Shaghana - Universal Creativity
Shaghana - Universal Creativity
By Jordan Slobodinsky
We all know an insurance agent, I know I am thankful for mine. Shaghana Doyle, is that insurance agent, though she told us about a different passion. Doyle loves the entertainment industry, including modeling, photography and even music.
“I truly believe that you don’t have to pick one thing as a person and as a creator, why can’t you do them all? I want to show people that you don’t have to choose one thing and you can do whatever you want,” said Doyle.
On top of these passions and her professional success as an insurance agent, Doyle is also fluent in Tamil and Hindi. She learned English at the age of 6. While it is not common for Sri Lankan or Indian women to model, especially when showing skin, Doyle breaks that stereotype.
“My most recent work has been modeling-related, through which I have been working with many new photographers. The practice is quite frowned upon and being open about my family life and sexuality only makes modeling in my skin harder. Through videos I post on social media, I show some of the behind-the-scenes of my lifestyle,” said Doyle.
Finding support in her friends, Doyle has dedicated her efforts to her passions. Having not received any support from her own family, the support of friends went a long way.
“My friends have shown me that I can do anything as long as I put my heart to it and have given me so much support to keep me going. To receive support from people who aren’t even blood-related to me, means the entire world to me. I want other people to feel that love and support and know that they can do it as well,” said Doyle.
While the modeling industry has been the topic of her most recent efforts, Doyle has set her sights on other goals for 2022 as well. Looking to release some form of music this year and even reach out to artists in other areas with music industry experience.
“I believe the most talented are the ones who reside underground and who truly deserve the spotlight. Truthfully, I simply plan to post whatever I want to create. My audience loves me for me and I can never be more thankful for it,” said Doyle.
Not wanting to be tied down to a single title or entity, Doyle says she just wants to create satisfying things. Whether that is in modeling, music or what have you, Doyle does not care.
“Over the next five years, I plan to grow and learn to be content with where I am and the direction I am taking. I’m someone who always wants to learn more and do new things so I truly see myself trying to do as much as I can before I can’t anymore.,” said Doyle.
Relatability is something that Doyle especially appreciates. Sharing life experiences and learning from others, just a few of the things that she enjoys. Growing up she was not given many opportunities to relate to women like her. Doyle reflected that most of her life, people only thought she ever looked like adult film star Mia Khalifa, because she was brown and had glasses.
“It was the only insult and compliment that people could ever say to me because no brown woman was as present in the media cycle as her. A lot of brown women go through the same problem every single day. To be able to give content where young women of color can relate to me and the struggles of being a teen in America means so much,” said Doyle. “Sometimes I’ll get DM’s from people that say that my videos made them laugh after a really bad life event or that they scroll through my videos whenever they’re sad. Those DM’s make me cry tears of joy because the fact that people feel that way about the stuff I make is insane to me. I am so thankful for it and it’s still unbelievable to me to this day.”
So what sort of impact does Shaghana intend to make you may ask? Nothing short of greatness, purpose and living life without limits.
"I want to make an impact for people to ultimately know that there are no limitations to life. It doesn’t matter how many physical or mental conditions you have or whatever is going on in your life, you can do whatever you want as long as you put your mind to it. I want people to stop fearing the world and the "What Ifs" and start doing whatever they want to do because that’s how true happiness comes. You can't wait around for it. I have never felt happier than the moment I decided to shed myself off other people's weight and expectations. There are always people that are going to be mad/disappointed and there are always people that are gonna look at you with jealousy but that says more about them than it does about you. I spent years sitting around thinking of the consequences of failure and only recently have I found my safe space on social media. Just do what you want because then you will feel happy."
If you had one piece of advice you would give to aspiring creatives or fans.. what would that be for you?
"I would tell them to one, forget about what people think and check who actually supports them around them and 2 - to just do it. I have ADHD, Autism, and multiple other mental illnesses, all of which I have let stop me in the past, making me feel useless. I have been told that I am worthless because I have these illnesses, but conversations like these are unacceptable. Your illnesses are not you. What you do is who you are. When you have the right support system around you, you will flourish and you will grow and that is when you truly know what you want. Everyone can find their way. You just have to look."
What do you see for yourself in the future in terms of life experience?
"My mother is Sri Lankan and my father is American. I was raised living all over the world, but the country I miss and remember the most is Bahrain, where I lived for 2 to 3 years. I truly believe if I didn’t have these experiences in life I would not be the person I am today. I came back to America when I was around nine and later graduated from Mechanicsburg High School. I went to HACC to study business management for a year, and that was the year that I started blowing up on TikTok which is the whole reason why I have such a bigger platform. Some of my earlier videos include reading my mom‘s text messages and DM's from creepy Indian men who would message me, desperate and relentless. I had to, unfortunately, drop out due to the pandemic, but I want to go back no matter what to get my degree. Currently, I am in school for my health and life insurance license for my current job. No matter where my life takes me, I do think I will continue to work a full-time job just to keep myself occupied and busy. Now I guess looking back at it, my lifelong goal is to make sure that I can take care of everyone around me."
Overall, how did you get to where you are now and become the person you are?
"Without going through the thick and thin alongside my mother, I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today otherwise. My mother's bulletproof morale and ability to deflect harm have allowed me to grow up believing that I can do anything I set my mind to. At 16, my father kicked the two of us out and threatened us daily. By dedicating herself to her work and family, she made me feel safe and know my strength. She and I have a lot of ups and downs but that’s typical in immigrant parent/child relationships. I live with completely different cultural norms than she did and this is unfortunately one of the biggest reasons why I’m not close with my family; due to my personal life, my hair, my sexuality, tattoos, and marital choices. I think it’s very important to start breaking these cultural norms and this control over the lives of women."
Thank you so much :) - Shaghana Doyle
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Photo by Sebastian Gironza