Shaggy is by far, one of the coolest, and most free people I’ve ever met.
I remember hearing about her from friends on my snowboard team. They used to tell me stories of their fearless friend Shaggy who would jump off of their apartment rooftop, into a swimming pool. About a year later, when I decided I wanted to actually start chasing my dream of becoming a fashion designer, I handed out some random clothing items I’d made, with those throw away box cameras from back in the day, and I asked some friends to take pictures of themselves modeling my clothes.
Somehow, before I ever met her, I got a whole envelope full of pictures of Shaggy rocking my clothes. Those were my favorite pictures because they were so much fun!
About a year went by, and she reached out to me through our friends, and encouraged me to create a collection and show it off in the UCLA fashion show,which she had completely orchestrated!
That was the first time we met, she was so full of life, so much spunk. Not only did she produce the whole show, she also rocked out in this crazy Lady Gaga-esque interpretive dance performance, and modeled for various lines!
Such an awesome human!
Not only did she rock the fashion show, but we ended up setting up a photo shoot with a real photographer, and she modeled my clothes while sliding down banisters!
Such a fun and crazy photo shoot!
Somehow years later, one conversation led to another and she encouraged me to start skating with her Roller Derby team! Somehow, we found out we had some pretty random mutual friends– apparently one of her closest childhood friends, was really close with one of my childhood friends, such a small world!
Anyway, from fashion shows, to roller derby she has been a huge influence in my life, encouraging me to stop thinking and start doing, and just to try things that scare me and that life can be so much more fun than I’m letting it be!
And I especially love her wild fashion sense. She cuts her own hair, and does whatever she wants, and doesn’t care what anyone else says or thinks.
Awesome human, I am excited that she wanted to do this interview!
Here it is!
1. What inspires you to dress so free?!
I grew up in a culture that often suppresses how women dress and express themselves. My mom was adamant about not raising me with those sexist limitations on my self-expression, but still valued historically feminine aspects of beauty like long hair, dresses, make up etc. That being said, I rebelled against all of it and made a conscious effort to look and feel beautiful and stylish with short hair, more masculine or gender-bender outfits, and little to no makeup. I truly recognize and value the privilege that I have being able to wear what I want in an effort to express my identity and the fluidity with which it flows.
2. What advice would you give to someone else who wants to have more fun with the way they put themselves together but might be holding themselves back? Give less fucks. The less you think about what others think, the more confident you’ll be in wearing what makes you feel sexy, smart, creative, young, fun, whatever! That being said, not everyone has the freedom to express themselves in the way they want. To those people, I’d say start small if you can do so and still feel safe. An accessory, fun socks, a small change with your hair or a new statement jacket can make you feel more free and closer to the you that you want others to see.
3. Did you ever get bullied? If yes how did you handle it? I got bullied when I was in elementary school and middle school quite a bit. I had what other kids would consider a goofy, foreign name. And I didn’t subscribe to the fashion trends a lot of other girls embraced. I generally flipped the script if I got picked-on. If someone made fun of me, I’d usually say something like “Yea. It is a weird name isn’t it? Bite me.” In fact, one kid started picking on me, calling me “Shaggy” because I had really long, puffy hair. And I actually just started responding to that name like it was no big whoop. I still go by Shaggy today!
What’s your advice for people who might be getting bullied for expressing themselves creatively?
I wish I had advice that could help people who are being hurt by bullies, but I don’t. Some people are just assholes and inflict pain on others for reasons totally unrelated to you at all. The best advice I can give from my own experience though, is to do your best to let it roll off your back. Believe your truth and what you see when you look in the mirror, because at the end of the day (or school year, or decade …) that’s the only person whose judgement ACTUALLY matters to you.