Name - Natasha Nurse
Hometown - Manhattan, New York
Current Residence - Long Island, New York
What does it mean to have a voice?
Having a voice means you can share your thoughts, passions, and concerns with the world. You can do this unapologetically and fearlessly no matter what.
How did you find your voice?
I found my voice through media. Whenever I had something on my heart, I was always able to express myself through writing or video. I began writing poetry at age 6 and I never stopped.
What event or series of events led to you finding your voice?
Growing up as an only child, I turned to writing to create stories and poems to express myself. Reading and writing were my best friends - outside of the comfort found in film and television. Whether I was writing about positive or negative events in my life, there was always relief and peace from sharing my thoughts through writing. In 1998, I wrote an article detailing a situation where I was held up at gunpoint in a hospital robbery. This experience was terrifying and truly unforgettable. Seeing a gun in my face at such a young age really changed my reality and view on death. Being able to write about my experience helped me come to terms with my experience. It was the first time I realized I have a voice I could share with the world.
Tell me about when you finally found your voice.
As a New Yorker, born and raised, I was able to bump into people from all walks of life daily. I made a goal to meet someone new and learn something new each and every day. As a licensed attorney, I held various stints in the corporate world prior to making a foray into fashion and writing. Finding my voice as a child prepared me to be a content creator as an adult. Writing articles and poems prepared me to become a blogger, magazine editor, radio personality, and podcaster. Content creation was all about doing it. I developed a creative business that allowed me to share my story, highlight other women’s stories, and encourage women to do the same. In fact, most people don’t realize how the sum of their life experiences prepare them to be the person they are today.
Having been a victim of bullying as a child growing up, I learned to seek out fashion as a source of strength early on and actively use it as a personal means of empowerment. My own experiences with bullying and a strong desire to help others within the plus size community led to the creation of Dressing Room 8: a web-based resource where women can gain personal and professional empowerment through fashion. My lifestyle focused blog, consultation and coaching services help women learn how to think with clarity, dress with confidence, and live with purpose.
Define “voice” and why it is important?
Voice is a form of expression. Whether we use words, images, art, or signs, our “voice” is how we communicate and express ourselves. Without a voice, we begin to feel like we are suffocating. Human beings are social creatures. Communication is a necessity for our growth and development as a society.
What advice do you have for someone trying to find their voice?
If you are looking to find your voice, you need to remember the following:
1. Your voice is always important
2. You can’t expect the world to know what you are thinking or feeling
3. If the cost of not sharing your voice is too great, then you must share what is on your heart and mind
4. You are a walking, talking masterpiece – no one shares your exact story or message
5. You are inspiring people whether you know them or not
6. Life is too short not to share what you feel – if you are not intending to hurt others, then you should never be afraid to share your truth
Not one to stay idle, Natasha loves to keep a full calendar. Aside from running Dressing Room 8, Natasha is an Adjunct Professor at Nassau Community College where she teaches Introduction to Women’s Studies; the Lifestyle Editor for Plus Model Magazine; and the Program Coordinator for Long Island Girl Talk, a Long Island community-based start-up program that teaches teenage girls of color how to produce, direct, and star in their own television shows about women’s issues in their communities. Recently, she partnered with her husband to create the new podcast WokeNFree and she is the host of Our Voices on 90.3 WHPC.
Prior to starting Dressing Room 8, Natasha created the WST Feminist Blog, an open forum for sharing original content, links, and creative work addressing cutting edge women’s issues. She is also an animal lover and a big film buff. When not traveling or juggling multiple projects, she likes to spend time with her husband Kahlil, cat Toby, and dog J.J. She always finds time to indulge in her obsession with elephants.