You’re Invited

Corny title, I know, but hear me out. Today I posted a thread on my Instagram stories about abolishing the police in response to the murder of George Floyd. I was nervous to post something of this nature because I was afraid that I would say something wrong or come off as disingenuous, but I felt that as a white woman in America, I needed to get comfortable speaking about these issues in a more public light.

I am so lucky that the community that I have cultivated on Instagram is one of support, openness, and diversity. I lost a few followers immediately after posting this thread, and to those people I say “good riddance.” If you’re not interested in facing these issues at all, I probably won’t be able to change your mind. However, I was also overwhelmed with the number of positive messages I received offering support or their own takes on the situation. Though I am so happy that these people are taking it upon themselves to be vocal during this time, there are others who are being silent, who are teetering on the edge, who agree with me somewhat but not fully. It’s to those people that I want to speak today.

There could be a multitude of reasons for your silence, but don’t let nervousness be one of them. It can be uncomfortable to look inward at your own privilege. It can be overwhelming to take on the injustices of the world. And it can be scary to speak out publicly. I’m inviting you to do it anyway.

If you’re interested in becoming more radical but don’t know where to start, I’m here for you. I’m inviting you in. It’s okay to admit when you’re wrong and to keep trying to do better, as long as you keep trying. I’m not here to call you out, I’m here to call you in and to ask you to do the work. I see you putting up barriers, shutting off the news, and entrenching yourself in your beliefs because challenging them is uncomfortable. I want you to know that I’m here to help you through that discomfort and we can work together to unlearn and relearn better ways of being.

Here are some ways to start:

1. Donate to an organization that supports marginalized groups. This document lists places to donate in response to the murder of George Floyd.

2. Diversify your feed. Follow people who are different from you. This does not mean tokenizing people or asking people of marginalized identities to perform emotional labor for you. This means looking at who you are following, looking inward to see what biases you may have had in curating this group and then working against those biases in the future. It also means following accounts that wish to educate. There are a lot of people who use social media to educate their audience on a range of social issues. Follow them and listen to what they are saying.

3. Have conversations with those close to you. Talk with your parents about the importance of disarming the police. Share with your friends about why you support a certain political candidate. Have a conversation with your co-worker when you notice they’ve said something insensitive or even hateful. These are difficult things to do. They require us to make a choice and to continue to make that choice, even when doing nothing would be easier. But we’ll do it together, and we’ll keep doing it until it becomes habit, and then maybe one day we won’t need to do it anymore.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to speak about this more. I’m here for you.


The scam of being an influencer (and how to avoid it)

DSC_6605 2I used to think that in order to be relevant in the fashion blogger world, I always had to have the next best trendy thing. I think back to the items that it seemed like EVERYONE had for a season—Jeffery Campbell Lita boots in 2011, or, more recently, Cult Gaia’s Ark bag in the summer of 2017. I remember feeling left out because, in my mind, I couldn’t get the perfect summer photo without that bag. In reality, my lifestyle had no need for a see-through bamboo handbag. Still, I was worried that people on Instagram would assume that I didn’t know what was going on in the world of fashion if I didn’t have the ‘it’ bag.

I also had this little voice nagging inside my head that asked, “but do YOU really even like it?”

In the end, I decided to listen to that little voice and not buy the bag. If I saw someone carrying it now, it would feel strange—like a relic of the past. Why had I wanted that bag, that fit neither my personal style or my lifestyle, so badly?

This is the type of groupthink that can be hard to avoid in the age of Instagram influencing. Not only does social media make you believe that you always need the ‘it’ item, it also makes you think that you need new stuff in order to be churning out new and original content daily. I thought that I had to have all of these trendy things in order to be an influencer and for people to take me seriously.

So, who was really being influenced here?

We may think that we have to give into these trends in order to stay relevant, but I’m here to tell you that this is completely untrue. I also want to let know that it’s okay if you’ve felt this way.

Now I’ll ask an important question: What makes good content?

Is it how new and on-trend it is? Is it how aesthetically pleasing it is? How much attention it gets? Or is it the story it communicates? These are questions I’ve asked myself a lot, and let me tell you, it’s not about what purse you do or don’t have–it’s about what you do with it.

The desire for something new is natural, but there are many more ways to fulfill this desire that won’t fill our closets with trendy pieces that will be obsolete next season.

In my own content, I’ve tried to combat this by focusing on creativity in everything I post. What makes each photo I take different from the last is not what clothes I’m wearing, but the way I’ve styled them, the story I’m telling, and the techniques I’ve used. I collect inspiration like crazy, and try to come up with new ways to challenge myself.

The second thing that has helped me is thrift shopping and shopping my own closet. Yes, thrift shopping is still consuming, but it’s a more ethical way to fulfill that desire for something new. It also allows you the see the many possibilities in each garment and be creative with how you style and photograph it.

The third (and maybe the most difficult and important) thing that will allow you to avoid the trap of trends, is having a strong sense of self and your unique value. I used to want to be so unique. I got upset when I thought someone else was trying to dress like me, and honestly that’s one of the reasons I got into thrifting in middle school—I wanted to find unique pieces that no one else had. At some point that drive to be different diminished, and in navigating a new space like Instagram, I more than anything wanted to fit in and be liked. I was afraid I would be called an imposter for posting about fashion when I didn’t even have the trendy item of the moment.

I can’t tell you how important it is to stop this little voice in your head that tells you that you have to be like everyone else in order for them to see your value. Your value lies in your differences. No trend was ever started by someone who follows. Even if most people don’t get it, I promise you that there are people who do, and they will gravitate towards you.

The value of your content lies in what you have to say and your perspective, no one else’s.





5 Quotes That Changed My Mindset


cw: mention of depression.

It sounds corny, but I love quotes. Hearing someone beautifully and concisely sum up what you are feeling can make you feel so seen. I have a few favorite quotes that I keep coming back to over the years. They work as mantras when I need to readjust my mindset. I’ll write them in notebooks, repeat them out loud to myself, and embed them in my art.

They also serve as mile markers for my emotional state. I can go back through old journals and see how I was feeling on a given day based on what quote I was repeating to myself. I want to share with you the 5 quotes you would see most frequently if you opened my notebook right now. They’re short and sweet, and easy to call on whenever you need to ground yourself.

1. “You cannot punish yourself into someone you can love”

I think I originally saw this one on Pinterest, so I’m not sure of the exact source, but this is the quote that I come back to most frequently. When I make a mistake or struggle with something, I have a habit of mentally talking down to myself. I think that if I punish myself enough, I won’t make the mistake again. Obviously, that’s flawed logic. I’m only human and I cannot stop myself from making mistakes. Instead of trying to punish myself into perfection, I am learning to love what I am, imperfections and all.

2. “It feels good to feel good”

This one is less of a quote and more of a mantra I wrote for myself. It sounds obvious, but it’s actually something I have to remind myself quite frequently. I have a melancholic streak in me. Sometimes I can feel the sadness overtake me and it’s comfortable—like when you’re really tired but trying to stay awake. You know you have to keep your eyes open, but closing them and succumbing to sleep feels so lovely and easy. I notice a similar feeling when depression starts creeping in. I have to remind myself that feeling happy and being positive feels good too. It’s more work, but it’s worth it.

3. “I can do hard things”

This one is for the procrastinator in me. A lot of us tend to put off the hard or overwhelming tasks because we don’t want to fail. I often come back to this quote to remind myself that even though something is difficult, it doesn’t meant that I can’t get through it.

This is a good one for right now. Quarantine can feel endless, we’re unsure of our futures and what’s to come when this is over. Let’s remind ourselves that we can do hard things and we will get through this even though it will be difficult.

4. “I contain multitudes”

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it’s a personal favorite. It’s part of a longer line from Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself,” in which he writes, “Do I contradict myself?/ Very well then I contradict myself,/ (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” These are words that I’ve written in just about every journal I’ve had since I read the poem in high school English class.

We sometimes get caught up in how we appear to others, and we don’t want to contradict ourselves for fear of seeming two-faced or inauthentic. We’re wrapped up in trying to create continuity in our personalities, but that’s not how the ‘self’ works. We all contain contradictions and are growing, changing beings. You are under no obligation to be the same person from one moment to the next.

5. “Your life’s purpose is not to be palatable to others”

This one came from the queen @whatswrongwithmollymargaret on Instagram. Following her has changed my life, so if you’re not following, you should be. This is something she originally posted as a little thought on an Instagram story and it has stuck with me. It’s such a good reminder whenever I get too worried about what people think of me.

Who you are is a gift to the world. Some people will love you and be so glad that that you are fully yourself. Others maybe won’t understand you or like you. That’s okay. Why deprive those you love you from seeing your 100% authentic self.

I’m sure that I could go back through my journals and find many more quotes that have spoken to me over the years, these are just the ones that I continue to call up when I need them most. I hope they help you a little bit too!

What quotes speak to you the most? Leave them in the comments!

Reflections on 26


Even though I’m getting older, I still love my birthday. The festivities are becoming more low-key every year, and I enjoy using it as a time of reflection. It’s a time to be grateful for where I am, and think about where I want to go next.

This year I’m thinking a lot about my relationship with myself. This past year has been an adventure both outward and inward. I moved to a new country where I knew no one and it allowed me to get to know myself in ways that I could not by staying within my comfort zone.

The old cliché of traveling to “find yourself” is enduring, but I believe it misses the mark. I didn’t travel to Spain, or Austria, or Greece to find a version of myself I thought was missing. However, through the process of escaping my comfort zone, I fell more in love with myself.

As I get older, I’m realizing more and more that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. During adolescence and young adulthood, this relationship can be at it’s most fragile. Outside forces are always telling you how to be, that you’re not good enough, and that loving yourself is vanity. I always thought that I could improve myself into a version of me I would love. A little tweak here, a little work there, and voilà! I would be the woman I always wanted to be.

It’s not finding yourself and it’s not sculpting yourself into an ideal, it’s just loving what’s there. The more time I spend on this earth, the more I love being with myself. Self-love is a process, but I’m trying to work on it little by little. My mantra for 26 is, “I am the woman I’ve always wanted to be.” After all, no matter what happens, you will always have you.

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