Karen as a girl

Howdy y’all! My name is Karen and I am from the United States and living in Texas. I am a first generation American with parents who moved to the U.S. from South America. Although my first language was Spanish, like many Latinx people in Texas, I was forced to assimilate to local culture and have limited Spanish language ability, mostly speaking and reading in English. My life goal is working towards decolonizing myself by learning about my ancestral cultures.

My interests include fashion and art. I started making clothes for my dolls when I was a young girl. As I got older I started to make clothes for myself which later led to attending university for fashion design. I later worked as a freelance fashion designer and then taught fashion and textile courses in university. Graduate school followed working towards a degree in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies to learn research skills that could address some of the toxic issues in the fashion industry.

During the summer months I volunteer at our local community center and teach a fashion workshop for girls ages 8-13 and a button sewing/dance party for ages 5-7. Working at the community center and teaching fashion workshops is my dream job. I get to dress up in sparkly clothing, talk about fashion, and dance all while sharing social justice issues that are embedded in fashion studies. In the future I would love to offer more fashion courses so that people can learn basic sewing skills and take ownership of their personal expression through clothes. I am most passionate about repurposed clothing and also enjoy teaching others how to remake and mend clothing.

My favorite museum in Texas is the Perot Science Museum. I love the animal exhibits. The birds exhibit with an anatomy display that explains how a bird is able to fly is fascinating. My favorite museum in the world is the Tate Modern in London. The Turbine Hall exhibits are so immersive and impactful. I feel as if I am swallowed up in an artwork. I also appreciate that the Tate has newer contemporary artists. I learn so much when I am able to visit the Tate Modern.

The biggest issue facing girls is the influence of media images that discourage body acceptance due to a limited expression of beauty. I am saddened when a young girl says negative things about herself because she does not look like the latest social media star. Feminst media studies provide grounding for me to share strategies that allow a young girl to have agency and make an empowering choice on how they want to express themselves. I believe that when we take ownership of ourselves and our expression, without comparing ourselves to others, that we can be truly confident and grounded in self acceptance and self love. I am excited to work with Girl Museum because I support their mission and hope that I can contribute towards empowering girls all over the world.

-Karen Bravo
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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