WOMEN IN FORTNIGHT: Chrys Nguyen
Photo Series by Arden Wray
Chrys is the Buying Director and Manager for the menswear shop Lost and Found, in Toronto.
FORTNIGHT: What does feeling beautiful mean to you?
CHRYS: A lot of what I understand of beauty or of being beautiful comes from my mother. She was the depiction of grace, wisdom and empathy although she suffered for a quarter of her life from cancer ever since I was a baby to the day she lost her battle.
So in my eyes, the most beautiful people are the ones who have known defeat, suffering, loss, and who have struggled and have fought their way out of hardship. This creates a person who has an appreciation, a sensitivity and an intuition of life that fills them with a deep empathy and gentleness. And to me, all of the aforementioned sits at the core of someone who emanates beauty.
The most intriguing and beautiful woman is soft and graceful but at the same time strong and powerful and not afraid to have a hearty laugh.
Seriousness aside though, the power to make someone laugh or smile with a clever or bawdy joke is something that makes me feel truly beautiful. A quick wit to me is a big signifier of intelligence and that is what makes me feel confident and in turn, beautiful. Laughing and smiling is the cheapest face lift after all.
FORTNIGHT: What do you wear to feel most like yourself?
CHRYS: My skin and a smile.
FORTNIGHT: When do you feel most confident?
CHRYS: I feel the most confident when I think back to every time I’d failed or have had to face my biggest fears head on. I can think to myself- I’ve persevered and lived through these moments; I can handle the next blow that comes along.
FORTNIGHT: What makes a place feel like home?
Most of my nostalgia and comfort is centered on the meals I’ve shared with my family and friends. Home to me, is anywhere with loved ones and sharing a meal.
My answer may seem overly simple for what can be a very complex question, but coming from a family of Vietnamese refugees, when your upbringing and your concept of home has had to be mutable, sometimes it makes for a clearer answer.
FORTNIGHT: Are there any self-care rituals that are important to you?
CHRYS: Taking an hour or so every day to be alone is important to me, whether I’m reading, taking a walk or meditating or just staring vapidly into space, it’s key for me in replenishing myself mentally and emotionally. Being alone in silence is vital to me- to feel at peace and happy within yourself and your deepest thoughts is a good confirmation of my emotional and mental well being. In silence is the only time you have to face up to who you are.
In my eyes, prayer is the act of talking to the universe, or whomever you wish to pray to, but silence or meditation is the act of listening to the universe. And boy would humanity learn so much if we can close our yappers for just a minute or two.