We first found Isabella on Instagram and were immediately impressed by her unshakable self confidence in proudly showing her burn scars. Since then, she has been interviewed on British TV and newspapers and is an inspiration to women everywhere who are overcoming beauty stereotypes. We interviewed Isabella on her thoughts about empowerment and the messages she’d like to share with other women. Isabella has now modelled for Ararose Clothing.
Name: Isabella Fernandes
Profession: Finding my way
What is your favourite/most inspiring quote?
“Yossarian lives”. Someone gave me a copy of Catch 22 while I was in the hospital. I loved reading it. It was an escape from my reality into another that mimicked the hospital setting but was about so much more than that.
What does empowerment mean to you?
I think you can empower others and become empowered by others, but ultimately it is about the self. The self assuredness that you can do anything you want. I think people, and myself, are sometimes too scared of failing at something. It stops you from even trying. I grew up with a mother who let me explore anything I wanted. Whether that be music, ballet, rock climbing or knitting. I never felt pressure to have to be good at these things. I was allowed to try. To experiment.
What part of your body do you love the most?
I have learnt to love my scars. I love them in such a way that I don’t notice them in the mirror anymore. I don’t stare. I am just present.
What is your favourite quality about your personality?
My resilience. I forget sometimes what I have been through. The pain. I love my life. I love how I am. I am happy. It is not always perfect, but I am happy with how I am. I think it took me a while to understand that I was content with myself.
When you were growing up, can you remember becoming aware of what you looked like? Were you influenced by anything in particular?
I remember suddenly being conscious of being of mixed heritage at about 14. It is something I had always known but the presence of it felt stronger. The words mixed race assume black and white. I remember ticking mixed white and asian on a form at the doctors office. It’s funny that you can be summed up in words that seem so broad. Asian identity is so far ranging its seems almost wild to use the simple world. White signifies colour. Asian does not.
What insecurities have you overcome that were previously holding you back?
I was shy. Its hard when you have a lot to say, but feel so nervous to even open your mouth.
What advice would you give to your 12 year old self?
Allow yourself to be bored. It lets you create. Lets you explore and try new things.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Rock climbing. It’s a lovely balance of body and mind. You learn over
time how your body moves. It’s a lot about control. Its manipulating and contorting your body.
What advice would you like to share with other women?
Do what you want. Do anything.
Isabella wears Isla Tank
Find Isabella on Instagram: @fauxnandes