I Am Enough
Our first shoot featuring our Tshirts celebrated diversity, originality and authenticity. All our body positive warriors shared their inspirational stories of overcoming personal struggles. The images were not retouched in an effort to spread self acceptance and self love.
Meet Maryam Raja one of our body positive warriors featured in our I AM ENOUGH campaign! She shares her struggle with depression. “Growing up, I had endless aspirations but when my circumstances didn’t allow me to pursue all my dreams, I fell into a hopeless void of clinical depression.
My friends & partner played a huge role in my recovery, teaching me how to switch my perspective from negative to positive towards everything in my life & encouraging me to fearlessly chase after all that made me love life again. The negativity lingers though and creeps back in if you don’t keep a check on it.
Through it all, I’ve realized that nobody can help you if you don’t want to accept that help. It’s okay to put yourself first and the strongest force in life is love. Love of self, love of God, love of friends, family, a partner, humanity and letting that love allow us to give others the freedom to be who they are and live life on their own terms.”
Meet Maheen Ansar she’s just had a beautiful baby and because we live in a world of Photoshop and FaceTune where all the images we see have been edited- Maheen’s gut reaction was to crop out half this image. Our I AM ENOUGH Tshirts and the concept behind this shoot is to reject unrealistic social pressures, encourage self acceptance and celebrate body positivity. Which is why we decided not to photoshop any of the images because we are enough just the way we are! Doesn’t Maheen look beautiful 😍
Here she opens up about overcoming temporary facial paralysis: “I was 18 years old and a student of A Levels when I came home one day and realised that my face was drooping on one side and I had lost control of my muscles on half of my face. I get chills even today as I write this down. Without any cause or symptoms I had contracted a condition called Bell’s Palsy- temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to the facial nerves.
However, with timely medical treatment along with physiotherapy and blood transfusions, I was able to recover. I later learnt that it if Bell’s Palsy was not treated in time it becomes permanent. While the treatment went on and my face was still crooked life went on as usual. School and classes had to be attended and friends insisted on hanging out. It was their kindness and the love and support of my family that enabled me to not give up on hope and despite the way I looked I continued with life as usual. Today I realise that had I not done that and had isolated myself my recovery would not have been possible at all. It took time and was nothing short of a miracle but I recovered. This experience taught me to be grateful for so much in my life that I took for granted and it taught me that if you love yourself and are confident within yourself there is nothing that can bring you down or make you lose hope ever.”
Meet Nael Ahmed- Director at Lahore Preschool and Learning Alliance – who shares his struggle with anxiety: “ A couple of years ago, I found myself struggling deeply with Insomnia. Being unaccustomed and unprepared, a few sleepless nights turned in to the most frustrating sleep anxiety that spiralled into a gripping fear. My heart rate would be through the roof as bed time drew closer.It was so extreme that it felt like I was running a marathon. At times when I would manage to fall asleep I would suddenly be woken up by this wave of heat in my chest, leaving me completely breathless.
I took my time accepting the fact that this was not a momentary discomfort, but the symptoms of a greater problem that must be addressed head on; thus, began the process of self-discovery. I realised I needed to help myself if I wanted this issue to be fixed. Every human at some point during their life gets trapped in anxiety, but for reasons of judgement and self denial we don’t talk about it. Reading about anxiety, I learnt that it’s ok to be vulnerable enough to discuss this with a family member or a friend. Anxiety and fear cannot survive with words wrapped around it. In my case I had to reassure myself that it was perfectly acceptable to go wrong sometimes.
I realised perfection is an illusion; a shield, goading us to misunderstand and reject our inherent flaws. In order to accept our true self, we must first accept the imperfections that come with it. It is only then we truly begin to live wholeheartedly; knowing that eventually all will be okay and that we are worthy of love and belonging. Awareness within ourselves that ‘I am enough’ is what helped me overcome my anxiety, and with which I try to live my life today.”
Yousaf Shahbaz the talented architect who shares his struggle to fit in. ”I struggled with being different and a “loser” well into my 20s. I didn’t fit into any of the very specific boxes at my school. I didn’t agree with most of the stuff I was supposed to agree with. I didn’t want to do the most of the things I was supposed to do. It wasn’t until I landed at NCA (against all odds) and I was surrounded by other misfits that I realised that I wasn’t a freak. We’re all actually meant to be different. It’s layers of conditioning and norms and pressures that mould us (or attempt to) into a generic standard of “normal”. Because normal is easy and people aren’t scared of it. During my 5 years there with so many wonderful people who had been through so many different experiences and come out stronger and better I realised that we can all be whoever we want to be, no one else is allowed to define us and the last thing we need to strive towards is normal. As long as we’re true to ourselves and keep working towards who we want to be we’re winners. Happiness is the ultimate win.” We couldn’t agree more 💜
Meet Bia Tareen who talks about her struggle with self love and positive self talk! “The biggest struggle I’ve dealt with is my own self deprecating attitude. The self doubt, which is completely unfounded and exists despite having very supportive family and friends, has always come in the way of me achieving my goals. I recently realised that it’s not “humble” or “cute” to put yourself or your work down, and that this is not the kind of belittling attitude I want to perpetuate in my daughters. So, for their sake, and in order to be a better role model to them, I’ve kicked out the negative voices in my head and replaced them with positive, happy and confident ones!” More power to you 🤗
Meet the young fashion designer Hira Ali. “For me anxiety comes from the fear of the unknown. What we fear is not the bad thing happening to us but the idea of that bad thing. For example if I don’t have a stable 9 to 5 job I will not have the money to sustain my lifestyle. What you fear in this scenario is not the different or a poorer life style but the idea of it. When you take risks and actually experience the worst case scenarios you realise that no matter what life throws at you but the idea of it was worse than the actual reality. Think about your worst fears, live them and come out stronger.”
Meet our stylist Mehek Saeed who shares her experience with anxiety and panic attacks.
“Hot. Cold. Shallow breathing and sweaty palms. My heart would race, my head would spin, induced by nothing in particular and everything all at once. I would check my temperature and it was normal, I would check my blood pressure and it was fine. It was all in my head and that was scarier. I would try to immediately think of ways to divert my thoughts and almost always fail. The only thing that could give me comfort was the thought of being alone.
I knew this wasn’t normal, it was crippling and debilitating anxiety and I wasn’t dealing with it right. Trying to put your own thoughts on the back burner and not dealing with them is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. As children we are not taught how to deal with difficult emotions, to process them and to think about why we could be feeling that way. As an adult, I’ve had to teach myself to take notice of my triggers and deal with them adequately and now, the longer I deal with and work to manage my anxiety, the more I find I can learn from it.”
Graffiti artist @saadamjed16