Mira Patel is a 19-year-old aspiring model and makeup artist. She is also currently a student at Wake Tech Community College studying to become a Registered Nurse. Although she is now studying at a community college, she plans to transfer over to a well-renowned university to continue her nursing studies.  

“Since I was little, I loved wearing makeup, getting dressed up, and going out onto the streets of my little society in Gujarat, India, thinking that those streets were my runaway. I would pose in front of mirrors all day and just practice posing, dancing to every song that played on the radio in my living room, and just being a sassy little five-year-old. I would dream of being a famous model and I had my talent of doing makeup.

Fast forward to summer of 2016, I decide to make the dream come true. I began posting photos of makeup looks I do in my room with my small Nixon Coolpix, and just taking photos one after another. I began to realize how much people liked it, back then it was only family and friends, and now I share the same passion two years later with thousands of people. I couldn’t believe the responses I would get. Someone who barely knew anything about taking photos on your own and any editing skill whatsoever.

Mira utilizes her social media platform to shed light and show her appreciation for her culture. She wants to encourage others who may struggle with being ridiculed about their heritage and let them know that it is okay to enjoy and embrace your culture.

I started very basic. Stayed to what I thought I knew and never really pushed myself. After seeing the love, I got, I became confident and started to do various looks. I now am always trying different looks whether that be with doing colorful looks to doing various Halloween or Coachella looks. I love being able to break the norms of my culture with my modeling as well.

PRODUCT INFO: @toofaced Born this way Foundation in Warm Beige #toofaced @tartecosmetics Shape Tape Concealer in Medium #tarte #rethinknatural @fentybeauty Match Stix in Truffle #fentybeauty @kissnypro Protouch setting powder in Banana #kissnypro #beyourownpro @benefitcosmetics Matte Hoola bronzer #benefit @maccosmetics Powder blush in Blunt #maccosmetics @josiemarancosmetics Argan color stick in Guava Goddess and Lip Sting plumping butter in Free it Grapefruit Pink #josiemaran @beccacosmetics Shimmering skin perfect in Champagne pop @anastasiabeverlyhills Brow Pomade in Ebony and Subculture palette #anastasiabrows #anastasiabeverlyhills @stilacosmetics Magnificent Glitter & Glow in Kitten #stilacosmetics @shopvioletvoss Faux minx Lashes in Eye want it that way @morphebrushes brush #morphebabe #morphebrushes @sigmabeauty brushes #sigmabeauty #makeup #mua #makeupartist #indian #coachella #2018 #festival #wakeupandmakeup #norvina #canon #fotd #livetinted

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In the South Asian culture, girls are meant to stay modest and not cause any problems within my family. When moving to the States I got bullied quite a lot for my heritage and how I looked, behaved, and spoke differently than the rest. It made me feel ashamed of my background and myself. I tried to be more ‘American’ and my mom would tease me for changing so much.

Now, I share my culture openly and happily with others around the world. I involve my roots not because that’s the trend or because I want more likes and follows. I do it to help others who may be feeling how I felt. To know that you were born to be different and you should embrace who you are rather than changing and letting others break you down.

Sadly, I couldn’t go all out for this holiday. I still can remember playing holi in my society (what we called neighborhoods) and being freezing cold because it would be raining on top of it. One day I’ll be celebrating Holi in India once again! ______________________________________ Earrings from: @charmingcharlie ______________________________________ PRODUCT INFO: @fentybeauty Profltr foundation in 370 #fentybeauty #rihgram @tartecosmetics Shape Tape concealer in Medium #rethinknatural #tarte #tartecosmetics @nyxcosmetics Highlight and contour pro palette #nyxcosmetics @anastasiabeverlyhills Brow Pomade in Ebony and So Hollywood illuminator #anastasiabrows #anastasiabeverlyhills @kissnypro PROTOUCH setting powder in Banana, Single Shadows in Surrender/Abandon and African Violet, and Celeste lipstick in Candy Apple #beyourownpro #kissny @toofaced Better Than Sex Mascara #toofaced #wakeupandmakeup #slave2beauty #makemyfaceup #beauty #indian #holi

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Mira’s target audience for her platforms are primarily girls and boys that are around the same age as her; in hopes of inspiring them to follow their dreams. Her main purpose is to encourage others to not be afraid to try something new.

I get asked how I am so confident and how I find inspiration. Well, it’s a team effort. I have brands, other influencers and artists to support me by working with me and helping me bring certain dreams to reality. I use other celebrities, influencers and websites to find inspiration. A spot where I can take the photos to edit and later post. It’s a work in process. Though I have people who I meet and befriend, my number one supporters are my family, friends, and of course, the people who follow me and keep up with what I post and what looks I create. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am and doing what I do. They inspire me every day to come up with new looks and new shoot ideas.

***WARNING*** LONG CAPTION!!! _____________________________________________ Being bullied at young age on who I was and where I was from was hard. I was ridiculed constantly on my culture and what it had to offer. I was picked on for what I wore, what I ate, how I spoke…everything. As I grew older, I drifted further from my religion. I would act as if I was not a part of it. As if I wasn’t proud of who I am and was. When I first started to post about the Indian culture, I saw what a positive effect it had on people and how I was looked up to for speaking up and sharing our culture. I started to realize how speaking about our culture was helping so many people. The Indian culture is so amazing, rich, full of color, lights, and beauty. It was meant to always stand out of the crowd. It was always spectacular and meant to be brought to light. So why try to hide who you are, when you were born to stand out. As an Indian, I’m proud to say that yes, we may smell like curry, we put dots on our forehead and we wear huge nose rings. However, no culture is like mine. I will always be grateful that I am a true Indian. A guju who is always tied to her roots no matter where she goes. Be proud of who you are, because you’re you for a reason and never let anyone bring you down. #beproud #indian #desigirl Photo by: @gifted_mindset #livetinted #sabyasachi #indian #desigirl

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Without makeup and modeling, my life would probably be dull. I use those as my outlet and to show a part of myself to the world. It’s also my way of proving that being a girl and coming from a culture where women are meant to be conservative, shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love. I do what I do, not for the free products, money, or popularity. I do what I do because I enjoy it and because I want others to feel proud and confident.”

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