Meet Anna Ralkov. Anna is our creative powerhouse mastering both art-direction and copywriting. Beside studying Design and Entrepreneurship, she combines her interest and knowledge in gendered cultural issues and feminism when communicating topics about women’s intimate health here at DUSK.
You have a passion for gendered topics, you’ve worked for gender inclusion at a NGO and made projects about body positivity — why and when did your interest in gender equality start?
I've always wanted to challenge the way society views the female body, femininity and gender identity in general. Being female and always having your body spoken for, have created an urge for more self-representation. I feel that, as humans, we are born to tell stories, and not just our own. I think that’s really important, and I strive to pratice intersectionality in everything I do and say! Lately, I’ve also been practicing becoming more understanding and less judgmental towards other people’s actions — and toward myself too.
Who and what inspires you at the moment?
I love to talk to and learn from the people around me. The people I have chosen to be with in my life, inspires me every day. They bring so much to my life — their words, their knowledge, their backgrounds. We laugh, we cry, and we challenge one another to be the best we can be. My boyfriend is also a great inspiration for me. He’s shown me that romantic love, friendship and understanding can exist - all in one place.
Is there anything about the body that you would like to be more accepted in society?
Almost everything about the body – and mind. Especially mental health. Mental health is something to be taken seriously. It is something I will forever strive for society and people around me to understand, normalize, and discuss. We’re all constantly changing and growing, and that's okay. I wish I had known years ago that vulnerability is strength.
What's the best advice you ever got from your mom?
My mother is the entire reason I am who I am today. She’s taught me how to find humor in everyday life and how to protect myself while remaining open-hearted. I’ve always been surrounded by a lot of love, growing up. My parents always told me I didn’t have to conform to society's idea of success. And I never felt pressured to do or be something, that I wasn’t.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty is laughter, beauty is vulnerability and beauty is being kind. The most beautiful people I've ever met are the people that I feel like I can be my truest self around. Personally, I feel most beautiful in nature, so I try to get out of the city and out in nature as often as I can. That's also when I feel most alive: in nature. It’s no surprise that one of my life goals is to be back in the countryside, close to nature.
If you were to write an ode to your body - how would it sound?
Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for being a safe home for my mind. Thank you for how far you brought me, today and every day.
Your best self-care advice?
Some seasons will hurt. Some days will burn. It’s not easy, but you will be okay. You will get through it all. And you will have people around you that love you no matter what. The most important thing is to listen to yourself and try to remain true to what feels right for you inside.
If you were to teach something to a younger version of yourself – what would it be?
I would say, until the end, be weird and true to yourself. Love deeply. Surround yourself with the right people. Tell people you miss them. Be kind to yourself and others. Pay attention to nuances. Listen, ask questions and share your truth when you can!