Faith N' Fashion

Faith N' Fashion

People shouldn't have to compromise their beliefs to follow their dreams.
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Over 80 percent of models that were hired for New York’s Fashion Week were white, whereas they make up 63 percent of the American population. While the 17% may not seem like a huge disparity, reducing that would create the world of difference. Our country is a growing melting pot of various races and religions, and our fashion industry needs to reflect that.

Although people of color and some Muslims are still seen on the runway, there is one particular group that is constantly overlooked in all aspects of entertainment and fashion industry: the American Sikh. The Sikhs have over 150 years of history in this country, yet they are never featured in entertainment business, commercial advertising, or in today’s fashion. However, what they do receive is constant scrutiny for their turbans from people who automatically assume their article of faith as a symbol of terror—which is sheer ignorance. Despite the reluctance to accept both the Muslim hijab and the Sikh turban as a norm, there’s a stronger stigma against the turban since the men appear to be more intimidating to those who do not understand its purpose.

For those not aware, Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world and there are over 500,000 Sikhs in the United States right now. The turban that Sikh men wear proudly is a symbol for equality and justice which they show between all people regardless of their race and religion. Call it ironic or sad, but I find it extremely painful that their article of faith which epitomizes American ideology has now become a tool for ignorant Americans to use as an excuse to discriminate based on irrational fears. Like the hijab, it is not a choice. And it most definitely should not prevent Sikh men from becoming a part of an already competitive industry.

Nonetheless, there are clothing brands out there that are shattering these falsely construed perceptions. One of the biggest ones would be H&M; it has already featured a Muslim hijabi last year and featured a group of Sikh men on one of its billboard in Times Square. These small efforts to include these minority groups along with their respective articles of faith project strong messages of inclusiveness in our community.

Another brand that is blurring the lines of ethnicity and religion in their models is Eidos Napoli. It is an Italian luxury brand which focuses on making classy yet comfortable clothing for men and just that. One of their models for New York Fashion Week was Sahaj Anand—a proud American Sikh who will start Emory University this fall. Sahaj told me, “Most people who asked me to model [previously] wanted me to remove my turban and show my hair.” When asked how his experience was different this time, he stated that it was great since Eidos Napoli “wanted [him] to keep [his] articles of faith intact.” Not only did this make him feel comfortable, but it proved to him that he did not have to compromise his beliefs to follow his dreams.

Here's a picture of Sahaj Anand modeling in his Eidos Napoli out for NYFW.

If an Italian brand can do this, why can’t more American brands? They have the most to gain from this. For them to portray more diverse groups would mean a larger consumer base to buy their products, which is their primary goal. How exactly do they expect to entice the minority consumer when they have no representation in their brands?

There are copious amounts of young men and women who would like their articles of faith to be seen as part of themselves, rather than as removable objects that are hindering their growth. At a time with increased talks of building walls, our fashion industry should be creating bridges because it is one of those few things, along with sports, that are uniting us. If a hijabi fencer like Ibtihaj Muhammad can represent our country in the Olympics, then surely brands like Abercrombie & Fitch shouldn’t have a problem tweaking their image to include men and women who are just as proud of their beliefs as they are to be American.

Cover Image Credit: The Sartorialist

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit

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1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

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Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

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Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

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God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

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We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

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Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

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