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"We can't do it without the other half of humanity" | Tcommetherese, musician, stylist, model and activist

[IMPOSE YOUR VISION] She is a musician, stylist, model and activist: Tcommetherese is a multi-faceted artist with an absolutely unique outlook on the world. Here she shares her story and her beliefs about one of the most important and urgent battles to fight: the safety of women. 

You introduce yourself ?

My name is Thérèse Sayarath, I am 35 years old, soon to be 36. Today I am musician, stylist, model and activist according to what society says. I consider myself a kind of rainbow, this kind of meeting between rain and good weather, with a blurred limit between each color, between each nuance.

The look of a woman on the world, on society... do you think that has what impact, what does it change compared to a predominant male look / vision?

I believe that a woman's view of the world and of society complements a predominantly male vision. I've never really been a fan of pitting women against men and men against women.. I believe there is a so-called "patriarchal" view that may dominate in our system, but is not shared by all men and potentially shared by some, but not all, women. As a result, it is difficult to oppose a masculine vision and a feminine vision of things. It's important to take everyone's point of view, and see what we want to create as a social impact.

And about your activity today, is it a particularly masculine area? What makes your female gaze different to your field?

I have several fields of activity. In fashion there are still a lot of women, most designers are women, even if I know a few men. I will therefore rather focus on the question of music where there are certainly a lot of female singers but which is a rather masculine domain. We realize that there are few female independent project leaders, but there are more and more.

I want to say that what I bring that is different in these different industries it's not so much my look as a woman, but it's my look as Thérèse, with all the baggage and all the personal history that I carry within me. To be, for example, a racialized woman over 30: what does it mean in music, in fashion, as a model; what does it mean as an activist on certain societal issues.

I think it's really this position of social crossroads, having grown up in the suburbs, being the daughter of immigrants, having had the chance to go to school and do a HEC preparation, to go to business school, to work in a large luxury house, then to work with migrants, to work in cosmetics, then in music, then in fashion, a little in architecture, etc. which allowed me to develop my view of the world. I would find it difficult today to "confine" it to my status as a woman.. What brings different things to my music and to fashion is my whole story as an individual.

Your view on… the cause of women : what needs to move, what needs to move further?

Interesting question. I would like to say that it depends on where you are. The condition of women in the world is extremely heterogeneous, so it is difficult to answer this question without geographically isolating my answer.

So I would talk about today, about what is happening in the West and especially in France. I think that my priority fight to date is that of security. I don't like to have a safe speech, but personally what causes me the most problems today as a woman in my daily life is the fact of being afraid in the evening when I return home. And then even the day more and more.

The fact of not feeling safe in the public space, of having the feeling that if ever something happens, no one will move a finger... it's extremely difficult having to constantly strategize about how to avoid getting mugged. Having to ask ourselves the question of how to dress in the office or when leaving home, or at a concert, whether we have the right to drink or not, to have fun like everyone else, or not. To know if we can frequent such a place. Is it safe to take a taxi? Why can't we take transport...?

There are a lot of mental burden issues related to being a woman in the public space. which I find difficult.

For all the rest of the questions obviously which are battles to be fought, I think we have to keep fighting for our rights, for better equity in many areas. But my priority fight is that of safety in the public space.

What he must move in all this is the fact of deeply understand that we will not get there without the other half of humanity. Open dialogue with men, involve men in feminism, think about changing the name perhaps, to better include people. I don't know, I ask these questions... it's kind of my job to ask questions.

I've always fought saying I'm a feminist who didn't hate men and loved men. I have often been asked why I needed to specify this. I find that a number of actions today show us that there is such a hatred by certain mediatized groups of men, that is why I need to specify it.

As much as I would never want to be ashamed of being a woman, I don't want men to be ashamed of being men.. I want people who make mistakes to be able to correct them or be punished for those mistakes, but we don't have to replicate what the oppressors did to us. I simply try to continue on this guideline which for me is led by the idea of humanity and simply love.

Your view on… the cosmetics industry : what are your points of astonishment or revolt? what do you think should move?

I don't know if I could say that I am "revolted" by the cosmetics industry, but I find that we are a little bored in fact. We put a lot of money into research to have better textures, pretty colors, super innovative products, to have effective communication… but I often find that campaigns are boring and look a lot alike.

I don't want to put all the brands in the same bag. In general, I find that we show a way of putting make-up on a face that is extremely conventional when in fact there would be a lot of things to do. I find that extremely wise.

I'm not saying all brands should be exuberant because there are all types of personalities and consumers, but I would like to see a slightly crazier industry, for inclusive too, even if it is done more and more.

When I talk about inclusion, I'm not just talking about the inclusion of different women, that's already happening, of different colors, of morphologies... I'm also talking about male makeup. I find it hard to understand why there is such a big brake today on showing makeup on men and pushing men to have fun with makeup too.

Your gaze on… mascara (or makeup in general): what does it mean to you?

For me, makeup is a way to dress up our moods. As a stylist, I find that it completes the look completely and that it extends our identity and it allows us to change, to be mobile and fluid in our identity according to our desires. I find it great.

I often say that life should be one big party in disguise and I think cosmetics have a lot to do with it, or could have a lot to do with it. In some ways for me, like clothes, makeup is as much a means of expression, a way to say what you want to say without even having to open your mouth, as much a kind of buffer or armor towards the outside world, like a cocoon of protection, to be able to bring the attention of the other where we want to bring it, the days when you don't necessarily want people to see you directly inside.

And to conclude: ALL TIGERS has 2 mascaras, a volume version "IMPOSE YOUR VISION", a length version "EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS", which one would you choose? Why ?

instinctively, I would rather choose EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS, because I do not seek to impose my vision on anyone. I offer my vision and people take it or they don't, but in any case I'm not one to impose. This will be the length version for me! 

Thank you Therese!

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