“If your always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” Maya Angelou
NO: What were your first thoughts when you found out you were going to be featured?
CAT: My thoughts when I first found out I was going to be featured. I felt so excited and honored it is a great compliment
NO: Tell our readers about yourself.
CAT: I am a Cancer from the DMV. I am a cosmetologist as well as a certified makeup artist I love what do I love making my clients feel good about themselves . I also have a beauty Collection called CatHarleyCollection which consist of brow cosmetics , fringe wax, virgin hair extensions, as well as custom units you can check more of my work on my website CatHarley.com. I fell in love with what I do at a young age I would read beauty magazines and books starting at the age of 5. I was inspired by Kim Kimble, Oscar James , The ReggieWells, Kevyn Aucion , Sam Fine. Watching their careers gave me motivation to move down the path of all things beauty. My style and beauty icon I gained inspiration from growing up were Faith Evans , Mary J. Blige ,Vivica Foxx, And Kenya Moore these women were the epitome of style and beauty and still are!
NO: This July, we’re celebrating freedom of kurves. How important is it for women to embrace their kurves?
CAT: I think it’s so important to embrace your kurves because loving who you are is important .When you love and respect your self you will demand it from others and people will know your not be messed with. People will try you but you have to let them know quick it is important to speak up for yourself you can’t worry all the time what people think about you . When you don’t love yourself people see that the men you date and the friends you attract. They can either exploit your insecurities by disrespecting you or nurture them by lifting you up Just because your plus size you’re nobody’s doormat.
NO: What can we do more as an industry to advocate more women embracing their bodies and loving them without the pressure of the social media?
CAT: I think representation helps women embrace their bodies when you see a woman that looks like you in a magazine ,or on television portrayed in a positive light makes a difference. The first woman Ifelt I could really see myself in was Faith Evans that was a really good feeling as a teenager !! Now you Have girls like Tokyo Vanity and Lizzo girls who own their Kurves confident their hair, make-up and nails on point cute clothes bomb accessories and talented. When I saw Lizzo on stage at the BET awards it made me emotional she was doing her thing , like I had never seen done before she was in lingerie ,beautiful , sexy confident , stylish and unapologetically in the building I think that was a huge move in the right direction for the plus size community. I think that social media puts pressure on a lot of women but ways to combat that is with self love that statement self love is the best love never rang more true it is so important especially in this day and time . Embrace the qualities that make you we are all different and that’s cool . For instance I am clumsy I drop things easily and run into things all the time I used to be self conscious about it but I embrace it now it’s a part of me. It’s funny because even as a baby I was clumsy when I was learning to walk I used to run into walls and blacked both my eyes. I can laugh about know but I must’ve looked crazy a baby with two black eyes!
NO: What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
CAT: I am loyal friend I have integrity , I am supportive , encouraging , non judgmental, nurturing quirky ,weird. love to laugh ,animal lover, I also love to cook , I love to read paper books I haven’t ventured into the eBooks yet I like to be able to read anytime without having to worry about a charger plus I like the smell of books see that’s the quirky part of me coming out lol!!! The book I am currently reading “ The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks”. My favorite genre right now is biographies I love learning about what makes people who they are. I love to learn new words when I am reading I keep a notebook and pen beside me and I will right down the word I don’t know and define them. I also like to write I journal a lot helps me keep my thoughts together I also write poetry.
NO: When did you begin to love your kurves?
CAT: I embraced my Kurves at young age 14 years old thank you Jesus!
NO: The State of the Plus Size industry is forever changing. What are your views on the state of the plus size industry?
CAT: I think we’re moving in the right direction especially with fashion from high end brands to more affordable brands . It’s a good feeling to be able to buy clothing off the rack and online and be stylish and on trend , not just raid the accessories section because that’s the only thing that fits you.
NO: What is the one thing you would tell a young girl looking in the mirror who is having a hard time loving her kurves?
CAT: One thing I would tell young girls having a hard time embracing their kurves is…be strong don’t let other people’s opinions of what they think you should look like effect how you feel about you. Don’t diminish who you are to make others feel good. Your worthy of respect and love on every level and don’t let anyone tell you different…and a fine man. Sometimes when people are not secure with themselves they will put that on to you. Do a little something every day just for you.
NO: Can you give our readers one of your beauty secrets?
CAT: One of my beauty secrets is drink plenty of water I drink a gallon a day. It keeps my skin clear and healthy looking.
NO: What do you want your legacy to be?
CAT: I want to be known as a strong powerful black woman who doesn’t quit, Genuine in my thoughts and actions , thoughtful of others feelings, respectful of people , Kind , loving, creative, passionate. Someone who moves with integrity a powerful survivor.
Connect with Cat @2ndbornstylist