photography by www.jassophotos.com
For our anniversary, the BG staff wanted to featured not just one amazing Brown Girl, but 3! First up is the fabulous Hafsa Ahmed.
What is your ethnic/cultural background?
I was born and raised in Houston, TX, though for a 4 year period of my life, I was living in Karachi, Pakistan (from ages 5-9). My parents were both born in India (Banarus, specifically) but were raised, for the majority of their lives, in Karachi, Pakistan. The times I’ve visited family or been in contact with aunts, cousins, etc, it has been in Pakistan, but large sums of my family resides in India. So when people ask me this question, I guess the appropriate way to answer is that India is my country of ancestral origin but I relate more to the Pakistani culture and way of life because that’s what my parents raised me in.
What do you do now and what do you hope to do in the future?
Currently, I’m studying Nutrition at the University of Houston, with a Minor in Psychology. I used to be a Psychology major but I changed my mind a semester ago since I decided against grad school. Music is my real passion and I don’t want to spend too much more time in school. I’m only attending now so I can have a decent job to support myself as I try submerging myself more into the world of music (country music, specifically). My plans are to work for a year or two after I graduate, save up, and move to Nashville (TN), where hopefully, I can catch someone’s eye and make it big in country music
What are some of your hobbies or talents?
I have loved to sing since middle school, though I didn’t discover that I had talent till high school when I started winning acapella competitions. Music is my love, to put it simply. I love singing, I do it everywhere and all the time, sometimes even in normal conversations (yes, I related to Zooey Deschanel in her show New Girl ). I picked up the acoustic guitar roughly two years ago and have been hooked ever since–I find it suits my voice nicely! Self-taught, I’m not amazing, but I think I’m pretty decent. I started a YouTube page earlier this year to let the world hear what I have to offer.
I also enjoy fashion. Fashion is an earlier, though less fervent, love of mine. I’ve placed in fashion design competitions in high school and even went through a phase of my life where I considered a Fashion Design degree. I adore Armani and Calvin Klein, love the classics. I aim for a clean-cut, effortless, classy, yet comfortable look.
What do you think is the best part about being a Brown Girl?
Even though I cover mine, I think one of the props is having great hair. Did you know Indian weave is one of the, if not the, most expensive weave in the market? It’s nice to know someone would pay good money for something God-given! I know so many brown girls who don’t have to straighten, curl, tease, or mousse their hair to keep it thick or manageable, soft or touchable, tamed or untangled. It looks good tied up or let down, krimped or curled, casual or dressy. Everyone wants brown girl hair–on their head anyway!
Who would be your Brown Girl Idol?
Can I say my sister? She’s the perfect balance of loving your culture, but not being arrogant about it. She loves the weddings, the clothes, the polite manners, but she doesn’t brag to people who aren’t Pakistani or Indian–doesn’t shove it in their faces. She’s also grateful at every turn, though being a brown girl sometimes has its downsides, she’s never felt ashamed of being one and always worn her skin with confidence and elegance. Did I mention she’s younger than me and I look up to her? Figures!