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Best & Worst: Saudi teen social media star Rateel Alshehri talks fashion and outdated apps

DUBAI: The 13-year-old Saudi social-media personality, host of the “Rateel Alpha Talk” podcast, recently topped the ranks of content creators born in the Kingdom on the US site Famous Birthdays. Here, she talks fashion, time management and more.  

Best fashion trend of 2024?  

Denim tops. I think they can get styled very easily and they look casual and nice. 

Worst fashion trend of 2024? 

Maxi shorts. They’re not really my style. I tried them, but I didn’t really like them. Also, I love animals, so anything leather — I don’t like harming animals to create fur and exotic skins for clothes. The fake ones are OK. 

Best fashion accessory for any outfit? 

Confidence. It’s the best accessory. And a smile! If you’re in an outfit and you’re not confident in it, it’s not going to look as nice.  

Worst fashion accessory? 

I’d say anything that it’s difficult to move in or breathe in. I would much rather be comfortable. 

Best hairstyle for you?  

I love many hairstyles, but it’s probably when I keep it plain and keep my hair down. I have curly hair and I like keeping my curls natural. 

Worst hairstyle you’ve ever had? 

A high,slicked-back bun. Generally, this hairstyle looks so good, but it looks bad on me. It makes me look bald. It is very trendy but you have to have the right face shape for it. 

Best way to deal with exam stress? 

Stay focused on what you can control. I don’t stress too much. I try not to focus on the time. I just do my thing and finish it. I avoid taking lots of breaks, because if I do that I get lazy and don’t continue. I like to have all my tools in front of me, too, so I don’t need to go get them.  

Worst distraction when trying to study? 

My phone. I get distracted by social media. I try to control it, but my mom takes my phone away to help me when I study, because sometimes I can’t properly focus.  

Best way to balance work and play? 

Have a stable routine. If you don’t, then everything will be crazy and messed up. It can be hard. I just filmed my podcast yesterday. Seventh grade is, like, really hard, so I have to focus, then I have to film content. It’s easier when I have a good, stable routine. 

Best compliment you’ve received? 

I like it when someone compliments my personality over my looks — because you didn’t do anything to get your looks, but your personality is (unique). I like it when they tell me I’m “such a vibe.” It makes me so happy knowing I have a fun personality. 

Worst compliment you’ve received? 

I hate when people tell me I’m old for my age. I think they just live in a different generation.. People think that, for example, skincare… I know there are some products you shouldn’t use until you’re older or have more mature skin, but you can start skincare from any age with a cleanser and a moisturizer. Some (young people) really struggle with their skin and then some adults make it harder for them. 

Best way to start your day? 

I like to have something exciting going on in the week that I can remind myself about. So like, I get done with the boring stuff and then I have fun things to look forward to.  

Worst way to start your day?  

Being negative in the morning. If you start off positive, your whole day will be positive.  

App you can’t live without? 

I have a lot of apps, but the best one isn’t really an app — just my brain. My imagination is an app for me. I could live with just my brain: I could watch a movie in my head. I can sit down and think of movies in my head and just imagine everything. My head is like a phone.  

Worst app?  

It’s not really the ‘worst’ app, but I feel like WhatsApp is really for older people. I only use it to communicate with my mom. Most people my age communicate on Snapchat and Instagram. So it’s not a bad app, I just don’t use it and I don’t really like it. 

Best advice you’ve ever received?  

“Dream big and don’t let anyone stop you from dreaming.” And another thing my mom told me is that just because something is trending doesn’t mean you have to like it. Just follow what you love. You don’t need to follow other people. 

Worst advice you’ve ever received?  

“Follow the crowd.” The best way to live life is to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to stand out. 


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