Adista

Adista is a 21-year-old photography student at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

What’s your relationship with your mother like?

Very close because I am the only child.

Can you tell us a bit about your style? Who/what is your biggest influence?

I love wearing culottes and shirts with a “summer vibe,” which are basically printed Hawaiian shirts. I’ve seen it become a trend on the Internet, especially Instagram, so that’s where I got the inspiration from. In terms of influence, I don’t have a specific person in mind but seeing people wear this kind of shirt makes me happy.

How is your style different from or similar to your mom’s expectations?

My mom and I don’t really share a big style difference. We both wear a hijab (out of choice!) and so we like to be covered up. However, she does expect me to be more “tidy” in the way that I dress, which means wearing more feminine items with clean-cut silhouettes. Seeing as I love layering patterned shirts over long sleeved tees, she thinks that the more rugged look makes me seem less presentable.

How do these expectations fit in the larger context of her living/having lived in Indonesia?

People in Indonesia don’t see my clothes (specifically Hawaiian shirts) to be something that you should wear every day. They’re seen as items that are only worn for a special occasion. Sometimes I’d get weird looks because of it.

How do these societal/personal expectations affect your identity and behaviour?

Sometimes I get insecure, and that makes me feel the need to conform and dress like other people’s idea of femininity.

Since you’re living in Melbourne, how has this experience affect the way you dress and/or present yourself?

I feel free when I’m in Melbourne. I can be me.

Is there a perception of femininity that you hope could change in Indonesian society?

I hope Indonesians would stop judging other people’s style. They should just accept that everyone has their own individualistic style and that it doesn’t bother anyone. I feel like this issue is the most prominent when a girl dresses up.