Dressing for self-expression and fearless confidence!
As the US election draws to a close, we are reminded that art, fashion and photography are mediums through with we can express the current political context of the world. As members of multicultural families in a country based on the innovation from all area of the globe, we decided to showcase our global muse Harini Madheswaran, who reminds us that although it isn’t always easy being a global citizen, the journey of challenge can inspire growth and confidence in us all. She is writer, nurse and advocate for Save the Children. If you need poetic inspiration or a virtual hug follow Harini @optimistpundit .
We all want to be that girl who sees the world with open eyes, fearlessly explores it, and challenges the state quo. Harini Madheswaran is that girl. Born and raised in Bangalore, Harini relocated to US when she was 8. We sat down to chat with this amazing young woman, who represents the spirit of strength, fearlessness and the positive face of modern America. As a person of great depth, she embodies our inspiration for how to dress for Fall – with a sense of global intelligence, mystery, and empowerment. As the she bravely waded deep into the cool blue waters of Lake Tahoe, and the light hit those stong cheekbones, we were captivated behind the camera by her intoxicating strength and magnetic presence that speaks volumed about the richness of her life experiences. She taught us that although there are challenges along the way, adapting to a new way of life and becoming a global citizen is not lonely, because ultimately connection teaches us that we are all human.
What is the most defining part of being a global citizen?
The best part of growing up in two different cultures is that it helped me be very open-minded. It has taught me that there is so much more to the world than what we are shown – whether it be on the news or what we are taught in school. The biggest part of being Indian that I hold dear is how big the term family can really be. It is a very community-oriented society—especially in the smaller cities and towns.
What was the hardest part of being a teenager in a new land?
When I first came here, I was still very much a child with all the childlike ideologies. I didn’t realize just how different I was until a couple years later when the other kids made me realize it. The hardest parts were definitely the teenage years when I struggled between being a “good Indian daughter” and fitting in with my peers at school. I never quite figured out the right balance but throughout those years, I got to know myself really well. I learnt my strengths and weaknesses and promised myself that each year after would be better. That determination to make something great of myself comes from my immigrant parents and the dreams that they came to this country with.
What advice do you have for other young girls and women struggling to assimilate into a new culture?
In more ways than one, it is much harder for girls to assimilate into a new culture than boys. In India, I was very outgoing and had many friends in school. When I came to this new country, it was the complete opposite. I spent countless days sitting by myself at lunch and trying to get the courage to make friends at recess. At the end of it all though, I knew it would get better and I had the power to make it better. We just have to keep believing in our own strength as women. Our parents and grandparents grew up closer to a time when women were constantly reminded of weaknesses that may have never existed. It is going to be a challenge and you will have many hard days and want to go back home but slowly and surely, you will step into yourself and conquer every fear you had and all the new fears you will gain from new experiences. You will come to love this new home as I have and continue leaving your own beautiful mark in YOUR country.
Valentina & Francesca is for the millennial individual who sets the direction to her life with optimism and an unwaveringly open mind. A high-impact, laser-focused digital platform generating unique content inspiring connected women to discover their personal style. Valentina & Francesca enhances your brand’s story with bold contemporary narratives celebrating confidence and power in a smart, irreverent way within a highly engaged community.
View all posts by Valentina & Francesca