Women crush everyday of the week! To honor and share stories of women who are crushing it either on the body front or the mama front, I am featuring short interviews of women who are crushing it, hence the title #WomenCrushWednesday. This #WomenCrushWednesday woman is very close to my heart. I had the honor of being her advisor/teacher last year and found myself in awe of her style and presence on a daily basis. For her Senior Thesis Project she produced a body positive baby clothing line which was sold in stores. She also donated half of her inventory to a high school for teen mothers. Isn’t she just amazing?! So without further ado, I present to you, fashion designer, Kaliyah!
How has your view of your body evolved over the years?
As a young women, I am still learning and growing. Over time I have grown to love, appreciate and take care of my body. I used to think that only skinny girls are healthy and have the perfect bodies. I used to compare myself to those girls. I had family members suggest that I go on a diet in elementary school. To them it may have seemed harmless but it had deeply affected the way I viewed myself to other women. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to the realization that healthy comes in all sizes and shapes. My view of a perfect body is whatever makes someone feel confident. Since I strongly believe in mothers playing a role in developing a child’s self esteem and body image, I began to observe how my mom perceived herself. I realized that she’s confident about herself so I should be too!
How do you think women should feel about their bodies?
Women should feel genuinely happy and confident about their bodies. Every women should feel good about themselves. If it is a makeover or a wardrobe change that helps them feel more confident then it should be done.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I genuinely care about the self esteem of women, especially young women. I wanted to do a clothing line focused on making baby gowns that promote positive body image slogans. I believe that mothers play an important role in developing a child’s self esteem. Often times after a mother has a baby she feels uncomfortable and not confident about her body.I wanted to create “Welcome to the World” (my baby clothing line) to help combat negative stereotypes and misconceptions of perfect bodies. I wanted to remind women through their babies that they are beautiful, appreciated and loved. I chose 3 catchy slogans for the gowns : “That’s not baby fat, It’s warrior skin”, “My mom has 99 problems but her body ain’t 1”, and “Fluffy moms do it best”. I do what I do because I am passionate about fashion and changing the way all women are perceived. I want to be a positive leader in this world and this is a small step.
Kaliyah currently attends the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, CA. She is a bit too busy to continue her Welcome to the World fashion line at this time but with summer coming up may be able to make something happen. If you are interested in purchasing one of her baby gowns please leave your request in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy #WomenCrushWednesday!