QPOC Interviews with Sola Onitiri: Chantanae, She/her
“Give us some “Fashion Rules” that you reject.”
“Hair rules: When I first went natural my father said to me, natural haired girls don’t get jobs. So when I was going on my first job interview I made sure that I wore my hair out in a big afro. And I had 12 interviews and got 7 or 8 offers. My hair is a part of me. This is how my hair grows out of my hair. I should be able to wear my hair in it’s natural state. My hair should not be something that gets chastised in the workplace. My standard should be good enough for appearances.”
“My style does change quite frequently but it’s mostly an afro centric look which is the look that people are use to seeing me in. My hair usually exudes that. For me I think it’s just about wearing what I want to wear. My clothes need to mesh well, the need to be able to flip at any time.”
“As a queer person of color how do you feel that you fit into mainstream fashion?”
“I think that the fashion world is getting there. You see more QPOC being represented as fashion icons. You see your Laverne Cox’s and Janet Mocks. But I don’t know if there’s a QPOC that represents me in a fashion sense.”
Chantanae is a 23 year old from New York City who moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in sociology. Beyond academics, she devotes her time to learning about and advocating on behalf of marginalized groups, especially LGBT minorities. Now that she's completed her degree, her next step is to pursue a Master's degree in social work. For Chantanae, this is how her studies and passions will come together.