Gentle Woman Of The Week ~ Shefon Nachelle
Meet this weeks IT Girl, Shefon Nachelle. She is a gentle reminder personified. I can always count on Shefon to remind me of my power as a woman, how beautiful life is even though we may sometimes struggle and she always finds the most amazing way to explain the complexities of human emotion. As a writer, as a business woman, and as a carefree brown girl, Shefon has been extremely instrumental and I am forever grateful to have come across this beautiful spirit on my journey. I pray that her words resonate with you as they do with me. Enjoy. Xo
1. What does your style say about you?
I never paid much attention to how my style or choice of dress would be perceived by the world until very recently. I would get up and get dressed every morning according to how I felt, or how I WANTED to feel. I think my personal style says minimal or classic with an added touch of spunk and creativity. I am super 'girly' but also have very 'boyish' ways about me. I think it displays my fun and funky personality, but translates the dainty as well.
2. In the mornings when you're getting dressed, what is one quirky thing that you always do?
Oh gosh. There are probably so many things I do unknowingly just because of how weird I can be. I always do what I call, a sniff check. Have to make sure you have on your deodorant, especially for those hot summer days.
3. There are so many inspirational women in this world. Which woman resonates with you the most and embodies your idea of femininity?
Ah. This is a tough one. In terms of the woman who I identify most closely with, I would have to say Tracee Ellis Ross. Obviously, she is a stunning woman but there's a certain level of vulnerability I admire about her. [If you don't read her blog, you should] Her willingness to put herself out there. She's loud and sexy and funny, but also insightful. She says cries ... a lot and wants to be soft and vulnerable. I think she is constantly displaying the many aspects of herself. One of my favorites quotes from her is : "I just really strongly promote pushing against this culture of perfection." Is that not what we consistently perform as femininity? Perfection? That is absolutely false and a threat to our authentic selves. I am always encouraging others to reject my perfection, it is not real. So, in terms of femininity, I say Tracee because she represents my idea of femininity. Imperfection.
4. Which colors do you feel most comfortable wearing? Why?
Yellow and red are two colors I feel most comfortable wearing. When I'm having a bad morning or struggling with myself, either of those colors really gives me the boost I need to get up and get going. I think we underestimate the power that colors have on our mood. My energy and confidence increase in an insane way when I'm draped in red or yellow. Besides, what girl doesn't feel super bad ass with red lips or a yellow flowy maxi dress?
5. What does self love mean to you and how does that translate into your personal style?
I have struggled with accepting certain parts of my being, both physical and otherwise. We wage so much war on ourselves, instead of declaring peace. So that's what self love means to me - peace. Peace with all the pieces of me. In terms of my personal style, I have had to learn to not hide certain aspects of myself. I used to not wear certain clothing because I didn't want to draw attention to myself. My skinny legs or my A cup chest were not attractive to me and I didn't find myself worthy of dressing up or taking care of myself. I had to practice being good to myself. It became a habit that eventually manifested itself physically by wearing things that made me feel good. It allowed me to own both my inner and outer beauty without insecurity and shame.
6. Every woman has her favorite go-to brands that she can always count on to have what she needs. What are some of yours?
Top Shop and Free People are two of my favorite brands when I need something quick and guaranteed and have time to wait for shipping. Target is one of my favorites when I'm looking for something affordable and minimal. Otherwise, I am super cheap and love thrift and vintage stores.
7. What are a few products that you cant go without?
Milani Bare Secret lipgloss, Maybelline Falsies Mascara and Coconut Oil. Definitely, coconut oil.
8. What do you enjoy most about being a woman?
I love the endlessness of being a woman. A lot of my experience in womanhood, has been creating its boundaries and definition for myself. Raised by my grandparents, I was only able to grasp and learn certain aspects of being a woman through my grandmother. I knew what it meant to have quiet strength, be sacrificial and care and nurture those around me but never understood creating my identity outside of others. While challenging, it has been rewarding to discover and define womanhood on my own terms. I am becoming the woman I have always wanted in my life.
9. What are some of your every day essentials that you carry in your purse?
I carry my notebook and a fine tip Sharpie religiously - you never know when inspiration might hit. One of two books, 'The Beautiful Disruption' by GG Renee and 'When Women Were Birds' by Terry Tempest Williams. Lipgloss, baby wipes, my sunglasses, safety pins, mints and last but not least, my headphones. The zone out is sometimes necessary.
10. What is your favorite quote that inspires you and drives you be better and do better everyday?
Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed. – Alice Walker
11. What is something that you want people to know about you that they don't already know?Sometimes I think there is a one dimensional view of my personality. By default, I am an extrovert and am often characterized as strong, tough and resilient. While these things at moments ring true, I am still vulnerable and fragile. I want the world to see my delicacy and softness as much as they see the warrior.