Skip to main content

An Interview with @oceau

Bella's Instagram page is a bit like a siren's call. Judging by her follower count, I am not the only one that had the instinctual reaction to tap the follow button as soon as I caught a glance of her doe-eyed selfies, absolutely incredible makeup skills, and unconventional yet always charming ensembles. But I learned that there was more to her than just aesthetics. I also became captivated by her powerfully gory artwork, her strength and determination, her willingness to speak up about the traumas she's endured in order to help others. Although it's impossible to have a full picture of someone just through social media, Bella's compassion and heart shines through in the brief yet beautiful glimpses she gives her followers into her life. However, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about the rosy-cheeked starlet that graced my feed every morning.

What work are you most proud of?

I have a series I created called "pretty girls do ugly things." Each drawing I've done in that series is very personal and sentimental to me. I use those drawings to express the emotions I have dealt with or am dealing with. It's therapeutic in a way, and it's a healthy way for me to deal with my anxiety. Sometimes it's hard to deal with your problems especially if its not something physical, and creating artwork allows me to make my emotions tangible and easier to understand.

 

The "pretty girls do ugly things" series.



What's your favorite photo you've posted on Instagram?

My favorite picture always ends up changing. I think all my pictures are my favorite, in a way, because there's always a story behind it or its taken by one of my friends. All my pictures have a special place in my heart.

What's your favorite makeup look you've done?

As of right now, my favorite has to be my prom makeup because it was heavily inspired by two of my makeup icons, Betty Boop and Violet Chachki! I am a huge fan of old Hollywood makeup and drag, so the two combined was probably one of the best makeup looks I've done.

Bella's prom makeup


Are there any non-fashion related sources you take inspiration for your outfits from (paintings, music, etc)?

I get inspiration from the most random places. My main inspirations are cartoon characters and cute anime girls. I love mixing elements and styles. Something as simple as a color pattern or simple detailing can inspire me to create a whole look and use whatever resources I have to create something unique and all my own.

Can you describe your favorite outfit?

My favorite things to wear are cute babydoll style dresses, especially mod mini dresses from the 60s, paired with white nylons, cute gogo boots, and for accessories, a pastel ascot tie and cherry earrings.



What's the weirdest part about being an Instagram personality?

I think the strangest part is people actually being interested in me and even being inspired by me. I never thought people would care or find me interesting, but I get so many messages every day from people that say I inspire them to be more confident or to create more art which truly means so much to me because I never realized I could impact someone's life so positively like that.



Do you think clothing can tell a story? Why or why not?

Clothing definitely can tell a story. From the thread to the pattern, clothing can allow you to express yourself in an entirely different artistic way. I think you can at least know a little about a person through the way they dress, not who they are, but small things. And I think that's why I appreciate fashion so much, because it's something you can use to express who you are and "tell your story."

What's your best story? Like the one you would tell as an icebreaker at parties.

I never go to parties or do crazy things, so I don't have any wild stories. But I love to go on adventures with my friends and we always run into the strangest people, especially with how I dress. I get harassed a lot in public, like crazy guys rolling down their windows and speeding towards me to scream at me or creepy older men trying to talk to me and following me. I think I just attract strange people so I have weird encounters. One story is that I was in Hollywood with some friends and it was around 2am. We were waiting for our ride to come. My friend and I needed to use the restroom but everywhere was closed. We were looking around for so long until we finally found one, but some older man was screaming "HEY." I knew he was trying to get my attention so I started walking faster but that didn't stop him. He ran out in front of me and said, "Hey what's your name?" I tried to be polite because it's scary what men can do when they get turned down and I didn't want him to hurt me. I said I had to go to the bathroom, and even after that he wouldn't let up. He kept pestering me with questions like "Are you from China?" and "Do you want to meet my friends?" I was so afraid that I just bolted and ran. He was screaming "HEY DA BATHROOM IS DIS WAY," but I kept running and said "No thank you, sir." It was upsetting in a way because there were so many people watching this happen and they could see I was clearly uncomfortable, but they didn't help. It's funny to look back on but it's sad to see women being harassed because men don't know how to be respectful.

Photos via


What's something you would say is unique about your style?

I try to add my own personal style to everything I wear. I think what I like is that I don't have a specific category of what my style is. I wear whatever I think feels cute and I always try to push myself to learn more about fashion and designers so that I can do something that maybe not a lot of people are doing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Steps to healing and solastalgia.

It's quite amazing how your inner landscape changes after abuse and trauma.  Things that never used to bother me, or never even entered my awareness are now triggers sending off anxiety responses and distress.  The intensity of these varies and even though I am aware of them and have good protective strategies in place, frequently they go where they want to go as happens in trauma response.  Your hypothalamus hijacks your brain and off goes your heart rate, blood pressure, cognitive function etc.  If ever you find yourself in the company of someone with severe anxiety or experiencing a traumatic trigger please don't expect them to snap out of it or just get over it, the healing process doesn't work like that. They are not being dramatic or silly, nor is it something they have control over.  Be patient, help them to ease their anxiety and fear by using their senses.  Smelling the smells around them, feeling the breeze on their skin. Noticing the texture of their shirt, the …

a heart who's love is innocent

Lately I've been thinking about the difference between being alone and being lonely. I actually don't like the label of introvert, especially the way it's used nowadays online. People that I've encountered online who identify as introverts seem to have swell heads and think that wanting to be alone sometimes counts as a personality. Or they're incredibly misanthropic and think hating people will make them popular online. Obviously this is a generalization, and I'm sure there are some wonderful people in online introvert communities, I just never felt comfortable calling myself part of them, especially lately. I've also been questioning the usefulness of labels-- I think pretty much everyone has introverted and extroverted tendencies.


I am a pretty solitary person, though, and I've always been okay with that, until recently. In high school, I was hardly a party animal, but I had friends that I could go get coffee with and study with and make flower crowns…

lip gloss and cherry pop

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the ways in which my online persona differs from how I act in real life. I think that my demeanor is mostly the same-- I'd like to think that my online friends and my real life friends view me as a kind and intelligent cheese lover. I've met several online acquaintances in real life and they don't seem at all surprised by my mannerisms or anything. But, strangely, I think I'm more open and expressive online. It sounds strange to say "I'm more myself online than I am in real life," because, like most people, my digital life is heavily curated. But I do think that, as someone who suffers from social anxiety, the internet has allowed me to share my thoughts more freely without the intimidation of talking to someone face-to-face.


My (real-life) friend and I are starting a silly podcast-- it's mostly just us talking and we still don't know if we for sure want to make it public or just record conversations for ou…