When you hear the words Miss Finland, you usually get an idea of a blond, blue eyed Finnish beauty who is very aware of herself and how she’s seen in publicity. Well, what can we say: BOOOORING! Here’s two words for you: Shirly Karvinen.
I admire Shirly because of her boldness. I wanted to interview her of a delicate subject, that many others had refused earlier: How posting half naked or naked photos on social media actually tells more about how fragile that person’s self-esteem is and how those photos may affect to others as well.
I read an article of that topic on Helsingin sanomat (23.11). A children’s psychiatric Janne Kurki was interviewed about childrens’, teens’ and even adults’ mental health problems that are increasing every year and one reason is media, social media particularly.
“A person whose actions are determined by the likes and comments of strangers,
usually has a fragile identity”. -Kurki
Social media affects on the development of children and teens. Nowadays it isn’t the urge or determination anymore that’s thriving people in their everyday life, but brief pleasure. A sexually suggestive photo in social media is usually a sign of an anxious person. Comments and likes on a photo may give the person brief pleasure but life isn’t only about gratification – it’s also about hard work and sometimes dull moments. What happens when a person takes just an ordinary photo with clothes on? Photos don’t get as much attention and a dangerous mind set is born: You are good enough with less clothes on.
But Shirly said YES to our interview! She wants to take part of improving the awareness of how social media affects on people’s mental health, especially children’s and teens’. Even though because of her profession as a model and a Miss Finland (she has been walking in front of millions of people only with her bikinis on at the Miss Universum competition, and has had photos taken with less clothes on), she’s brave enough and isn’t afraid of speaking her mind.
“You’ll have ups and downs but somehow you’ll just have that sense of direction.”
Who are you?
I’m Shirly Karvinen, friends call me Sirpa. I’m a 25-year-old woman from Jyväskylä (born in Keuruu), a radio host on Suomi Rock and Miss Finland 2016. I’m the only child and half Chinese. I lived my childhood in Africa and we moved back to Finland when I was seven. I have lived and studied in Helsinki now for about 5 years.
Do you have any life motto?
I don’t have any specific motto, but I have always believed in doing things rather than just sitting and waiting for everything to happen. We only live once and I don’t want to be that person who thinks about all those “I should have’s..” Also mistakes are here to learn from and they should’t be a reason not to try. You might become unhappy and bitter if you don’t do the things you’re willing to do.
Are there any specific life situations that throve you to a right or wrong direction in your life?
Well, there are many. But for example I am happy I went to study abroad because I guess otherwise I would’t have the courage to do things, like applying to Miss Finland competition. When I was in the USA, I finally got the urge to do that. Also you might notice after years that there was a reason why some relationships etc ended. It feels bad at the time but it had to happen. Those experiences teach a lot. Some changes in life sometimes depend on small things.
If I would never have left my hometown Jyväskylä, I guess I would have stayed more shy and would have been a person who dislikes to be different, who is afraid to stand out from the mass. When I moved to Helsinki, I got the courage to try a different life. Luckily I did that. I had never even been in Helsinki before I moved there.
“Some changes in life sometimes depend on small things.”
Dress: C H A Î N E
You said you didn’t want to be different and you have said in public you have a background as a bullied child. Could you tell more about that?
At that time when we lived in Jyväskylä, there wasn’t so many immigrants or people with exotic background, so I drew attention because I was the only one with different looks, I was different than everyone else. Junior high school was the worst. I was afraid to walk from class to class because I was scared of commenting and bullying. I was lucky I had friends, and I wasn’t lonely, but that time wasn’t easy for me. Nowadays, because of my job, I am used to criticism and to people commenting my looks. I have learned that it’s meaningless what other people say about you. I just finished a TV show, where it was said that people who criticize you, are actually the ones who admire you the most. That’s true, those people are afraid that you’re better than they are, and that’s why they talk shit about you and say mean things to you. It tells more about their uncertainty. I take it more like an asset if people evaluate my appearance. You should always turn those bad things into something positive and get power from it. It’s wealth that we are not all the same.
Dress: C H A Î N E, Shoes: Noa Noa Yrjönkatu
If talking about childrens’ and teenagers’ mental health problems, how is it shown these days? Some people are hiding themselves and for some people it’s shown for example as those half naked photos on Instagram.
I remember trying to stay away from the spotlight when I was younger but when I got older, I tried to hide my insecurity with more revealing clothes. I tried to give an impression of a lot higher self-esteem with bold clothes and appearance. But actually it made it worse that you’re not you.
And even though this phenomena has always been there, I guess it’s a lot bigger problem these days because of the social media. People think that you gain respect when you’re putting yourself exposed out there on social media. But respect isn’t the same as attention. Respect is what you earn and attention is what you get whether you wanted or not. Unfortunately many confuse these two.
I’ve also come across with a weird fact, that when meeting live with people with whom you’ve only talked online, they are nothing like you assumed. Some people don’t even look the same and might be really shy even when you get a badass impression via social media.
I’ve noticed the same and for me, people gain my respect when being kind and warm. With social media you can only show the certain sides of you and be whoever you want. Most of the Instagram famous people are just ordinary people who have a normal life and go to work every day but they post only the highlight moments of their life that draws attention.
“Being popular on Instagram, is like being rich in Monopoly”
You can earn with social media, but you have to remember, you’re not doing it for attention but for living. Popular accounts can turn those followers into money if you’re smart and have a good plan for that. But it’s important to remember those differences.
Shirt & Cap: C H A Î N E, Shoes: Noa Noa Yrjönkatu
Many people post nude photos or sexually suggestive photos but live “normal life”. Nowadays for example tattoos are more acceptable than they were a decade ago, how about a social media account with sexy photos?
Nudity is always nudity no matter what. If you represent yourself naked or with less clothes let’s just say for example on Instagram, it’s also at the same time some kind of a business card of yours, it tells who you are. If you apply for a work where you meet people or have superior duties, you don’t give a professional image of you if you have just sexy nude photos of you. If I had a situation where I should hire one employee and there are two applicants that are on the same level, a professional and stylish social media account would made my cut versus an unprofessional one. I want that social media gives an image of a hard working, stabile young woman who has a good self-esteem.
If you think of an ideal you, would it be more about the looks or the brains?
Beauty fades so more meaningful is what you can do. You can try to fix your appearance but your skills and knowledge will be with you for your entire life.
It’s crazy to see especially young girls who only make effort to how they look. We all know this type: beautiful outside but rotten inside. They think they’ll achieve more in life with their beauty: sponsorships, deals in social media, rich husband… Things like that. They aren’t willing to educate themselves or learn new skills. The cruel fact is that there’s always someone more beautiful, skinnier, cuter than you and when you get older, they won’t anymore pay that easily for the way you look. Think about what you’re doing when you reach the age of 40 or 50?
Invest in you, your skills and what you know best. Gain a status of being smart, clever and professional. Do your own thing.
How do you shine and stand out?
A woman should always be seen as a whole package: not just a pretty face, but what’s beneath, how she behaves, what she has to say. Women should be respected of being proud of themselves even more and also tell the world of what they’ve achieved! If you feel good about yourself, that’s what appeals to others as well. Don’t try to be something else. Emphasize your best qualities, don’t change them into something else.
Jewellery: Studio M Keramik
What kind of people appeal to you?
For me, I love the unexpected in people. For example a cute, very feminine girl who speaks like an old truck driver and curses a lot – it’s something you didn’t see coming. They’re the people who don’t think about what other people think of them.
I’m good at sensing if a person has good energy around them. That attracts me. Be kind and good rather than mean and rude. Otherwise you’ll just end up unhappy and alone. Some people are good with faking their personality but after a couple of times meeting them, you eventually see through them.
Where do you see yourself when your 50 years old?
I hope I would be somewhere warm next to ocean, living in a sweet beach house and having an amazing man next to me that I had married when we were young. Together we would have grown up children, dogs, and in that point of my life I would feel that even if I had made wrong choices, I would still feel like I had experienced a lot in my life. My life would’t have ever stopped. I would have moved forward all the time in my life. Never stopped growing and learning. I wish I would be in balance and could look back in my life and would feel satisfied.
A human body is a beautiful piece of art. It should always be loved and respected by others and by person him/herself. Nudity can be presented with grace and dignity, without any sexual attributes. It’s up to you, what kind of image you give to others, and above all, to yourself.
INTRODUCING THE BRANDS SHIRLY IS WEARING:
CHAÎNE is a Scandinavian design brand founded by Emmi Kainulainen. The brand sells classics like t-shirts and caps for men and women, and one size loungewear. And couture clothes like evening gowns and jackets. CHAÎNEdreams is all about beautiful art prints and paintings.
Jewelry made out of clay, inspired by nature. Shirly is wearing Halkoand Lohkare necklaces and Pore Ring.
Designer Mia Suni sells her jewelry and other art work in US and Finland. You can buy them online
Free shipping in US – Free shipping GLOBALLY in orders above $120
Shirly has LalliS white blouse and black evening gown.
Lalli Savolainen is a Finnish fashion designer, makeup and hair artist, stylist with years of experience. LalliS clothes are sold at their showroom located in Finland: Iso Roobertinkatu 35, Helsinki. Clothes are designed and sewed in Finland and Estonia. Materials used on designs are natural like silk and cotton.
See the products on www.lallisavolainen.com
Ask more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Lalli on Instagram: @lallis.design
Shirly has sequin collar, pink velvet heels and silver shoes from a Helsinki based fashion shop for women: Noa Noa & Company.
NOA NOA & Company sells brands like Katri Niskanen, Noolan, Lexington, Noa Noa at their stylish store in the hearth of Helsinki: Yrjönkatu 34.
Remember this: every Saturday there is treats and sparkling wine free for the customers! That’s good service for sure!
Follow Shirly on Instagram: @shirlykarvinen