Wednesday, November 30, 2016

3 Experiences When I've Been Brave & Bold

Lindsey Clawson Photography

Besides my bold lip color and neckline, this post is sharing some of my boldest, bravest decisions this past year. I was inspired to write this post after watching a TED video by Reshma Saujani, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection”. Reshma Saujani shares her journey of running in the New York City congressional race and calls women and girls to be brave, not to be perfect. Too often, we feel like we have to show the world that we’re doing well in every aspects of our lives. When in reality we’re balancing competing priorities, experience career changes, and working on our relationships with our families and friends.

 As a style blogger, I feel I have a platform to give you fashion ideas. As a woman, I feel I have a platform to share my experiences of bravery and boldness. These experiences are times when I’ve felt vulnerable and insecure.  It’s also these experiences that have helped me grow this past year.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Ravenna Woods x AEO

Holly Phan Photography
American Eagle Outfitters Style Ambassador - Holiday 2016
For my first Holiday Look for AEO, I want to take you to an escape in the Northwest. An escape to one of my favorite places in Seattle. This place is between busy streets and people’s schedules and agendas. This place is where I feel whole and everlasting as the evergreens. This place is where I breathe effortlessly and I find moments of clarity as I walk beneath the bridge and alongside the stream. This place is the Ravenna Woods.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Last Name is Cortes

My Last Name is Cortes

My last name is Cortes
No I am not Hispanic
I tell my doctor who walks in the room
Who is surprised to find a petite, tan, Asian looking girl who hasn’t been feeling well for several days

 My last name is Cortes
Because I am a Filipino-American
Because the Philippines was a Spanish colony for 300 years
I tell my Uber driver
Who is confused why I am not Latina

 My last name is Cortes
I explain to my Sales mentor
It is my senior year of college and I am in the Sales program in the business school
My Sales mentor is in awe that I speak so well
And that I don’t have an accent

My last name is Cortes
Because my parents immigrated to this country
Because my grandfather fought for the Americans and the Filipinos during WW2
Because of my grandfather and my parents sacrifice
I am here today

My last name is Cortes
And though my parents speak English fluently
The customer service representative at the cell phone store
Turns to me, speaks to me
To communicate to my parents

 My last name is Cortes
And when I landed my first big corporate internship in college,
I was ecstatic
My mother was also ecstatic and she sat me down for a pep talk
Because when she walked through the doors of corporate America 25 years ago
As a young, newly immigrated Filipino-American accountant,
A co-worker told her that she didn’t know that
“Monkeys could do accounting”
She feared I might experience the same comments

 My last name is Cortes
And in countless work meetings
I am the only woman, the only person of color, and the only person under 30
I may not face the same explicit racist comments my mother had to deal with
But I do know I am not the norm

My last name is Cortes
And all my life I knew I was different
I stay tan year round but my parents wanted me to stay light skinned
I grew up without Asian-American models in billboards or representing major fashion brands
I spoke a different language at home
I have a do or die attitude and I feel like I cannot let myself or my family fail
And I’ve tried so hard to level myself to an equal playing field in my career and education

 My last name is Cortes
And though I’ve faced implicit attitudes and daily micro aggressions
I have never faced explicit racism
Like my parents have

 My last name is Cortes
And I fear that one day these implicit attitudes will become explicit actions
Fueled by hate, discrimination, sexist, and prejudice notions

My last name is Cortes
And though I understand people wanted major political change in electing him,
I’m devastated that my country has chosen him
Regardless of his dangerous rhetoric
I’m devastated that a man with 0 political experience was elected to lead this country
While I fight my way for just a seat at the table

 My last name is Cortes
And because I am different
I know I can relate to many others
Who may share experiences of micro aggression
Who may share experiences of being a minority
Who understand the frustration of trying to get to an equal playing field
Who have to constantly explain “where they are from”
Who may share the experience of being a woman

 My last name is Cortes,
And whether their last names are Peterson, Kato, Changela, Umetin, or Varkey
I know our differences will unite us
And one day my friends, my peers, my colleagues
Will be future lawyers, future executives, future doctors
My friends who are Muslim, who identify with the LGBT community,
My friends who are white, black, and brown
Will shatter the glass ceiling
Will advocate for human rights
And will create a leadership, a government
That is representative of America

We will challenge, we will unite
We will use love to trump hate
And we will be proud to claim a last name like Cortes.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Windy City

I literally just got home from the airport from a long weekend in Chicago. Here is a quick outfit recap of what I wore in the Windy City.