ZODIAC STORIES featuring working women, their self care and what they're creating next.

Concept/ Styling/ Photographer: Vlada Dyecheva

"I'm an Aries and originally from Saudi Arabia. Right now I'm based in New York and work in graphic design... Let's be real, I'm only starting to figure myself out in my own fiery and rebellious ways."

What was your upbringing like?

I definitely live in several separate worlds with my upbringing being Pakistani American.

When growing up, my mom kept her glass case of porcelain dolls in my room. They had perfect hair and dresses but I found them extremely creepy. It didn’t reflect my life because of how chaotic it would get in Saudi… My parents had an arranged marriage and “feelings” are very separated from tradition there. I feel like I didn’t have courage to speak about it for a long time. I am still finding that full strength to share my story because I want to prevent this silence for other girls in my culture.

When did you become rebellious?

In my mom’s eyes, I became rebellious the moment I started speaking up. I didn't see that as rebellion but then I would feel guilty because I thought I went against something that was right. When I left Saudi for college in America, it was the first time I felt like I could breathe. But that doesn't change that there are tons of different problems that still need to be changed here.

What is self care to you?

Self care to me is self love. I tell my sisters that all the time. I think because of the way we grew up, we forget that sometimes. I’m still practicing different kinds of self care. Trying to see what’s working in the moment, you know?

When this year first started, I was at a really weird place and my form of self care was skin care. It became a good routine for me, like a ritual that I looked forward to every day. I also love thrift shopping! I’ve always been a big advocate for expressing yourself through clothes and I didn’t realize how important it was before. I recently started to do yoga and enjoying that practice a lot.

What are you creating next?

… To be myself and not mask myself from family, friends and the rest of the society. In short, thicker skin and backbone. I’m tired of being silenced. I want to be me.


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