I spent this past weekend in Milwaukee and attended a little blogging conference for Midwest bloggers. At the the first ever Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee I connected with fellow bloggers from Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison, and of course Milwaukee. One of the bloggers, Maya of Charmingly Styled, has launched a campaign today called #RealBloggerBeauty. Maya developed the idea for the project last winter at Moda Magazine’s University of Wisconsin Fashion Week Blogger Panel. As one of the featured bloggers on the panel, Maya was posed the question, “How would you use your influence [with your readers] to do something that supports a cause that’s important to you?” Her response was that “[she] would want to do something opposing the perfectionism that bloggers (and everyone) is striving to achieve by sharing personal and perfectly imperfect experiences.” Ultimately, what Maya is doing with the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign is starting a conversation among bloggers, women, and everyone about perfectionism and digital personas.
This conversation is very near and dear to my heart. Our generation, Generation Y, is the first generation to be faced with the challenge of creating a digital persona. Now, grappling with typical challenges like bullying and body image are no longer limited to our private journals. They are part of a public forum on the Internet and in social media. I feel both blessed and cursed to be a part of this generation. My job as a freelancer would look very different if the Internet and social media did not exist. ARTicles of Clothing Blog would not exist. In a way we are blessed with a medium that allows us to expose and discuss important topics instantly with anyone around the world. It’s really amazing when you actually think about the power of the Internet. But with great power comes great responsibility. As the first generation to embrace these digital platforms, we have been given the great responsibility to carve and shape them.
“No one’s life is always full of ‘Instagram-worthy’ moments, and it’s time to embrace the messes, insecurities, and struggles of life together.” – Maya, Charmingly Styled
What if the Internet and social media were places to truly showcase our authentic selves and connect with people? I believe this was the original intention behind the Internet and social media – to connect people in different cities, states, and countries who may never have had the opportunity to connect before. It’s unfortunate that a medium meant to connect has in some ways done the opposite and isolated us from being true to ourselves and making genuine connections. Do we have the power to change the trajectory of social media? My answer is yes.
In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes to your everyday life to produce big results. Shifting the trajectory of social media is a lofty goal, so today, I’m starting with one small step by participating in and promoting the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign. My #RealBloggerBeauty moment is illustrated above through these images of myself over the past eight years.
The first two images depict me in the summer right after my high school graduation and in the fall of my freshman year of college. I gained about 20lbs my senior year of high school, the same year Facebook was launched worldwide. I may or may not have “looked good” at this time, but I certainly didn’t feel good. Yet, I slapped on a fake smile, and tried to create a persona that looked good and felt good on social media. The third image is me at my 21st birthday. I had devoted the summer before my 21st birthday to truly feeling good and looking good. I ended a toxic relationship, lost some weight, and chopped off my hair. I think this third image and the three that follow illustrate me genuinely feeling good and looking good. You probably recognize the final image from a photo shoot I did for ARTicles of Clothing Blog. For a long time I have defined myself as a writer. This is the primary reason starting a blog appealed to me. I’ve never viewed myself as a model or the face of a brand. The simple fact that I executed this photo shoot and showcased the images on a public platform for all the internet to see demonstrates how far I’ve come with my own digital persona over the past eight years.
No matter who you are – a blogger, a woman, everyone – I urge you to join in on the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign and promote the creation of genuine digital personas and connections.
I normally try not to spread negativity, but today was just one of those incredibly frustrating days on the grind. Midday, I felt so lethargic and dejected I had to just step away from my work and take a me moment. It was then I complied the images for this inspiration board, which I’ve titled Keep Blogging Weird.
In these instances, I typically find myself looking for creative inspiration. Whether it be in my work as a freelancer, in my hobbies, or right here on this blog, creativity is what drives me and motivates me to press onward. I discovered this about myself after learning to tune into my mind and body and truly listen.
I’ve talked about the cyclical relationship between feeling good and looking good in previous posts. Most of the time this blog is devoted to discussing looking good, but today brought back to the importance of feeling good. To make a bold, blanket statement: life is hard! It’s very easy to not feel good. This is why it is imperative for us to listen to ourselves, be mindful, and check in to our bodies. They’re telling us something! And today, mine was telling me to take a moment to help myself feel good. After my short me moment and some lunch, I had a positive meeting with a client and a productive phone date with my bff bride to be for whom I’m maid of honor. All it took was listening to myself and doing what my body needed to turn my day around. When was the last time you tuned in to your mind and body and listened?
Here’s a FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD challenge: stop and take a moment each day to practice listening to yourself. For an even bigger challenge, act upon what you crave in that instant – maybe all you need is a me moment. Once you feel better, you’ll look better too!
Instagram is arguably one of the fastest growing social media platforms. On this week’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, I learned that Instagram actually began as a project similar to Foursquare that focused on checking in and location based social networking, then it pivoted and revised its focus to mobile photography. Instagram has been a particularly significant platform for the fashion community. From LIKEtoKNOW:IT, a service that allows you to LIKE photos on Instagram and receive ready to shop product links directly to your inbox, to Vogue’s impromptu Instagram fashion shoot aka promotion for the Met Gala and the Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, the fashion community has found ways to fully utilize Instagram’s features. The platform is gaining such popularity in the fashion industry, the Council of Fashion Designer’s of America (CFDA) named their first ever Fashion Instagrammer of the Year to be the official CFDA Instagram correspondent for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards (which were last night, btw!). You can find plenty of lists floating around of the most stylish Instagram accounts you need to follow now. These mainly consist of bloggers, models, editors, designers, and the like. But what about the awesome Instagrammers who are flying under the radar? Well, I think I’ve found three of them. Here are 3 unsuspectingly stylish Instagram accounts you should check out!
Maybe I’m weird and creepy for being obsessed with a 14-year-old’s Instagram. Maybe I’m just partial to anything and everything relating to AMC’s Mad Men. But really, is it just me or does this girl have amazing style? Chanel + Chuck Taylor + Miu Miu… need I say more?
You may know Bethany Watson by her voice as one of the leading radio personalities of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran Morning Show. Bethany is a born and raised Wisconsin gal (shout out to all my Mad Town ladies) living in NYC. Of all my unsuspectingly stylish Instagrammers, Bethany rocks the most attainable, everygirl looks – most recently she prided herself in finding the amazing Alice + Olivia pumps (pictured above) at a local consignment store for $60!
Busy Philipps is my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram. In addition to showcasing her amazing fashion sense, she posts tons of awesome pictures of her life in LA and some of the best throwback photos. This major celeb’s Instagram is down to earth, totally relatable, and seriously stylish.
Know of an awesome Instagrammer that’s flying under the radar? Share the unsuspectingly stylish Instagram account you’re obsessed with following in the comments below!
Sometimes the middle of the week just hits us like a hefty credit card bill. We’re overwhelmed, overextended, and overworked. There’s accomplishment in knowing the week is halfway over, yet we’ve still got so much to do in the next two days and the weekend feels so far away. If you’re like me, your reaction is denial: avoid, zone out, distract, escape. I typically turn to social media looking for some mindless reading, creative inspiration, or just some good old midweek motivation. My particular sluggishness during this midweek slump triggered me to create an inspiration board for all of you out there who may have the same case of the Wednesday-blahs. So before you head to bed, do one last thing for yourself on this Wellness Wednesday and enjoy some midweek motivation! Thursday is almost here, Friday is right around the corner, and the weekend is just about in our reach. We can do it!
When a new season comes around, we know that means a new round of ad campaigns. Typically, there is chatter about who will be the new faces of fashion for the next season, but until official announcements are made or images from the upcoming campaign are leaked, we eagerly wait with anticipation. For three major brands, the results are in whether they like it or not. Without further ado, here are three of the new faces of fashion!
Spanish clothing and accessories retailer Zara is going for the every-girl in their Spring 2014 look book, titled “Zara Pictures.” The international brand scored four global fashionistas for the campaign: former Moda Operandi creative director Taylor Tomasi Hill, former Barney’s New York fashion director Amanda Brooks, The Paris Review’s Hailey Gates, and Elle China’s editor Sherry Shen. The ladies are no stranger to wearing looks fresh off the runway, but in this campaign, they show us they are just regular gals like the rest of us as they rock affordable ensembles from Zara. Each lady is featured in looks that mirror her personal style, and the campaign reflects a laid back, street style blogger vibe. You can view the full “Zara Pictures” look book here.
Last week, Bobbi Brown announced the new face of her cosmetics line will be supermodel Kate Upton. Upton will be the second celebrity spokesperson for the popular cosmetics brand, following Katie Holmes, and the first blonde model featured in a Bobbi Brown campaign. Many know Kate Upton as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, but now Upton is looking forward to a new role as a beauty role model for women. The first aspect of the campaign, currently featured on Bobbi Brown’s site, focuses on “Confident Beauty.” The campaign goes on to read, “Everything starts with confidence: it’s the secret that makes a woman most beautiful. That’s why we chose Kate Upton – the epitome of stunning and confident beauty – to be the face of Bobbi Brown this season.” As if we needed another reason to love Kate Upton, she’ll now have the opportunity to showcase her beauty inside and out!
You may have heard a little rumor floating around back in December about the new face of Chanel. Well, the rumors are true: Kristen Stewart is the star of Chanel’s new Pre-Fall 2014 campaign, Paris-Dallas. Chanel debuted the Paris-Dallas collection in Dallas, Texas last December. In typical Karl Lagerfeld fashion, the show was over the top. However, it was also highly controversial because of the continued concern with cultural appropriation within the fashion industry. Aside from the more ornate looks, the collection also includes a number of very wearable pieces inspired by the American West. Thanks to what I perceive as a leak on Instagram (because the photos have since been removed from the account), we have a first look at some of the images from the campaign, which were shot by Lagerfeld himself. The official campaign is set to debut in May, so be prepared to hit your local newsstand in the next couple months.