Image Credit: Laura Charleston for The Campus Trainer
There are plenty of TikTok accounts that interview people off the street - asking personal questions or daring people to do things - but there is only one @umdfitcheck. This Instagram account aims to promote diversity and creativity in everyone's fashion style while also spreading kindness and positivity.
The account features videos of University of Maryland students describing their outfits and leaving a positive message. Viewers get to meet new people, see different styles of fashion, and leave with a positive message in mind.
Junior media and digital communication major, Kimberly Syuardi, is the mastermind behind the account. Syuardi sees fashion as a way to express yourself and show your identity or background and uses the account to create a safe space for students to show themselves. As both a Muslim woman and first-generation college student, @umdfitcheck has allowed her to express herself creatively and connect with others.
“I think that connection with identity and clothes is…a big deal to me,” said Syuardi.
Freshman psychology major Ademide Adeyemo admires Syuardi’s work. Adeyemo’s style follows a few trends, but overall is cute and focuses on how she feels.
“I love the way that she not only highlights their fits but also brings positivity to the world. So I would love to be [featured] on [the account],” said Adeyemo.
Numbers and fame were never Syuardi’s goals for the account. Instead, she prioritized creating a community for fashionable or expressive people to share themselves and their style. @umdfitcheck creates a niche of fashion-loving and positive people.
“I wanted it to be a safe space for everyone to be included in a place of no judgment. So that was my number one goal…spreading that positivity and kindness because nowadays, we don't really see that like online,” said Syuardi.
The compassion posted on the account affects not only the interviewee, but the viewers as well.
“Just a positive account to, you know…make someone smile,” said freshman journalism major Mia Ferraro.
Ferraro prefers Rory Gilmore-inspired looks. A cute fall style reminiscent of the early-2000s cult-classic Gilmore Girls
Outside of the interviews, @umdfitcheck also features thrift pop-ups. With the help of friends, Syuardi has hosted two pop-ups on McKeldin Mall with thrifted and donated clothes. Currently, there is no set schedule, and Syuardi is waiting for warmer weather to start them up again.
Compared to supporting fast-fashion businesses where clothes are thrown away in landfills or burned, thrifting has both costly and environmental benefits. Ferraro spoke against fast fashion in her high school public speaking class. She recommends expanding and finding alternatives to fast fashion, such as thrifting or using apps like Depop or Poshmark.
“Fast fashion is very unsustainable, [and] it’s bad for the workers in the clothing industry,” said Ferraro.
Though the thrift pop-up shops do a lot of good, it is not the focus of the account. @umdfitcheck is all about community and bringing people together through fashion. Syuardi created a loving and respectful community built on the mission of expressing yourself.
For more information, check out Syuardi’s Instagram page, @umdfitcheck.