially the underrepresented. You’ll see that I am not afraid to get a run in my tights on the way to where I long to be, and maybe even take a photograph and craft an outfit around it to commemorate the occasion. But most of all, you’ll see that I’m just a normal girl (pardon the cliché), who after seeing so many people charge ahead to create the opportunities they wanted for themselves, decided to do the same.
I once read in a Frida Kahlo poem, that it was important for a “lucky” girl to find an apartment just her size, no extra space. I’d like to think of this blog as my own apartment, my own space, until my dreams aren’t mere dreams anymore. And although Frida told me it should be just my size, I say: my space, my rules…and I hope one or two of you might want to share it with me.
After all, what could be a better victory than that?
Love and Leaky Pens,