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you look awesome today, by the way: being unapologetically vain

for the longest time, i must admit hated the combination of red and blue. perhaps i was because i associated it with some sort of patriotic undertones, like the union jack or the american flag. but for whatever reason, it rubbed me the wrong way for ages and never really entered my warddrobe. it wasn’t until i was in my early twenties when i saw someone walking down the street in a gorgeous red coat and a turquoise dress that i thought maybe i had wrongfully dismissed this colour combination.

you look awesome today (by the way) by gabrielle matte

back in december, at the salon nouveau genre, i saw these great cards and wanted to buy a million. i think giving (and receiving) compliments is really important, and i feel like the simple but creative design of these cards really does justice to the simple message. i ended up buying three. one sits by my dresser mirror, one by my office desk, and i sent one to a friend after she complained on facebook about looking gorgeous and getting no compliments.

the thing is? i often don’t get compliments. getting dressed up for others was something i did for years while trying to figure out my own sense of style, but i learned after years and years that dressing for yourself is far more satisfying. and you know what? no one takes pictures of me. i master the self-timer to document how badass i think i look, and share it with folks who i think might appreciate it online. even then, however, i wouldn’t say i get floods of compliments.

polka dot shirt, thrifted when i was fifteen! still love it
poodle pin, thrifted
blue tights from simons
red lipstick from rimmel - jet set red
you look awesome card by gabrielle matte
dress from suzy shier
shoes from lisazain on etsy

today, for example. this is what i looked like. i had the day off, took the time to do my makeup, get decked out in a sweet outfit and take a stroll around my neighbourhood before picking up my bike from the repair shop. did one of the dozens of people i passed on the street smile at me? no. did one person tell me how awesome i look? no. but does that really matter so much? i wish i could so no without a doubt, but i’d be lying. i know i look good, and i want to hear it every once in a while. but knowing that, having that confidence, is more important than feeling validated for your appearance in the long run. i have to say i prefer radio silence to harrassing comments, but that’s a whole other post.

my advice to others: appreciate yourself. don’t wait for others to photograph you, photograph yourself. document your outfits. look in the mirror and say damn! you look fine! give compliments to others that you’d like to receive. stop strangers in the street whose outfits make you smile, and tell them.

femmes and family shared this on tumblr the other day, and it really resonated with me:

don’t ever apologize for posting pictures of yourself

Fill your blog with your own face

Show off your arms, thighs, ass, shoulders

Make pages and pages of your own teeth and hair

Dedicate space to loving the cracks in your lips and the chewed parts of your fingers

And if you are called vain, then you have succeeded

In getting others to notice

How fucking beautiful and important you are

i find it strange how absent these conversations are on fashion blogs. so many people preface posts with apologies for long gaps between posts, or for the quality or lack thereof of their images, or how their faces look without makeup or whatever… even if they are perfect. i think a lot of this is tied into a fear of coming off as vain, or “full of yourself.” you know, those shitty accusations slung around in high school? the internet ain’t always so different. i’m also reminded of the conversations about the “internet world” vs. “the real world” readers i have, and my fear that people who know me in real life might think i’m vain for taking hundreds of photographs of myself.

at the end of the day, i tell myself: so what. so what if someone i know in passing comes across my blog and assumes i think i’m all that. because you know what? i am. i am! and i wasn’t able to say that a few years ago. the road to confidence is a long one, let me tell you. it took me probably a decade of unlearning all these beauty myths imposed on me: that i was too tall, too clumsy, too loud, too hairy, too whatever you want to say to dimiss me. but at the end of the day, if i surround myself with people who know that i am not only really awesome looking, but really awesome all around, that’s what counts. fuck the myth that you can’t have style and substance.

this leads me to other words of wisdom from femmes & family:

vanity is a term used to make people feel guilty about loving themselves

so, be vain. celebrate your face, your body, your talent for putting together a fantastic outfit. without further ado, here are a bunch of babes who have done that. other red and blue/turquoise outfits i love:

Kristy Lou of Fatty Unbound

Kristy Lou of Fatty Unbound

actress Priyanka Bose photographed for Wearabout

actress Priyanka Bose photographed for Wearabout

tenue du jour~outfit of the day

Elfee Duquette, StyleLikeU Scout

Elfee Duquette, StyleLikeU Scout via refinery29

and last but not least, a stroll down nostalgia lane (if you’re a former emo kid like myself)

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Filed under fashion, personal, self-portraits