Enclothed Cognition describes the concept in which the clothes you wear has an impact on your cognitive process. When you wear something you genuinely love, it is an instant confidence booster. That being said, this phenomenon is important to me because getting dressed is something everyone faces each morning. If aware of this concept, one would be able to dress more confidently and have a positive impact on his or her own day. This is part of the latest installment on my blog:
Maria is the beautiful face behind Miya Moda, an upcoming fashion blog and she also happens to be an old grade school friend of mine. From my memory, Maria was always wearing the cutest outfits during when we were teens. She is still dressing to the nines and exudes such confidence, both in real life and via her internet persona, which is why I was so interested in interviewing her.
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How would you define your style?
I’m not sure I can even pinpoint one specific style that describes what I wear. One day I might decide to go glam and wear high heels, a dress and some a few pieces of jewelry. Another I might opt for an oversized men’s tee with some form-fitting pants and my chucks. On yet another day I might somehow combine the two looks. I try not to box myself in too much so that if I see something I like when I’m shopping, I give myself the option of wondering, “How do I work that into my wardrobe?”
Is there anywhere or anyone in particular in which you get your style inspiration from?
I follow a lot of people on Instagram. I think nearly 2,000. I like to draw inspiration from all sorts of different people, from all walks of life. I really, really love Rihanna, Teyana Taylor, and Ariana Grande. Rihanna and Teyana have that sometimes glam, sometimes streetwear look that I absolutely love and Ariana’s got that traditionally feminine, almost Barbie-type style. There are probably others whom I draw inspiration from but can’t think of at the moment.
Do you find that what you wear can affect your mood?
Absolutely, 100%. If I leave the house and I’m not feeling my fit, I’ll be kinda off all day…and probably wondering how I can improve it next time I wear those pieces. If I look put together (in my opinion) then I feel put together and more confident about what I’m doing throughout the day.
If you wanted to feel more powerful on a particular day, what would you wear?
Definitely heels and big earrings. Also, probably something fitted because I try to eat well and work out so I like to show off the fruits of my labor. ☺
Related: How T-Shirts Can Make an Outfit
Have you always felt comfortable expressing yourself through fashion? If not, how did you work to achieve this?
Definitely not. This question brings me back to middle school, which was probably the worst period of my life so far. I was so self-conscious that I wore really baggy sweatpants, like two or three sizes too big. I remember one day, my bus driver told me I looked like I lost twenty pounds because I wore some new jeans I had gotten. I think the first step to becoming comfortable with expressing myself through fashion was learning to accept myself. I think I committed to eating better around 10th grade and then added in exercising. I tried to empathize more with people and accept them for who they were and judge them less based on appearance and other things they didn’t have control over. I know this all sounds kinda unrelated to fashion, but these were all baby steps now that I’m looking at it in retrospect. When I felt more comfortable with myself, probably the first year of college, that’s when I really started to feel comfortable with expressing myself through fashion, and I’m still working on that (and always will be).
Related: My Perfect Imperfections Tag
Is there anything in particular you do when you need a confidence booster?
I think about my friends and that usually helps me out a bit. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by people who want to see my succeed and who I know love me for me and not for my appearance, and that definitely makes me feel more confident in my abilities.
Do you think there can be intersectionality between fashion and feminism?
I do. I was in H&M the other day and half the store was devoted to slogans about girl power and feminism. I think it’s also important to be mindful of the fact that feminism and fashion mean different things for everyone. If one woman feels like she wants to completely cover herself because that’s what she’s comfortable with, then I support it. If another wants to wear crop tops and shorts, then I support that. Of course, there is a time and place for everything but for the most part, I think we need to worry less about what women wear. Throw in cultural differences and I could write a thesis on how woman have been and continue to be shamed for what they do or don’t wear. It’s such a broad and important topic.I think we need to worry less about what women wear - @ukrainianyonce Click To Tweet
I know you adore Beyonce. Do you think she’s a good role model for feminism?
I think, for the most part, she is. She’s very outspoken about what she believes in and she’s continually building girls and women up, no matter their race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status, etc., and I admire that about her. She’s a black woman who takes up a lot of space (as she rightfully should) and she doesn’t apologize for it.
People say she contradicts herself because she claims to be a feminist, but chooses to wear “risqué” outfits. What’s your take on this?
I think those people have a fundamental misunderstanding of feminism. Being a feminist and supporting the movement doesn’t mean that everyone tailors themselves to one narrow image. It’s about support women’s right and ability to make their own decisions. She can absolutely be a feminist and wear just a bra and underwear (or even go nude) in a magazine spread; the two are not mutually exclusive.
Do you think social media has been crippling the confidence of girls and boys?
Unfortunately, yes. Honestly, sometimes it cripples my own. It’s mentally tiring to scroll through Instagram sometimes and see how “perfect” some people look, whether their skin, their clothes, or their lives in general. I think kids see this and they don’t necessarily realize that a lot of it is staged. The right make-up and lighting can do a lot. Then there are photo-editing apps. And finally, what you see on social media isn’t real life. I know from personal experience. Sometimes I’ll post something that is completely not parallel with my mood or situation in real-time. To be as realistic as possible, I try not to over-edit my photos. I don’t photoshop them and usually the most I do is put a filter on and adjust things like brightness and contrast. I want people to know that not everyone looks like a model naturally. Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt.
What advice would you give to someone lacking self-confidence?
You have to get down to the root of the problem. What makes you feel worst about yourself? What makes you feel best about yourself. Start out with answering those questions. If you can, and I know it’s not always possible or easy, do less of what makes you upset and more of what makes you happy. For me, that was taking care of my health and not worrying about my weight. I would also add on that I believe supporting other people is a great way to become more self-confident. I know that sounds weird, but you just feel better on the inside and I think that feeling spreads to the surface. You feel more confident because you enjoy empowering others. Of course, wearing something that makes you feel confident also helps!Do less of what makes you upset and more of what makes you happy - @ukrainianyonce Click To Tweet
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