Growing up, I was never a girly girl. Before I turned eight, I lived in the countryside of Northern China. I played with mud, ants and whatever is in my environment. I didn’t climb trees, but I did crawl under a train one time when the train was blocking my way from school to home.
When I was in middle school and high school, I didn’t play with makeup or dressup or anything like that. Because I was concentrating 100% on school. If I put any efforts on physical appearances, it would be looked down upon from my teacher. So the first 17 years of my life, I didn’t do much beauty or fashion related.
I became increasingly interested in fashion when I came to the U.S. As I grow older, I become more attuned with my feminine side. I used to never wear dresses, now I have many. I celebrate the fact that I am a woman and I have many ways to express it. I can wear a dress and still feel powerful.
I think many women don’t take advantage of the fact they are women and they don’t dress up. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe they don’t have good taste. I’m not saying that women should always wear makeup or dress up, but I think there is a lot of power you are not giving yourself when you don’t dress up.
There are times I dress like a man wearing my pants and blazers, but there are times I dress like a woman, because I can! That’s what I found liberating. I can be both masculine and feminine as I want, I don’t think guys have the same range and flexibility like we do.
So embrace your femininity and be the woman you are.
Photographer: Keith Bodziak