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Toronto, Canada
Shot by iPhone 12
Makeda Sandford
Love the transparency of your social media pages, its refreshing. Why do you think it's important to speak about things that we normally shy away from?

I think it’s important because it helps people realize that they aren’t alone in any feeling, situation or circumstance. And that in itself is freeing. Life can feel lonely- especially when you don’t see yourself or your current situation represented. For me, growing up in a Jamaican home with Christian parents meant that certain topics and conversations were practically forbidden. Even pertaining to sexuality. To me, that did more damage than good because when I finally did get the information I was searching for, it didn’t necessarily come from the greatest source.

We’re living in such a trying time where everything is truly not as it seems. And the trickiest part about it all is that there are many people who can’t tell the difference. And a lot of the time, it’s because people aren’t being transparent. That lack of transparency also comes from a place of fear. “Will people still like me? Am I over-sharing? Should I just shut up and “stick to fashion?” These are all questions I’ve asked myself, but I’ve always pushed past that fear. And on the other side of that fear, has always been a world of people so appreciative of me being open and willing to share.

When I boil it all down, I really do it for the 16-year-old girls in my DM thanking me for walking them through things as sacred as feminine hygiene. For the 50-year-old women thanking me for helping them finally see their worth. Or for that woman telling me that my post helped her leave a 20-year long abusive relationship. For these reasons, I don’t take transparency lightly. To me, it’s the gateway to saving literal lives. Our stories are meant to be told because someone’s life truly depends on it. Many people are caught up in portraying a life that is perfect and without flaw, when in actuality, they’re struggling or even unhappy with themselves. With anxiety and mental health on the rise, I personally don’t think we need another person proving that “their life is better”… I think we need more people saying, “I’m living this too- and this is how I’m getting through it”.

Where do you envision yourself going in the future?

You know, I’d be lying if I told you I knew! I feel like I’m on this journey and I’m not exactly sure where the destination is, but I love it like that. Sometimes I envision myself having my own talk show and other times I see myself owning THEE BEST and most talked about size inclusive clothing brand. Can I do both? Most definitely. But I’m not sure yet and I’m okay with that. This unpredictable journey brought me here and to so many other spaces I never thought I’d ever see! I really don’t want to ruin that by creating prisons for myself. And by that, I simply mean that I don’t lock myself into anything or go after any singular dream because I’ve learned that I’m comfortable and capable of more.

I’m a multifaceted woman and I’m really good at the many things that I do. It took me years to own that because people would say that I had to "choose one", but I prove daily that I don’t. I don’t ever want to stifle this gift. But one thing is for sure, I LOVE people and helping them see themselves in the very best light is what I do best. This is what I think really makes me who I am. I genuinely swoon at the sight of women learning to love themselves. Building self-esteem in others is part of my calling. So no matter where I end up, whether I continue being an Influencer/Entrepreneur or I return to the theatre stage, I think I’ll be loving on people forever.