Shirtdress and Cut Out Booties

smoking-slipper-sole-society shirtdress-ankle-boots sole-society-ankle-boots-

Booties: Thanks to Sole Society | Shirtdress: Lulu’s (old) Similar Style (and see below for more similar styles) | Bag: Chloe | Sunnies: Miu Miu via – use my code LOVEZAHRA For a free trial!

I’ve always loved the Olympics, but most likely not for the same reasons everyone else does.My favorite part is seeing the countries of the world come together so peacefully, knowing that it is possible, even if it is just for sport. Never have I been so proud to be American as I am now watching our Olympic athletes officially killing it at the Rio games (minus the Ryan Lochte robbery debacle, of course). This excitement, however is tinged with a good amount of frustration by all of the sexist commentary by the news media, who focus on the physical appearance and other irrelevant information tossed in casually when chatting up female athletes. I watched a brilliant video where they asked male athletes the same questions that were asked of females – and their reaction was a hilarious mix of confusion, laughter, (because obviously the reporter was joking) or even annoyance and a little anger – (i.e. when a player was asked to ‘twirl’ for the camera).

It is 2016 and as far as we have progressed in the world, we have much work to do. When wet suits are allowed in France but not “Burqini’s”, we have a cultural problem. As depicted so perfectly in this drawing by anonymous French artist – women’s bodies are always going to be unfairly criticized, whether covered or not. Our Female Presidential candidates are also judged extremely harsh in comparison to certain male Presidential candidates who seem to get a pass for every insane, bigoted, racist, or just plain ignorant statement he makes.  On a smaller scale men get paid more for the same work in almost every profession, and in my observation, male artists get more attention and praise than their female counterparts. Even in the Fashion Industry that caters to mostly women, most of the prominent designers, makeup artists, and photographers are male. Why is this? Because even women, subconsciously or not, perpetuate the ideas ingrained in us by our Patriarchal society, that men are smarter, stronger, better, and women should be seen and not heard.    

I remember my first day of jr. high when an older classmate (who was also a bully and was rumored to be in a gang) asked me in a very Regina George in ‘Mean Girls’ kind of way, if I thought I was pretty, and I was almost sure she would have at the very least made fun of me, or worst case beat me up if I answered yes, so I sheepishly said no, and then she, obviously pleased with my answer, proceeded to tell me that I had really pretty eyes, and she made me agree with her and even asked her friends to agree with her. I was mortified, but I internalized the idea that it is never okay to think you are pretty, at least not out loud.

Today women are not only expected to be beautiful (but not believe it), ambitious, successful in both career-ing and mother-ing, remembering to always ‘Lean In’ a little, but also expected to maintain the warm, friendly, humble to a fault demeanor that is palatable to society. It makes me wonder sometimes if we have actually progressed as a society or have we simply morphed into something even more detrimental to our well being. 

The biggest problem with the expectations we unfairly put on women is that it is pretty much impossible to achieve this level of perfection, but it also leaves women feeling perpetually inadequate and ultimately unhappy. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said (in your Beyonce voice) ‘I look so good tonight…I’m Flawless!’ Is your answer never? You are definitely not alone. 

But I’m not here to bring you down today by listing all of the injustices we women face, because I truly believe as women we are inherently built strong enough to face any challenge that comes our way.

I stumbled upon an IG account by a wonderful and totally inspiring woman that you absolutely need to follow, Sophie Roe, who reminded me that we all need to take some time to sit quietly, focus on appreciating all of the things we take for granted, taking stock of the moment that we are in now instead of waiting for that elusive future date when x,y, or z will occur, then we can actually (theoretically) find happiness in our journey and therefore also our selves. I sometimes think about all of the things women could do, or create, if we didn’t spend our precious time worrying about losing weight, whether or not we need botox, or Keeping up with the Kardashians.  

Because as the saying goes, life isn’t a destination, it is a journey, and we should be enjoying the ride. That is, while we continue to challenge the Patriarchy, while looking flawless in a shirt dress and ankle booties, of course.

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Last week we took a quick trip to escape the snow for some sunshine in Key Largo, Florida☀️ We spent every moment possible outside, Tom and Adam got their Scuba Diver PADI certification (yay!) while Sophia and I spent our days either swimming or drawing marine life and landscapes. This was my first trip after my sister passed last November, and even though I look so happy here, there were so many moments I felt the grief and sadness, as if it happened just yesterday. I am still figuring out how I want to show up in this space, as I have changed so much as a person since the loss. I just don’t feel called to post some of the things I shared before. Maybe that will change someday, or maybe it will just naturally evolve into something new. I think I will take this year to just process it all. (Even the idea of taking an entire year to think through something is a huge shift for my usually hyperactive type A personality) My focus at the moment is just living in the moment with my family and friends, spending time doing things that make me happy and healthy. I hope to share some of that journey here with you ~ thanks for following along ❤️
I had planned to shoot this outfit in collaboration with @lenacoutureofficial right before my dear sister passed away. Saba, the designer, was more than understanding if I didn’t want to anymore - but after thinking on it for a while I decided I wanted to - in my sister’s honor 💗 She was always my biggest hype woman. When i would feel like I’m not good enough or that I should quit (which was often) she would tell me I was unique and great and to keep it up. When I think of my sister, beauty and love is all that she embodied in her being. She expressed that on the outside also - as she loved to wear everything glam, bright & colorful, and full of bling. Hair done, nails done, everything did - that was Nusrat. For this shoot I took the time to get glam after a long hiatus - and makeup and hair took so long because I think I forgot how to do it, but afterwards I was surprised how I felt transformed. When I wore this gorgeous outfit that I know was designed with such love and incredible attention to detail by @lenacoutureofficial, I felt all of that beauty - like a walking piece of art, and very much at peace. Thank you so much to @divmophoto for capturing the feeling so well 💕
Ski weekend with my favorites ❄️❄️ So proud of Sophia for skiing on her own for the first time!
There are some trees with seeds that only grow after a fire. Their seeds are completely sealed with a resin that have to be physically melted off by a great fire in order to propagate. So to do we as humans, gain wisdom only after great pain and suffering.*
A month ago (and one day) I lost my sister and best friend to cancer. I am still completely gutted and broken. But, I’m also so so grateful to have had felt the love that now brings me so much heartbreak. ❤️ I am so inspired by her - and I will forever live my life to honor her memory. Miss you sis ❤️
Classic outfit combo: oversized blazer + denim 🖤fendi mules @shoeslutz
Just a mom who loves mums 🌸 🪴
Cozy for a coffee date ☕️
French. Toast. Egg. Bake. Save this recipe for a weekend or holiday brunch - it’s SO good and fool-proof! I’m not even a sweet person and I love it. The pecans are a non-negotiable IMO - I get honey bourbon vanilla pecans for this and it is just heavenly. Enjoy!