Ladies We Love is a monthly interview series with women from around the world that provide us with inspiration through their travels and personal stories. This week we got to know Hermon and Heroda, deaf twins who are fashion and travel bloggers at Being Her and advocates for living life to the fullest no matter what challenges it brings.
1) Please tell us about yourselves – where you are from and where you live currently.
We were born and raised in Eritrea, East Africa. We both became mysteriously deaf at the young age of 7. Our parents thought we would get better medical treatment in America and our mother spent a year teaching us how to communicate in English when our loss of hearing struck. Then we moved to U.K for a better education. Heroda took the retail fashion path, Hermon followed an opportunity to become an actress which lead to many successful roles. Heroda has now featured in three commercials. Now, we’re bloggers at Being Her or as we prefer – content creators.
2) How did you both become deaf?
Honestly we don’t know how we became deaf, unknown cause. We were playing outside one day and our Mum came over to us. “Why don’t you come for dinner? I’ve been calling you” and that was it – we were deaf.
3) You have said that you see being deaf as an advantage not a disadvantage. Please explain.
We’re deaf but we have a voice and can speak. We also use sign language to communicate but we are normal people, except being hearing impaired, that’s it. Being deaf doesn’t stop us from traveling, reading and loving someone or dancing, just like a person in the hearing community. The problem is the hearing people think the deaf community are not able to do things.
Hearing people think that the deaf community are not as intelligent as they are. Wrong! Deaf people are not dumb. They simply can’t hear. Just like the ability to hear does not make you intelligent. Deaf people can do everything a hearing person can do, except hear. Deaf people can’t drive. That’s not true, they do drive cars. In fact, there are studies that have shown that deaf people are better drivers than people who can hear.
Travel is about freedom and not feeling intimidated. When we feel limited, that’s when we decide to push our boundaries. We have a different perspective than a traveler who is not deaf. We have lots of barriers, all of which, give us great satisfaction when we overcome them.
Also, having an impairment of one sense leads the senses to excel. Deaf culture (sign language) is very visual and we appreciate the visual vibrancy of the city’s we visit, maybe more than someone who can hear. We can communicate with foreign people when we use iconic hand gestures (common gestures, drink, eat body language etc) it’s not a problem for us.
Sign language is so beautiful, and the deaf community are our family. Within the hearing world, it can be lonely. As soon as we were in the deaf world, we fit in. It was where we belonged.
Signing is physical and beautiful. It’s visual, it relies quite a lot on facial expressions and a positive vibe. We want to educate people on what sign language means and give people a sense of deaf awareness. People need to be more open minded and learn sign language. Our identity is so important to us because if we weren’t deaf, we would simply not be the way we are now. Life for us would be so different, we are proud of who we are, and our deafness is a part of that. Being deaf hasn’t held us back from doing what we want in our lives.
4) Do you have any advice for people who are scared to travel with a “disability”?
Don’t be scared to travel, especially if you’re a woman. Be brave, travel, experience and live. Wandering a city with no plans is the best way to discover hidden gems. Don’t forget to embrace what you see, feel and experience. Travelling with a friend, brother or sister is important. It makes for shared memories, better appreciation of each other and a stronger relationship. But, also an understanding of the culture you are visiting and the breakdown of perceived barriers.
5) What inspired you to start your travel and fashion blog?
We started Being Her to make sure our voices had a platform. We wanted to share with our audience what we go through everyday. We want to encourage and inspire our followers to believe in themselves. There are many misconceptions about disabilities generally and not enough focus on talent and skills. This mindset is outdated, especially in the world we live in today where being different is much more accepted and tolerated.
We believe our fashion blog can help challenge attitudes and make people more open minded towards disabilities. Our blog gives us the opportunity to widen our perspective. The more you see, the less you hate. Prejudice is a big part of the human condition and the more cultures you experience the more you realise they are not that different from us. Being deaf may be difficult, being scared is the real barrier. Be brave, be courageous and new experiences will alter your life forever.
6) What is it like working with your sister every day?
Hermon : Working with Heroda is a joy, we love each other and our bond grows stronger everyday.
Heroda: I am so lucky to have a sister work with me because she’s fun and creative!
7) Favorite travel destination to date?
8) Do you have any advice for women who want to break into the blogging industry?
If you want to be a blogger for any platform, you need to ask yourself. Why are you starting a blog? What makes you so special? Who’s your audience?
It’s important you know exactly why you want to start and it’s important to be different and stand out, rather than copying. You have to know exactly who your audience is and how they interact with you, so you can move forward in a direction that will lead you to your ultimate goal. Do lots of research about SEO, social media management, blogging, website development and networking.
You have to be committed to what you are doing with your blogging otherwise if you don’t the readers won’t come back. High quality content is the most important thing. Audiences or followers won’t stop by your instagram or website unless you create quality content that keeps them coming back for more.
The best tips we could give you is, authenticity is the KEY. Always stay true to your real self and don’t be afraid to show who you really are. Never copy their work and create your own content to make it stand out. And be patient!
9) Favorite quote?
“Being Deaf may be difficult, but being scared is the real barrier.” – Hermon and Heroda
10) What is next for Being Her?
There are so many brands who we admire and would love to work with! To be able to create and build a solid relationship with quality brands and to be able to sustain long-term collaborations would enable a sense of permanency for us as fashion, travel and lifestyle bloggers who create amazing content.
More travel collaborations would be a dream because there aren’t enough images of female travelers that represent the true diversity of women traveling around the world. Every woman deserves to have a chance to see the world, just like us. And sometimes it’s easy to feel intimidated because there’s lack of diversity and representation in the travel industry. We aim to inspire diversity in girls and women. It’s okay to be yourself and look the way you do while you travel around the world. And we are working to expand our brand and launch our own ranges.
Read More Ladies We Love Interviews
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