Thrifting. Braces. Family. God.

Recently I’ve found myself reflecting on my life: my success, my failures, my growth. My perception of beauty. Growth is inevitable, but my personal growth has me rather awe struck. I remember those middle school days when I would cry myself to sleep because the gap between my two front teeth were far too wide apart, puberty marred my face, and my family conditions forced me to shop at my local thrift shops. Self pity consumed that middle school body of mine, and every night I would go to sleep praying to God for a new beginning. An escape, rather, where I could rebuild my image to something I could love.

What changed? GROWTH!  Braces. Thrifting. Family. God. I can’t help the smile that is plastered on my face as I type these words. But man, it’s as if God was just listening to my prayers back then and silently saying, “Don’t worry my child, your time is coming!” Fast-forward to my freshman year of highschool, 2013- 2014. The thrift shop became my safe haven. I fell in love with vintage and grew a sense of disdain towards the mall. The mall was expensive, is, and is filled with trendy clothing. Clothing that you are highly at risk of matching with about ten others in your school on a given day. But my thrift shops, those oversized sweaters, shirts, and, on a good day, well fitted trousers, were one of a kind! I finally found my own style, my art! Thrifting became my outlet. I can honestly say that it birthed and saved my love for fashion.

That summer after freshman year, that summer that I began my journey in my Princeton University Preparatory Program, that summer that I traveled to Nigeria after seven years of never visiting the Motherland, that’s the summer that I got my braces. That was also the kickstart of my personal mission to find myself. I knew that my teeth were personal barriers, my self confidence was stagnant because I couldn’t look in the mirror and embrace what stared back at me. Over the months as the gap between my two front teeth lessened, my confidence increased.

2016 Faith (Ezii)? I, a senior in highschool, find myself happier than I’ve ever been! My bond with my family and my love for each and everyone of them is stronger than ever! I have the best friend that one could ask for. I have found my Faith, my own sense of religion that is neither influenced by the church or the man-made versions of the “correct” way of being a Christian. It’s just God, the Bible, and my prayers! (But that’s another conversation for another day!)

Anyways, I write this all to introduce you all to Ezinwanne Faith Iloka. I am a young artist, growing and exploring. And I have a lot of plans for this blog! Please feel free to communicate with me through this platform, my ears are open to the input of others!



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