Growing up in a traditional Indian family, there were many things we didn’t talk about. Mental health was a big one. I remember falling in love with Wear Your Label instantly because their clothing made it easy to have really difficult conversations. On top of the general stigma around mental health and the additional stigma that exists in eastern culture, my anxiety made it very challenging to share the more raw parts of me. So, it was a big relief to have a t-shirt to do the talking.
After being introduced to the Wear Your Label community, I felt more empowered to share my story. I started opening up to individuals (in person) outside of my immediate circle and telling them what I’d been through. It was easy to see the power my story had and how helpful it was to those who were struggling, but I was still anxious to share it on social media where it could be manipulated or misunderstood. The picture above is a great example. It was taken on June 20th, 2016 with the intention to share my story online for the first time. But I never did.
I kept making excuses for myself (“when I’m thinner”, “when my scars fade”, “when I don’t have as much homework”) until the body positivity movement completely took over my Instagram feed. I knew that I would never be 100% ready and that the positive impact would be worth the vulnerability. So I made my first #bopo post:
I was overwhelmed with the response I received. It was both relieving and incredibly exhausting to be so vulnerable, but I knew it would get easier as I continued to share. So, I applied to be a Brand Ambassador for Wear Your Label and, miraculously, I was selected!
Since then, I have been able to share things about my mental health journey I never thought I’d share. In fact, I probably talk about mental health and self-care as often as I do about Harry Potter and it makes me SO happy.
As a Brand Ambassador, I promote the brand by posting on social media at least 3x a month and sharing my promo code (use ASHNA10 for 10% of all WYL purchases 😉 ). In return, BAs receive 5-10% of the purchase in “store credit”. But, because I am endlessly grateful to Wear Your Label, I have decided to pay it forward. If I can be the reason that one more conversation is had about mental health, that maybe wouldn’t have otherwise, that would mean 1000x more to me. So, make sure to follow me on Instagram (@ashnak_22) for give aways!!
Finally, thank you for letting me wear my label so openly. I’ve said this more than a few times, but it truly means the world to me that you read and feel inspired to share your labels with me too. Like they say…
Ps. Mark your calendars because I will be sharing even more on the Wear Your Label Community blog on April 21st! 🙂