Courageous. Confident. Resilient. Just a couple of words that come to mind when Comedienne/former model Zeralyn Ford is viewed trading jokes on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, as if it’s just another day at the office. The Atlanta transplant’s story serves as an inspiration to everyone, but also as a reminder that life is good, but can be better if you make yourself aware of the potential risks of ‘setbacks’ it throws at you.
With that said, we were able to catch up with our TLSR family member to talk life and self style.
The Lifestyle Republic: You have really done a lot of things in your professional life over the past few years: looking back on things, how were you able to take some of the moves you may not have been proud of and put a positive spin on them?
Zeralyn: I live life on the premise of no regrets. Everything we have done in life whether good or bad has cultivated us into the person we are today. My negative experiences are the cautionary tales to other women. In my transparency, I hope that someone else can see the error and avoid making those same mistakes. In trails, it pushes you to be stronger. I’m grateful for those periods and am a better person because of them.
When and how did you first find out you have breast cancer?
It was right before Christmas I found out about my stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis. I had been out shopping with my new puppy when someone tried to steal him. A scuffle ensued and I was able to get my dog. In doing so he scratched at my left breast where I found a large lump I had never felt before. A week later I went to the doctor, who referred me to get a mammogram. Followed by a ultrasound, which eventually followed by a positive testing biopsy.
What were your main concerns after being diagnosed?
Death. Immediately I began preparing my last will and testament. My life insurance policy and furthermore my funeral. After I decided I wasn’t going to die. I changed my way of thinking of a cure. I changed my eating habits, lifestyle. I began to concentrate on healing and living versus death.
We’ve read from others who have been diagnosed that they experienced low self-esteem early on. Being that you’re not hurting or challenged in the looks department, did you feel a change in your physical confidence?
Yes most definitely. I am a woman who relied on her looks to get money for a long time. Initially the blow of losing my breast took at toll on me mentally. But then I decided that I was being vain. If people could lose their legs, arms, etc and continue to smile then surely I can lose breast you can’t see and be happy. I decide to take the approach of I now have boobs that looks like a Barbie doll. I also came to terms with the fact I won’t be using my cleavage to my advantage. Which is fine, I’m actually pretty smart.
How has breast cancer affected your outlook on life?
It’s humbled me. Made me appreciate every second I’m here. I definitely have a carpe diem mind state. I live in love and not stress. I don’t waste my time or others. I’m totally grateful to God for being here. I see now that my entire purpose on earth is to help someone else. I’m happy and I enjoy everything. The good or bad I welcome it all.
What would you describe as a comfortable everyday look (style/fashion) for you?
I love dresses. I truly believe there is no such thing as being too dressy. I love wearing a great skirt with a nice blouse. I call it sexy business casual. Nothing wrong with looking your best, it may encourage someone else. I prefer heels, but stylish ballet flats are cute as well.
Even though Winter is not everyone’s favorite season of the year, what’s your favorite part about shopping for Winter?
Winter shopping for me is all about the hats and boots. Hats are really popular this season. A great hat and a great boot are perfect for anywhere.
How would you define your personal style?
I would say I love dressing up. I think I like to take risks in my pieces. I love different fabrics and colors. Designers that I love are Alice and Olivia. Free People and H&M … I like taking a Nirvana T-shirt and pairing it with a Tulle Skirt. I’m funky but dressy. I can go to church, a boardroom, or a date.
What are your favorite colors and fabrics to wear and why?
I love pink, black, white and gold. I think my favorite type fabrics are spandex, cotton, tulle, denim, leather, fur!! I love bold patterns, specially tribal.
Talk about the difference between dressing for nightlife vs dressing for social outing:
I think nightlife dressing are those bodycon dresses. You should see legs and cleavage. Arms, necklines, and your back. Nightlife dressing is sexy!! It’s the vava voom factor. Social outing dressing is a bit more refined, although you can be sexy.