Category: know

Mucho Art

art, authenticity, know, lifestyle, podcast April 1, 2020

In this episode, I’m getting personal with Sofia Enriquez, an artist based in the Coachella Valley, whose works explore androgyny, her intercultural identity, and feminism. Her practice consists of murals, large scale paintings, as well as her fashion collection MUCHO, consisting of one of a kind painted garments.

Here’s my conversation with Sofia, and how to connect with her:

Spotify Podcasts

Apple Podcasts

Google Play

Stitcher

Sofia’s Art

Sofia’s Instagram

Growing A Grassroots Movement

activism, know, podcast, politics March 4, 2020

In this episode, I’ll explore the makings of immensely successful grassroots organizations, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founded by my guest, Shannon Watts.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Moms Demand is the grassroots wing of Everytown Demands Action on Gun Sense, and spurred the organization of Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Shannon started the group via Facebook one day after the heartbreaking Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.

Here’s my conversation with Shannon, and how to connect with her:

Spotify Podcasts

Apple Podcasts

Google Play

Stitcher

Moms Demand Action website

Shannon Watts Twitter

Fight Like A Mother by Shannon Watts

 

 

 

In Our Skin

beauty, health, know, podcast February 12, 2020

In this episode, we’re getting into all things skincare, entrepreneurship, and community-building with Nayamka Roberts-Smith. Known as LA Beautyologist, Nayamka is an esthetician who popularized the 60-second rule, and CEO of The Golden Rx, a virtual skin studio, as well as The Golden RX Skin Studio here in Los Angeles. Nayamka focuses her expertise on the bodies of young women of color, a group unfortunately and often neglected by the wider skincare industry.  

Here’s our conversation, and how to connect with her:

Apple Podcasts

Spotify Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Stitcher

Book LA Beautyologist

Beautyologist Twitter

 

The More Representation, The Better

business, know, society, thinkpiece, youtube January 14, 2020

“I think it’s very important for people to be celebrating all these different types of people because you never know who your customer is going to be.” – Christian Siriano

Historically, the “tried-and-tested” formula in advertising of what’s sexy, smart, or overall, just good, has been very, very white, young, heterosexual, and able-bodied. We see this in the years-long lack of representation of minority groups within media, as well as the perpetuation of stereotypes about women, as docile, overly-emotional sex objects, and men, as powerful, emotionless, head-of-household’s.

Before “taking a chance” on ‘The Cosby Show’ and ‘Roots,’ Hollywood’s white, male executives often believed that putting Black people on television wouldn’t be of interest to most Americans–yet, both sitcoms went on the have two of the most viewed episodes in TV history. When it comes to female misrepresentation, feminist activist and advertising researcher Jean Kilbourne has tackled the perniciousness of these beliefs throughout her career; and though improvement has been made since she began her work in the 1960s, gender stereotypes in advertising remain, and creep into our society in much bigger ways. 

Off of TV screens and billboards, we see proof of this in education, wherein history textbooks and leisurely reads alike facilitate the erasure of important events for POC and LGBTQ+ people by the lack of coverage. In 2016, POC accounted for a measly 22% of children’s book characters, though making up more than 40% of the US population in thirteen states alone.

It’s no surprise then, that the lack of representation of all of these groups is also apparent within corporations and the cultures they cultivate. The many fiascos, involving major players like Victoria’s Secret’s former head Ed Razek, celebrity brands, like Kim Kardashian with her now-defunct ‘Kimono’ shapewear, and ubiquitous brands like Nike that represents women in their advertising while facilitating the mistreatment of female athletes within their running program, shows the power of having a diverse chorus of open, and well-informed minds at the head of an operation.

Marketing Exec. Sekinah Brodie points out that “different perspectives and including a variety of people can only help bring out the best in a product or service. When you decide what type of culture you want, listening to your team will help to cultivate that.”

In today’s hyper-social market, wherein your next loyal customer is only an Instagram scroll or soundbite away, what is the point of not creating a team that reflects society as a whole, and has the know-how to inform the brand in a way that widens its reach?

*The author of “The Building of Luxury” is Kyojira Hata

Self-Preservation is Your Best Friend

know, mindfulness, thinkpiece July 7, 2019

The two-hundredth-and-forty-fourth anniversary of America dredged up some pretty powerful feelings about my own independence…or lack thereof. Days after, it dawned on me that my obsession with the latter (or the former, errr), could be tied to the impending arrival of my two-year LA-versary.

Thanks to Hollywood (one small neighborhood in LA), Los Angeles has been likened to some other world (true), where sunshine beats on you constantly (false). So much so that you might be wondering, “Tahira, what about sunshine makes you uneasy?” And the answer to that is: living in Los Angeles is the hardest thing I’ve done thus far. In two short years, I’ve learned a disturbing amount about myself and being on my own.

What that really means, and what that really looks like. 

And for some reason, learning these things has been seemingly more uncomfortable than my learning in other seasons in my life. Perhaps because I can no longer bullshit myself about who I am and why I am that way, but to make a long story short, I’ll say that I’m still trying to figure it out. One can only suspect that it has a lot to do with how good I’ve gotten at ‘picking and choosing my battles’–a practice so subjective by nature that another wave of discomfort is rolling in as we speak.

And perhaps that's the thing that really gets me about this town...

It makes you realize that nothing is good or bad. The only thing that makes it such is your perspective. What a beautifully hellish thing to be responsible for…. :’) And ultimately, that’s why I’ve come to see self-preservation as my best friend.

Merriam-Webster defines self-preservation as, “preservation of self from destruction or harm,” a biological reaction that boils down to survival of the fittest. But in my even simpler, zen-brain terms, self-preservation is what I do to not completely lose my shit. If life is an ocean of emotional triggers, self-preservation is your lifeboat. Not your mother, or your best friend, or your significant other. Love and fear of God is great too, but for good measure, pray for self-preservation.

I liken self-preservation to the duvet cover I pull over myself at night knowing that it won’t protect me from the ax murderer, should they arrive in the middle of the night, yet that cream, linen duvet helps me get in those Zzzs.

Self-preservation isn't false security.

I’m fully accepting of the fact that two locked doors are the actual barriers between me and this imaginary murderer, and even more privy to how ridiculous this analogy is, yet I don’t allow either of those facts to keep me up at night. If I’m being even less ridiculous, SP is any action that helps you to cope with the reality that a lot of sad, scary things happen in life, without diminishing life’s beauty. It’s the mediator that helps to balance you out after all goes left.

For me, that mediator comes in the form of mantras that I hold up against pretty much anything that happens in my life, including, but not limited to….

1. Love all, but give your energy to few.

Energy is expensive and we have to learn how to spend it. To my horror (and yours, I’m guessing), turning off your giving-a-damn-o-meter completely is impossible, but if you learn where to invest your energy, and how in what quantities, your life gains an under-rated calm.

2. See it and say less.

A ghost from dating’s past once taught me life’s biggest lesson: not everything needs a response–that includes people’s actions. Sometimes they have no idea that what they’re doing affects you big time; other times, they know what they’re doing, can ‘imagine how you feel’, and they just don’t care.

3. Relationships must be a two-way street.

Call me crazy, but whether familial, platonic, or romantic, I want the people in my life to do the work to maintain the connection we have. This may not look like a steady stream of communication, or time spent together, but if the answer to why we haven’t enjoyed quality time in 5ever is poor communication…I will happily remove you from my life.

Ciao. Poof. Finito. 

I take all of my relationships very seriously, and if you don’t, well…please keep your ‘pick-up-where-we-left-off’ mess away from me. Everyone has their preference, and mine is to unapologetically connect with the people I love as often as I can.

4. Cherish the people who show up for you.

You don’t have to search for your cheerleaders. Or buy some device on the black market to decipher their energy. You will know who is there for you and who is not. Celebrate those who are, they did not stumble into your life by accident.

5. Not all of your relationships will pass this sniff test. 

That’s the whole point…not all of them are supposed to, and that’s perfectly ok. Even the relationships that pass the sniff test today, may not pass it fifteen years from now. That’s why self-preservation should be our best friend.

And why not? Self-preservation is having the audacity to celebrate your life regardless of the circumstances. It’s the defiant act of celebrating who you are today and who you have in your life today, of loving all that you have for what it is, and of seeing the magic in this very moment.

Self-preservation allows us to see the beauty in all things, by helping us to reconcile the hurt we feel from the bad that occurs in our lives, without attaching it to the good. It’s the freedom to just be and let be. And you deserve it.