Body Dysmorphia, pt 1
I have to be real here.
When I started this blog – the current version – I was at a pretty good place in my life. I’d conquered a tonne of my depression and anxiety. I’d been able to acquire a wardrobe that I loved and I was willing to learn more about blogging and blog photography. Was I perfect? No, not at all! But I was excited to have this small project and share small brands with the world and maybe meet some new people along the way. And actually, I’m very happy with this blog so far because it’s doing what it was supposed to: getting traffic to let people know about makeup and clothing brands.
So when I decided to get a complimentary Instagram account for the blog, that’s when the trouble started. Off the bat, I used “#fashionblogger” three times so my account was marked as spam, which means that I don’t appear in a lot of searches and I have to go through a weird verification process every time I want to log in. Everyone knows their algorithm sucks and that a little insane, but I could live with it. That slowed down a lot of my marketing and even though I’m not super concerned about follower count, I also am.
Obviously Instagram is a purely visual social networking site. People follow you because your pictures are visually appealing and usually have a theme. I don’t really have a theme and my photos are nothing special and I get that. By itself, I don’t mind it, and then I explore the world of Insta. I see so many beautiful and talented ladies each day and I feel like I’m constantly discovering more and more of them, and it starts to make me think,
Wow, there are so many beautiful girls out there and I’m just… not. It’s different from seeing average-looking people on the streets every day.
But what makes me really feel awful is how someone could be so beautiful that they have thousands of followers and only 3 pictures. They have fan clubs. People draw their pictures. They get tonnes of comments saying, “Gorgeous,” “so pretty,” “beautiful,” and then there’s looking at my account and not seeing any of that at all and wondering, “wow, am I really that ugly?” I can improve my photo backgrounds, my lighting, my poses, and the image quality of what I post – but I can’t change my face.
For those of you who don’t know what body dysmorphia is, it’s a mental illness that distorts someone’s features in his/her own mind and also makes the person obsessive over fixing or hiding those features. I’ve struggled with it a lot growing up, hiding my face under my hair or even under my hands so people couldn’t see me. I couldn’t look in the mirror for several years and would use small mirrors to do my makeup, so I wouldn’t have to see my whole face. It is very much an illness that affects a large part of your life and even though I’ve been doing so well, I feel myself slipping under a world of cutthroat beauty. I don’t like looking in the mirror anymore or even taking pictures. I’ve even cried once or twice looking at them and I just don’t want to go back to letting this dysmorphia affect my life.
I am OK with myself especially since I’m living a life I want to. This year, I’m going to Spain and Japan and I actually have Valentine’s Day plans for this upcoming week. I have a great job and no reason to complain.
But I have to admit that I’m really starting to struggle with my self-image and I decided to write about it because I know I’m definitely not alone.
If you’d like to talk, you can always feel free to email me since blog comments are currently closed. I will definitely post about something more uplifting next week but for now, I just wanted to get this off my chest. Until next week!
I’m Dreaming of a Goth Christmas
It’s after Thanksgiving here in the States which means I can finally talk about what is becoming one of my favourite holidays – Christmas! So this year for my Christmas-themed post, I decided to go with some alternative Christmas decorations, just in time to purchase for the holidays.
The Christmas Tree
So a black Christmas tree with beautifully coloured lights would be so exquisitely goth, and that’s the way a lot of people like to go. However a lighter colour like the traditional forest green would make all your black ornaments seem more visible, but it’s really up to you and your aesthetic! I personally love Christmas lights, coloured or not, so that’s actually my favourite part.
So there are way too many ornaments to list here and it really depends on your taste, but I’m so in love with this Robert Smith ornament by HunkyDoryStudio on Etsy that I might just cave and get it. It’s definitely worth having a look on Etsy and around the web to get the ornaments you love.
I personally find the present wrapping to be one of the most exciting elements but also one of the most challenging. I like to do something unique every year but I also find it can be difficult to wrap in my style without having family glare at the presents as if I didn’t spend money on them to get them something nice! So if you like to tone it down or go all out, here are some wrapping ideas:
Black on black is always a nice way to go but there are other ways to keep it “safe.” A simple black gift bag can be easily dressed up with some tissue paper and unique gift tags, and you can also get away with some classic damask or snowflake wrapping paper in a dark colour scheme. You also have stripes, which I did one year, which are great being alternative but not quite spooky.
If you’re a bit more daring, you can go out a bit more with some of these gift wrapping ideas. How fantastic is that Krampus wrapping paper? How cute are those Jack Skellington ornaments? And how absolutely perfect is that bat wrapping paper? I might buy some just to have! Since the ornaments are small, you can attach them to your bows as a lovely gift topper that’s spooky but still within the realm of the December holiday. Definitely no compromise here; all three ideas are perfectly spooky!
I hope all of you are enjoying the Christmas season and that your gifts look wonderful. Be sure to share pics!
* All images shared with the purpose of advertising. No copyright infringement intended.
What to Wear at the Office
Do you like this new layout? I was getting a bit sick of the other one and I thought a change was in order. It feels so good to get back into web design, even if it’s only for a wee bit of time. So onto today’s post:
Obviously, one of the huge problems in the alternative subculture is being able to find a job. I’m going to say off the bat, I’m so fortunate to have had employers who’ve let me keep my piercings and my natural hair doesn’t get in the way of a prospective career. So I honestly can’t speak to the beauty aspect of finding a job, though I do know some ways:
- You work for an art-friendly employer (such as these)
- You telecommute
- You own your own business
However if you can have a job and need to figure out your wardrobe, that is something with which I can help.
For the jobs I’ve had, I wasn’t very sure about what to wear. Since I do like colours, I found some solid-coloured business casual wear for work, but I actually got in trouble for that. Just wear what you’d normally wear, my employers would say, and it upset me because business casual is in a way neutral, and I’d rather that than wear a style I don’t like. I’ve been told to get over my pride but, if you’re reading this, you’ll know that your pride is important. So over the years of working, I’ve narrowed down two ways of dressing for work and still maintaining your dignity.
Wear All Black
This one is the most obvious, but the thing I love about this is that basic black clothing is available on marketplaces like eBay for a rather cheap price, and you can incorporate several pieces into your regular wardrobe. Below I have a few pieces – both bought on eBay – that look smart but don’t break my everyday style.
The only downside of this is that people nice on the second day that you wear only black, and you get snarky comments. But nothing’s particularly wrong with wearing all black if you always look classy.
Grab Your Interests and Run with Them
You probably do like something outside of the alternative realm; some ideas include pin-up, vintage, or even a colour you like as well as black. My advice would be to go out and search for business-suitable clothes that you wouldn’t mind wearing, and for good measure, that you find them at a good price so you can spend more money on your greater interests. Below is a dress I got via eBay with red roses on it, which I find lovely since I like red roses and I have a soft spot for floral prints. It’s so simple but can easily pass for businesswear.
(I wear this dress with a black cardigan, obviously, but mine were in the wash when I was taking pictures for this post)
I hope that I was able to help you in some way and I wish you luck on your career endeavours. Just know that you’re definitely not alone when it comes to being alternative in the workplace and you have a whole support group of people who are willing to help.