We all have moments of self-doubt. I am a personal proponent of transparency because shame thrives in silence. When we are more honest about the truly humanistic parts of ourselves, we all become closer and can create communities of support. That’s why I rock with Alysse Dalessandro, creator of Ready to Stare, who recently took to her blog to announce her fashion multi-page editorial for UK-based SLiNK Magazine! Alysse was joined by photograper Amber Patrick and makeup artist Erin Thomas to create the feature photoshoot of her dreams.
But, it wasn’t just the dope opportunity that excited me, it was the emotional resonance behind it.
“I have fought to not only show others but also my own self doubt that I deserve to have a place in fashion. This is the same doubt that kept me from applying to fashion school. And now here I am in the pages of a magazine in a feature that I modeled and styled. I have a voice and a vision in fashion that’s worthy of being seen and heard,” said Alysse. “Walking into Barnes & Noble and flipping through multiples pages of my own work, was pretty damn satisfying. I appreciate SLiNK for giving me this opportunity to show what I can do.”
YAAASSSS, sis! Alysse’s level-up is an inspiration to us all who yearn to find a voice in a society that prides itself on exclusiveness. Whether that barrier be because of race, weight, or gender, leaping over those walls deserves the highest of praise. It takes bravery to look “no” in the face and turn it into the most powerful “yes.”
Read more about Alysse’s experience & see more photos on ReadyToStare.com
Kudos to you, Alysse! May this be the start of a very explosive journey for you, a journey of which will take you to the stars and beyond!
Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director made of sugar and spice and everything rice. She has the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.