+ Candace Molatore.
THE IN MY SKIN PROJECT SERIES & CANDACE MOLATORE.
I. WHAT IS YOUR NAME & WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
C - My name is Candace Molatore and I’m a Photographer / Creative from Portland, OR.
II. WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR CALLING IN LIFE?
C - At the age of 20, I can confidently say that I will probably never know what my true calling in life is. I have many interests, and those interests have unveiled skills I never knew I had until I embraced them. I guess if I had to give an answer, I’d say helping others in a creative way is a strong calling in my life. Whether that be helping them feel confident through taking their photo or inspiring them to start photography, or even helping brands reach their full potential online (I’m also a Media Marketing consultant). I love that I can use the skills I've learned over the years to help people in different ways.
III. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOUR SELF-WORTH AND HOW HAS THIS JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY BEEN FOR YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF?
C - I realized that I really had these skills only about a year ago. It may sound odd for me to say that but a lot of times it can be difficult to realize your skills. It’s considered impolite to be in conversation with someone and say “I’m good at this.” You’re considered arrogant if you discuss your skills with someone else; especially as woman. Society has taught us time and time again that “good women” are demure and hide our skills in fear of emasculating men. I think that was the hardest thing for me to realize, and it’s still hard to get over. You have to find ways to tell people “I can do this. I’m good at it, I swear.” Eventually, your work starts to speak for itself but it’s always a struggle.
IV. HOW HAS YOUR STRUGGLES HELPED YOU TO BECOME A BETTER WOMAN?
C - I see the box that we as women have been put in, especially in the creative field and how we’re working to overcome this. Although personally I feel this is something we should not have to fight for in 2016, it’s inspiring to see the amount of women coming together to make a change, on multiple levels of society. I see women working together for causes, for equality, for each other. That alone is enough to make me want to be a better woman.
V. WHO OR WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO CREATE?
C - Oh man, everything. I’ll see a color or texture on a bathroom wall and it get me thinking. I get inspired by many things and by many people. Instagram is a huge creative tool that everyone should learn to take advantage of. It’s just a giant hub for inspiration and I’m on it constantly. I’m always on the hunt for something that inspires me and I think, “How I can use this? How can I take this to the next level?”
VI. WHAT IS YOUR LONG TIME PASSION IN LIFE?
C - My passion in life has always been success. I know reading that some people are probably shaking their heads, but it’s completely true. Since I was a little girl I've always wanted to be successful in anything I did. I wanted to be a successful reader, writer, monkey bar climber, you name it. We all want to be successful in life and feel as though we've contributed something to this Earth. The thing we most often forget is that success doesn't mean being better than anyone else. Your idea of success could be very different from mine and from many others. Success is actually a very personal thing that isn’t shown in money or popularity alone.
VII. IF YOU COULD GIVE ANY TIPS OR ADVICE TO THE YOUNG GIRLS AND WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD WHO SUFFER WITH LOVING & ACCEPTING WHO THEY ARE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
C - Throughout high school I struggled a lot with my confidence because I was one of 5 black kids in the school, my hair was a straight up mess, and I just wanted to be like everyone else. “Fit in, not stand out, and just get through it” was literally my motto over those 4 years. I did enjoy most of high school and made some great friends but when high school was over a lot of those friends left for college and I was left alone to literally figure out who I was, without their influence. I’m not saying my friends made me hide who I was, but by being alone I was able to figure out what my true skills were and hone in on those. Once I spent some time to figure myself out, I realized that I really liked who I am and the woman I was growing into.
VIII. WHAT DO YOU FEEL NEEDS TO BE TOLD TO OUR BEAUTIFUL WOMEN OF COLOR? DO YOU FEEL THAT WE WOMEN OF COLOR HEAR THOSE WORDS OFTEN? IF NOT, WHAT CAN WE DO AS A COMMUNITY TO CHANGE THAT?
C- I would love to hear or see more magazines showing women of color being praised while wearing the trends that we essentially created, but keep seeing on other models. I’m so tired of hearing natural hair being called “dirty” or a “problem” when it’s on a woman of color. I want to see more acceptance and more understanding instead of ignorance and dismissal. I know we’re working on changing, but in 2016 I still feel like we are so far behind.
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