Our mission here at Bare Necessities is to lift women up so they can soar, which is why we’re featuring the women of this company (stay tuned for the men!) who come to work with a singular goal in mind: to empower you. You just met Mette; next up, introducing Shaneek Anderson, our marketing project coordinator.
NY Fashion Week may be a wrap but, around here, it’s always Fashaneek Week. Every morning, the office waits to see which Shaneek will show up: on Monday, she may be all business in a pencil skirt and tie-neck blouse; on Tuesday, it’s artfully mixed stripes and florals; Wednesday could be glam worthy of the red carpet; Thursday, she may be easygoing in a boho look; by Friday, she’s relaxed in head-to-toe denim. Clothes aside, what she’s really doing is telegraphing different aspects of her personality. That’s charisma: You want to find out more.
Like Clark Kent going into that phone booth, or Dorothy emerging into a technicolor Oz, there’s a reinvented Shaneek on the regular who resists being pigeonholed and, ironically, that’s how she provides fashion inspiration for all of us. Glasses, wigs, lipstick, clothes and shoes each get careful consideration. “I’ve loved fashion since I was a teenager, and I love owning my look,” she says.
In time for Shaneek’s 35th birthday this month, we couldn’t help but ask her about the secrets of dressing fabulously, knowing who she is inside and out, and what that does for one’s outlook on life.
Aging gracefully: I’ve made so many forward strides this year. I feel more self-assured and beautiful than I’ve ever felt. I love the woman I’ve grown to be.
Treat yourself: I decided a few months before I turned 30 that I would take a vacation every year for my birthday. I just wanted to celebrate me and enjoy life! It reminds me that I am special, I am deserving, I am worthy.
Best accessory: Getting braces lifted me up because I love being different, and I love seeing the transformation. I went with ceramic so they wouldn’t compete with my makeup!
Ups and downs: Losing weight has always been a struggle. I started gaining a lot around 11 and wasn’t diagnosed with hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome until 25. At my highest, 383 pounds, I was barely fitting into size 28 clothes. I started seeing a nutritionist and a personal trainer. I’m down 50 pounds and can wear a size 22 comfortably. It will always be difficult for me, but there are millions of women living with the same illnesses who live healthy, active lives.
Greatest kindness: I was bullied in third grade by a girl I thought was beautiful, and I couldn’t understand why she was so mean. I vowed then to always support others. Even if it’s by giving someone a bright smile, donating my time or money, or greeting someone with a “hi, gorgeous!” those little things make a difference.
Style philosophy: Wear what makes you happy. If I feel good in it, I wear it. I like to mix things up—it makes me smile. I decided to get my first wig custom-made last year so I could change my look whenever I feel like it. One day I can wear a pixie cut; the next day, my natural curls; the next, I get to have long, flowing locks.
Words to live by: I live in a society where I’m constantly told I must look a certain way to be beautiful. Fortunately, my parents always told me I was. In fact, the last thing my dad told me before he passed away was that I would grow up to be a beautiful woman. I was 12, and that’s stuck with me.
Signature look: A friend once came to work on Valentine’s Day in the most gorgeous red lipstick, Ruby Woo by MAC. I ran to the mall and bought it the next day. I was terrified but I wore it for a week, and an obsession was born. I have so many different colors, but nothing lifts me higher than a bold red lip.
Shopping resources: Asos, Lane Bryant, JCPenney, Simply Be and Torrid for their stiletto jeans, which fit me perfectly.
Personal mantra: Tomorrow is a new day—make it count.
Current obsession: Pointy flats. If I could find a way to have them not pinch my pinkie toes, that’d be perfect.
Morning routine: Smile because I woke up and I’m blessed. Think about what I feel like wearing, shower, pack my gym bag, decide on a “unit” or wig, choose a lipstick from my collection, make a breakfast shake and run out the door because I’m two minutes from being late.
Passionate about: Personal growth. If you’re not evolving mentally, ask yourself why you’re doing it. If someone doesn’t make you happy, why are you together?
What empowerment means: Uplifting the next woman. Why waste time being jealous? We have enough roadblocks ahead of us; we don’t need to fight each other. Amazing women glow from within and make you gravitate towards them, and that’s what I hope to be to someone.
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