Growing Up Abroad, the Delia’s Catalog Was My Connection to America
After voting for the first time in-person, one writer unpacks how the wildly popular, alt ‘90s catalog shaped her idea of what American life was….
The community center’s lights turned everyone a bruised green color, and despite the chill, a ceiling fan had been turned on for “air circulation purposes.” We all stood six feet apart, pretending not to notice the large black house fly that landed on each of us in a brazen display of rule-breaking. I was voting early in Massachusetts, standing in line with my husband, waiting to feel the subtle change that would come as I colored in the circle for a new president. Somber faces lent an air of gravity to the occasion, but for me there was an added layer of significance. It was the first time in my life that I had cast my ballot in person.
I come from a long tradition of absentee voters, and watched from a young age as my parents stuffed their own ballots into the embassy’s diplomatic pouch and sent them off to be counted back in the States. It wasn’t until I was approaching my teen years, that I realized people showed up to vote at all. Both my mother and father were career Foreign Service officers, who moved our family to a different country every two years. This made me a “Third Culture Kid” or TCK, a term coined by the American sociologist Ruth Useem, which defines the experience of expatriate children who spend their formative years outside of their passport country, usually due to the profession of their parents.
Though I was born in Florida, it was only three weeks later that I boarded my first plane to Zimbabwe. In Harare, our neighborhood was lined with Jacaranda trees that bent over one another and exploded with purple flowers that rained down a lilac carpet. My parents had to remove their shoes at the door or leave lavender footprints all over the hardwood floors. Over the next few years, we lived in Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Kenya, Bolivia, and Ethiopia. This way of life ended for me when I reached high school and my mother took a hardship post in Bosnia, a country where the sheer volume of leftover landmines meant that dependents were strictly forbidden. Suddenly I was at boarding school in northern Michigan, and America was no longer a far-flung notion.
Growing up, I never felt American. But I was also keenly aware that I would never fully assimilate to the country in which we were presently living, especially when I knew that in only twenty-four months another move was imminent. America was never home, always an idea: an identity I longed to claim but felt totally removed from. As a child, the only significant time I spent in the States was every other summer when we flew back for Home Leave—a requisite vacation meant to reacquaint you with your American roots. As soon as we landed, the first thing I did was load up on teen magazines at the Miami airport. I’d stay up all night reading them like I was cramming for a test, and even took notes in the margins: must see Ten Things I Hate About You; must get a mini backpack. Yet, in spite of my love of YM and Seventeen, there was no better guidebook for the American teenage girl than the Delia’s catalogue.
Shreyaa Sumi: A Red Carpet Sensation with a Story of Triumph
In the glitzy world of fashion and entertainment, certain personalities shine bright, capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide. One such luminary is Shreyaa Sumi, a multi-talented individual who has left an indelible mark on the global fashion scene. Shreyaa has become a symbol of success, juggling roles as an American model, actress, and a devoted wife and mother. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey of this accomplished individual who recently graced the Los Angeles fashion show with her stunning presence.
Red Carpet Glamour at Los Angeles Fashion Show:
Shreyaa Sumi recently stole the spotlight at a Los Angeles fashion show, turning heads with her radiant red look. The Instagram sensation posted a video flaunting her glamorous ensemble – a short and sassy red dress paired with long black shoes and a chic red jacket. The caption, “What time is it? It’s showtime! Thank you for inviting me to your private NY Red Carpet event,” exuded confidence and excitement. The location tag placed her at the heart of the entertainment world – Los Angeles, Hollywood.
Early Life and Modelling Beginnings:
Shreyaa Sumi embarked on her modeling journey in India, where her passion for fashion and media first took root. However, it wasn’t until she moved to the United States with her husband Vijai, that she decided to pursue her dreams on an international scale. From that point forward, there was no looking back for Shreyaa.
Family and Personal Life:
Beyond the glitz and glamour, Shreyaa Sumi is a proud wife to Vijai and a doting mother to her daughter, Sia Vijai. Her ability to balance a thriving career with family life is a testament to her resilience and dedication. In interviews, Shreyaa has openly shared how her family has been her pillar of support, standing by her throughout her journey to turn dreams into reality.
Awards and Accolades:
Shreyaa Sumi’s success in the fashion industry is underscored by a slew of prestigious awards. In 2022, she clinched the title of Mrs Universe Asia USA, a testament to her excellence on the international stage. Additionally, she has been honored with a doctorate, recognizing her outstanding contributions to the fields of media and fashion. Shreyaa also holds the Asia’s Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award, further solidifying her status as an industry trailblazer.
Shreyaa Sumi’s story is one of triumph, resilience, and unwavering determination. From her modest beginnings in Tamilnadu, India, to gracing the red carpet in Hollywood, she has come a long way. As an American model, actress, and a devoted wife and mother, Shreyaa Sumi continues to inspire aspiring individuals in the fashion and entertainment industry. With a string of accolades to her name and a supportive family by her side, Shreyaa is indeed a force to be reckoned with in the world of glamour and fame.