Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Selfies

I'm just going to lay it out there: I'm pro-selfie. My husband (and undoubtedly other people) think I'm ridiculous, but I'll get over it. I think selfies are misunderstood as vanity, when the vast majority of the time, they aren't. They're an all-too-rare statement of confidence and contentment from women (and men) whose self-esteem and body image is assaulted constantly by impossible societal standards of beauty and constructs of perfection.


This is a candid photo of me in high school. I was a pretty average looking girl who made above-average grades and had never been in serious trouble. I didn't smoke, didn't drink, and didn't do drugs. I was a shy kid--an introverted bookworm who tried to act extroverted--who was non-confrontational to a fault.

When I was younger, I tried to figure out what part of that led people--family, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers--to assume it was acceptable to comment on my appearance or my body. I blamed myself for awhile, thinking I needed to be more assertive. I thought maybe people were trying to take me down a peg, and that I needed to stop trying so hard to be perfect. As I grew up a little, though, I realized that even well-meaning people can be a-holes and make comments or "jokes" that are immature and hurtful--and that none of that was my fault.

Here's a brief list of my attributes that had been commented on by the time I had reached the age in the picture:
  • My "big lips" (this was pre-"Angelina-Jolie-is-a-hottie" so definitely not a compliment)
  • My "childbearing hips"
  • My "ghetto butt"
  • My "old-lady hands"
  • My turned up nose
  • My flat chest
  • My "thunder thighs"
  • My "ugly feet"
I look at that girl in the picture--the shy, sensitive, non-confrontational, sixteenish-year-old girl--and I honestly can't see how the majority of those comments were even true, let alone necessary to make. Even though I just laughed them off publicly, though, I internalized every single one. I remember sitting down with my senior picture proofs and picking myself apart picture by picture.

Here's the thing: if you asked me my biggest body insecurities right now, five of them still make the cut.

I hate admitting that. Hate it. I hate acknowledging that those (I'm just going to say it) bullshit messages got the better of me then, and still do. I hate that I buy in--even just the smallest bit--to societal standards of beauty, and that I judge myself by those standards. 95% of the time, I'm critical of my appearance. That's weak and ridiculous, and I know that, but it's true. So I absolutely will not apologize for the 5% of the time I feel good enough about the way I look to take a picture and put it on the internet. And neither should you.

Nearly all women have stories like this, and worse--even if they've managed to overcome them, the experience of having your body commented on is almost universal. Like I said, I consider myself to have been a pretty average looking kid, so I can't even imagine how dark and painful these things can become for people extremely far outside the societal standard.  That's why I love selfies. I love seeing pictures of my friends pop up on instagram or facebook and knowing that they held up the middle finger to the judgements of others about the way they look and dress. I love knowing that they felt confident and pretty in that moment--because I know how rare, beautiful, and elusive those moments can be.

So. To sum it up:
Society:  "You aren't good/pretty/thin/lovely enough because you don't meet our constructs of perfection......but LOVE YOURSELF! EMBRACE YOU!.......but not enough to take selfies, because that's too much; its conceit/vanity/self-absorption...........and besides, you don't really deserve it, because you aren't good/pretty/thin/lovely enough because you don't meet our constructs of perfection......." (It's a bloody freaking vortex, you guys.)

Me (and hopefully you): Eff that BS. Let's take a selfie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7 Things Making Me Happy Right Now

1// Needtobreathe has been doing a series of Live Room videos, and just wow. I have seen almost every single tour for the past several years, so you would think that I wouldn't be so moved by their live performances at this point, but they are so good you guys. I have a special place in my heart for these fellas.

2// THIS ARTICLE by Jonathan Merritt. It should be required reading for every person in the Christian community. I want to give it all the amens. And maybe a hallelujah or two.


3// Lana in Fader. Actually, Lana everywhere, but the photos in Fader are just....ugh, they're perfect. She's perfect. #obsessed #myhusbandthinksimaweirdobutidontcare


4// A few weeks ago, if I had to list weird beverages I wouldn't like, I'm fairly certain that rhubarb soda would have been on it. It's a good thing I'm moderately adventurous when it comes to trying new things, because I am full-on enamored with this stuff.



6// Sara Bareilles covered "Chandelier" by Sia and it is gorgeous. I was a little skeptical (even though I love me some Sara!), but then I pushed play and my skepticism vanished about five seconds in. 

7// This Stay Home Club print. Buying it ASAP, and hanging it where I will see it every day. It just makes me so happy.

What's making you happy lately?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Project Life: 29

I'm just going to apologize right out of the gate for the crappy photo quality. I just wasn't feeling it this week (scrapbooking, I mean), which resulted in procrastination, the pages taking longer than they should have, and me losing any chance at decent natural light in our apartment. Then I realized that I screwed up on the left side, so I had to go back, fix, and re-photograph it--which is why the picture for the left side looks even blurrier/grainier/crappier than the right. I could have tried to lug some lamps around and rephotograph it, but it was 9pm, I was tired, and I just wanted to curl up in bed with a book and be done. #craptasticbloggeroftheyear


Even with all that, I'm surprisingly happy with how the right side page turned out at least. It probably doesn't hurt that it represents an exceptionally lovely weekend. That ice cream card is a little cheesy, but it's fun, and that's really what summer's all about right? Right.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Project Life: 10-12

Here we are again! Another Saturday Project Life catch-up post. This week features weeks 10-12. One of the things I love about being a first-year Project Life-r is that I have zero pressure to make a consistent album. Some weeks it's bright colors--others neutrals. Some weeks it's a ton of embellishments--some weeks none. I'm completely free to experiment with different styles and figure out exactly what I like and don't like.  I think that is very much reflected in these posts--sometimes I wonder what I was thinking with some of these spreads, but I've learned so much already, and we're only halfway through the year! I don't know if I'm any closer to really establishing a personal style, but hey, I have six more months left for that, right?

Week ten, left side:


Week ten, right side:


Week eleven, left side:


Week eleven, right side:


Week twelve, left side:


Week twelve, right side:

As always, if you have questions about any of the items used here, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email, and I'll get back to you!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Blogger Confession.


Sometimes I worry that, when I am old, I will regret spending so much time recording my life when I could have spent it living.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summertime Wishlist

Summer is definitely in full-force here in Missouri, where our heat-indexes have been pushing triple-digits and the humidity--well, if you haven't ever experienced Missouri humidity, let me just assure you that it is a force to be reckoned with. The warm temps and (mostly) sunshiney weather has definitely put me in a summertime mood, and inspired a little summer wishlist.


Sources: 1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flower Child






My mom told me once that I have a "hippie soul."

I don't disagree much.

Dress: Target // Kimono: Forever 21 // Shoes: Target // Necklace: Charlotte Russe // Flower crown: whichgoose via Etsy