Patia Borja’s Guide to Making It to 2021 in One Piece

Coat by Fear of God Exclusively for Ermenegildo Zegna. Dress by Laquan Smith. Earrings and Necklace by Laura Lombardi.

Along with her friends River Moon and Laina, Patia Borja has helped turn @PatiasFantasyWorld, a hodgepodge of hilarious, hoe-positive Instagram posts, into more than a meme. This summer, the 28-year-old software engineering major elevated her account into a vital resource in the fight against racism, publishing an ever-expanding list of literature and information that’s been widely circulated. It’s just one of the many ways she’s been able to tolerate 2020.

Step 1: Start your day with Future. I’ve learned how to play the game by listening to him.

Step 2: Support Black-owned businesses. Own a Telfar bag. My puppy lives in mine when we’re out. He’s the only person I’ll let mispronounce my name and get away with it. Telfar, not the dog.

Step 3: Consume oysters at least twice a week. If I could, I would eat at Grand Central Oyster Bar every single day, but that’s just not realistic, so I go to Sel Rrose for their happy hour, which is really basic-bitch of me. It’s a good view, because everyone walks down Bowery and Delancey.


Sweater, Earrings, and Bracelet by Dior.

Step 4: Keep your jewelry clean. I do the baking soda method. On my jewelry and my grills.

Step 5: Black trans lives matter. Donate to GoFundMe profiles you see being posted. Even a small amount of money can help change someone’s situation.

Step 6: Make sure your friends are good. The whole team must eat. Always share when you can. I have a lot of friends who, especially during this pandemic, didn’t want to say they were broke or waiting on unemployment. I’ve been broke and I’ve been homeless, and what helped me was having people who checked in.

Coat and Pants by Marcelo Burlon County of Milan. Shirt by Michael Kors Collection. Bra by Love, Vera. Ring by Pamela Love. Shoes by Prada.

Step 7: Read Baracoon by Zora Neale Hurston. It’s about the last known slave to make the transatlantic journey, which is interesting because people think there’s a separation these days between slavery and what’s happening now, when, really, there is none. When people say slavery was a long time ago, I’m like, “It really wasn’t.”

Step 8: Avoid processed foods. Fruits and vegetables are cute and better for you. I grew up in Florida and when it was hurricane season, my biggest thing was that I would just snack. My mom didn’t say no to shit. So then when quarantine happened, I was like, “I can’t do that again. There’s just no way.” So instead, I went on a five-day juice cleanse. And not to be corny, but it really does help your mental health.

Step 9: Everyday is an ppportunity to be a better version of yourself. On the meme account, I used to talk a lot about mental health, because I had gone to the hospital three times while running it, after trying to kill myself. I eventually said something about it, because I was like, “I should talk about this.” And you know what? It’s true what they say: Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can’t have a rainbow without the storm. And, truly, it always gets better.




Hair: Kendall Dorsey at Factory Downtown.

Makeup: Jaleesa Jaikaran using MAC Cosmetics at M+A World Group.