NYUnique: Bori: Eastern European hoe Meets Narcissism
“When I wear pasties, it's more of a conversation starter to educate others. Yes, it's definitely part of my attention seeking personality, but I do believe that the sexualization of women is one of the greatest causes for inequality”
Maisha: How would you describe your style?
Bori: Eastern European hoe meets narcissism. Sometimes hella classy, but always attention seeking.
Maisha: Who are your fashion favorites?
Bori: I have two favorites. I think Jeremy Scott and Vivienne Westwood are creative geniuses. I love how satirical and political Scott is, but I truly admire Westwood's IDGAF attitude.
Maisha: What currently is on your wish-list?
Bori: Everything from Namilia's latest show.
Maisha: Less or more?
Bori: I do more by wearing less (laughter).
Maisha: What is your biggest style pet peeve?
Bori: Peep toe shoes. The only time your toes should be exposed is in sandals or if you're barefoot.
Maisha: If you could trade wardrobes with one person who would it be?
Bori: Rihanna. Her outfits are fire. #BadGalBoriri
Maisha: I know you’re really involved in Greek life at NYU. What has that been like for you?
Bori: I am the president of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority at NYU. It's lit — an amazing network of women empowering, helping and supporting one another. My DPhiE girls are my best friends and biggest supporters. Sororities are somewhat alternative here as well; I can't imagine getting away with the things I do at any other school.
Maisha: I know you have your own clothing line. Tell us a little bit more about the vision behind it.
Bori: It's still pretty much in its starting phase, but I want to create clothing in the form of social activism: to create clothing that talks about intersectional feminism, sexuality and gender norms, in an educated context.
Maisha: What, according to you, is the best thing you’ve designed thus far?
Bori: FACE COAT. The feeling of wearing your own face is inexplicable.
Maisha: Can we be expecting any upcoming projects?
Bori: My friend and I are working on a line titled "Cum Together," cuming soon …
Maisha: During your shoot with us, there were some complications that came about at the New Museum (the location for the shoot). Would you like to talk about what happened?
Bori: I was asked to either cover up or leave when the security guard saw me wearing pasties under my coat. He said, "There are children here." My problem here is that breasts don't hurt children, they feed them. What hurts children is people sexualizing breasts. As much as I like to push boundaries, I pick and choose the times I wear pasties. I would never have thought the New Museum would be so intolerable. IT'S MODERN ART! This is my art, and I choose to curate it on my body.
Maisha: I understand the sexualization of breasts is an issue you’re very much concerned with. Have you had any particular or more general occurrences that led to it?
Bori: I'm always getting shit for wearing pasties. Whether it's disgusting men on the street or women giving me dirty looks, there's a lot of negativity. The reactions are usually the two ends of the spectrum: either people think I'm slutty or people stop me to tell me how great it is that I'm doing this. The worst thing that ever happened is someone grabbed my breasts–very much the "if you dress like this, you're asking for it" argument. Needless to say, I was appalled. In the scope of feminism, women not being allowed to be topless is actually minuscule (even though it's legal in the state of New York). I’d rather wear a shirt for the rest of my life if it meant more women getting jobs, getting equal pay, not getting circumcised in underdeveloped countries, and if more women had access to hygiene products, etc. When I wear pasties, it's more of a conversation starter to educate others. Yes, it's definitely part of my attention seeking personality, but I do believe that the sexualization of women is one of the greatest causes for inequality. Once women are sexualized, they are taken less seriously in a work environment, they are put out to constant harassment like catcalling and are reduced to their naturalistic roles: to have sex with and impregnate.
Interviewed by: Maisha Kabir
Photographed by: Alicia Gill
Directed by: Lei Jin