-Pictured: Kimora's growing family-

Baby Phat Ceo Kimora Lee Simmons recently sat down with Working Mother to talk about her growing blended family. Among topics of  her kids and her husband Djimon Hounsou, Kimora touched on the subject of racism.  Here are a few highlights from the article written by Kimora:

Kimora on growing up as a mixed-race child:


“My friends are surprised to learn that, outgoing as I am today, I was a loner growing up. I was a mixed-race girl with a Korean-Japanese mother and an African-American father, and none of the other kids at my school were like me. I was nearly six feet tall by the time I was 11 years old. And I was an only child being raised by a single mother.”

Kimora on having a difficult childhood:

“At school in the St. Louis suburb of Florissant, MO, everything about me seemed to be a source of ridicule to other kids: my face, my height, the texture of my hair, my body shape. I was a real fish out of water. And because I had so many growth spurts, it took time for me to grow into my body. The popular kids were into sports, but I was awkward and gawky. I was super clumsy—I still am. Kids can be cruel. They called me “chinky giraffe.” I cried all the time. But my mother wanted me to turn my tears into something else, something positive.”

“My mom, who worked for the Social Security Administration her entire life, has always been my role model. She did her best to make me feel comfortable in my own skin. She always reminded me that we’re all different and that’s to be respected. “Put on your game face,” she’d say. “Yes, it hurts, but don’t succumb to it. It will pass.”

Kimora on teaching her kids to respect others:

“As my mom did for me, I’m helping my own girls, Ming Lee, 9, and Aoki Lee, 7, learn about tolerance—to respect differences in culture, religion and even the way we look. I also try to set boundaries, let them know what’s expected and give them room to develop and grow. I will do the same with my infant son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou. I recently married his father, Djimon Hounsou. He’s an actor and a model, and he speaks five languages. We learn a lot from him.”

Kimora on involving her kids in her work:

“I involve my kids in my work, so they can see that even though the balancing act isn’t easy, it’s possible. They also see that fashion can be a creative way to express yourself. Ming and Aoki love to sew and make their own clothes. They have a real fashion sense and inspire me creatively. I listen to their ideas and often consult them, especially for Baby Phat Girlz, one of our children’s fashion lines. Sometimes they appear with me on the runway. They love to go into my closet and pick out my clothes. Our kids help us stay youthful.”

Read the entire article @Working mother


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