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Exclusive! Iskra and Halima Get Candid on Self-Love and Breaking Stereotypes

July 25th, 2017 at 2:00am

Created with American Eagle Outfitters

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

What could make CollegeFashionista’s IRL podcast recording even better? How about having not one but two incredible women who personify the term “Girl Power” as our guests?

Attendees at the recording were given the privilege to take part in a candid conversation with two of the most inspiring and game changing young women out there today, that faces of American Eagle Outfitters‘ fall campaign: Iskra Lawrence and Halima Aden. Besides being beautiful inside and out, Iskra and Halima have successfully quieted the noise and rose to have successful multi-hyphenated careers.

Before Iskra became the single name celebrated model-activist she is today, she had to overcome a lot of obstacles society put in her way. Growing up, every time she went to other castings, Iskra thought “‘I don’t look like these other girls. My body shape is just a bit curvier.'” But that didn’t stop her. Instead it inspired her to embrace her individual body, creating a calendar that celebrated women of all shapes and sizes with the proceeds going to cervical cancer. The calendar was a success. “From that time on, I realized I didn’t want to retouch my photos. I started talking about this online. [I then] heard about Aerie and their unretouched campaign and thought, “Wow this is the first brand and company I have ever seen that I felt like I really aligned with.'”

Self representation is a sentiment that fellow model-inclusivity activist Halima felt when she first sought to start her career. After being born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moving to the states, Halima entered the Miss Minnesota pageant not to try to fit into a stereotypical look, but rather she wasn’t seeing women like her being represented. Halima became the first contestant to wear a hijab and burkini. “I didn’t have modeling in mind; I just wanted representation.”

While their stories are different, their energy and success are rooted in the same thing: being true to yourself. “If you’re forcing yourself to be a square key trying to get into a round hole or trying to be like someone else, that space is already taken. You can’t be that person. You have to be yourself,” noted Iskra. “You will be valuable when you are yourself.”

“You can’t compare yourself what the next girl is doing. You don’t have the same journey.” Halima shared with the audience, “Share the love. At the end of the day, we are all women. We all have obstacles. We all have things we can do better at. But we have to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders.”

These two women inspired our audience and will inspire you the listener at home with their powerful journeys, messages, and advice to finding your voice.

Whether you are heading to your internship, taking a coffee break, or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).