My name is Faith Peebles, a rising sophomore at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business pursuing a degree in marketing and international business. I am interested in pursuing my passions in fashion through apparel merchandising and retail studies as I continue my education at IU Kelley for the next three years. Within fashion specifically, I am very interested in the ‘80s and ‘90s streetwear and sports fashion. In May of 2020, I co-founded my own thrifting business selling to vintage retailers throughout Indiana as well as directly to consumers on a platform called Depop. I also love and appreciate sneaker culture and am always looking for a good deal to expand my collection.
I grew up in Greenwood, Indiana, a white suburban town in the center of the Midwest, where the only Asian woman I knew and could look up to was my mother. As a child, I resented my Korean background. I can still remember how it felt to open my lunchbox every day to rice and seaweed for lunch, trying to shield it and take fast bites before my friends saw and laughed at me. In my early teens, I had the jarring realization that I was only ever surrounded by white people—and I could identify that I had been constantly striving to erase my “other-ness” for my entire life. No kid wants to stick out from the pack. I wanted to be white. Throughout middle and high school, I rarely saw other Asian kids in my classes, and when I finally began to meet them in college, I suddenly realized I felt whitewashed beyond repair. For those who know how to speak their language and know every part of their culture, I am envious. My loving mother was always eager to teach me, and I rejected it for so long. Now I recognize that it is my time to take nearly two decades of misdirected anger for my culture and refocus it on the broken social system that made me hate the reflection in the mirror for so long.
In order to describe why MORE means so much to me, I must share my mother’s story. She immigrated to the United States from Korea alone in her twenties, leaving her large family—and life as she knew it—behind for “the land of opportunity.” She soon discovered that her dream of becoming a minister would be met with much resistance; 1980s America was not ready nor willing to accept a foreign, female pastor. Regardless, she was unrelentless, and found a church that would hire her as a youth group leader. From there, she worked her way up the chain, getting her hands on every certification, attending every program, and joining every committee she could to finally seem “qualified” in the eyes of the white male-dominated religious leaders. She went on to join the Air Force in the ‘90s, where she spent 20 years helping others all around the world as a Chaplain before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Still, my mother is never satisfied. While I was in middle school, she set her sights on a new challenge: her Doctorate in Ministry. Last May, the weekend before I graduated high school, I was able to watch my mother receive the degree that was the culmination of decades of perseverance and dedication despite the doors slammed in her face along the way.
When I learned of this opportunity with MORE, I did not realize how amazing this internship would be. After researching the magazine, I realized the work being done here aligns perfectly with what I have been searching my whole life for—normalizing acceptance, diversity, and self-love. “Seeking MORE” to me means following in my mother’s footsteps, never settling for less than what I owe myself, and inspiring other women to do the same along the way.