INTERVIEW: NERD ABOUT TOWN
REEK Perfume speaks to Stephanie Yeboah (aka NERD ABOUT TOWN), a plus size style blogger from London with a penchant for graphic novels, fragrance and women’s causes.
What women have inspired you most in your life?
I definitely get my inner strength from my Mother. She has been such a strong, fierce role model in my life and is the definition of a true survivor. She inspires me to keep going, despite the odds and is a testament to hard work and determination.
Other women, such as Missy Elliot and comedian/actress Monique, have also been incredibly influential to me. Seeing these gorgeous, strong black plus size women conquering Hollywood while being confident and unapologetic as fuck definitely inspired me to get on their level and spurred me on to find my own inner confidence and sass.
What women do you identify with from history to the present day?
Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa; otherwise known as the ‘Warrior Queen’, from my hometown of Ghana. She led the rebellion in Ghana against British colonialism in 1900. She was the first woman in Ashanti history to ever be given a role of warrior – a role traditionally reserved for the men of the villages. She was a force to be reckoned with and while she was captured and deported, her bravery stemmed a kingdom-wide movement for Independence. A true Queen.
What, in your opinion, are the most important female causes?
I’m very passionate about tackling the issues regarding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM takes place in 29 countries in Africa and affects over 125 million girls worldwide, with 137,000 girls living with the consequences of FGM in the UK. This brutal and absolutely useless practice of stripping women of their femininity and sexuality is something that needs to be talked about more often and eradicated.
Why were these images your chosen favourites of yourself?
I love these images as they are raw, honest and gritty. It’s me with hardly any makeup on, looking confident as fuck. As much as I love dolling up for my blog, I believe true beauty lies within and is shown in the simplest of actions, such as smiling. I love it!
What smells remind you of femininity?
I’ve always associated the fragrance of dusting/baby powder with femininity. I would always find vials of it around my Mother and Aunt’s dressing tables as a child and it is just a delicate, soft smell.
How does beauty industry advertising make you feel about yourself?
We live in a society that caters to, and glorifies a Westernized beauty standard, or ideal. As a plus sized black woman, it makes me feel unimportant, as if my beauty counts for nothing because of the colour of my skin.
Luckily for me, I’ve developed a sense of identity and pride in my ethnicity and skin tone and I love my colour and my size. I just wish that this was something that could be extended to the masses, especially the media and that people of all genders, races, abilities and sizes could be made to feel beautiful too.
Do you feel pressure to look/act a certain way to fit in with the ideals of female beauty?
I used to, but not anymore because what is ‘ideal’ really? What the media want us to believe? Beauty is whatever you make it; that’s the wonderful thing about beauty. It can be whatever you want it to be, because celebrating diversity and what makes us unique, is wonderful.