SKEW+A with Rachel Virginia Hester
The SKEW team has been working hard to get our first issue ready to go by Monday, March 5, so in the mean time, we wanted to give you a chance to learn more about each of us. Keep reading–you just might discover your new pop culture obsession, or your new favorite writer.
WRITER / cookie connoisseur
Rachel Virginia Hester
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Tell us about yourself!
I was born a dual citizen of both Panama and the United States. I was raised by my mother, who is an immigrant from Panama, and my dad, who spent most of his life with the U.S. military and wasn’t around much. I find that I tend to make friends with a lot of children of immigrants, too, even though I feel very American–as American as a person of color can feel in the United States, that is. I lived outside of a city called Colon, Panama on and off for parts of my childhood before my parents divorced, and I've lived in North Carolina ever since, mostly growing up in Durham. I’m currently trying to finish up undergrad in Greensboro, and I’m excited to start concentrating more on my professional and personal goals.
Do you have any pop culture guilty pleasures?
I love guilty pleasures! Me and some of my friends ask ourselves: why do our guilty pleasures have to be “guilty"? Why can’t we just admit that something that might have us perceived as unsophisticated or shallow gives us pleasure? Perhaps it’s because we have to keep up appearances and there’s pressure to be “Instagram cool” at all times. Anyway, my ultimate guilty pleasures include, but aren’t limited to, “Toxic” by Britney Spears and most of the songs on the Buzz Cuts and Buzz Ballads compilation CDs that were on TV commercials in the early 2000s. I really love old compilation CD television ads. The cheesier the better.
What are your words to live by?
I'm learning to live by asking for what I want and need. Hearing people remind me that “the answer is always ‘no’ until you ask” puts making difficult but necessary asks into perspective. “Ask, and you shall receive”... even though it's a phrase often reserved for quirky banter, I’m starting to take it seriously.
What celebrities would you invite to a dinner party?
I don’t keep up with celebrities as much as a pop culture writer probably should, but I would invite Amandla Stenberg to a dinner party. They strike me as a very cool, brilliant, thoughtful and sensitive person.