Introducing: Asha Isabella!

“Introducing” is an ongoing series in which we ask bloggers, activists, allies, entrepreneurs and assorted Bostonians about their inspirations, motivations, super powers and experiences with street harassment. If you know someone you think we should feature here, please drop us a line!

introducing: asha! // hollaback! boston

Asha Isabella is a Boston-based designer and the force behind Tosser Magazine – you can find her on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Tell us about yourself? What are you into? I’m a storyteller – fiction writer, clothing designer, magazine publisher.

Define your style: Errm, that’s really tough. It changes all of the time, literally like weekly. I like being tall, even though I’m already 5’10ish, so I’m always in some type of ridiculous platform shoe… or a small strappy one. See, already inconsistent. I like black, I like really loud colors (contradicting myself again). I guess “loud” – I think I can be a bit visually loud sometimes. Although, I think I’d fit right in in London, just saying. I’m huge on nostalgia and playing around with mixing different decades (including the future) into my wardrobe.

Favorite Boston fact: Hmm, let’s see how little I know about Boston right now. Ergo, I just googled “Boston facts” to pick my favorite. Well, just realized I never want to go in the Ted Tunnel again – it’s really the deepest tunnel in North America?! No, thank you.

Oh bam, I did know this – Boston is home to the largest art theft in US history – $100 mil from Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by two thieves. One, that’s my favorite Boston museum, I go there just to sit sometimes. And two, I have a strange obsession with crime.

Your favorite place in Boston? Anywhere I can see the Boston city line. We really have a beautiful city here so anywhere I can take that in I really appreciate. Along Memorial Drive, rooftops on Beacon Hill or in the North End is usually pretty great for that. My roof also has a pretty decent view of Brookline. So, you know, slightly hovering above the city is my favorite place. I’ve never been to Top of the Hub but I bet I’d appreciate it.

Have you experienced/witnessed street harassment in Boston? What stood out most in your memory? I honestly haven’t experienced it myself, which is a bit of a blessing but I have a couple of friends that have run into issues, usually related to homophobia which is disgusting. I get so incredibly frustrated that that type of closed mindedness still exists. It makes you just really want to shake the shit out of people sometimes. But really, people are just aching for a reaction – bored with their own pathetic lives I guess. Go read a book, you know.

What’s your signature response to street harassment – your go-to Hollaback? I honestly think being witty and educated on random facts helps. People are stupid, so develop a thick skin and two, nonchalantly shut them down. Responding to “wearing jewelry is gay” with a “Uh, no tough guy – men were the first to wear jewelry as a status symbol for good luck to aid them in battle, so read a book” is a witty shut-down. And just acting like you don’t care, being really nonchalant. People just want to get a reaction out of you so…don’t give them one.

Your superpower is? I can tell the future. No lie.

Seriously though, I have a very calm demeanor and things don’t really bother me – tough words, stress, opinions of others. I just don’t have time for that. And I don’t think it’s tough to develop – just thinking how miniscule a person or event is in the entire scheme of things. Eh.

What are you excited about in 2013? I’m really excited to see Tosser Mag grow. We’re doing a lot more in Boston within the upcoming months.

What inspires you? Music, film, history, the sound of the wind, the smell of the ocean… I mean what doesn’t, you know.

If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? There are right and wrong people… surround yourself with the right ones. Leave the ones that don’t fit alone.

Thank you so much, Asha!

image credits: Asha Isabella

Author:

We actively denounce the notion that street harassment is culturally accepted and that victims somehow "deserve" it. Through raising awareness and sharing experiences, we hope to put an end to catcalling, groping, stalking, public masturbation, assaults, racial slurs, and other forms of street harassment. Because we believe we have the power to create a world where we can feel hot, confident, and badass, while still feeling safe!

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  1. [...] Boston interviewed badass Boston-based designer Asha Isabella for their “Introducing” [...]

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