For our Special Edition January 2021 Series we are talking about "Embracing Your Uniqueness and Individuality” with three dynamic and diverse woman who have carved a niche for themselves by showcasing authenticity, Sobia Ameen (Prominent Social Media Personality, Baker, Activist and Architect), Prejual Chakma (Model, Humanitarian and Social Media Personality) and Hridi Ahmed (Entrepreneur and Instagram Blogger).
Editor of The Bedroom Journal Magazine, Sarwat Zahin, interview these wondeful women to get to know more about their personal journey and dig deeper into their roots to find out what makes them confident in their own skin and the people they are today.
Prejual Chakma who usually goes by the name Prej is an extremely talented uprising model, who comes from the Chakma indigenous community in Bangladesh and has made a huge impact in Dhaka's fashion scene within a very short span of time. But more than anything she would like to introduce herself as the epitome of “Never Judge A Book By Its Cover” as she says “Because of how I look, people refuse to believe I am from Bangladesh, followed by my poker face that gives off a cold vibe, whereas once people get to talk to me, they can actually see that I am the complete opposite. People also think that I don’t eat anything, but I am a black hole and all my friends can vouch for it.” On first glance Prejual is a beautiful girl with the most dreamy aura but what makes her stand out is her positive attitude towards looking at life. However, her journey towards positivity was not always this easy. When asked she said “Ever since I was a kid, I just knew I was different - I was never the conformist. As I grew up, not conforming and being different distorted its meaning in my eyes that made me feel like an outcast that catapulted me to a severe identity crisis. I was ashamed of how I looked, ashamed of being different during that time of my life. I blamed my ethnic background, my surrounding, and everything I could blame because I didn’t look the same, I didn’t fit in because I didn’t necessarily move and think the same as others. At one point I did lose myself trying to fit in and forgot who I was by letting myself be saturated with what I “should be” to be relevant. But there came a time when I hit rock bottom and discovered who I was by coming to know who God is, who He created me to be - the truth. The moment I realized that being different was the whole plan all along as a part of me inherently, I never looked back."
After battling these severe issues the moment of self acceptance that served as a victory was much sweeter as she describes to us “The things that I were ashamed of once are the things I gladly take pride in today. What makes me unique is willingly embracing the different in me and refusing to conform, knowing that the different all along was for me to be set apart. So once I realized that I am the only one who has all the power- to either empower or bring myself down with the words that I declare over myself, I stopped uttering anything that’s self-demeaning and robs me off from believing in myself. I guess that makes me represent my individuality- being unapologetic for being the different that I am. I realized I never needed to be sorry for being myself. Also, although I have made peace with myself, I’m still human and I still struggle with things in terms of accepting myself wholly in other areas. But that’s the thing, I want to keep growing as a human - not to be perfect but to become the best version of myself by always being ready to embrace change and challenges my way. Hence, all my quirks and everything that once worked against me to be the same as others, are the things that I celebrate and am grateful for today; and all of that makes me, me.”
When being asked about what are the steps we can take to change the narrative in our surroundings today she answered,
“Cancel the culture of instant gratification. Nowadays with the fast-paced world and advancement with everything being provided within seconds, patience in people is on the brink of extinction. The tendency to be frustrated if the answer isn’t there right in front of us when there is a long way to go in life, is faster than water reaching its boiling temperature. The tendency to drop, be it people, jobs or anything if it does not serve self, is as easy as changing clothes. As a result, the world is becoming more ruthless and selfish. I’d like more empathy and embracing a pace that’s healthy for anything, allowing oneself grow through it, pausing to reflect, and accept the good and the bad by giving grace to the process. Another thing that I would like to change is the culture of being enslaved by people’s opinions and becoming a people pleaser in doing so. Nothing is more draining than constantly working to please people according to what they want and losing ourselves in the process. I’d want people to be gentle and kind to themselves rather than beating themselves up for disappointing people while choosing their own well-being. I’d want people to realize that they owe themselves credit just for being them and to choose themselves over the opinions that carry the power to slowly diminish who they are meant to be in the first place. Lastly, changing the blaming culture and the need to prove another person wrong. I think when we learn to humble ourselves and own up to our wrongs, everything becomes a lot less complicated and easier to let go. Owning up to our own wrongs doesn’t make us the defeated one, but a person of strength and honesty.”
On a different note she ends by sharing her future plans while saying “I’m usually a person who tries to live in the present to the fullest as much as possible because we don’t know what tomorrow holds, right? At the same time, I’m also a person with a vision. God willing in 5-10 years, I would like to see myself still being a voice of inspiration to many, giving more to the society than receiving. And I still somewhat envision myself in the entertainment/fashion industry, along with being affiliated with organizations that help the less privileged.”