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Her Story: Kelly | To Each, Her Own

There's more to all of us than meets the eye.

To Each, Her Own is a celebration of who women actually are — not who they're told to be. Our series, Her Story, is a chance to get to know more about the women who inspire us with their strength and vulnerability.

Meet one of them ahead.

Kelly Uchima, 25, academic researcher, jewelry designer, and influencer

TL: How would you describe yourself in three words?

KU: "Amiable, compassionate, resilient."

TL: What’s something most people might not assume about you at first glance?

KU: "I think people might not know that I’ve suffered a lifetime of body image and eating disorder struggles. On the more fun side - I’ve always been a singer and performer, it’s my biggest and most fulfilling passion that I don’t get to do much anymore. I was Peter Pan in a Chicago musical at 16, won the first Chicago Chinatown Idol, became Miss Friendship Ambassador of Chicago, and first runner-up in Miss Chicago pageants."

TL: What quality do you love most about yourself?

KU: "I really care about people and their feelings. Sometimes, more than my own, which is one thing I don’t love as much hehe."

TL: When do you feel most beautiful and/or confident?

KU: "When I’m well-rested, wearing my comfiest leggings and t-shirt, and have a fresh face."

TL: When and where are you happiest?

KU: "I’m happiest when I’m doing something I thought my mood of that day might not allow me to do. Oftentimes, I’m exhausted from my university research job, or I don’t feel comfortable in my body, then I step outside, onto a beach, and realize that I’m in charge of my mood and of my entire day. And I want to enjoy this moment."

TL: If you could give your younger self advice, what would you tell her?

KU: "There is no wrong way to be. And you are gaining so much from every high and low moment, I promise."

TL: What's the top song on your playlist right now?

KU: "R.E.M. - Ariana Grande. Wow, it’s just so dreamy."

TL: What does To Each, Her Own mean to you?

KU: "We deserve to not only know, but FEEL, like it’s okay to be exactly what and who we are. Not just our physical appearance, but our insides, too. I want us to let ourselves feel everything — the happy, sad, mad, it’s all a part of us and I want to embrace each emotion. To let yourself feel is a freeing thing."

TL: What is your motto?

KU: "Feel to heal. And I sell self-love jewelry @thewarriorcollective that says self-love phrases like that, actually!"

Comment below and tell us how you embody the spirit of To Each, Her Own in your own way!

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