Women Who Inspire Us
by Chris Wu
In this series, we highlight amazing women in the SRG community. Meet Kedena, a product development manager in DC, with a passion for music, 90s films, and DIY style. We caught up with her to get the low-down on all the things she loves, where to go in the DMV, and how to stay positive and live your best life.
Tell us about yourself!
I was born in New York and am currently working in DC as a product development manager. I’m part Jamaican, part German and Portuguese.
In your spare time…
I know it’s cheesy but I love rewatching old movies from my childhood like The Mighty Ducks and Home Alone. I’m also really passionate about music, which played a huge role in my life when I was growing up. My entire family sings so I think that’s made me very open to all different types of music. I typically listen to gospel, RnB, soft rock, reggae, dance hall… I love Nina Simone and that whole easy-going vibe.
Pop Magazine. I love going through and looking at all the designs and silhouettes. I love looking at what people create.
Any favorite places to hang out in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virgina)?
I love the beach. I just love kicking it and talking about life. I love girl talk, cracking jokes and having a good time hanging out with my friends. We go to a lot of festivals too. The last festival I went to was a taco festival and it was awesome — everyone just eating, jamming, talking to strangers, and being themselves, no politics, no hatred, so it’s great.
Tell us about your personal style:
My personal style comes from what I see in my head. I know that sounds crazy but I need to picture a mental image to make it happen! I tend to buy things I wear a couple of times and then I’ll alter it into something else. I love to go thrifting. Some of my favorite designers are Philip Lim, Chloe… I don’t shop the high-end stuff though. They don’t carry my size, but it’s nice to look at just to get inspired. Sometimes I see a pair of pants that I like and I’ll make it myself in my size.
Any fashion tips?
You have to be comfortable. A lot of times, plus-size girls will think, “I don’t know if that looks good on me,” but it’s not just about a mental comfort zone. Physical comfort is essential. It’s important for plus girls to find things that hug them in the right places, and go from there to figure out their personal style, and own that.
What does fit mean to you?
To me fit is about being comfortable. I like clothes that don’t restrict me. It’s about me being comfortable, and I feel that if you lead with that, then the fit will be good. Comfort means that I’m feeling loose all the way around, where I can sit down, stand up, and not need to be pulling on things.
See Rose Go champions empowerment and looking good, feeling good. Tell us about something you personally do to live your best life?
Better living means so many different things to different people. But I feel, that for plus-size women, many people are becoming more “ok” with who they are. Better living is about choosing happiness and I think there is a resurgence in that. I have affirmations that I do every morning. I create the life I want to live, I affirm my own self. Once you tell yourself that you are beautiful, that you are brave, that you are not the insecurities of other people… once I affirm myself, that’s how I live better. It’s not to say the negative thoughts won't happen, but it’s a matter of acknowledging it and dismissing it instantly. I’m beautiful on the inside and out.
Author Chris Wu is a social anthropologist living in NYC. She is a senior trend analyst at The Doneger Group and teaches a course on contemporary fashion culture at Parsons. When she’s not pondering the fate of humanity, she likes to unwind with single-malt whisky and heavy metal. Say “hello” on IG @chris_herself