Sigh. It’s beach season, which means it’s right about time to be inundated with ads trying to subtly encourage us to starve ourselves, remove hair from every nook and cranny, and try to conform to very rigid standards of acceptable beauty. Sure, modern advertisements aren’t as overt with the messaging as they were in the past, and they’ve even adopted a code of body positivity, but the messaging remains the same: you’re not yet good enough as you are.
The parameters for beauty are arbitrary at best, dumb as hell at worst, and dangerous as all get out. When I was a young girl, I used to spend the morning and evening staring at my face and body, wishing I could change just about everything. I did crunches until my ribs hurt, pinched my nose to see how it would look straight and slim, and prayed I would grow to look like Aaliyah (which obviously never happened). I used to overhear my mother lamenting her looks, spent playtime with friends dissecting our features, and was very often told I looked like a boy – the worst thing a girl could hear in those days. All of these moments hinge on the unhealthy obsession with beauty we’re preached about from cradle to grave. Without beauty – the right kind of beauty – a woman has nothing.
Or so we were told.
What if we started seeing ourselves as works of art? And who would stop us if we adorned and honored ourselves for every crooked bend, lump, freckle, inconsistency and bit of cosmic weird? I’ve felt left down by the overwhelming symmetry and whiteness of the body positivity movement, where it seems the closer you are to the standard, the higher the likelihood of your acceptance. Being prettily different is the name of that game, and it just doesn’t work for me. I would rather hold onto the ways we make ourselves feel beautiful and how we present our unique magic to the world – perceived “ugliness” included.
This May I’m investigating what it means to be delicate and how it feels to be truly loved by the most important person in the room: myself. Through storm and cellulite, over mountains and across rivers of stretch marks, I am discovering the mysticism contained in my defiant reflection.
We lived through another year, another month, another week, another day, and for that I am so happy. Today’s post is a mood board, yes, but it is also a visual representation of my resolutions for the new year. Instead of trying a new diet or promising myself I’m going to read 100 books – good things to do, but unrealistic for a spaz like myself – I’m going in a new direction. In the past I’ve set goals that were cruel and cold: lose weight even if it hurts you, be the best, make x amount of money, and other things that I have no desire to try ever again.
Things are going to be different moving forward. The name of the game for me is joy. Shameless, radical, unbridled joy. Joy isn’t permanent, but I’m striving to be joyful in addition to the range of emotions I feel each day. I know this is incredibly broad, but to do this I’m remaining committed to listening to what I need, honoring my dislikes as well as my likes, and being a cheerleader for myself rather than a bully. Therefore, I want to kick-start the year with some images that are really making me smile.
Without further ado: the mood board! Happy new year my friends! Feel free to share your own resolutions below.
I think I say this every time, but today I mean it: December is the best month. Sure, it’s cold and seasonal depression often hits me and others quite hard, but there’s an air of magic that accompanies the wintering of the landscape. People seem kinder, almost like they want to emulate the nature of the season. Plus, there are so many holidays in the month of December that it feels like every day is a party.
When I was younger, Christmas time meant presents, cookies and no school. Now, I can’t help but think of love, peace, and family – things that (should) unite us all. Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, or happily enjoying days off from school and work, I hope you feel a little warmth this Decbember season.
Today, I wanted to share images that capture what December does to my spirit. Despite the cold wind and barren landscape I feel hopeful that the rest will lead to a brighter Spring, within and without. Enjoy!
This is the best month. Why? Because it’s my birthday month! Yes, I said month, because I am a burgeoning narcissist with delusions of grandeur. Gone are the days of my feigned humility! Long shall I reign.
In all seriousness, I’m working on exercising thankfulness for my life. I’ll be turning 32 this year, so instead of curling up and looking for ways to put myself down for getting older, I want to show a whole lot of gratitude for the time I’ve been given to do the things that I love! I think a healthy dose of pride is what we all need these days. Besides, if we don’t celebrate ourselves – as imperfect as we are – who else will?
This November mood board is all about yours truly! Things that I love, images that inspire me, or pictures that just make me feel happy. It’s a celebration of life, beauty, adventure, and womanhood. I hope you’ll indulge my self-centered attitude and I really hope you enjoy my round-up. Happy November!
Pumpkin pies. Ghost stories. Golden leaves. HOCUS POCUS!!!
October is absolutely my favorite month (followed closely by December), so today is a day of skeletal, pumpkin-spiced celebration! When I was a child, my little bro and I would go wild with the scary films and candy. We had The Nightmare Before Christmas playing on a loop while we carved pumpkins to decorate the house, hoping to scare the life out of a neighbor. Then, of course, there were the costumes, all made by my Mom – mermaids, witches, werewolves, princesses, and one year I went as a pair of conjoined chickens. Obviously, I was a strange kid.
The themes of Fall – the spookiness, the dying off of all the green, and other aspects – never frightened me. On the contrary, I found the possibilities of magic and wonder more exciting than anything my regular-degular life had to offer in Kansas. To me, a roaming vampire would infuse a little adrenaline into my town. I’ll always love October for those reasons, and I hope that never changes.
My mood board in honor of the coolest month is below. Enjoy!