What is a true power woman? To me, it’s someone who follows her own rules and does what makes her happy. Someone who doesn’t let others decide for her what she has to do with her life. Someone who has a passion and isn’t afraid to pursue that passion. About a year ago, I started following Fablefrique on Instagram. Her real name is Frederique Bos and she is 28 years old. At first, I fell in love with her style. She has unique items that she styles in a very effortless way. Later on, I noticed what a powerful woman she is. I added her on Facebook and she told me she liked my photography work. That’s when I asked her for a shoot. Today I want to share the results with you!
Meet Frederique Bos
Let me introduce you to Frederique Bos, owner of Fashion Blog Fablefrique. She has a huge following on Instagram, about a 112K followers, and always amazes me with her style. She started her fashion blog in 2014 after graduating in Law at Utrecht University. She decided that she didn’t want to work in law but wanted to pursue her passion for fashion and lifestyle. Fablefrique was born. This is one of the things I truly respect in Frederique. By choosing to make a living out of her passion, she leaves behind a ”a known and charted career path”. You never know if you will succeed in the creative industry. It is one of the most desired industries to work in but also one of the hardest. To leave behind a job that will provide you enough money and security for a job that has no security at all, that is hard and takes some guts. On her blog she writes: ”But if the only actual obstacle blocking me from doing what I’m truly passionate about is ‘fear’, I hereby conquer my fears and go forward with my passion.”
Now, we know how that has worked out for her. She earns a living with her blog and lives with her boyfriend and dog Popcorn in Leiden. She is going to move to New York this year and hopes to grow her blog even more. Her biggest tip for young women out there? She shares: ”Uh, please be yourself and follow your heart. It’s super cliche, but it’s the best thing to do honestly. If you’re truly passionate about something, you’ll make it. Just follow that passion and do what you’re good at. Learn a lot along the way and you’ll be just fine.”
Dealing with mental illness
It all seems like the fairytale story of the modern age. Making it and earning a living from the world wide web. Today we don’t marry a prince, we built our own online empire. When I meet Frederique she is a true example of a calm, strong, humble and creative person. She seems very steady and knows exactly what she wants. She is kind, willing to work and has some awesome suggestions on the shots we are about to take. We talk a lot and I get so many positive vibes from her. But what many people don’t know is that there is a darker side to her. She struggled with depression and was diagnosed six years ago.
Another part of Frederique is that she writes about this subject a lot. She writes about her personal experiences and what she had to deal with. Breaking through the wall of not talking about mental illness, is something I highly respect her for. So many people around me deal with mental illness and are afraid to talk about it. We don’t know that mental illness is something that can be cured, doesn’t make you crazy or weird and is something that you can deal with. Frederique writes on her blog: ”Looking back on these times, I’m so grateful I visited a doctor that diagnosed me with depression about 6 years ago. It was such a relief that my very bad days had a name, that they could help me do something about it. Back then I got treated with fluoxetine and it helped me a lot in making my mood better. Also, I had therapy that made me realize how important it is to have a good daily routine and schedule, to set goals for every day – these could be very simple like doing groceries – and how the people around you can help you through the difficult moments of depression. In my therapy, I also learned that the periodic depression I suffer from is a condition that’ll probably stick with me for the rest of my life, something that I’ll always be prone to and something I thus had to accept as being a part of me.”
I wish that many more people would write about this so we can help people who suffer from mental illness. This way we can eventually cure them. I myself struggle with a type of mental illness too. In my case I can never find peace and rest and always push myself to goals I will never achieve. Not because I am not capable of achieving them but because I want to achieve them next to a thousand other things I want to achieve. Putting this kind of pressure on yourself, feeling like a total waste when you watch a movie or have a drink with a friend is super hard and that’s why I was so tired that I put my own life in danger and had a car accident recently. If we know we have these kinds of problems, we can deal with them. I, for example, try to rest more and put my phone down more often.
I think it is so courageous that Frederique writes about these subjects. In the fashion industry, people always want to show the best version of themselves and we forget that everybody is human and has their own struggles. Frederique is a true POWERWOMAN by writing about her own imperfections and struggles. She helps people with finding themselves. Personally, I feel so much better knowing that I’m not a crazy person by sometimes not knowing how to handle things. It is very comforting that others have the same struggles and experience the same things. It makes me feel normal and it also gives me hope for the future. If someone so ill can still pursue her dream and make a living out of it, perhaps so can I! She gives me hope for the future and a safe feeling that everything will work out in the end.
On a blog about Finding Yourself she writes: ”For some, it’s not an easy decision to be yourself. It takes courage to show the world who you truly are. Personally, I’ve been stuck inside a complicated mind wanting to find out what would truly made me happy in life for the longest time. Ever since I was a little girl I used to think that in order to be liked and approved of by those around me, I had to behave, dress and live my life in a certain way. I had to be whatever they wanted me to be. And because there were so many to please, at a certain point I got really confused about my own identity. I got really confused about who I was and what made me happy in life. Thus, I have been living in an unauthentic way for a long time, I lived in fear, holding onto my past in law and intellectual meet-ups, getting my sense of worth from being a good student and a hard worker at the court. But also being a girl with severe anorexia and depression and an egocentric person that felt lost, drained and disconnected from myself and the people around me. It took me almost my life before I finally realized I needed to stop living a life that is not mine to live. I was in the hospital back then, getting fed by the doctors, trying to fight my inner demons that wanted me to give up life. I really lost all control over my life, as I thought I had it all.. At that moment I realized I didn’t know what made me happy in life. I forgot what I wanted, what I needed and what I wanted to live for. Eventually, I forgot about myself. Severely malnourished in my hospital bed, I decided I wanted to start listening to my inner voice, my inner calling. I remember I wrote down the following: Dear self, you have only one life and that’s this one right now. I need to live it, own it and don’t let anyone distract me from my path. Dare to give up living your life to other people’s expectations and start living it my way.”
For everyone who deals with any kind of feeling of being lost or unhappy: Know that there is a way out. Talk to the people around you, seek comfort in knowing there is always a way to deal with mental illness and you can work towards a happy life. The first step is to acknowledge you have a problem, the second step is taking care of it. I hope that people speak out on this subject more often so we can break through the wall of mental illness and always looking happy on the outside so we can cure our mentally ill people step by step.