Growing up I always alternated the people I looked up to, for as you grow your tastes changes, your feelings change and well … you just grow. But there are 4 people I would say have been consistent role models, during my teenage years, that I would say have helped shape my identity.
Here are my role models.
My mum. She’s taught me a lot of things the world probably would not have taught me. One of the most important things I would say she taught me was to love and care for others, those in need of our help, our love and care. She taught me to embrace the caring heart I have. She taught me to keep going, keep fighting, through whatever struggle, don’t stop! My mum inspires me to never give up on anything and not only to love others, but to take time and love myself, my skin and my body, no matter what the size [I fluctuate loads – struggles of a foodie who doesn’t work out as often as she should].
My dad. He was my teacher when the school stuck to their curriculum, the history that schools don’t teach, my dad did and through this I learnt to love history and learning new things. He taught me what it means to be African in a world that will most likely not accept me fully because of my decent, my race and my hard to pronounce surname. That is something school never could have taught me. In everything I’ve learnt from him, he’s taught me to always stand up for myself, to be stubborn for the things I want and to be a fighter.
Phoebe Buffay. Yes I said it. Phoebe from Friends, she has been someone I’ve looked up to during my teens when I got into watching the famous American sitcom. She was weird and embraced it, she loved her friends and she knew she was awesome. She made me want to embrace who I truly was and stop hiding behind some fake persona I had made to please everyone around me because that was not who I was.
Nicki Minaj. I know why Nicki? I’ll tell you why. When Nicki first came up on the rap scene she came with a mission. To change the rap game for females, and to basically change the world. I loved that about her, [I mean I loved her rap game too] I loved how her priority were the girls who had big dreams that seemed impossible but she made it seem possible! I remember going to her concert in Manchester, my first ever concert, after a few songs she gave us all a pep talk about how amazing we all were and that we had to keep on dreaming and make plans to get there. She went on to advise us to stay educated “stay in school and don’t do drugs” these were her words. And that is why she was my role model growing.
Now as I’ve grown I’ve learnt that my role models are women doing things for women, empowering them no matter their choices. Especially black Women because whilst I was growing up there was no empowerment for us and now it’s so loud and I am in love and in awe with how black women have become louder with how amazing we are. I never liked my hair, although it was relaxed, or my skin tone always wished to be lighter and my hair to be softer but now I appreciate myself more and more each day when I see other black Women appreciate themselves, their culture and their identities.
It makes me happy to know that my children will be empowered to be their black selves in this crazy world we live in. For my black daughter to know that her hair, no matter what type, her skin tone, no matter how light or dark, her facial features, no matter how big or small, are beautiful!!
Because Lord knows I didn’t grow up with any of that.
I’d love to know who your role models were and why, I like knowing what influences people to become who they are, I do study psychology after all.
Anyway … And that is all she wrote
F A R I E L L E . N .