Katherine Li: Comfort in Your Own Skin

Katherine feels comfortable in her body after her weight loss journey, but wouldn't have needed to if she was initially confident in herself BYRON MASON II


Byron: We’re here with Katherine Li. Senior on campus. Very fashionable student on campus. I’ve taken notice of your outfit. Tell me a bit about it.

Katherine:  I am wearing an olive suede jacket, red cami top with a quote, black unedged shorts, a belt from Gucci and a pair of black mules from Tommy Hilfiger.

B: What does your shirt say?

K: My shirt says “Are we having fun yet?”

B: What does that mean

K: I actually got this shirt during the summer in China. In a small department store. It doesn’t even have a brand to it, but when I saw this quote, I just suddenly [thought] “wow this is so me.” I’ve experienced a lot and have been stressed lots of times in life. There are just times that you can’t have fun or or you’re assigned something by your professor, by your supervisor or your boss. And I’m always [telling] myself, just treat it as fun. Just make it fun.

B: So you said you got the t-shirt from China. Were you studying abroad? Or are you from China?

K: I’m actually from China. I came to the states when I was sixteen.

B: So do you think that a lot of your fashion sense comes from being back home? Or do you get it from being in the states?

K: I think the majority of my fashion--I’m really influenced by my family and where I grew up in China. So I grew up in Xung Sho, which is a really big city. So I grew up on the subway, taking buses and just seeing people on the street and tourists every day. So there are just a variety of outlets of fashion that I’m seeing a lot. And especially when I grew up, I always went to private school. Where in China, in private school, they sometimes force you to wear uniform. So whenever it’s the weekend or  I don’t have to wear my uniform, I just would be so dedicated to my outfit because the chance is very precious.

B: Where are some places you shop?

K: I honestly really depends on where I am at the moment. I shop a lot at Zara, Topshop, Urban outfitter, Tommy Hilfiger, Vero Moda. Recent years, I haven’t shopped at H&M and Forever 21 like I used to during high school, but I would still stop by and pick up some little things.  When I came back to China, I love to explore local brands and some small designers’ store to find some unique fashion

B: So your hair color. What made you want to dye it gray?

K: I’m really dedicated to dying my hair because I naturally have black hair. Nothing wrong with black hair, I just love to make changes because that’s how my life has been. Coming to the states and from Colorado to Boston, to Indiana. I studied abroad last year in the UK and that really inspired me alot because [in] London, I saw that a lot of people [had] this color of hair. So I got it done this summer in China.

B: So your style is usually influenced by others? Are there any celebrities that you try to emulate? Or do you just see someone walking down the street and you’re like “oh that’s cool.”

K: I do follow a bunch of people like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner. Their family or Gigi Hadid. I also follow a bunch of makeup Youtubers and Instagrammers. It’s hard to tell if there’s a specific celebrity. If there’s one, I’d definitely say Gigi Hadid because I think she’s my favorite model. I wouldn’t say she is the prettiest, but she has that confidence. She’s very genuine because she just looks really natural and acts very natural.

B: So how do you think your sense of individuality and sense of confidence affect your sense of style?

K: There is a turning point in my life which happened a year ago I think. I used to be a little fat. But not too much. There are times where people made fun of me. So I decided to lose weight. I lost twenty pounds last year. Go to gym. Fix my diet. I think I really forced myself to do a lot to be “perfect.” But you know nobody’s perfect. And I think life changed a lot. And I definitely think that was not a thing that everyone needs to do because I was happy. And I’m still happy. And I think the importance of your fashion or your body shape-- all this stuff comes to this quote-- are we having fun yet? Are you happy about yourself? Literally your beauty-- you generate your confidence-- and that’s just you. And I believe that you can wear fashion-- fashion is what you wear. But style is just you. It’s completely two different things. I wouldn’t say it's a mistake, but if I realized confidence was part of my beauty, I wouldn’t have forced myself to lose twenty pounds.