People 06 February 2018
Fatima Morken knows something about the pain of scars. A resilient songwriter and model, she has endured a divorce, and seen the effects of addiction in the home up close. The Houston, TX native sat down to talk about how her strong Christian faith helped her persevere, and share her ambition to help women improve their lives.
At age 23, Morken thought she was living her version of the American Dream. She was married to a man she loved. They already owned their dream home, and could afford to take overseas trips annually. Although blessed financially, Morken’s marriage abruptly ended in a divorce.
In the wake of the divorce, Morken set out to find her voice again. She spent time in therapy, prayer, and leaned on Scripture daily.
“The divorce was shocking and excruciatingly painful," says Morken. "I am now free and healed — the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever been. I bask in the fact that God will never break his promises to me. His immeasurable love and forgiveness rebuilt me, and empowers me every day.”
Morken also understands the helplessness associated with watching a family member struggle with alcoholism, and gambling. It nearly destroyed her home. It’s common for a family dealing with addiction to experience codependency, and even low self-esteem. The Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization refers to this family dysfunction as “sick thinking” which needs to be repaired daily. Morken turned to her faith again. In time, she learned it wasn’t her fault. In difficult times, her love of music has been a refuge. Her own painful experiences have helped the songwriter connect with deeper human emotions in her lyrics. She draws artistic inspiration from stories of strength, triumph, love and pain — much like her own story. Her musical influences include Celine Dion and French pop artist Lara Fabian. In her late 20s, after a dissatisfying career in education, she received an opportunity to train with Actors Models and Talent for Christ, a faith-based talent development ministry. AMTC has launched the careers of artists such as Megan Fox, Miley Cyrus and country music star Chris Young. The SHINE Conference — an invitation-only event in Orlando, Fla. — gave Morken the chance to perform in front of industry executives, and a platform to launch her career.
“I make sure everyone I meet feels important, valued, unique, special, but above all LOVED. I want to make a huge difference with my music by telling it like it is — writing lyrics totally based in personal experiences and beauty.”
The artist is also modeling as a way to tell her story, and help women find their own strength.
As the USA model for two French clothing lines, La Cotonniére and Dakidaya, Morken’s job depends greatly on her appearance. In the age of makeup, professional editing and social media, it can be easy to view models as flawless. It’s her goal to help change this perception of beauty by showing authenticity. She chooses projects with minimal makeup, and is open with fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The model is proud of her imperfections, including a scar on her left leg.
“It is sometimes assumed models have no physical defects," says Morken. "We are not perfect! The scar is my trademark and I am very proud of it! I don’t let my imperfections keep me from achieving my goals.”On top of everything else, Morken is also a polyglot, fluent in English, Spanish and Italian; intermediate in French and Portuguese and learning German. In spite of her natural language skills, she still faces ignorance when it comes to her intelligence. “I let people discover their own stereotypes [about models] are incorrect,” she says of the negative comments she sometimes receives on set.
When asked about her opportunity to make a difference as an artist, Morken’s eyes lit up with excitement. In addition to volunteering through her church, she gives her time and talents to aspiring models with style advice. It’s an opportunity to help women feel beautiful. She hopes her story will encourage women in all walks of life to overcome, even if life seems bleak at the moment.
“I just want people to see that one doesn’t have to be perfect for things to work out," Morken remarks.
3 min read
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist