Where Have I Been?
So I can successfully say that it’s been less than a month since I last posted, but I wanted to explain where I’ve been and why I haven’t been posting as regularly on the blog.
My answer is really straightforward: I got a new blog that’s taking up a lot of my attention. When I first started 7 Shades in 2016 (the most recent time), I had a 9-to-5 job with 5 vacation days a year and I wanted to blog to promote small brands and products on Etsy. It was never intended to be really popular, but honestly, it never really even got off the ground and it’s been rather disheartening. I posted a few months ago about the body dysmorphia beauty blogging has been bringing back to me.
Also, I’ve had a huge lifestyle change. As a lot of you may know, I love travelling. I’ve written about a few of my adventures here on the site. A year ago, I got laid off and a year ago today, I landed in Switzerland to continue my world travels with my severance money. A few months later, I got a more flexible full-time job in lawn care that also allowed me several months off per year. So now I’m travelling a lot more and plan on visiting Japan, Spain, and Portugal this year, and maybe Massachusetts and/or Mexico in 2018 alone. I’m living my dream and a have a world of a bucket list to see.
So that’s why I started my new blog: I Travel for the Stars. I was really hesitant to start a travel blog since travel is so personal but I’m really enjoying it so far and a lot more people are responding to the content I’m creating. I’m starting conversations rather than getting 6 likes on a selfie of me and my cat. And even though it would be cool to get free lipstick and clothes, it would be so much more rewarding to take sponsored trips and get paid to create content from anywhere. This is my new dream, so I’ve been putting a lot of my work and time into promoting the website. It’s been exhausting to the point that I don’t have much time for 7 Shades like I used to.
So am I closing? No. I actually do enjoy putting outfits together and sharing them on my blog. I’d really like to keep the website up for as long as possible. However, I think I am intent on deleting or abandoning my Instagram account since it received sad traction and it’s the part of blogging I haven’t enjoyed.
So there you have it! I am not disappearing but I will not be putting too much time into this website anymore. I look forward to doing new things with my life and making these changes, and I hope it helps others, as well.
Posted on Friday, May 4, 2018
Post in Bloggish, Life Updates, Rambles
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.