“I think someone is comfortable in her own skin when she recognises her own strengths and weaknesses.”
Meet our Everyday Girl from Singapore, Sarah Bagharib.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sarah. I’m a former documentary producer/director for five years. I studied journalism as my background. I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to lend my voice and make a difference. I thought the only way I could do so was to be a journalist. So that was the main reason why I did journalism. I knew I’ve always wanted to be in the media industry but I just never really knew what area exactly.
The first time I was exposed to a more vibrant and colourful media environment was when I did my final year of uni in Perth, Australia. Being abroad made me realise how much I’ve been holding back in terms of learning more about the media industry and how much I’ve been self-censoring myself as well. I realised that there’s so much more that we can say - we can criticise, whether it’s about the government or other media. And that’s when I had the calling to lend a voice to the voiceless and the less fortunate.
So I did that for about 5 years - documentary and producing. The company I was with focused a lot more on investigative journalism. I’ve been undercover in Indonesia to tell a story about the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. I learned a lot from that assignment and I meet a lot of asylum seekers and refugees.
When I look back and think of the experiences that have shaped me to be the person that I am today, I feel grateful because it definitely opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of people who are still living in such conditions.
After being in the production industry for 5 years, I experienced exhaustion that eventually put me on the hospital bed and this happened 10 days before my Nikah. It forced me to really reflect and think about whether or not I really want to be in the production industry and for how long do I want to be in it. It was the long hours and deadlines that got me thinking.The job was challenging too. There were parts of it that I knew I was good at and there were parts where I really struggled with. It didn’t help that I always fell sick when I handled the things that I struggled with.
So it came to the point where I was in the hospital, where I forced myself to really think about what I was good at, what I was not. It was hard to actually accept that I wasn’t good at what I love. So that was the first step, to actually accept the fact that I wasn’t good at what I love.
So it was more of me realising what my strengths are as well. I recognised that I was really good at meeting people and socialising with people. So I knew the next thing would be communications but I didn’t really want to work in a very corporate environment. I felt like if I want to communicate something, I need to believe in it so I started looking at NGOs. That’s how I came across my current job where I’m doing communications for an NGO, where I’m still lending my voice but in a different way.
What makes a girl comfortable in her own skin?
I think someone is comfortable in her own skin when she recognises her own strengths and weaknesses. Understands and knows her purpose in life. Know whatever it is she wants to do and is doing it.
What’s your hope for the girls when you do #Crazycat?
Crazycat started with a hashtag #ShineOnYouCrazyCat. I use that as a personal collective on Instagram. So whenever I post pictures of women who I personally admire or I’m inspired by, I’ll use the hashtag. The hashtag is from a Pink Floyd song called Shine On You Crazy Diamond and it’s a really sad song actually but the words Shine On You Crazy felt really empowering. And then I was like what’s the first thing that comes to my mind and rhymes with crazy, I thought cat!
I’ve been using that hashtag for about 3 years since I was still in production. I just never had any other time to do more with it. It’s only when I left production and started my new job when I was able to do more with the hashtag. Maybe I want to do more with Crazycat and make it a community for women.
What are your hopes and dreams for the everyday girl?
To the everyday girl and everyday woman out there, you should really believe in your own strengths and know that everyone has failures and weaknesses. To also know that it’s not easy to accept those weaknesses but you can do it. Remember to serve your own purpose, not anyone else's. Don’t be so hard on yourself because we are always a work in progress.
Sarah Bagharib is wearing Amirah in Nude Pink. Visit whimsigirl.com to get it.