Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beauty + Glamour.

As a female in the Western world, the topic of beauty and what it does and doesn't mean, seems to come up on a daily basis in one form or another. A girl's snide remark about a celebrity's nose, chit chat between friends about all the things that are "wrong" with our faces and bodies, or a quiet thought to yourself as you pass someone you find beautiful. "I wonder what it's like to look like that, everyday?" I was inspired to do this post by *cue cheesy eyerolls* this week's episode of Glee. Yes, I know it's corny, but I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be beautiful. I've touched on a similar issue before on the blog, but I feel like bringing it up again.

I have always, since I can remember, felt as though I was outside the realm of "pretty girls". When I was growing up, my parents, when praising or complimenting me, would say things like 'You're smart' or 'talented' or 'did a good job', which in hindsight, was probably a very good thing. These remarks taught me that I should value my intelligence and talents and not rely on my looks. But on the flipside, those compliments reinforced an idea in my head that I was not beautiful. Although smart and articulate, I would not be considered pretty by the rest of the world. Now, I'm sure this sounds a little melodramatic, but for a long time, this is how I felt. Then came blogging. When I started out posting photos of me in my backyard almost 3 years ago, I was sort of just doing it as an experiment. I was finding many beautiful and real girls who wore the coolest outfits, and I was inspired to try and dress to please myself, just like they were. In the beginning, I wasn't nearly as confident as I am now. But as time passed, and I got compliments and encouragment from random strangers who really had no obligation to boost my self esteem, I started to think that maybe I did have something to offer.

The world of blogging can be kind of overwhelming at times, because you find blog after blog after blog of thin, modelesque (sometimes they are models) girls, who have amazing wardrobes, perfect faces and a seemingly endless wallet. Believe or not, there are many times when I feel doubtful of myself. It could be a rude look from a stranger, or a glance at an ad that makes me think 'I'll never look like that.' And I admit, there are times when I wonder: "Is there a point to me doing this? I mean, I don't look like I just came off a runway, and I'm certainly not wearing Christian Louboutins, Marc Jacobs, or the lastest Mui Mui heels. How can I be an inspiration, or even interesting with such meager means? Would anyone even want to read my blog?" But I think that you lovely readers have shown me that just because someone is of a different background or body type doesn't make their point of view any less valid or interesting. I appreciate every email and every comment, because it makes me believe that there is room for change in the fashion industry, and even in the mainstream. As much as I may wish that I had a doll like pout like Lindsey Wixson or gorgeous freckled skin and red hair like Cintia Dicker, I'm starting to believe that the skin I'm in isn't half bad. I might look different than most of the people around me, but different doesn't have to mean bad. I'm discovering day by day what makes me beautiful...

"Glamour is profound. Glamour is saying: I want to be as beautiful as I can be -to myself first and then to anyone else who has enough sense to see" -Maya Angelou

How about you? What makes you feel beautiful? What makes others beautiful to you?

28 comments:

Rachel said...

Thank you for this post! I was just thinking yesterday about how my sister was always praised for her looks, and I was praised for my brains. Which meant that she was the "pretty one," and I was the "smart one." The downside is that I felt (and still do...) like the "ugly one," and she felt like the "dumb one." I'm not a model and I don't have the money for designer shoes or expensive dresses, and at this point I'm new enough to blogging that I don't get many comments. Sometimes I, too, wonder if I'm just kidding myself that anyone will care about my little blog. And then once in awhile I get an encouraging comment, and it makes it worth it.

I'm glad to hear that it's gotten better for you! You seem to project so much confidence in your photos that I never would have guessed that you doubt yourself. I think confidence in yourself is a big part of true beauty.

Jessica Thiessen said...

Beautiful post Lyds! Different is not only "not bad", different is fantastic!! It's the reason that you have a heap of people reading your blog. Plus, you are a pretty cool person.

Anna K Templin said...

This post is amazing. I check your blog everyday! I love your take on fashion, and the idea of beauty. It has inspired me to create my own blog. Hardly anyone has the money to wear those expensive clothes. You put a real take on fashion. You have to confidence to blog about your ideas, and that confidence is everything!

Amelia said...

Great post! This is something I think about a lot and what I have decided is that very few people are just naturally beautiful but that should encourage us all because we have it within our power to project ourselves however we please. I gravitate more towards women who have a very defined style. Women like that run the gamut from normal looking to perhaps a bit odd looking but they take what they have and really own it and that makes them unforgettable.

Coatlicue Fatale said...

first of let me start off by thanking you so much for this lovely post. I have been following your blog for over a year now and I have never had the courage to post anything on your blog until now.

I think that what you said was amazing and so heartfelt and beautiful! I actually stopped reading fashion magazines a while back and I only read fashion blogs of lovely fashionistas that do not resemble the ones in the magazine and I love that! One of the reasons that I have been following your blog is because not only do you have an amazing style but with this post I love that you are honest and being critical about fashion blogs not that many people are admitting to the biases that are out there.

Thank you!!

Plump Passion For Fashion said...

This was a great post, and your an inspiration to a lot of women. Thats a wonderful accomplishment in it's self. I can see why it has given you more confidence in these past 3 years. I recently started a blog, and the only people following me at the moment are personald friend. I have a few views a day, which makes me happy and motivates me to do better and more blogs. I think your blog showcases you and your personality very well. Even though we dont really know you, the beauty of your personality and style shines through. Keep blogging girl:)

hannah and landon said...

Lydia, you are radiant inside and out (and I feel I can especially say so having met you in person, hehe).

I'm often overwhelmed by blogs and have recently been avoiding my google reader in favour of blog hopping to my favourite inspiring girls who continue to prove that style is much more than "it pieces" and overflowing wallets.

<3<3

Chloƫ said...

what a great post! i don't comment very often, but one of the things that attracts me to your blog is your radiant smile. a lot of bloggers never smile in their pictures - what's up with that? :) you're always a delight to read and always look stunning, in my humble opinion. best, chloe

Shelby said...

I prefer blogs where girls thift most of their clothes because it means style is attainable for everyone. Your blog is great and you have some of the best style and fashion sense I've seen on the internet! I would never think that you have had self-conscious moments, because you exude confidence!

Kelly Lauren said...

thank you so much for posting this lovely Lydia. Your words were inspiring and true and heartfelt. All I can say is that you inspire me all the time... and I can relate to you! I don't have all the money in the world or own designer clothing, and I'm not a model. But I have found that I love the "fashion bloggers" I do find because they're just "regular" gals like me looking like they stepped out of a magazine! I'm inspired daily and I love knowing that there's more to you (and others) than just what you wear + your fashion sense. Although, I knew there was more to you than that already, it's just nice to read things like this from time to time.

I feel beautiful and happy when I just wear and be me. nothing forced. nothing weird. nothing uncomfortable. nothing too expensive.

love! I tumbled this (with proper credit) =)

Alison said...

Great post! I can totally identify with never being praised for my looks, and I agree, it's a good thing to be told how smart and capable you are, but it's funny how my friends who were always told how pretty they are assumed it meant they weren't smart. I guess it's hard to win, until you grow up and kind of get to define yourself, hopefully!
By the way, judging from your outdoor outfit shots, I swear you live, like, blocks away from me.

vivian the koneko kitten said...

I have been following your blog for at least 3+ years since the days of wardrobe remix. I've also followed some of the bloggers that you talk about, but although their clothes are beautiful and brand name, its hard to relate to them because i will never be able to afford any of those items. This is not an insecurity or feeling inferior to these girls because i am unable to afford their items of look the way that they do, but because i feel that so many of them seem to have so little substance. They are girls who relied on their pretty faces. I have since stopped following these girls.

What i love about your blog and your style is that you show that girls can find really adorable and quality clothing on a budget. You come across as a real person, who is both sweet, intelligent, and interesting. These are the reasons why i follow your blog.

Please don't let magazines or other people let you feel like you are less beautiful or less interesting than you are. I think you and your blog are great, and i hope that you continue writing this blog for as long as it makes you happy to share your life and style with us <3

Upsicle Girl! said...

Whilst sitting in a parenting cafe in little ol' Auckland, New Zealand, I looked around and it occurred to me that the 'pretty model types' are actually a minority in the world.

My whole view of the world has drastically changed having recently acquired a 'mummy body' after having my gorgeous bubs.

My philosophy once was "look good to feel good" but is now "Do good to feel good"

Christy said...

Oh gosh, I really love this post. And I don't think it's cheesy at all to be inspired by an episode of Glee; I love that show, and you can't deny that last week's episode was amazing.

In truth, insecurities about the way I look have almost made me stop blogging altogether *many* times. It can be tough to browse blogs and see girls that look like they've stepped out of a magazine. But I hope that maybe readers can identify with someone who doesn't wear makeup or have perfect skin or cheekbones that could cut glass! Though I can be overly critical of myself sometimes, I (like everybody, really) have many great, beautiful features. So do you, my dear! From the first moment I came across your blog, I was stunned by how lovely you are (and sweet and fearless when it comes to wearing bold colors...haha!).

Thank you for this; it was just what I needed. <3

offbyheartstyle said...

I have to join in to say thank you for posting this.

I can relate, as a pretty new blogger, the intimidation factor with all the well established blogs run by drop dead gorgeous, model-like girls (wearing items that'll I never be able to afford).

I started my own as a way to explore my closet a bit more and rediscover some old pieces, while mixing with some new (mostly from modcloth..lol) but I can't but feel a little inadequate at times.

There's this fantastic series on youtube ( Killing Us Softly )that really touches on some of the points you covered and about how images of women in the media haven't really changed for the better and how damaging they can be for our self-worth - it was super eye opening and I still can't help but think about it.

I don't comment that much on your blog, but one of my fave things about visiting your blog is the grounded aspect you always bring. Your style is unique, bright, confident and radiant with a touch of mischief. Your brilliant smile and confidence is truly infectious and is what I love most about visiting style is style.

Shasie said...

Amazing post

Mitzi Cocoa said...

This is a great post and something that merits being said, or blogged.

Of course everyone doubts him or herself - look at the restrictions set out by mainstream media. Basically, "look like this or you aren't attractive, fit in this box or be outside of it."

By being so beautiful and successful outside of that box you are helping to break down its walls. That sounds cheesey, but it's true. You are a beautiful lady, and the most stylish I know. You are also intelligent and kind-hearted, and I am very lucky to be so close to such an amazing lady. I am getting a little misty at my keyboard.

As much as your parents reinforced your intelligence, which is good, and maybe didn't tell you that you are beautiful enough, being beautiful isn't a reason to love someone, and while I admire that you are beautiful, I love you because you are such an amazing person inside. Beauty is something to be valued and appreciated, but it isn't the big thing in real life that it kind of becomes on blogging.

You are great. Your new haircut looks great. I love you soooooo much!

xox J. said...

That is exactly the reason why I have been holding off starting a blog. I have my handful of favorites as well and honestly I thought I was THE ONLY one that thought that . Thanks for this post! Also, you have such great style!

creativeisthmus said...

You are such an inspirational writer! I love reading your blog and seeing your fashion. Just fantastic! I think you're right--yes, indeed there is a place for all of us in this crazy world and realizing that will expand our own sense of the beautiful. Your post reminds how important it is love up on ourselves no matter what our body type. I'm so glad you have the courage to say what so many of us are thinking! It's hard not to walk around this world thinking--man, I should look/be/feel more like x, y or z--but sometimes it's hard to find the place where we dress, think, act and exist for ourselves, standing strong as individuals. Sigh, thank you for getting me thinking about all of this again! I really appreciate it.

Krystle said...

this is so great..different is beautiful!


Krystle
http://dearwinsome.blogspot.com/

cristina pires said...

thanks for this post - people don't really talk about these things very much. my first thought on seeing your blog - via worn - was 'i would love to have her as a model!' - so i find it weird that you don't think of yourself as 'model worthy' but post many images of yourself on your blog...i think that many people - including myself - who are not in the 'tall & slim so-called perfection' category question & doubt our own beauty & self worth, when in reality this is a complete waste of time & energy...the world needs nice beautiful positive creative people of all shapes & colors - so be proud of who you are please & carry on : )

keila said...

This was totally inspirational to me!
thank you so much for being open with us i have to say i completely identify with you. I think it is one of the reasons i stopped updating my blog i felt that i did not have very much to offer in this sea of beautiful seemingly perfect girls of the blogosphere.

Anastasia said...

Its nice to hear someone talking truthfully about this, because its unlike most of the times self-esteem issues are treated, where they tell you to "feel good about yourself" without really understanding what it feels like to be(feel) un"pretty". Thank you!

Chic Therapy said...

great great post!You couldnt have said it any better

Anonymous said...

This is a truly inspirational post. Twas honest and very real, something that makes me find your blog so much more readable than the blogs of the designer-wearing dolls. While it's so easy to find the obvious beauty on the outside of others, it's much harder to find the beauty within yourself, the one that has been hiding underneath layers of self consciousness and self doubt, and then bringing out that beauty for the rest of the world to see is even harder. It requires you to make yourself vulnerable, but you can't be afraid to be different in order to succeed. Your are truly a success story however in the redefining of beauty and I would just like to thank you for that. It gives me hope that real people can truly gorgeous and that maybe we'll all be able to embrace ourselves and stop wanting/trying to be people we never can be.

Pretty Girl said...

I always think the same-exact thing. Is anyone even reading my blog? Does anyone even care? My conclusion was/is that it doesn't matter, I feel good when I blog about things I love regardless if someone else is reading. Also, I always second guess my outfit choices wondering if they are "fashiony" enough and I never-ever think they are and I hope that changes one day. Thank you for being you!

S said...

Wonderful post! I completely agree and can relate to how you sometimes feel. You should feel proud that you're unique and can have fun with fashion. Confidence is the key.

comfies said...

thanks for inspiring us all. and thanks for the words in this post...

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