Maya Washington Teaches Us How To #BeShameless At NYFW, And Beyond

Maya Washington is the definition of an artist. She works as a voice actor, a photographer and a designer. In 2013, Maya decided there was something preventing her from being completely happy. She looked to the greats: Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Michael Jackson, Grace Jones, Shakespeare and even Jesus to see how they’d lived—to figure out what they were doing that she wasn’t. Maya discovered that they lived without shame. They were completely unapologetic about being themselves, no matter what critics said. Maya felt like promoting herself was corny, despite the oversaturated social media obsessed world we live in. But she decided to celebrate all her gifts and talents, a journey that can be summed up in one hashtag: #BESHAMELESS. Maya started with one goal, 365 days of self promotion, to become more comfortable showing off her hidden gifts, but that was just the beginning of her shameless life. Galore talked to Maya about what she learned during her first year of living shamelessly, and how to take those lessons wherever you go…even to New York Fashion Week!

Galore Mag: What have you noticed happening during your 365 days of self promotion?

Maya Washington: During my 365 days of self promotion I discovered how much shame and fear was ruling my life in unexpected ways and preventing me from truly embracing and celebrating me and what I had to offer. Something as simple as self-promotion was scary, but throughout my year, I learned to shame less and face more of my fears. I put myself out there despite my inner critic.

GM: What’s been the best part of this project so far?

MW: The best part of this project has been connecting and inspiring others. Once I put myself out there, I realized how connected we really are. There are so many other people feeling and facing the same fears as us and it’s a great reminder of how in-this-together the world is.

GM: What are you looking forward to most during NYFW?

MW: I’m looking forward to seeing all the shameless street fashion during NYFW. A few months into my shameless experiment I thought a fun, shameless act for me would be to dress up and be a fierce shameless diva parading around Lincoln Center with a bouquet of 5 foot balloons and 2 security guards. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but so freeing! I was bombarded by photographers and interviewers and it was quite the experience to be the center of attention, which is at the heart of every New York street style fashionista. Self expression through fashion on the streets of NY is nothing but shameless inspiration and self promotion.

GM: Any tips to #BeShameless during NYFW?

MW: My tips on how to #beshameless during NYFW would be to channel your inner shameless diva! Any look you’ve wanted to rock but thought you never could, do it now! You have casual looks, formal looks and this is the time to channel performance looks, statement pieces, looks that start a conversation and reveal your creativity! Wear it, be fierce, be fabulous, be shameless!

GM: What can the fashion world learn form Being Shameless?

MW: I think we can, in fact, learn more about being shameless from the fashion world. Fashion is art and art is self expression. We can be more shameless by learning how to express ourselves through fashion by adding our personal flair and pushing the envelope. Mix things up and try unconventional pieces and pairings. Worry less about what others think and think more about how to make things a personal representation of you. Do you, boo!

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