My Big Nose Complex In An Age of Plastic Surgery

It started with shame. It was the year before my 13th birthday and I remember looking at Teen Vogue, at the delicate pages of immaculate make-up directions, and staring at the girl with the button nose. Almost like putting an Ikea table together, I studied those “how-to” make-up pages like they were my legs that would keep me stable, in a way to perpetuate inner confidence and self-worth.

I never had a “cute” button nose, and even when I was a baby you could tell my nose was going to grow. My nose isn’t big, it isn’t small either, but it was different than what I saw in the magazines, it was different than the friends I had made in middle school, and it was different than the “pretty girls” on sitcoms.

It was around the time that Kelly Kapowski and Rachel Green, were the inspirations for beauty. Between sitcoms such as  Friends, the “it” girl of tween was decided for me, and the pretty girls never had big noses.

3d8f6ae08abb79a26904ac9581967585.jpg

I started touching my nose, wishing it was smaller, hoping it would change as I grew older. I’d come home from school everyday going through the same ritual, of watching  Saved by the Bell, and Friends, not seeing any woman with a schnoz who was even considered the “pretty one”. This self-sabotage thing was not cute, and it went on for years, mainly because I was stuck in a cycle of comparison between what the media was trying to tell me, and what I was trying to tell myself.

I’d look in the mirror and measure my self-worth constantly. The guilt hit me the second I’d have my picture taken. I had a nose, while I had family members that had similar noses, it didn’t matter, I automatically felt nervous of eye contact, and camera flashes.

By the end of my teenage years, I had discovered make-up and started falling upwards towards ideal images that were not physically possible for my face. I had moments of feeling empty all the time, and sometimes I just got so exhausted from feelings of unworthiness that my body physically shut down. I dreamed of a nose job, at fifteen, a girl too young to even know what a nose job really entailed.

image1(14) copy.jpeg

Watching Friends re-runs like it was my job, I kept repeating the images and the lines over and over again, the pictures of Rachel Green pre-nose job, in high school, compared to “normal” Rachel Green post-nose job. Rachel’s sister Amy even jokes about her nose, referring to Rachel’s daughter Emma, and says, “Are you worried that Emma will get your old nose?”, and Rachel nods and starts to cry, like having a big nose is a death sentence.

 

Everytime Friends would flash back to “old versions” of Friends character’s, Rachel’s nose would be emphasized and Monica’s weight was satirical. I understand the humor in it, but I also think that making such a life-atlering comparison between “high school characters”, and “characters that are supposed to have the S*** together, including their apperance”, can be troublesome and dangerous.

Flash forward to the contouring age. At this time, the Kardashians had started to become the new “it” girls of media, and I started contouring my nose to make it appear smaller. I’d approach nights out like I was completely accepting myself, yet, I’d spend hours trying to make my nose look smaller. It was quite isolating, being afraid to explore anything that made my nose look  bigger. Youtube was a great gal pal, supporter in this. Look up ‘nose contouring’ on Youtube, and you are in for one heck of a ride. I learned my best to disguise the one thing I couldn’t control my whole life, and it made me feel more secure to hide who I really was because seeing bigger-nosed women in the media were always funny, comedians and anecodtes.

Youtube Screenshot: “How to Contour a Big Nose”

Sitcoms grazed this like it was some sick, twisted tradition. Promoting nose jobs in magazines as “life-changing”, a promise to never fully accept our own beauty.

blake-lively.jpg

 The mirror became the center of my world, and make-up, a tool to hide from anything that made my nose look bigger. The routine was always the same, everyone was getting a nose jobs and fitting in, and I wasn’t.

I hoped for a deviated septum, a nose injury, anything that would cause me to have nose surgery without an explanation, without having to confront the problem I had with it. I hoped for something that was unlikely to change, I hoped for being anything but me.

The surgery never came, and for about two years I thought about it everyday. I wanted to save up money for surgery ,and  I wanted to avoid confrontation all together. I was still contouring my nose every time I went out, and every time I’d see a boy I’d like. I liked to think he’d notice me for my symmetric face, and stunning cheekbones, but I struggled to hide something so blatantly in the way of all my features.

kim-kardashian-nose-job.jpeg

In years of pent up aggression, suddenly my confidence was gone, my energy was lost, and I had spent all my money on eye shadow for my nose. The reality was, I lost myself. I didn’t have anyone to relate to, I tried being funny, and I felt out of place, I tried to be the hot girl, and my nose got in the way, I never felt like I fit in.

Now, I catch myself reaching for the contour brush, and realize it isn’t necessary. A reflex that needed to be cut off, before I started going manic. I started taking pride in my features, and in the things that made me feel whole. I exercised more, I wear little to no make-up, and most importantly I treat myself every Wednesday with a face-mask, to reward myself for just embracing what I look like. It sounds lame, I know, but I think we’re all prone sometimes to relapse back into a insecure space. I have come to terms with unique beauty, I have come to terms that big noses are out of the media for now, and maybe they never will be “in”, but I would be a hypocrite to say I’ve fully accepted myself.

Each day, each year I get a little older, my nose becomes less of a “problem”, and when I notice other women who feel like they have to hide their features, I just want to tell them that it is okay, we’ve all been there, media never holds back. I also have heard that the recovery from a nose procedure is quite frightening!

I hope that self-acceptance will follow something so vain. I feel tortured by the media I’ve been consumed by and grown up with, yet, I feel the need to throw it all behind me and start with a fresh perspective. Nose Jobs will never fully “go away”, but maybe embracing what we look like shouldn’t either. I am truly lucky, I’m white, I’ve lived a life of luxury, and to have access to opportunities, and the support, to continue what I am doing. Everything that I struggle with is stuck in  my own head, I do not have the obstacles other people struggle with. Despite insecure moments, moments of solitude and reflection, I’ve learned to love my body and my face and cherish it for what it is, a good place to be.

Without further ado, embrace your face, you don’t need permission.

Advertisements

Stripping Down To Her Strongest Layer: StylelikeU’s interview with Jemima Kirke

Jemima Kirke shows off skin in Stylelikeu’s What’s Underneath Project and for that reason she is our Girl Boss of the Week. She shed’s her skin retelling an unpopular view of motherhood, that most would gawk at, but it alludes to her perfectly port-portioned rawness that we just can’t help but latch on to.

Stylelikeu is a project created by a mother and daughter duo, who ask guests to strip down while asking very personal questions about connecting to self-identity, culture, race, body-image and much much more. The project sets to dismantle what “style” is in society, and sets to recreate a new definition of what style means: it is just who you are.

Kirke shares vivid exploitation’s of her time on the show Girls, and if you have seen the show at all, you’ll know that the character Jessa, that Kirke plays is anything but Kirke. Elisa and Lily ask: So can you talk about um, what your style says about you? Jemima smiles and replies: I love clothes. And I love dressing up. And I love being in costume, I like creating a story. A raw and unfiltered Kirke talks about cutting all her hair off, which she explains is because her hair was one of the only things that made her feel pretty, I felt self-destructive and for whatever reason I didn’t do anything self-destructive to myself, I cut my hair. Kirke also dives back into assumptions made about her based on her character Jessa from Girls, there is a lot of this like carefree-ness, like, I do not give a fuck what people think, and that is just not true. Kirke dismantles these assumptions and becomes automatically relatable through neurosis, self-loathing and fear, feelings we can all empathize with and relate to.

Kirke also chooses to devoid cultural norms in this interview,talking about parenting in a light we may have never seen up close before,

Kirke: the guilt hit me the second she came out of me, just that I, like, I was her mother.

Elisa & Lily: Why?

Kirke: Because I was her mother. Oh my god, what did I just do? I just like, released like a suffering person, you know? And they’re just going to give me the baby. They should really have more of a screening at the hospital before they give the baby to you. I was still going through my 20’s with a toddler, and there was something that felt unfair about that to her.

Jemima Kirke was 25 years old when she had her first born, and had a second child two years later. She breaks down the fundamental barriers of being a woman in her 20’s with a toddler, and explains how she trapped herself in a way that felt comfortable. This may seem like an unpopular opinion, but it is something that needs to be said more often, because more women need to hear it, breaking down the barriers of societal expectations are just a few ways in which Stylelikeu sheds light on what it means to join the self-acceptance revolution, their mantra that echoes throughout their whole project.

The goosebumps for me, came at the end of her interview when Elisa and Lily asked: Why in your body, in your skin and in your journey, why is it a good place to be?

And she replied: Yeah, I’m fucking lucky. I’m healthy, and I’m white, and I have some money, like I’m on a TV show, like I have a lot of luxury to do what I want to do. So that everything that burdens me is really in here, you know? I don’t have the obstacles that other people have.

This interview sheds light on the power of this project and this woman, and we wanted to share her truth with you, as well as the inspiring project behind the interview because it serves as a place of realness that you just can’t find anywhere else. In a world full of people-pleasing, and Instagram per-meditated posts,and fake realities of beauty, it is refreshing to be a fan and a follower of Stylelikeu, and Jemima Kirke, where self-acceptance is palpable through raw, human interviews and experience.

Check out StylelikeU’s video of Jemima Kirke and Elisa and Lily’s Youtube channel, and platforms below to join the movement yourself.

You can also find StylelikeU on Instagram: Elisa & Lily and their website: www.stylielikeu.com

Birth Control is important and we should be talking about it more

We’ve never talked about it.

“It”, the thing I get every month. The thing that women have to call “shark week”, “the red dot”, “Aunt Flo is in town”, because saying the word ‘period’ has suddenly made those uncomfortable shutter, “how dare you bring that up”, with a squint and a smile.

I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, and we’ve never had a conversation on birth control, past the phrase  ” how are you feeling?”. The stigma attached to something so important and prevalent is shocking. Can I talk about it?

Sure, I am about to graduate with my master’s this summer. I have been dating the same guy for almost four years, and I am 26 years old, so why does it still feel like I’m 13 again, in health class, giggling at the words ‘menstruation’ and feeling embaressed to tell my boyfriend anything other than “it’s shark week”. Not to mention I have student loans, job applications, Mcdonald’s french fries, following me, did I mention birth control side effects?

You probably will never hear about the positives of something so controversial from me. I mean, it isn’t like every month is a vacation to Bali, that I look forward to. However, it also isn’t as bad as magazines and women make it out to be. At 26 years old, you can imagine what I might want out of life, but you don’t know me. Contrary to popular belief, I do not want children right now, and I do not feel pressured to get married, and that should be okay. Since I have been with the same guy for four years, my friends continously ask when we are going to settle down when we will get married, the anticipation of our lives, they have abruptly unfolded with questions, without my consent, assuming a separation from birth control entirely.

I was on the pill for almost 10 years. In that time, I gained weight, I held onto the water in my tummy like it was my favorite candy, and even after running 90 miles a week, on a diet of vegetables and protein bars, I seemed to be gaining more weight. I was miserable, and in my last year of college, I started feeling sharp pains in my pelvis as a result. I felt embarrassed to share this pain with anyone, but it was interfering with the sport I loved most, running. I later found out that I had developed cysts, and that cysts were common on the pill. I tried to find an escape out of the pain I was feeling, because cysts were “normal”. It wasn’t until a year ago, that I knew other options of birth control were just as effective. I didn’t make the switch until after having life-altering surgery to untangle my ovaries from an over-population of cysts.

The IUD was recommended to me by a friend, and the transition was glorious. It felt good to have control over my reproductive system again, and it actually felt really girl boss. Having a choice in what to take, and having a conversation on how it made me feel, automatically made me feel more valuable and unbelievably precious. It was the invitation I had always hoped for. It is the conversations that we aren’t having about birth control that creates feelings of hostility and embarrassment towards something so normal and positive, something we take for granted. The pill and IUD and most forms of birth control have lowered the risk of developing cancers such as uterine and ovarian, and having the choice to focus on self-love,  self-acceptance and change, instead of worrying about another human being has been a blessing in disguise.

Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but there is a distinct line between loving and wanting, that society tends to blur. The fact that birth control wasn’t even universal until 1972, when this method was completely legalized is overwhelming, even though birth control has been put to practice since ancient times, “effective and safe birth control did not become wide-spread until the 20th century”(birth control-wikipedia). The most shocking statistic is from 2010, “it wasn’t until 2010 that the Every Woman, Every Child movement started to assess the progress towards meeting women’s reproductive needs”(birth control-Wikipedia). It seems that the word “girl-boss” has become slang for someone who has big dreams and is willing to work hard for them. In 2018, it means a woman in charge of her own life, but between women taking the workforce by storm, graduating from college, and being a boss in roles thought unimaginable in the 1970’s, we still shy away from having a conversation about birth control.

Have you seen a commercial or ad yet that actually shows periods and birth control to be what it really is? Me neither, like it is something to be ashamed of. In fact, birth control seems to be a conversation starter only when it is in negative contexts, and periods, when removed from what they really are.

When I have conversations with my friends about birth control, I default to telling them how terrible the pill made feel, like birth control betrayed me in the worst way possible. Yet, it fights the battle to protect me from unwanted pregnancy everyday.

So why don’t we talk about it more? Side effects have become routine measures. Weight gain, water retention, bloating, acne, and the list of ‘possible’ side effects have become normalized, the positives just do not carry the same weight.

The war for women to just be nurtured and not conquered fights women’s reputations with reality. The bite to have a conversation stings too much, and lessens a control for something already being devalued. Pamela Haag from bigthink.org paints a surreal picture towards this validation, “I advocate for the slut that sleeps with a lot of men, as well as women who sleep with only one, ever. Promiscuously heterosexual and happy about it? I got your back”(Haag; bigthink.org). I don’t understand why acceptance is so hard to come by. I mean, birth control side effects really suck, but the concept of something so life-changing is a small price to pay.

In the magazines I have read, I’ve been told how to please men in glorifying glossy pages meant to show women how to please men in sexual acts. However, the information about the effects of this, both positive and negative are missing from the narrative.

Everytime my mom used to take my to the dreaded gynecologist, I’d leave feeling embaressed, ashamed, and anxious. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about my sexual history, my ‘menstral’, not even to my doctor. When I’d come home, my dad would ask me how it went, and I’d just shake my head hoping that the conversation would change. I never felt comfortable reaching out to my gynecologistwhen I had questions, and I think that is where we’re missing the point. At times the pill was horrendous to my body; I gained unwanted weight, I carried extra water weight and often felt a rollercoaster of mood swings.

I was on the pill for 8 years before knowing that better options awaited my aggravated hormones. It wasn’t until last year, after a surgery and having to deal with my ovaries head-on, that I decided to jump on the IUD wagon. My doctor used to say, “give it three or four months and if it isn’t making you or your body happy, switch”, after suffering with the pill’s side effects for years. The bottom line is, I felt alone even though I was surrounded by millions of women everyday who were probably feeling the same way. No one was talking about it then, and no one is talking about it now.

Women shouldn’t feel pressured or devalued for wanting to try something new, or staying on birth control. And why do my hormones have to be “raging?”.

I want to change the conversation and start talking about birth control and our bodies for what they truly are, a place that changes with the ebb and flow of life’s plans, prevents unwanted pregnancy on command(at times), and keeping my career and life goals at 26 years with a sex-life a reality. In educating myself, I have learned how my body and my hormones work. I’ve had to research the positive and negative effects of birth control and birth control methods. I’ve had to learn to accept the beautiful process of having a period, and the change my body goes through to make that happen.

I am done holding my body for ransom for sexual freedom, periods, and birth control reactions until further notice. Are we willing to give men and women a chance to ‘talk about it’? I’m afraid it isn’t being talked about nearly enough.

What Magazines Taught Me About Being A Girl

33540621_10160391858090254_7342482807123345408_n.jpgWhen I was around 10-years-old, I read my first “girly” magazine. My mom started a subscription for Seventeen and Cosmopolitan, and I’d gab to my gals about beauty secrets from Allure magazine. Dressed in expensive gowns, designer handbags and faces full of make-up, I started self-obsessing over my apperance. Walking out the door was different than it had ever been, I was now hearing a voice in my head that was saying,  “you’re not good enough”.

Soon enough I was circling pictures of women I wanted to look like in magazines, hanging perfume ads on my walls, of skinny girls with vacant eyes. The hope and possibility of being anything like these girls served my confidence on several occasions.

The problem with this though, is that the story didn’t end happily ever after. I never reached beyond 5’2 in height, and when I started growing boobs, everything changed. Out of pure defiance, I felt like I was losing control over my body, and I went through a metamorphosis to mascarade my insecurities. I remember going shopping with my mom and having an utter angst for the way my jeans wrapped around my thighs, almost too tightly, and awkardly dragging on the floor, not accustomed to my 5’2 frame.

I started playing around with my style, cutting my favorite shirts to make them into new possibilities, cutting my hair to change my look, anything to get me through the self- hatred I had for my body. I became more obsessed with these magazines, in fear that without looking like these women, I would never date anyone, that Cosmo and Seventeen were the holy grail, and I needed a miracle to find it. I hated being an outsider, I hated being me. While I felt like I would never be good enough, there was always a skinny blonde girl smiling at me on polished magazine paper, and out of utter jealousy, I would smile back at her.

This went on for quite a while. Getting ready to go to college, I thought I needed to work out and be “fit” to be liked by boys. Let’s not forget that Cosmo and Seventeen also promise the perfect bikini body, thigh slimmers, arm toners, and flat-belly meal plans, featuring women who look exactly like the women on my walls. I thought I needed to be tan, to be liked by boys, my life revolved around measuring my self-worth in sugar bowls, one grain at a time. It wasn’t until 26 that I realized that I was staring at the same woman for 16 years, something that I would never be able to achieve, the standard of beauty in high fashion featured variations of the same look, and it was toxic.

Today, I feel like a different woman. Jamming out to Nicki Minaj, and Beyonce, I feel like it has become a routine that I have only grown accustomed to. My experiences growing up were reflected in magazines, contorting the idea of myself into someone ugly, dumb and mis-informed. I still feel those feelings now, but not as often. As women we are conditioned to compare ourselves to others, after all, isn’t that what all our magazines are about? Enhancing our appearance to fit the male gaze? I started trading Seventeen magazines for Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

The girls in the magazines look untouched, and I wanted to be a photoshopped copy of Cosmo’s and Seventeen’s regurgitation. Yet, here I am at 26, just figuring out what possiblities are possible, that loving my bloated belly is something to cradle, that the bags under my eyes are not Prada and serve as signs I’m just not getting enough rest. The attitude my thighs have for staying the way they are, at all times, no matter how much I work out. With self-care comes self-responsibility. Figuring out that an independent woman is a strong woman, I rarely thought about all of the opportunities to cease: running for office, saving up money on our own without a man, feeling self-love and self-security in choosing to be single. The traits that could make us better than ever.

I still look at these magazines sometimes, remembering how long it took me to rip off the bandaid of my modge podge collage and silence the obsession. I admire the women who are able to beat to their own drum, in spite of judgement and expectation coming from society’s song. Few women feel comfortable standing up for ambition, in fear of name-calling in an industry lacking credibility.

It’s about the role that women are expected to “play” in society we call equal, it is about the fight young girls show up to every day, just to be knocked down for not looking a certain way. It is about the need to celebrate diversity, yet built to conform. It is about being able to be an emotional badass, in a perfect storm between the private and public sectors.

Removing hair on women’s legs in shaving ads, and using water to explain pads and periods, resents ‘whole’ women. The more I listen to ads made for women, the more my mind has to intervene to stop my head from exploding.

Since the 1920’s, we can say that women have recieved more respect, and more opportunity, than ever before presently. Yet, today, the “girly” magazines are still on the transformation train toward more mixed signals. I do not disagree with having platforms for women to dedicate themselves to their niche like beauty and wellness, but we can do better. While fashion can serve as the path towards individuality, it is a double-edged sword in providing women with unrealistic expectations and male-gaze flattery, minimizing the opportunity to be anything more than physically “appealing”.

Today, I still take an hour to get ready on a good day, I scroll through my Instagram feed daily and I am bombarded by women half dressed to show “body positivity”, I walk past billboards with girls who are somewhere between 14-26 years old, scantily clothed, and out to change my mind about how I look today. Is there a way to celebrate our differences, and still move forward on the path toward fashion freedom? If nothing else, body positivity is a good place to start.

Are My Thighs Too Thick For You?

*Based On Fictious & True Events Of Poem’s Past-Revisiting Six-Year Old Entries*

Turn me around, count my calories

I dare you

for all the times you said I was “fattening” and “too salty”

turn me around, so you can pick me a part, read off what I am made of

because you’ve labeled me, “a tease”,

‘my thighs too thick for you?’

that’s not what you said when you tasted my

breathe of truth,

I trusted you,

the same girl, you tried to pull out of the sky,

when she was just trying to fly,

a harbinger of my appearance

I’m saying you’re just like everybody else, a baseball glove in one hand,

you caught everything, but the contents that made me

a unique amethyst in your eyes

until we win or lose,

until your hand is numb from trying to catch all my ingredients,

until you can’t pick me up, because you’ve decided to walk straight

But for you,

it was easy, you were lucky, putting your hands down

for the first time in your life

like it was a sick tribute to

that song you used to listen to on repeat, and

suddenly forgot the words to,

you dropped me, when you were just warming up

pointed to the dirt, instead of my heart

dropped me because I was “too salty”

dropped me because I had “too many ingredients”

I had to look you in the eye, and exhale

the alphabet backwards just to stop me

from making any sense to you,

tell you, that you have to be cautious with my heart

that when you pick me up, you have to do so gently

or not at all

tell you that the fear of becoming another tally on your list of

conquests, was never on my agenda

but you became mine

holding on for dear life, looking out from your shoulder,

because you let me down

and you will bury me,

just like you set out to do,

to disenfranchise anything that carries extra weight

for you, can only handle

a baseball

because of the same “u up?” text

makes me twitch when I have nothing left to give

because I now know that the same “u up?” text

was sent

to other girls worried about the same thing

that when I just want to pick you,

you resist and put your hood on,

that the reason you turned me around to look at my ingredients

was to find a reason to leave

dismiss me at the door

that the reason was to taste, but never savor,

that when I would walk by you,

you’d smile like there was a reason to laugh,

that game was too insincere for my rules,

that your texts to compliment me on my appearance

feels like, you are extracting my molars

in the most painful root canal

impacting the baton you handed me six years ago,

to tie a knot between your shoes would be an exaggeration,

because for you, we were never together,

yet you feel that you can toy with my heart with tear gas,

and eye black, hoping to see me,

but looking to drown me,

your need to turn me around is the reason

that I clench my feelings so tightly

wound like that tape around your glove,

because I walk through the entrance

to “u up?” texts every night,

and it hurts,

that I have to remember

that the person I once knew is

always there to drop me

parts that I have to remember

do you see the aftermath?

To a woman who lost respect

for herself

Another single woman turned whole at just the thought of a “u up?” text

trying to raise her head from her pillow, you

drop her like you did every other number

Every turn leading me around to a broken girl

counting her calories

looking up to hope she doesn’t suffer the same fate

it is her ingredients

which means, a woman who

you said was “too fattening” and “too salty”

This conquest practices a routine only equal for

you,

you love to say “turn around”

so you can pick me a part like

a label waiting to tease,

My thighs

will not break for you

for every memory I try to erase through your eyes

late nights are all that I can remember

and my disdain for this behavior

isn’t picked up off the floor

so it is a little ironic,

that I lay on the same floor, away from you,

and you,

Turn me around, count my calories

dare me,

for all the times you said I was “fattening” and “too salty”

you turn me around, so that you can pick me a part,

read off what I am made of

I dare you

because you labeled me, “a tease”,

my thighs are too thick for

Who?

You.

 

Man Telling Me To Smile: A Poem

Man telling me to smile says I should smile MORE

he says I look stressed

he’s in his best dress,

but wait, who are you trying to impress?

Man telling me to smile says  take a seat, for ALL of US who are stressed, here take a seat, put some lipstick on wear a tight dress,

Man telling me to smile sits on the edge of his seat

he says, “is this seat taken?”

Man telling me to smile staring at me almost like he is reaching out for my knobby knees

you called me that that the last time you  saw me

The last time you saw me you grabbed my hand like it was a mistake

searching for the key to throw away

my hands bounded by the thought of you,

man who tells me to smile, scoots a little closer

fumes barreling out like a bullet leaving the barrel of the gun

but it was only……….you

Let me cut to your point of view

let me talk while you listen

let me sweat while you glisten,

why am I always in this position?

don’t say a word

do you hear what I hear?

the sound of your lips pursuing up

like a child

into a smile

how dare you paint my face without permission

man who tells me to smile, mimmicks how to smile

like he just painted my walls black-

signing everything without my permission

forging my signature so that my eyelashes would bat

man telling me to smile wants you to do things only he’s proud of

like wearing short skirts and ballroom dancing and wanting to learn French,

because that would be “sexy BABY”

SMILE BABY, don’t chew with your mouth open BABY

you got to SMILE BABY, because you can’t show you’re stressed BABY

SMILE BABY because life could be worse BABY

SMILE BABY, you won’t make any friends that way BABY,

Man who tells me to smile wants to know my name

because he never calls me by my real name

man that tells me to smile call me something like: sweetie or darling like

something out of your ordinary

baking cabinet like everything you do is ordinary

like when I say “no” to your simple request, you’ll say

“it’s a compliment, I’m not trying to offend you, but you’re prettier when you…. I mean you’re prettier when you…….. you’re prettier when you…….. you’re prettier when you…….SMILE

BABY HONEY SWEETIE SUGAR BABY HONEY

all those whistles you make at women that walk down the street might as well be white noise to fear I don’t want to keep

it is not the whistles I’ve stopped responding to,

it’s you

the best thing about being a woman is that I can be

strong and beautiful

sweet and spicy

curtsying and burping

doing 100 burpees in the mud

AND slurping on a slurpee YET,

this isn’t unusual but you make it seem like a lost art

man telling me to smile does not chase after me as I walk out the door

man telling me to smile says he doesn’t need me anymore

it was the catcalls that stopped you from

whistles that drowned you from

hearing your own heartbeat YOUR

breathing starts receding as you recieve the beating

fleeting feeling that once was a plastered ceiling

now a glass ceiling,

so let a smile be

a woman’s motor skill again YOU

let it be human in

infinitely emotion driven again, SO

women smile once, whenever you feel like it

ANDd

‘smile’

is the last thing he said

 

-April 2018

 

 

 

 

 

To The Boy Walking Across State Street

1*i5GbZmFXVcfM33jOeGpcaw@2x.jpeg*While I love writing about fashion, I also love writing poetry, this poem is for you*

When I saw you take the first step,

What I wanted to say was,

I just got out of class, and I was supposed to be

on my way to my dorm ten minutes ago,

but I just had to know what your smile looked like

I imagine that when God made you,

he turned to the angels for high fives, and instead,

they gave him hugs

You are that handsome

because in my head

you smell like the breeze that comes over you

when you’re on the edge of the ocean,

uncomfortable at first,

I spent fifteen minutes trying to figure out

what to do

two feet away from you

but I imagine it would be something like “hello”

I imagined you came and went just like

the wind,

I couldn’t place you,

I couldn’t capture your backwards baseball cap,

and to be honest,

it isn’t often that I feel this way about

someone I’ve never met

in fact you looked like something I had never seen before

some might compare you to Pollock or Picasso,

for being so God Damn unique and beautiful

but all I could think about was Van Gough’s starry night

and how you could connect each constellation with your eyes

they were that beautiful

your smile is something else

I can’t explain it, but I’ll try,

in an attempt to capture the ocean breeze,

in fact, every time I try to write about you,

my teeth bite my lip,

just to show me how painful

love can be,

Sometimes I have to wait in traffic

just to prove how much patience it takes

to love someone enough to

hold on through all of the “stop and go” movement

Love is imperfect, unplanned and uncharted

I’m not much of an optimist

but to be honest,

your smile has inspired me to write

you remind me of a french film

mysterious,

yet clairvoyant because I am able to read all of your subtitles

so that one day, I can tell you about the day I

watched you, loved you, fell for you,

I have to be honest, you were walking across

the street to see your friends

how you play lacrosse and are able to

intercept every inward illicit ball that tried to invade your inner creases

just like a love letter I am never able to seal up,

and send

and maybe some way, the more I write, the more the Beatles will play

because the more I listen to Eleanor Rigby,

the more my dreams speak more than my lips ever will

until blackbird singing in the dead of night becomes a version of love me do,

and I will always love you

If I had the courage to talk to you

I’d tell you how you have the audacity

to imagine all the people, instead of yourself

even when everything around you is lonely

I’d write about your coo-coo-caju

and how crossing the universe

is like shooting constellations of catastrophic stars

every time I blink

If I could talk to you

I’d dance with you until the band left and the lights turned off

every time I touch your fingertips

and every time I see your two left feet

my heart plays vibrations that seem to be coming from a symphony

and it repeats over and over again like the yellow submarine

I know this is going to sound weird,

but you live inside of me,

like my heartbeat

so that I wouldn’t have to spend an entire day without you

and I swear

this is the last time you walk alone

and this would be the last poem I write

because I want to be you’re Penny Lane

I want to be the sound you hear in your ears and in your heart

I swear that when our eyes meet,

you’re eyes were the brown suburban dunes,

that I would be climbing the rest of my life

but I can barely muster the courage to find the right words

I’ve been trying to find the ground beneath my feet,

I’ve been trying to learn how to walk again

talk to you again,

which should be easy because I know we’ve met before

in a past life,

I was ET asking you to phone home,

because I knew it from the first time I saw you,

I’ve held on a little too tight

I just don’t want to feel misplaced again,

like I lost you again,

Like the phone is the only way to feel like I’m home,

you see,

I’ve been told that when you fall in love, it destroys you

in the best way possible, if a supernova is what you are,

than I want to hold your hand

The Best Street Style Seen On Instagram

What does street style really mean? While I love the idea of “street style”, it implies that these icons just threw their effortlessly cool outfits together and took to the street before deciding on a breakfast choice, and how they want their coffee. But we know better. The planning that goes into outfits worn during fashion week, and hectic work-weeks, we’d like to make it easy.

I’ve always looked to street style during fashion weeks as inspiration, because well, the coolest outfits are worn by the attendees of the fashion shows, the people behind the cloth.

Here are some street-style outfits that may inspire you, and accounts to follow to keep the inspiration going via Instagram, you’re welcome.

  1. @fashionmusingsdiary : This account is filled with outfit inspiration for every color, every season, every mood. She posts daily so you’ll never run out of outfit ideas. Check her out for daily mood boards, she’s the cure to your March madness. image1(6).jpeg

2. @thestylishsoul: I love this account, because while this girl is on trend, she definetly has created her own aesthetic. I also enjoy that she isn’t the normal 6 foot 5 model type, she is a normal girl, wearing normal clothes, curated for imagination and creativity. Find her on Instagram, I dare you!

image2(1).jpeg

 

3. @nytimesfashion: I would expect nothing less from the NY times than giving us an account to follow full of fashion week street style. This account is all about it, and if you don’t believe me, check out the picture below. Since they’re a worldy news company, you can also follow your favorite celebrity fashions through this account through a plethora of different events.

image1(6).jpeg

 

 

4. @simonzchetrit: This account is a famous fashion photographer. With about 15.9K followers, he shoots fashion inspiration through portraits of women and men roaming the Parisian streets. He has a specific point of view and an obsession for the soul of style. See below.

image3.jpeg

5. @oliviaandalice: These two are creative directors, planted in London. They name themselves bloggers, designers and youtubers. So while you can surely find them on Instagram they also have created a following throughout the social media vines. Olivia and Alice provide your eyes with sweet colors, paired patterns that are soothing to look at. Every photo uploaded features both Olivia and Alice so you’ll get outfit inspiration in more ways than none.

image5.jpeg

6. @leeoliveira: Another photographer he is a creative director and contributes to the New York Times Fashion section. He tends to provide a clear, and polished view of fashion through close-ups of fabrics to runway front row viewing to women walking to and from shows and events. His photos are realistic and show the fashion industry on the bend, through a clear lens that you don’t want to miss out on. Follow him today.

image6.jpeg

 

While social media can be overwhelming, I have found Instagram more useful than Pinterest these days. Not only are you able to connect with the people that inspire your style, but you’re able to get inspiration daily and the outfits do not disapoint. Street style is an interesting concept  and one that I am still trying to stick. I guess I’ll just keep up with these accounts in an attempt to create my own street style, Cest la vie<3

 

 

The Chronology of a Realist

1991: I’m born in Rochester, NY on Monday night football. The Buffalo Bills were playing the Miami Dolphins, before you think that I’m some kind of football buff because of this, let me assure you that the only thing I remember is this fact.

1995: I dress myself everyday, and pictures developed from a Kodak camera prove that I preferred to mismatch my clothes. I also still have the same bangs, and instead of thinking I’m changing, I actually haven’t changed at all.

2000: I tried every sport in the book, and ended up running and Irish dancing. While both of these can be considered team sports, I realize that I liked to smoke the competition, alone. The first signs of being introverted.

2005: I fall in love with my first crush. But I also decided a week later that I didn’t want a relationship, I hated high school and wanted a sweet escape.

2010: I graduate from high school, and in applying to colleges I picked a college far, far away. I decide that if this is what it is going to take to get to know myself, then I was going to do it. My identity still unknown.

2011: I date Jeff for a year before deciding we were growing a part. I first thought he was the one, a year later, I knew he wasn’t.

2012: I have a big group of friends, I chased the feeling of being wanted, I lived in a tiny dorm with my best friend, and I rarely left.

2013: I dated a lacrosse player for a few months. I got high off of Facebook likes, and actually took the Facebook status literally. I pursued a teaching degree.

2014: I had already lost two friends in my life, and I went through a spiral of feelings I had never felt before. I went on a lot of walks by myself, and I didn’t take care of myself. I started dating around, first a soccer player who kissed me on the first date, and I didn’t feel the spark, a football player I didn’t mesh with, and a baseball player I fell head over heels for, maybe it is because I felt lonely.

2015: I am dumped at a bar before summer and this idea that someones feelings can be fleeting. I leave Colorado to go to my brothers wedding where I enjoy being single for the first time.

2016: I move to California, a meet a great group of people who teach me that I am my own person. I work for a shoe store, and end up resigning that February

2016: I had found out my boyfriend has a kid with another girl on Valentines day, and I found that fleeing home was the answer. I wondered if Love is something inevitable or if we construct it ourselves out if loneliness.

2017: We decide to work it out, I took the GRE, I move across the country to Maryland with my boyfriend, I work retail, I decide to apply to grad school

2018: I am 6 months from graduating from grad school, I have been with the same boyfriend for four years, we live in Boston, I still have bangs I cut myself. I still do not know if I want to be a teacher. I have a soft spot for fashion.

I’ve spared you the details, but if I told you everything straight away, there would be no mystery. This is ALL true, and I never intended to be a realist, a writer, or even, someone who enjoyed the company of myself.

I want you to see that even a realist can see false perceptions of people, and that this is just a part of life. While I am 26, I’m still learning and this timeline continues to surprise me.

I’ve thought about writing about my life because I have finally gotten to grips with understanding my past and I think it is telling of a memoir but also life lessons I’ve learned that you may or may not be able to relate to.

To be mindful is the holy grail right now, and I’m trying to help myself get there too.

A Week At Home Instead of Traveling: What I learned

It has been a week of sweatpants, TV show binging and workout sessions, and I’m okay with that. I’ve had the last week off due to February recess, and while I contemplated and stressed about all the places I could visit, and travel to, in a week, I ended up staying home.

While I love traveling, I’ve quickly found that staying home is underrated, if you’re doing it the right way. Each day I had the luxury of sleeping in, and planning the day just for myself, and boy, did it feel empowering.

While traveling is one of my favorite past-times, I promised myself that this year I would take time out of February, to focus on myself.

In a week, I wrote a list of everything that scared me, skills I’d like to get better at, ways I want to shut my brain off and truly relax, and activities I never have time for. While the week flew by, I’ve learned some valuable things about me, myself, and I that are worth mentioning.

To keep in mind:

Make Time For Yourself: It sounds like a simple concept, but when schedule’s get busy, this is one of the hardest things to make time for. The first day I slept into the crack of 10am, which never happens in reality, and went to the gym. My workout wasn’t pushed or pulled in any direction, I was able to take as long or as short as I wanted and that was glorious. Also just allowing myself to be okay with hanging out in my house without doing chores, finishing paperwork and eternalizing a timer that makes me want to complete something, instead I let it all go, I had myself a bath, I made my own face scrub, I chilled out. You won’t believe how energized and rejuvinated you will feel after a day or two of putting yourself FIRST.

Write A List, But Make It About skills: Instead of writing a list of “things to do”, and feeling like you’re on a neverending treadmill of tasks, try writing a list of skills you want to learn and aquire. I’ve always wanted time to try baking, and writing in a journal entry everyday has always been a goal. While this is unrealistic on a busy schedule, I was able to put my phone away, and really enjoy the art of learning, and making mistakes. If your list is about skills, you suddenly become excited for the opportunity to try to master the skill or practice the skill. Each day I promised myself that I would practice at least one skill a day, and it made for a fun, and delicious treat.

It’s Okay To Say No: It’s truly okay to say no. You decided to stay at your house for vacation, so what? You have no obligation to anyone but yourself. This is a time to make yourself a priority. This concept took me a long time to understand. I thought that staying home, and having friends that know I’m home, meant I was obligated to hang out, this isn’t true. If you want to truly re-discover yourself, and truly take the time for yourself, saying “no” to invites should be high on your list. I had a whole week off and I spent it, mostly by myself, and I enjoyed every moment. Do you truly know yourself enough to spend alone time for more than a few hours?

Do Something You Are Scared Of: At home you may be limited with this one, but what I learned most from staying home, is that it takes a tremendous amount of bravery to truly be alone in public places. This week I did one public activity a day completely alone. I went shopping by myself, I took myself to a restauraunt, I went grocery shopping by myself, and I told myself I would do these things without technology. For a lot of people, this concept alone is a scary one, but it’s taught me to value myself and my surroundings. It helps you stay present in everything that you aren’t paying attention to.

Don’t feel guilty, just breathe: It’s easy to feel guilty watching TV or reading when there are a million other things that you could be doing. Try to shut your brain off, meditate, take yourself for a walk and relax. Give yourself time to be in the moment, and enjoy that show you never have time to watch, or that book you’ve been meaning to pick up. Find a comfortable spot, and try not to feel guilty. I always feel guilty during vacations if my TV consumption becomes a massive part, but paired with walking and meditating I was able to just let it happen. When is the last time that you just let things happen for yourself?

For anyone out there who often puts others first, and tends to be an active participant in the to-do list, these five steps may help center you. While I’m the type of person who loves a to-do list(I even tried to number these before publishing this article), there are no rules and no particular order that you have to follow. Keeping yourself busy is quite exhausting. Try something different, forget the numbered list, and chill out.