Tahmina wearing Frances in Vanilla Haze photographed by Rosie Matheson

Tahmina wearing Frances in Vanilla Haze photographed by Rosie Matheson

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Tahmina Begum

Editor-in-Chief, XXY Magazine and HuffPost UK Reporter

You know when people say their childhood made them who they are today? I feel as though mine did exactly that. I come from a household where education is taken super seriously. I also learnt not to complain so much—seeing my parents graft so hard and show me that my reality is very lucky, made me quick to realise that actually I have it super good and it’s my job to shine a light on those that do not.

My parents are from Bangladesh and I have a huge extensive family. The one thing I am so grateful for is how much of the history and education of the places I come from was instilled in me. My family are very feminist without even knowing what the current buzzword around feminism is and things like your looks weren’t spoken about.

My style is very important to expressing who I am. It’s everything! It always has been! I am a huge believer that you should dress for whatever you’re feeling. I’m so sick of people scared of dressing and being “too much” or “too little”. If I feel like wearing a red tutu with a band tee one day and a suit the other, dressing however I want and however I feel will only get the best out of me. Of course, there’s huge privilege in this—from my background to the spaces where I work that allows this.

 Tahmina in Donna, Marmalade.

Tahmina in Donna, Marmalade.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was four—I just knew. Shout out to Jacqueline Wilson for being my number one inspiration growing up. I need writing to express thoughts. When I don’t write or creatively express myself, I feel like there’s old laundry to do in the back of my head—I think I read that somewhere and there’s no other way to say it.

I currently work for HuffPost UK a few days a week and the rest of the time focus on XXY Magazine and write for other publications, which means I have to be a chameleon. My tone is completely different across all publications. When it comes to writing I don’t want to be a one trick pony, I live on being dynamic and then going back and learning about how to make new skills strengths. XXY Magazine was originally a place where people could talk about fashion and gender intellectually and now it’s grown into a variety of media outlets. However, the foundations for high quality work, and the needle in being an incubator for emerging voices has not moved. At the moment, the work that’s most important to me is any of my written work that reflects the South Asian diaspora. I’m tired of this huge demographic being slept on.

 Tahmina is wearing Patti Titanium in Satin Silver.

Tahmina is wearing Patti Titanium in Satin Silver.

 Tahmina in Donna, Marmalade.

Tahmina in Donna, Marmalade.

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