Interview

Interview with Indira Midha from Indira's Inner Beauty

My mission is always to empower adults, particularly women. I do this by connecting with others that strive to impact the lives of others by sharing their personal stories and experiences so we can learn from and uplift each other. Indira Midha from Indira's Inner Beauty is a young woman striving daily to impact change in herself, her community, and young women through her blog where she shares of her fears, triumphs, and growth. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for this post.

  Can you tell the readers a bit about yourself? Absolutely! I am 19 years old, and a media student at the University of Illinois. I run the blog indirasinnerbeauty.com and I write for a few other publications at my university. I am half Spanish and half Indian, but born and raised in Michigan. I've been extremely fortunate to have been able to travel to both Spain and India often to visit my enormous family. I am extremely talkative, sassy, and giggly. I love feminism and social activism, so I associate those two things with my identity. In my free time, I love writing, photography, reading, watching Netflix, and playing with my niece. 

What made you start your blog? I originally started Indira's Inner Beauty (IIB) as a YouTube channel with a video that I had to make for my AP English class my junior year of high school. This video was about how social media is detrimental to the self-image of teenage girls. I experimented with what I wanted my content to be about, and I ended up realizing that I could make my voice heard better through my writing. I started the blog version of IIB and I knew that I wanted to help people, specifically young girls. Since then I have focused on writing about social activism, inner beauty, body positivity, and even a bit about college. 

How important is it to use your voice to highlight women's issues instead of remaining quiet? Why is it important for you to highlight women's issues? I am a firm believer in the fact that everybody has a voice that they should use somehow. Through IIB, I am trying to be the online figure that I would have wanted for myself in my younger days. I am trying to show young girls that it is absolutely possible to love your imperfect self. I want to teach young girls about feminism so that they can stay empowered and take care of themselves. It can be a hard world to be female in. Traditional sexism is ingrained in most people's brains, I think that is how this society raised us. I am trying to do my part in combatting these outdated beliefs, not just for myself but for other people too. I wish that the people I was watching/reading on the internet when I was younger taught me about these topics.

How have your experiences and your cultural background played a part in your identity and your message to women? I have a very complex background, I am Hispanic and Asian but I look White. I have recently learned a lot about privilege, and it has changed the way I view many of the issues that I face in my life. I have endured some racism simply for being Hispanic, and I have definitely endured racism as a "White person" in India. I've experienced a lot of feelings of inadequacy because of my cultural background. However, I have had such a unique and culturally aware life because of my ethnic makeup. I think that my unique experiences with culture have taught me how to defend myself from ignorant comments/people, and how to solidify my identity within regardless of what others on the outside think or say. This attitude has spread to many aspects of my being and life. 

As a college student, what are some surprising things you learned about yourself that will help other young women? I think the biggest one is that nobody can do it all. As much as you may want to be a perfect student, a perfect staff-member, a perfect blogger, a perfect friend, a perfect daughter/sister/aunt; you cannot do it all. Aiming for perfection is always going to make you feel like you're hitting your head against a brick wall. You can only expect yourself to do your best while putting in your personal best effort. That is enough, even if it doesn't always result in perfection. Also, time for you to just relax and breathe are just as important as taking time out for you to study or work. I struggle with this still, but I'm working on it. :) 

What would you tell other young women about being empowered, respecting themselves, and staying true to themselves? Empowerment is an inside job, but you are stuck with you for the rest of your life - why not have a fantastic relationship with yourself? That will make for a better life. Be true to yourself, because you are the way that you are - why not make the best of it? Because being somebody who you aren't is exhausting and not fulfilling at all. Stay empowered and stay you, my loves.

Whether we are searching for who we are or working towards revealing out best selves we are all human and there are people out there rooting for you. Indira's message of self-discovery, healing, and activism may help you learn more about yourself. Thank you to Indira Midha for allowing me to interview her. Please check out Indira's blog and follow and support her journey.

Lotus Therapies|Interview with Indira Midha|Indira's Inner Beauty

Indira Midha of indirasinnerbeauty.com is a 19-year-old blogger and college student who studies media at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Indira is very passionate about social activism, self-empowerment, and helping young girls through the challenges of adolescent female life. Please be sure to check out her blog and social media links!

 

 

Interview with a Stepparent...

No, I couldn't find a vampire who was also a stepparent. So I decided to interview a real, live one. This interview is important so that others can understand the experience of what is is like to co-parent as a stepparent and maybe feel less alone, find some parallels through other people's experiences, and maybe figure out how to improve their own parenting situation. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kenni J. from Florida. She is a soldier, wife, and mom to 3 kids, two of them being her stepchildren. 

Lotus Therapies|Interview with a stepparent|Cumming, GA|Lawrenceville, GA

What is the biggest struggle when adjusting to being a step parent?

                The largest struggle is learning to be an additional co-parent. Loving a child is easy, as children, especially young children, tend to offer unconditional love to anyone they feel deserving. The most difficult aspect is proving yourself to the other parent. Adults tend to still have residual emotions following a divorce and may inherently dislike their former spouses' new partner for any numerous of reasons, which may place an additional strain on your current marriage. As a step parent, you must accept that you cannot coerce the other parent to be receptive and approve of you. The other parent must decide to accept the step parent on their own volition and the reality is that the other parent may never accept the step parent.

How has stepparenting altered your view as a parent to your biological kid?

                For quite some time I was unsure if I was capable of having children. Therefore, I have loved my stepchildren as my own. I have always considered my stepson as my first child as I was a part of his life since he was a toddler. When I was blessed to have a child of my own my perspective remained the same and I still want the best for all of my children.

What would you change about challenges?

                In hindsight, the other parent in my relationship is simply unwilling to have a relationship with me therefore any changes to previous interactions would be futile. If you are dealing with a reasonable other parent, whom is not consumed by emotions, I would recommend being polite, making an introduction, and simply being respectful to the other parent. It is not necessary for you and the other parent to be the best of friends, but it is important to be cordial, especially in front of the children. If you are dealing with the spawn of Satan, simply do not engage. All interactions will be viewed as hostile and disrespectful regardless of the intent.

What is the ideal picture of your blended family?

                Ideally, my spouse and the other spouse would have a workable parenting plan that involves very little communication between the two of them. They currently have a toxic relationship that is basically unsalvageable. The best thing for all of us would be an exceptionally detailed parenting plan that allows both families to function with limited interaction. At this point, any interaction typically leads to a full-blown argument between the biological parents and exacerbates stress within the family.

Advice for step parents?

                Be prepared to be a flexible and understanding spouse. Understand that your stepchildren may not accept you or like you for quite some time. Do not attempt to “win over” the other parent with overt gestures of kindness as this will be perceived as you being disingenuous. Introduce yourself to the other parent, be respectful, and do not discipline your stepchildren without the presence of your spouse. Be aware that all of your interactions, both good and particularly bad, will be shared with the other parent. Don’t create more tension in the relationship by causing strain on the parent-child relationship.

Information like this is valuable in appreciating the difficulty of being a stepparent and seeing how you as coparent in this situation can make the experience more bearable and productive for all paries involved.