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seher • سحر @seher

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anja in bedstuy
.
anja is an angel, mother, poet, philosopher, and role model; she may not name herself some of these things, but i wager many others would.
.
anja holds the contrasts of her life, relationships, and inner world with grace, humility, and decided candor on a consistent basis— i am left in awe too many times to count.
.
most of her shares on instagram revolve around motherhood, yet her messages and sentiments are profoundly and palpably universal— human. i stay learning, inspired, humbled.
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though i believe that personal growth via social service is valuable in all its varied forms, there is something that the surrender and choice/not-always-a-choice service of parenthood does to a person that is breathtaking to me. especially with single mothers. especially especially with single mothers of color.
.
i found an unconscious pattern of mine earlier this year: a notable amount of my women friend crushes were mothers. mostly women of color. mostly single mothers. i thought about the possible common thread amongst these women that attracted me to them; my feel is that they are supremely rooted, refreshingly candid with no space for nonsense, tender hearted while still sharp as glass, patient but firm, humble-but-don’t-get-it-twisted (can run circles around most), and wise.
.
anja, thanks for being one of my favorite new humans in my world. i appreciate you and all the ways you serve your community by existing as who you are.
.
an aside but kinda not: my essential oils collection is a legitimate apothecary now. it’s def out of control. i’d like to gift a mama a custom therapeutic blend— body oil or room spray.
.
if you are a mother, please offer an entry in the comments by sharing three qualities/feelings/emotions/sentiments you’d like to call into your life.
.
if you are not a mother, please feel free to tag a mother in your world whom you love and who might appreciate a custom essential oil blend.
.
entries are welcome through saturday. i’ll dm the gift recipient on sunday or monday :)
.
much love <3

2018-12-04 21:17

505 30

 

anja in bedstuy . anja is an angel, mother, poet, philosopher, and role model; she may not name herself some of these things, but i wager many others would. . anja holds the contrasts of her life, relationships, and inner world with grace, humility, and decided candor on a consistent basis— i am left in awe too many times to count. . most of her shares on instagram revolve around motherhood, yet her messages and sentiments are profoundly and palpably universal— human. i stay learning, inspired, humbled. . though i believe that personal growth via social service is valuable in all its varied forms, there is something that the surrender and choice/not-always-a-choice service of parenthood does to a person that is breathtaking to me. especially with single mothers. especially especially with single mothers of color. . i found an unconscious pattern of mine earlier this year: a notable amount of my women friend crushes were mothers. mostly women of color. mostly single mothers. i thought about the possible common thread amongst these women that attracted me to them; my feel is that they are supremely rooted, refreshingly candid with no space for nonsense, tender hearted while still sharp as glass, patient but firm, humble-but-don’t-get-it-twisted (can run circles around most), and wise. . anja, thanks for being one of my favorite new humans in my world. i appreciate you and all the ways you serve your community by existing as who you are. . an aside but kinda not: my essential oils collection is a legitimate apothecary now. it’s def out of control. i’d like to gift a mama a custom therapeutic blend— body oil or room spray. . if you are a mother, please offer an entry in the comments by sharing three qualities/feelings/emotions/sentiments you’d like to call into your life. . if you are not a mother, please feel free to tag a mother in your world whom you love and who might appreciate a custom essential oil blend. . entries are welcome through saturday. i’ll dm the gift recipient on sunday or monday :) . much love <3

<3 // non-sense is underrated.

2018-11-12 19:12

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<3 // non-sense is underrated.

mc for adidas x reigning champ
.
sometimes you barely have the energy, will, or desire to get even your most essential tasks done. sometimes these periods can last a long time. sometimes it’s frustrating and feels like failure. sometimes it feels like it will never end. has this always been my life? you know that’s not true, but damn. sometimes the root of this state isn’t depression. sometimes the body-mind just needs to rest rest rest and stop the doing for a long while as it recalibrates and absorbs the lessons. sometimes we must suspend self-judgment at all costs. sometimes it’s okay to not have a straight answer to “how are you?” for a very long time. sometimes we’re allowed to ourselves not understand how we feel. sometimes we’re due to accept that this is not meant to be a mental exercise. sometimes all these sometimes are an opportunity for gratitude and humility.
.
<3

2018-11-09 22:40

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mc for adidas x reigning champ . sometimes you barely have the energy, will, or desire to get even your most essential tasks done. sometimes these periods can last a long time. sometimes it’s frustrating and feels like failure. sometimes it feels like it will never end. has this always been my life you know that’s not true, but damn. sometimes the root of this state isn’t depression. sometimes the body-mind just needs to rest rest rest and stop the doing for a long while as it recalibrates and absorbs the lessons. sometimes we must suspend self-judgment at all costs. sometimes it’s okay to not have a straight answer to “how are you” for a very long time. sometimes we’re allowed to ourselves not understand how we feel. sometimes we’re due to accept that this is not meant to be a mental exercise. sometimes all these sometimes are an opportunity for gratitude and humility. . <3

i deeply believe that “heal yourself, heal the world”— energetically, psychologically, and sociologically; so by extension, i also believe that healing our relationships and our communities is inextricably and symbiotically linked with self-healing and collective/global healing.
.
this month i canvassed for the first time ever; it was for a swing seat in the house for ny-11, the only congress seat from nyc filled by a republican.
.
tuesday night, max rose became the first democrat to fill this seat since 1994. last i checked, he lead at 52% — just four points. the very republican staten island reported back nearly tied results for the race.
.
this district comprises staten island, bay ridge, bensonhurst, and a few other areas in south brooklyn. it is diverse: filled with italians, polish, south asians, chinese, middle easterners and on.
.
witnessing disenfranchisement and disconnection due to language barriers, cultural gaps, blind allegiance to party, and misinformation was sobering— it was an incredibly humbling district to canvass; by opting out, people had effectively been allowing an incumbent who could give two shits about them to remain.
.
i worked on more traditional canvassing directly with the max rose campaign via the brilliantly organized swing left effort. here, the strategy targeted registered democrats and/or people potentially open to vote for a democratic candidate (per data). here, short convos are best (~5 min) and numbers are key.
.
mobilizing a candidate’s base and making sure they are informed about the candidate and why they’ll make a difference— and about registering, their polling place, voting times, etc— AND holding them accountable to vote on election day (making calls, going to their house to see if they’ve voted yet— yup!), are critical to success.
.
through these efforts, the largely arab neighborhood of bay ridge saw record turnouts, amongst other notable gains.
.
by contrast, i also conducted deep canvassing with a newer organization called changing the conversation. here, we sought out communities traditionally unlikely to vote for a democratic candidate— staten island was a big focus.
.
(continued in comments)

2018-11-08 19:50

412 21

 

i deeply believe that “heal yourself, heal the world”— energetically, psychologically, and sociologically; so by extension, i also believe that healing our relationships and our communities is inextricably and symbiotically linked with self-healing and collective/global healing. . this month i canvassed for the first time ever; it was for a swing seat in the house for ny-11, the only congress seat from nyc filled by a republican. . tuesday night, max rose became the first democrat to fill this seat since 1994. last i checked, he lead at 52% — just four points. the very republican staten island reported back nearly tied results for the race. . this district comprises staten island, bay ridge, bensonhurst, and a few other areas in south brooklyn. it is diverse: filled with italians, polish, south asians, chinese, middle easterners and on. . witnessing disenfranchisement and disconnection due to language barriers, cultural gaps, blind allegiance to party, and misinformation was sobering— it was an incredibly humbling district to canvass; by opting out, people had effectively been allowing an incumbent who could give two shits about them to remain. . i worked on more traditional canvassing directly with the max rose campaign via the brilliantly organized swing left effort. here, the strategy targeted registered democrats and/or people potentially open to vote for a democratic candidate (per data). here, short convos are best (~5 min) and numbers are key. . mobilizing a candidate’s base and making sure they are informed about the candidate and why they’ll make a difference— and about registering, their polling place, voting times, etc— AND holding them accountable to vote on election day (making calls, going to their house to see if they’ve voted yet— yup!), are critical to success. . through these efforts, the largely arab neighborhood of bay ridge saw record turnouts, amongst other notable gains. . by contrast, i also conducted deep canvassing with a newer organization called changing the conversation. here, we sought out communities traditionally unlikely to vote for a democratic candidate— staten island was a big focus. . (continued in comments)

more than:
.
- my self-hate
- my self-criticism
- my self-blame
- my self-abuse
- my sadness
- my internalized rage
- my anxiety about the past and future
- my need for approval
- unhealthy relationships and toxic ways of relating
- fear of my own power and potential
- the escape of non-presence and disembodiment
- the stories and judgments i make up about myself, everyone, and everything

taking testimonies; how about you? <3

2018-10-31 20:26

843 52

 

more than: . - my self-hate - my self-criticism - my self-blame - my self-abuse - my sadness - my internalized rage - my anxiety about the past and future - my need for approval - unhealthy relationships and toxic ways of relating - fear of my own power and potential - the escape of non-presence and disembodiment - the stories and judgments i make up about myself, everyone, and everything taking testimonies; how about you <3

<3 // pleasure to have met you.
.
as i unfold, i meet “new” parts of myself buried and forgotten; abused, shunned, mocked, judged— by myself and/or others; i am able to revel in the unending mystery of my quirks, interests, and expansiveness anew.
.
i spontaneously found myself drawing lines and dots some months back; they flowed out like their own language as do words for me sometimes. a part of me felt like it was rad. another part of me was like, “bitch, you ain’t an illustrator. a two year old can do this. nobody cares.” and so the fuck what. i found it cathartic, fun, and pretty. so i did it and shared it when i felt like it. i’m an illustrator that draws like a two year old and i am proud of it.
.
a while back i felt called to play with geometry. similar to the way i began the type of writing i share on here, i endeavored to do this with no judgment (or as little as possible), using the opportunity for expression rather than a quantifiable achievement.
.
i liken one of the highest forms of my creative process to the exercise of freewriting— just go, let it out, don’t worry or think about what’s happening. and definitely don’t judge.
.
life is so much more freeing and fun and easy when you let yourself be whichever you you feel like in any given moment— without feeling like you always have to look over your shoulder.
.
i’m trying, y’all! the other day i danced in the street by myself in manhattan while walking to my destination. so liberating, so enlivening, and such goddamn relief!! i want to not care enough to do that whenever i feel like it. baby steps.

2018-10-28 21:41

314 10

 

<3 // pleasure to have met you. . as i unfold, i meet “new” parts of myself buried and forgotten; abused, shunned, mocked, judged— by myself and/or others; i am able to revel in the unending mystery of my quirks, interests, and expansiveness anew. . i spontaneously found myself drawing lines and dots some months back; they flowed out like their own language as do words for me sometimes. a part of me felt like it was rad. another part of me was like, “bitch, you ain’t an illustrator. a two year old can do this. nobody cares.” and so the fuck what. i found it cathartic, fun, and pretty. so i did it and shared it when i felt like it. i’m an illustrator that draws like a two year old and i am proud of it. . a while back i felt called to play with geometry. similar to the way i began the type of writing i share on here, i endeavored to do this with no judgment (or as little as possible), using the opportunity for expression rather than a quantifiable achievement. . i liken one of the highest forms of my creative process to the exercise of freewriting— just go, let it out, don’t worry or think about what’s happening. and definitely don’t judge. . life is so much more freeing and fun and easy when you let yourself be whichever you you feel like in any given moment— without feeling like you always have to look over your shoulder. . i’m trying, y’all! the other day i danced in the street by myself in manhattan while walking to my destination. so liberating, so enlivening, and such goddamn relief!! i want to not care enough to do that whenever i feel like it. baby steps.

<3 // this comparison machine ain’t cute sometimes

2018-10-27 02:13

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<3 // this comparison machine ain’t cute sometimes

alessandro trincone for cfda
.
today i saw an article on facebook about how nadia murad — an iraqi woman who was captured by isis and is a gang rape survivor — had won the 2018 nobel peace prize for her work to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. however, the headline and opening of the article centered how the media is ignoring this news;
.
it was on a publication i hadn’t heard of, so i googled nadia to find reports on other publications about her win— to confirm it; i also wanted to find stories that were simply about what happened instead of those focusing on what the media isn’t doing. duh, the media at large doesn’t cover important shit.
.
while i think it’s absolutely necessary for us to highlight the errors of our society, i also feel that training ourselves to constantly pivot beyond the reflex of blame is critical for us to truly rise up;
.
this is an important story. and it deserves to be told on its own, in full, without being co-opted by the constant “us and them” drama;
.
the initial article i saw left denis mukwege — a congolese surgeon devoting his life’s work to helping rape survivors — as an afterthought on the last line of the article. men devoting their lives to challenging toxic masculinity? we need that super much. this matters.
.
the narrative belongs to us. how we share it, spin it, highlight it— is up to us.
.
energetically and practically, it is in our favor to focus the greatest sum of our energy on what we DO want;
.
being aware of what we don’t want is simply there to inform us in determining our next course of action;
.
our next actions cannot only be unending protestations of what we don’t want and how the darkness is dark. we know that already. they’re hearing us or they’re not— or they don’t care.
.
in order to actually actually overcome and thrive, our responses need our keen, loving, and fierce focus on speaking, sharing, and creating the world of our dreams.
.
thank you npr and vox for simply focusing on a story that matters.

2018-10-23 20:27

435 19

 

alessandro trincone for cfda . today i saw an article on facebook about how nadia murad — an iraqi woman who was captured by isis and is a gang rape survivor — had won the 2018 nobel peace prize for her work to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. however, the headline and opening of the article centered how the media is ignoring this news; . it was on a publication i hadn’t heard of, so i googled nadia to find reports on other publications about her win— to confirm it; i also wanted to find stories that were simply about what happened instead of those focusing on what the media isn’t doing. duh, the media at large doesn’t cover important shit. . while i think it’s absolutely necessary for us to highlight the errors of our society, i also feel that training ourselves to constantly pivot beyond the reflex of blame is critical for us to truly rise up; . this is an important story. and it deserves to be told on its own, in full, without being co-opted by the constant “us and them” drama; . the initial article i saw left denis mukwege — a congolese surgeon devoting his life’s work to helping rape survivors — as an afterthought on the last line of the article. men devoting their lives to challenging toxic masculinity we need that super much. this matters. . the narrative belongs to us. how we share it, spin it, highlight it— is up to us. . energetically and practically, it is in our favor to focus the greatest sum of our energy on what we DO want; . being aware of what we don’t want is simply there to inform us in determining our next course of action; . our next actions cannot only be unending protestations of what we don’t want and how the darkness is dark. we know that already. they’re hearing us or they’re not— or they don’t care. . in order to actually actually overcome and thrive, our responses need our keen, loving, and fierce focus on speaking, sharing, and creating the world of our dreams. . thank you npr and vox for simply focusing on a story that matters.

<3 // settling, recalibrating

2018-10-05 22:09

795 26

 

<3 // settling, recalibrating

angel + dren for wwd
.
i grew up watching sitcoms like moesha, full house, family matters. one or more of those shows— i can’t remember which— had an episode about a girl character whose dad told her not to wear a given “sexy dress” to a party. girl wears said dress to party secretly. girl has a close brush with sexual assault. heartfelt “i told you so” victim blaming scene with dad closes the episode.
.
i was born in 1983. the culture of the 90s and even 2000s saw sexual assault only through physical violence and as ‘the stranger in the dark alley.’ that’s certainly what i always saw rape as. anything milder wasn’t deserving of the “rape” or “sexual assault” title— it might even be disrespectful to those who experienced violent attacks.
.
after college, circa 2008, i found myself in convos with a couple girlfriends about situations that sounded like sexual assault, but they brushed off the experiences as the normal annoying happenings of dating and intimacy with men. i began developing a theory that this false sense of normalcy probably pervaded the beliefs of my young women peers. so i began asking more of my girlfriends questions to the effect:
.
“have you ever had a physically intimate or sexual experience that you didn’t really want to, where you somehow made it known that you were not down?”
.
“even already engaged in something you wanted, were you ever pushed beyond your comfort? .
“have you ever felt pressured in the realm of physical intimacy— sex or not?”
.
i told them that, ‘it might sound weird because this isn’t what society has taught us sexual assault is, but you experienced sexual assault. it doesn’t look just one way.’ i told them that it wasn’t okay and that it wasn’t normal and they were allowed to be not okay with it and that they were allowed to have a choice in the matter and exercise that choice. i told them that the men were the ones who were wrong. all women reacted in some combination of hesitation, disbelief, and relief.
.
i found that almost every woman i talked to literally realized during our conversations that she had somehow at some time in her life— often more than once— been sexually assaulted.
.
(continued in comments...)

2018-10-03 21:05

901 35

 

angel + dren for wwd . i grew up watching sitcoms like moesha, full house, family matters. one or more of those shows— i can’t remember which— had an episode about a girl character whose dad told her not to wear a given “sexy dress” to a party. girl wears said dress to party secretly. girl has a close brush with sexual assault. heartfelt “i told you so” victim blaming scene with dad closes the episode. . i was born in 1983. the culture of the 90s and even 2000s saw sexual assault only through physical violence and as ‘the stranger in the dark alley.’ that’s certainly what i always saw rape as. anything milder wasn’t deserving of the “rape” or “sexual assault” title— it might even be disrespectful to those who experienced violent attacks. . after college, circa 2008, i found myself in convos with a couple girlfriends about situations that sounded like sexual assault, but they brushed off the experiences as the normal annoying happenings of dating and intimacy with men. i began developing a theory that this false sense of normalcy probably pervaded the beliefs of my young women peers. so i began asking more of my girlfriends questions to the effect: . “have you ever had a physically intimate or sexual experience that you didn’t really want to, where you somehow made it known that you were not down” . “even already engaged in something you wanted, were you ever pushed beyond your comfort . “have you ever felt pressured in the realm of physical intimacy— sex or not” . i told them that, ‘it might sound weird because this isn’t what society has taught us sexual assault is, but you experienced sexual assault. it doesn’t look just one way.’ i told them that it wasn’t okay and that it wasn’t normal and they were allowed to be not okay with it and that they were allowed to have a choice in the matter and exercise that choice. i told them that the men were the ones who were wrong. all women reacted in some combination of hesitation, disbelief, and relief. . i found that almost every woman i talked to literally realized during our conversations that she had somehow at some time in her life— often more than once— been sexually assaulted. . (continued in comments...)

<3 // don’t we know it

2018-10-01 20:45

699 27

 

<3 // don’t we know it

ava nirui for adidas
.
my first big shoot was a twelve page spread of @garyclarkjr for @vibemagazine around 2012. my friend @timmhotep introduced me to vibe’s photo director at the time, @alanket, who took a chance on me. i was stupid nervous about lighting the shoot myself; studio lighting — though i have my own lights — was not and is not my comfort zone.
.
i came up with a simple one light setup (tilting a beauty dish from hella high down) to try and achieve a sort of moody vibe in a dark bar. i had no idea what i was doing, so i tested it out on my roommate’s boyfriend at the time— it seemed to work. there were going to be fancy record label people there (@purplephy27 + @roddwilling), artist management, and whomever else— i was terrified of being found out as a fraud who didn’t know what the fuck she was doing with the lighting. i’m thinking, “these people have been on mad shoots and they are gonna come up to me like, ‘you’re doing it wrong. how are you even here?’”
.
i was so afraid that i thought very seriously about just not showing up to the shoot, because i thought that would be better than utter humiliation and completely botching the job. i quickly realized that in a practical sense, showing up was my only option if i ever wanted anyone to hire me again. so i brought @davidevanmcdowell on as my “assistant,” but really more so moral support so i wouldn’t have a nervous breakdown.
.
the shoot went fine. great, even. what was supposed to be an eight page spread turned out to be a twelve page spread and i was elated. the end. sort of.
.
(continued in comments...)
.
wardrobe stylist | @sara_paulsen
hair & makeup | @kristenshawhair
tailor | eliza fisher
stylist assistant | @tarynbensky
.
lighting tech | @michaelvictoriastudio
photo assistant | @miiiiiike_grippi
photo assistant | @kylet_photography
photo assistant | @dreadedphoto
digital tech | @_nickbean_
.
creative director | @oneashley
project manager | @rustyjtrump
executive producer | @hiveproductions
production manager | @katanarae
producer | @katey.kahanu
production assistant | @fireflyfilms
adidas | @johnmarcelo
adidas | @bethanypee
.
@adidasnyc
 #FALCON 
 #createdwithadidas

2018-09-30 23:13

525 33

 

ava nirui for adidas . my first big shoot was a twelve page spread of @garyclarkjr for @vibemagazine around 2012. my friend @timmhotep introduced me to vibe’s photo director at the time, @alanket, who took a chance on me. i was stupid nervous about lighting the shoot myself; studio lighting — though i have my own lights — was not and is not my comfort zone. . i came up with a simple one light setup (tilting a beauty dish from hella high down) to try and achieve a sort of moody vibe in a dark bar. i had no idea what i was doing, so i tested it out on my roommate’s boyfriend at the time— it seemed to work. there were going to be fancy record label people there (@purplephy27 + @roddwilling), artist management, and whomever else— i was terrified of being found out as a fraud who didn’t know what the fuck she was doing with the lighting. i’m thinking, “these people have been on mad shoots and they are gonna come up to me like, ‘you’re doing it wrong. how are you even here’” . i was so afraid that i thought very seriously about just not showing up to the shoot, because i thought that would be better than utter humiliation and completely botching the job. i quickly realized that in a practical sense, showing up was my only option if i ever wanted anyone to hire me again. so i brought @davidevanmcdowell on as my “assistant,” but really more so moral support so i wouldn’t have a nervous breakdown. . the shoot went fine. great, even. what was supposed to be an eight page spread turned out to be a twelve page spread and i was elated. the end. sort of. . (continued in comments...) . wardrobe stylist | @sara_paulsen hair & makeup | @kristenshawhair tailor | eliza fisher stylist assistant | @tarynbensky . lighting tech | @michaelvictoriastudio photo assistant | @miiiiiike_grippi photo assistant | @kylet_photography photo assistant | @dreadedphoto digital tech | @_nickbean_ . creative director | @oneashley project manager | @rustyjtrump executive producer | @hiveproductions production manager | @katanarae producer | @katey.kahanu production assistant | @fireflyfilms adidas | @johnmarcelo adidas | @bethanypee . @adidasnyc #FALCON #createdwithadidas

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