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"I would like to have a mini-afro again but it is not practical at the moment"

"I would like to have a mini-afro again but it is not practical at the moment"

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes

Dress to express

Anass Mephtah (21, Dutch), third-year student of Biomedical Sciences and first-year student of Psychology, describes his style as “sometimes all in black, sometimes urban, sometimes neat, but always completely myself”

Self-expression

“For me clothes are a form of self-expression, showing who I am. I can be inspired by music, a photograph, a poem, or a quote. These can conjure up a certain image in my mind and that is reflected in my clothes, especially in the colours. Blue tones, for example, represent to me melancholy and gloominess.”

Cushioned sole

“I have about twelve pairs of sneakers. I feel it is important that they radiate something authentic. For example, I have a pair of Nike Air VaporMax, which have a weird cushioned sole. People often ask me if they are football shoes. I think they are beautiful. I take really good care of my sneakers. I rotate wearing them because I don't want one pair to wear down quicker. I watch where I'm walking and I don't wear white shoes when it's raining. Furthermore I clean them: you can clean white shoes really well with toothpaste, and you can wash cloth shoes in the washing machine.”

Gym

“I also want to look good at the gym. I feel more capable that way and I work out better. After all, I spend quite a lot of time there: I go five to six times a week. People often joke, saying that I must have some kind of sponsor deal with Nike. Everything has to match. I have gym shoes in various colours, sometimes black is the better match, sometimes it's white.”

Tiny tear

“Until I was about 14, my mother bought all my clothes. Then one time I had a growth spurt and needed a lot all at once; she said: you choose what you like best. That’s how it slowly started. I still ask her or my sister for their opinion, but in the end I do what I want. My mother prefers a neat look, she doesn't like torn trousers. I transitioned slowly, first with a tiny tear and gradually more. Only recently she bought a pair of trousers like that for my younger brother!”

Friends with the hairdresser

“I go to the hairdresser’s every week. We have become friends, yesterday he stayed open a little longer so that I could make it. It has to be extremely short and have a clear hairline. I once had small waves, and a mini-afro. I would like to have that again but it is not practical at the moment. It takes quite a lot of time. I have very robust hair, which means a lot of brushing and using conditioner, otherwise it gets too dry. It could take up to an hour, especially if it has been wet. I exercise a lot, so I take a lot of showers.”

Shopping

“I don't like to buy clothes online. I have to have a connection with an item and it has to fit. My size is medium but my waist is a small. I only buy something if it goes with what I already have, otherwise I won't wear it and that is such a waste. I visualise it, or get something in the shop that looks like what I already have so that I can try them on together. If it looks like I thought it would, I will buy it. Unless of course it is extremely expensive, but that doesn't happen much, I usually shop at Zara or H&M.”

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