Geralyn Anderson

WHYITRIBE (THE REASON YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO YOU ALREADY ARE):

There is value in dreaming, striving and achieving – be it for that goal, that position, that something out there we do not have, but there is also value in holding, embracing and honouring who we already are, what we have and what we’ve been through that’s shaped us.

I often question my self-worth and what I have to offer, but if I pause and reflect, there is so much I already have and so much I have been through that brings its own wisdom and value that I can share.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF / HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Doing this interview has forced me to do just that – to say something good about myself, and to reclaim the beauty of my imperfection. It is empowering and inspiring.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

A long time ago somewhere, someone told us that women ought to be seen and not heard. That as “the lesser sex”, we didn’t have the same strength or value as men. I think that over time and through stories we’ve been subconsciously fed this idea that celebrating oneself equals boasting, and that is seen as tactless and shameless.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

I do not believe I discredit compliments given. If I genuinely do not agree with or understand why the compliment, I might ask, but I do not think I will argue with someone over what they think of me. I read somewhere that what others think of you is none of your business!

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA WE ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

Language is so important, as is dialogue and the sharing of what these words mean. For example, I personally do not care for terms like “take power back”, because it implies that power is ours to begin with. It also begs the question, from who are we taking it back? From men? From society? I understand the notion behind it, of being empowered, of standing up and reclaiming who we are as women, but to ask how we can “take it back” suggests to me, a fight for what is rightfully and perhaps, exclusively mine, which would be no better off than men (or another category of person) claiming it as theirs to begin with.

I think that there are a myriad of ideas and the meaning behind them that society, the public consciousness, the world, etc does reinforce, and perhaps that women are not enough is one of them in some circles, but I also believe that as individuals, we have the power – the spirit – to say otherwise. The very momentum of the Tribe seeks to embody that, or at least, that’s what I understand.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

The Tribe movement is so important because it allows and facilitates all kinds of womanhood, indeed, personhood. I believe it is a movement that embraces and encourages honesty and transparency, which can often be challenging or confronting. To me, it serves as a reminder that who we already are is worth celebrating; without the need to go out and be any different.

For example, it was in response to paralysing depression and anxiety that I created The Gigi Outfit, a daily documentary of my mental health and recovery through fashion. I had lost my (unfashionable) job, and was forced to figure out what it was I was to do next. I was not qualified to do the jobs I applied for, and what I was qualified for were no longer the right fit for me. It was through @thegigioutfit that I met Samata and THE TRIBE, who collectively keep me grounded in the fundamental truth that I am enough – in my state of joblessness, directionlessness or restlessness – and that despite all the qualities I think I don’t have, what I do have – in my passion, my creativity and my life experience – is enough. But it’s important to add that this awareness of my being enough is not to be construed as a sense of complacency, but rather a springboard and foundation for creation and generation of something new, something more.

Occupation: Creative

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Instagram: thegigioutfit