This, my friends, is Anika.
Sweet and funny, with a sassy fashion sense and a positive outlook on life, she has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. With all of her amazing qualities, it was no question that she'd be next on my list of people to introduce to you!
Most of the time, I edit interviews and add my own interjections. But I'm sitting here reading what she wrote to me and I truly don't know how to do that without taking away some of her incredible personality! I'll let her tell her own story, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Thank you, Anika, for sharing with us!
I was born in Oslo, Norway, and moved with my parents to Paris when I was six months old. My father is a diplomat, and I grew up as a petite fille Francaise, with long curly locks and lovely dresses (nothing has changed in that department).
My father's side of the family is English/Scottish/French, and I am one proud Campbell. I have been told that I have a Campbell-esque nose, but, I will have you know that my nose actually resembles that of the founding father of the Norwegian Constitution (who I am a descendant of). I know this because as a teenager I went to visit the house that served as the first Norwegian house of parliament, and when one of my classmates very helpfully shared my link to the history of the place, our tour guide promptly replied that she should had seen the resemblance between us instantly (I mean, I may be curvy, but is my double chin that I owe to Ben & Jerry's Brownie Chocolate ice cream also mannish?!) and continued the tour with dragging me around to pose in profile below every painting of my ancestor. I digress, but as you can understand this left a lasting impression on me.
Anyway, thanks to having several mother tongues and having moved about ten times so far in my life I feel European, not Norwegian. I may not look like a foreigner, but in many ways I feel like a stranger here. I don't ski (I can if properly motivated, but there are so few shoe stores at the bottom of skiing slopes, you know?), I talk to strangers in the street (in a completely decent way, you understand) and I am always overdressed. I speak five languages, and in my daily life with my Bosnian husband I mix English, Norwegian and Bosnian, often mid-sentence. I identify as a TCC (Third Culture Child) because I am fusing my various cultures into one very personal one, but on some level we all do this, no? I gravitate to other people who also come from a mixed background and who have had to actively define and embrace themselves. I've been told that I have an alternative group of friends, but in that case I am alternative too. My friends are from all walks of life, and they all share a warm heart and a wicked sense of humor.
I met my husband Alexandro at a party eleven years ago. The moment I met him I knew I would be changed forever, that my life would be intertwined with his. It was a case of a spiritual love that was so strong that when we said goodbye after our second meeting I knew I would marry him. Alex is Bosnian and he is the warmest, strongest, kindest and funniest man I know. Like me, Alex is all about sharing with others, and we share a passion for working with children as educators. I feel very blessed and enriched that Alex is in my life, and I know that in him I have a friend and partner for life. Thanks to him I know how to swear in Bosnian (I speak the language fluently-ish), which is handy to no end, I tell you.
I began blogging a little over a year ago. I was nervous doing it, especially because I am curvy (Rococo is a very nice style, no?). As I was setting up my blog, I had a gut feeling that I was beginning a new chapter in my life that would help me follow my dreams. Little did I know that I would also connect with an amazing community of bloggers, who enrich my life each and every day. What started out as a creative outlet has become a way of life; blogging has become a part of my identity.
When I first started my blog I named it Generous Style, "generous" playing on both my size and my personality, but it didn't really feel right. I wanted something that was even more personal, more me, and when I learned that Anika means sweet face it clicked. I was shy about naming my blog Sweetfaced Style though, worrying that it might seem self-absorbed and conceited, but then I decided to trust that my readers would be able to see me and know that I am not a self-absorbed person. As my confidence in myself and my fashion grew I bought my own domain, tamed WP.org and renamed my blog By Anika. I decided to start a fashion blog because I am very passionate about fashion, and honestly feel that I have something to offer with my designs. I have been playing around with my fashion for years, sewing my own clothes, and starting the blog seemed like the next step.
When I first started blogging I got a few negative comments about my size that were hurtful. I got busy with spreading some serious love into the blogosphere, running an ongoing series where I feature lovely bloggers. I am very proud of my series, and happy to report that so far nearly 70 bloggers have taken part. I have received some criticism because I don't only feature plus-sized bloggers, and I probably have lost some readers over this, but I am okay with that. After I posted my manifesto I began calling it as it is. I am a self worth activist.
My blog is about loving ourselves just the way we are. I personally know the pain of not loving myself, of being so ashamed of myself, inside and out that accepting others harming me and also harming myself felt like what I deserved. I choose to be honest about my struggles; I know that I have no reason to be ashamed, and I know that I am not alone on my voyage towards self-love. I am determined that my readers should feel good about themselves reading my posts.
I am very sorry to report that I use the camera on my cell phone [for posts], but very happy to report that Alex usually gets the lovely task of capturing my outfits while exercising some deep breathing techniques when I get slightly bossy. My style is Bold Eclectic Chic with sass and soul –- designed By Anika.