Interview by Sharafunnisa Ebramsha
Name: Thashainee Krishna Kumar
Profession: Auditor by profession but part-time in the Entertainment industry for 5 years
City of Birth: Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Describe yourself in one sentence: I am always very curious. I am a very curious person. I like to attempt new things.
// Tell me about your childhood and what it was like being a womxn in your childhood town
I lost my dad when I was 12. That’s when I realized that being a girl in the society is pretty much challenging and if you actually learn the art of being a woman, it’s the most beautiful thing to experience. So I think it is a long process, becoming a successful woman, but what it takes most is to accept you for being yourself by accepting all your flaws and being who you are so it doesn’t really matter if you’re a woman or man but what matters most is that understanding yourselves and your weaknesses as well as your strength.
// Can you think of a time you felt particularly aware of your gender and how it led you to be treated?
I don’t think being a woman, but being a girl when I was 13 years old, I went through a very traumatizing experience and that’s when I knew you have to protect yourself, not every man or every person you see is going to be the same as your dad or going to protect you. That was the turning point in my life. Having 3 girls in the family, including my mother, four of us, growing up in a family without a man was not easy, so we had no choice but to protect ourselves and we (sisters) had only our mother to share. People will definitely try to take advantage over you, but how you protect yourself will make a change in your own life.
// What is your proudest accomplishment?
To me, the definition of accomplishment can be different to everybody. I mean, each and everyone of us have our own definition of success. To me, the attempt that I make itself is an accomplishment, and whatever I gain out of it, for instance being in the entertainment industry or being in modelling, everything is just an attempt for me, that itself is an accomplishment for me. Whatever the results, I would consider it a success. If I do well that’s a bonus for me. Waking up the next day itself is the biggest accomplishment!
// What led you to achieve this? What kind of motivation helped?
I would say it is a self-motivation of me not wanting to settle down for something. Cause I always believe that the more experience we gain in our lives, the more we are ready towards the next phase in life. We got to fall down, and that’s what motivates me actually. There was more time that I actually fell. But that motivates me to do better the next time.
// Who taught you the importance of empowerment and how did it affect your life?
I think there are 4 important women in my life, first my grandmother, mom, and both my sisters, but obviously due to the age and generation gap, my sisters are more relatable. Their advice and their experiences in life are pretty much relatable to me. Both my sisters are huge inspiration to me. Whatever I face in life I would say is just 10% compared to the challenges they have faced. I really look up to them. Recently, my sister had to go through a tough phase in life due to health issues, but she did not give up, and that is a huge motivation to me. They are my biggest inspiration for empowerment in my life.
// How do you empower yourself?
I think I empower myself through trying new things, learning, and listening to the stories of others. That’s the biggest empowerment to me, to know the others’ lifestyles and what they have gone through. Everybody is facing something, and everybody out there has something to share. I have something to gain from those I meet. Be it, my colleagues, my friends, or just random people, sometimes we just got to sit and observe to feel empowered. Sometimes even through scrolling some inspirational quotes, and that’s when it feels life isn’t very hard as I think. Actually everywhere around us, there is empowerment, and whether we absorb it or not matters most for me and that’s how I see it.
// How do you empower others?
Sharing my stories, the reality. Everything you see in the social media could be the glamorous side of me, for instance being in the entertainment industry itself, what we see in the social media is nice and glamorous, but there are always struggles and another side of the story. So, I think the way to empower others is to share the reality and show real success.
// Do you have any advice for girls who are also trying to empower themselves?
Well, I’m learning myself! But of course, first we have to see our surroundings, our friends, family and all. We need to first come out of our comfort zone, we need to talk to people. The more we meet and talk to people, we will start learning what we need and what to do next.
// Why do you enjoy and appreciate being a womxn?
Being a woman, itself comes with a package of challenges. Alright, the basic things, I’m narrowing the scope because this is a huge topic to talk about. But for instance, we hear people commenting ‘why do girls wear so much makeup’ and guys can easily get out and leave, well, we definitely wish we could do that… but sometimes, it takes effort, I think people should look at the effort rather than commenting on it. Yes, definitely we can go out carefree, but there are some days we want to make a statement to be confident, that day we put so much effort. I think being a woman, we get to dress up, it’s a simple thing, but it matters a lot. We have a wide range of choices. And that is why I enjoy being one!
// How can the international community help you and your community in a legitimate way? Is there anything you would like us to know so we can share it with our Global Girlhood community?
The first step is to see beyond boundaries. The concept of seeing a human as human being is important, we should not look at race or religion or even nationality. These should not be a barrier. We all should help each other. We all are here for a reason. We can reach a bigger target group. The more join hands to do a good cause, the bigger the impact will be. By being a voice together as whole. - GGH