Uses She/Her pronouns
Zahra Masaoka is a Registered Counselor Agency Affiliate in the state of Washington (#CG60922639) with a dual role of Milieu Therapist and Administrative Assistant.
Zahra found herself in this work after being witness to friends and peers who struggled with eating disorders and realized how deeply misunderstood they were by herself and society as a whole. Supplemented by further education through her classes at the University of Washington, her curiosity and realization of the importance of this work steadily manifested in a desire to help others create a peaceful relationship with food and body.
Her natural interest in social justice and understanding people led her to a minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality studies, where she deepened her understanding of how the intersections of race, class, gender, mental illness, and other identifiers impact one’s lived experience. As someone who has personally experienced the generational impact of racial injustice and day to day microaggressions as a mixed cis woman, she also acknowledges her often white-passing privilege, cis privilege, and many other privilieges as critical to understanding her role in this work. These core understandings have been both the building blocks and compass that help her navigate this field.
Outside of Opal, Zahra aims to continue implementing HAES, social justice and anti-racism work through her involvement in the Seattle dance community. She is committed to ensuring that her classes are free from harmful diet and body talk, as well as calling in her community to challenge the rampant cultural appropriation and exploitation of Black culture, in and out of the studio. Zahra also keeps herself accountable with the help of an affinity group and is fully dedicated to listening, learning and taking action.
Zahra loves to read, be in nature, dance, spend quality time with her friends, travel and eat yummy snacks while watching netflix (anime + korean dramas + the office + anything narrated by David Attenborough).