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For 5-year-old me - Alana Ann Fran

TW: body image and relationship abuse mentioned

By studying the Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design at Billy Blue, I have contemplated the fact that I’m signing up for a career path that requires me to bare my soul somewhat. I think in any creative role there’s a great deal of vulnerability required. This is of course a challenge for me, but the deeper into the course I delve, the more I’m encouraged to embrace my unique thoughts and value my individuality.

If I stripped down all the roadblocks that get in the way of my individuality – roadblocks in this case, being things that make you feel inadequate and therefore steer you away from your true self – I believe I am naturally inclined to be rather quirky, open and honest and wear my heart on my sleeve. I consider myself to have been quite lost and directionless before starting this course. However, not only has the BA in Branded Fashion Design at Billy Blue helped me to realise my passion and purpose, more importantly it has helped me to realise that my quirky, open and authentic personality is enough, and I don’t have to try and fit in anymore because standing is encouraged. I’m grateful to be realigned with personal values and traits I have previously been ashamed of and spent so many years trying to hide.

I believe over a lifetime everyone is dealing with or has dealt with insecurities that have caused them to begrudge aspects of their character. Whether it be consciously or not, these insecurities take us away from our true personality.

Growing up, Little Lani was outspoken, she had no filter and seldom cared about anyone’s opinions of her. Once she formed an opinion it was hard to convince her otherwise. She was headstrong. Consequently, as I got older and was slow to learn at school, I convinced myself that I was a dumb. As my body grew and curves appeared, I convinced myself that I was too big and gross. When I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, I convinced myself that I was the problem. My headstrong opinions turned inwards, and I was fighting against a stubborn bull-headed version of me that truly believed these untrue things about myself. Ultimately, these insecurities made me ashamed of my character and I’ve spent so many years fighting my natural inclination to be cheeky and outspoken, with the desire to be more agreeable and quieter.

I’m someone who enjoys introspection and working through emotional turmoil. And as I do, I find myself returning to a bolder version of myself, with a new level of self-assurance and calm. Thus, at almost 29, I’m happy to be welcoming the return of outspoken and unstoppable 5-year-old Alana.

I digress, the idea of pursuing a career in the creative industry, baring my soul and building a brand on a personality that I tried to hide for so long, is the perfect apology and homage to 5-year-old me and I am so excited to show her, her real worth. And with the guidance of Billy Blue’s incredible fashion program and supportive Educators, I will be able to start a lingerie brand with the intention of facilitating a worldwide movement that embraces body diversity and values uniqueness.

Image description: this is a cartoon image of my hand, holding a pen and writing a letter to my 5-year old self, with the words “Dear little me, I’m so sorry…”

More course related blog posts and self-indulgent musings at my blog page:

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