Check out this amazing interview of the girls behind, Rupee Rags, by The Coalition Mag!
Cool Girls Doing Cool Things, Interview #2
I got the chance to interview two of the raddest girls I’ve met on tumblr and in life, Maleeha and Masooma of Rupee Rags. Read as we blab about creating spaces for our own personal selves, taking up space without any inhibitions, and make-up.
- How did you guys meet and decide to create Rupee Rags?
MAS: Maleeha and I met back in elementary school when, I being the new kid in school (and in town), was keen on making new friends and volunteered to personally deliver Maleeha her homework. After Maleeha got over how weird that was, we became fast friends and our bond grew closer as we jumped rope, played soccer at recess, and matched outfits featuring the identical Hilary Duff sweaters we begged our mothers to buy us, until Maleeha moved away. We tried to stay in touch through email and MSN, but being so young we lost that connection since seeing each other was nearly impossible.
Years later we reconnected through the magic of the internet and realized though we were separated we both had very similar adolescence experiences. The bond grew again, this time stronger, with more substance and we became the badass brown girl duo we are today.
- What is/was the inspiration behind creating a space like Rupee Rags?
MAL: The inspiration behind rupee rags was about documenting our growth as brown girls, about us accepting and loving ourselves, and inviting our friends to do just the same. Self-love doesn’t just happen through a selfie, or a #hashtag, its a process, and for us that’s what Rupee Rags is. We loved the idea of sharing our likes, and curating a space for girls like us, who don’t always get a space to vocalize self-acceptance, or share tips. We are just putting positive vibes out there for anyone that might need them!
- It is very rare to see girls of colour creating spaces dedicated to them, like dedicated to their own body and thoughts and their personal aesthetics. A lot of us will feel like we are being too self-absorbed or undeserving. did any of you feel this way or have any inhibitions while creating rupee rags?
MAL: We went into this thinking if at least one or two people enjoy what we post, or relate to us in the brown girl struggle then that would be an accomplishment. I didn’t think of it as being self-absorbed because we made this space for ourselves. In a way I feel like we deserve it. As girls of colour, we deserve to spend time or indulge in vain activities, because really it’s a part of healing and growth. You grow up with media and the world telling you that darker skin is less desirable, and so many early role models are caricatures of women.
MAS: I think if you do anything with the intention of inspiring others it’s never going to work. You just have to do you, be you and others hopefully dig it and feel motivated to do the same. We want others to see us and realize that we are just doing our thing, not trying to fit any molds or meet any expectations. Just two girls sharing things they like whether it be fashion, music, literature, art, and being themselves. We wanted to create a place where we could share whatever we wanted. Because anyone that visits our space does so on their own will and if they like it that’s awesome and if they don’t that’s cool too. You can’t always impress everyone and we know that, we accept that, but at the same time that is never going to be our goal, we are going to keep creating.
- What do you aim to accomplish with this space?
MAS: Continue to grow as individuals and as a team and using Rupee Rags as a means of documenting this growth. This collaboration is a journey, an endeavor and we have a long way to go to realize a lot of dreams we have for Rupee Rags but everyone starts somewhere and we are just getting rolling now, working together on our little baby. We started this together because we find strength from one another. Maleeha and I are one of those friends that know what the other is thinking without even asking, I honestly think we are connected in some magical other worldly way. We can go shopping at different times and end up buying all of the same things. We know what the other likes and dislikes and we fill each others gaps. She motivates me and encourages me and makes me a better person.
- How do the contents of your blog and the site itself play a part in accomplishing that goal?
MAL: We post things like a nice place we’ve been to, music that soothes our weary lil souls, and make up that makes us feel wonderful. And all that just ties into just good vibes, uplifting those around you and maybe motivating them to get out there and explore and live the world too (and document beautiful things along the way)
MAS: The aesthetics of the site are an obvious reflection of our tastes and our culture. Minimal and loud at the same time. And our posts are whatever we want them to be! We didn’t want to label ourselves as fashion bloggers because that’s putting too much pressure on us to fit a certain image. Fashion is something we enjoy but it isn’t everything in our lives, Rupee Rags highlights all of the things we like doing and all the things that are apart of who we are.
We are obviously conscious of what we put out there because we don’t want to compromise who we are. We want to continue to be true to our selves and put out content that we enjoy. Create because it is something we love doing not something we feel we have to do.
- The thing I really love about Rupee Rags is that you let your different personalities and aesthetics take over the space completely and unapologetically, and again it comes back to girls being afraid to be seen as self-absorbed that we try not to take up as much space as men do. Where do you get the strength to say fuck it and let your personalities take up as much space as you want?
MAL: Being into yourself and being happy with who you are a milestone in any girl’s life. We didn’t choose this carefree brown girl life, it chose us, because we have worked through our own internalized problems separately. I get emails and responses from girls and they get me! That’s so amazing! So I’d continue to just be myself and put myself out there just for that feeling of sisterhood!
It does get exhausting at times, but the beauty of doing is together is that we give each other strength. Masooma inspires me to love myself to the fullest, she picks me up when I feel unsure about myself and that type of bond is crucial to putting yourself out there like that. I couldn’t curate a space like this alone without feeling unsure. I think confidence is something that love and friendship can really bring out. I feel my best around her and feel like our bond is on a soul mate type level.
- OK so I just gotta ask, because make up is a really big part of Rupee Rags…what are your favourite products as of now?
MAS: I’m currently obsessed with NYX soft matte lip creams specifically the shade Abu Dhabi. I have never found a more flattering shade for my skin tone, it is nude and pink and peach all in one. And the formulation is perfect because I mostly only like matte lip products.
NYX Terra Cotta blush is now apart of my everyday summer makeup routine. It is a very bronzey blush with a pink undertone and the right amount of shimmer. I pop it under my cheek bones and sweep forward onto my cheeks and the results are just unreal!
MAL: I’ve been on a natural skincare kick and Vitamin E Oil has really been doing wonders for me. I apply it to my under eyes after I’ve washed my face before bed. I’ve found that it does great to reduce the darkness under my eyes and makes my skin look so nice. I also love rosewater as a finishing spray or toner, spray it on your face and tell me you don’t feel like a flower princess!
Iris Apfel (via glamour)