Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blogging, so what's the deal? An open conversation, come join!

I started writing this post in October of 2014 and finally finished it a year and 1 month later. This only touches on elements of social media, my beliefs behind it, and my personal battle with trying to become an online influencer while using this platform to express myself and not spiral into negativity. There are many more topics to be discussed and I plan to elaborate, continue this conversation, and become an open book when it comes to my online media presence. I will share my personal battles with for those who hear because my blog started as my creative outlet and a way to share my personal stories, I plan to keep it that way. And I plan to share my thoughts on how women can come together to empower each other and empower themselves.

WEIGHT // Photoshop, insecurities, and the truth why women might hate their bodies.

(2014) In light of the WePhotoshoppedWhat instagram going viral, I thought it was the right time to talk about this. I wanted to talk about it awhile back after returning from a trip to Hawaii, but held off for some reason. Then I was chatting with someone about the topic of weight, body image, and photoshopping, and it made me want to talk about it even more. I have had issues with my weight and how I feel about my body, forever. I went on a diet in 4th grade because my parents were worried I might not lose my baby weight. Which I am so thankful for. Because it taught me clean eating and got me used to brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and all of that (not so) tasty stuff. I will never forget when my friend's mom was making quesadillas and I couldn't eat them, I actually went home crying! I've continued with this body image issue for some time now. But I am happy with who I am, I love food, and I know how to tone things down when I need to. Even recently I realized that I needed to get more exercise and get strong. As in actually strong. Toned. And healthy. I started rock climbing and I am finally running in the mornings (sometimes). I am really excited. But this has all come from a dark part inside of me, that hates my body. And as a blogger, you really do put all of these things in the spotlight. You are held up to standards that you need to look like a model, without being a model. You need to look flawless, like every other blogger. Your feed needs to look consistent and impeccable and you're constantly looking down on yourself and others. . .it's really just unhealthy. It's tough. Believe me. So as someone who does graphic design and knows photoshop, of course I am going to be tempted to manipulate images. When you work in fashion you start to get used to things looking a certain way and when I get images back or start editing, I can't help but want to fix those parts of me. In the industry, that's honestly just how it's done. Every celeb, every blogger, and now every girl on instagram. Which is why I don't blame these girls that use the skinny apps, the pressure they feel is real. So yes, over manipulating your images is untruthful, but who can blame Danielle for manipulating her images (if she did) it's truly because of the major pressures we face inwardly and outwardly from society and fashion brands. Who wants to live their life constantly hating themselves? Not me. So this dedicated is to starting an open and positive conversation, no more body shaming or telling a girl she can't wear something because she has curvier legs. No more starting instagram pages calling out bloggers for using apps to make themselves look thinner, no more hate. Behind every screen is a REAL person who has real feelings. Let's not be jerks to them just because they have 500,000+ followers, it doesn't make them any less human.

(2015) I still have issues with my body and I still have issues with photoshop. I have always dealt with these problems, since I was in elementary school I think I've hated my body. Then entering the world where you work with signed models almost daily, constantly edit or look at photos of yourself, and work in fashion, it gets really hard. I compare my body to my friends, to other bloggers, and then lack all of the self control of eating carbs on the weekend. It's this really scary neverending circle. So when I see the picture of a girl with a six pack eating a piece of pizza on instagram, I just keep scrolling...because you can't let that stuff get to you, you have to be confident, and wake up to your alarm to go running for goodness sake (this is me reprimanding myself).

In the above picture I edited my hips slightly, which to me is a huge problem area. I actually love this photo a lot but it definitely makes me sad that to fit into society's standards I feel the need to edit this photo, even in the slightest. I was looking back at these photos and cannot believe how delusional I was editing them. I thought I looked HUGE and looking back at it now, I am impressed with how fit I was. Which brings me to my favorite thought...You know how you look at a word over and over again and all of a sudden it looks so strange like it's spelled wrong, but no matter how many times you spell check it, it's spelled right? Well women are like that with their bodies. Why? Society.

The rest of this article is from 11/9/2015

GIRL HATE // Funny thing is, you two would probably be BFFs.

"Her feed sucks." "How does she have more followers than me?" "Her style is so boring." I hear these things all of the time. I catch myself saying, "How does she have better engagement than me?" Or I look back at old photos and get upset that my engagement hasn't gone up and I get mad at myself! Girl hate is the WORST thing. Almost worse than hating yourself.

Did you know women are still paid less than men? According to by the age of 65 women will have lost $431,000 due to the income gap. So why are women still continually putting each other down? Why do we walk into a room and give someone a death stare? We need to be raising each other up and building each other to be powerful. (Without being so nice you get walked over of course.) The illustration from above is from my all time favorite article that I read in college changed my views on everything at the time, I still love rereading it, you can check it out here. In the article Tavi articulates so many #feels that I relate to such as, "And personally, I don’t wanna live in a world where any girl with healthy self-esteem is labeled a whore, or where you have to dislike yourself to be considered a nice person."

I'm actually having a really hard time not just copying and pasting the article because everything she says is so on point. But basically, the girls you hating on are probably a lot like you and you'd make great friends (this is SO TRUE). And most important of all, she's probably insecure too. So let's forget what society has somehow convinced us to do, which is bring each other down, and start bringing each other up! As Tavi also mentions; Angst is great, but it's tiring and negativity REALLY bogs you down. It's unhealthy. So let's lighten up and spread those double taps and those #preach emojis some more!

SOCIAL MEDIA IS A LIE // But what a beautiful, powerful, and addicting lie.

(Yeah...that picture with the perfect background? Not exactly what you thought it was.)
It's changing the world, in a lot of different ways, some for the better. . .others not so much. With the whole Essena O'Neill craze I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I talked with a friend over at xojane one day at a party about the truth behind instagram – it was fake. She summed up her experience and my story nicely here in February of 2015.  Basically the story behind my most liked instagram photo goes as follows:

The truth behind my most liked photo on Instagram is that it was actually an anxiety attack in picture form. I was shooting for Rebecca Minkoff at a trendy cafe in San Francisco, and my boyfriend and I basically stole a table from an unsuspecting woman. After $47.86 down the drain, I had the perfect props for the shot: a funfetti cookie, the trendiest cup of berries, a latte, and a croissant. The photo was ours for the taking. 
But my hand had to be in it. And the wallet. Oh god, and the camera, and a Polaroid! Did we forget anything? Quick, stand over me from behind and take the photo. Oh no, your 50mm lens is too tight? Fine, use your iPhone. Hurry, this woman is looking at me weird. Oh god, now she wants me to talk to her daughters. They can tell I am a fashion blogger. You got it? Let's get out of here. 
Hey lady -- you want this table? Awesome. Want the food too? We didn't even touch it!"
But you want to know my favorite part? Alison frames the story in such a positive light. She says, "Her story confirmed what I had already sort of suspected: that the real-deal super popular Instagrammers deserve every single like and comment they manage to get. Because man, are they ever working for 'em."

It's true, it's hard work. It's ridiculous. BUT this is my problem with it. Women look at these photos and don't feel good about themselves. If they're anything like me they begin to feel bad about themselves, their lives, and even their relationships (because honestly behind every #relationshipgoals couple, there are a lot of highs and lows). The power of perception is a crazy thing, you can make it look like you're living the happiest life ever meanwhile you're battling depression, family problems, love issues, trouble at work and so forth. You might be traveling the world but deep down you aren't even appreciating your luck because you're getting anxious about the perfect shot. Especially from the bloggers I've talked to, it gets to the point where posting a photo makes you so anxious you have to make sure it fits with your feed that you delete it 3 times before it's right. Even my "instafamous" guy friends will mull over a caption for hours! Or they won't post a gorgeous breathtaking photo because it doesn't work with their feed / grid. It's crazy. And while we're worrying about what filter will make our feed consistent animal species are going extinct. I'm not even kidding. I am worried about my fucking latte photo for that week (excuse my french) and there are only 35,000 - 40,000 Wild Asian Elephants left. And people are taking chainsaws to Rhino's horns. You can see images here but I am crying as I type this because it's so sickening. There are 10 animal species the Scientific American claims will go extinct in the next 10 years. Yes that means YOUR children will not know what it's like to see a Rhino, Orangutan, Camel, Lynx, and more out of captivity – if at all.

Apart from animals there are so many more important things than a photo of an outfit, sunset, latte, or whatever it may be. And Everything Essena said was true, it takes 100 selfies for one good one. You pose your arm until it looks just right. If you don't take a good photo that day you feel bad. OR you're at a festival and are "frolicking" around only to run back to your friend, check the video he "happened" to be filming, then continue to walk normally and post this video saying you, "LOVED seeing XXXXXX live and frolicking with my #squad!"

DISCLAIMER: That really happened. I watched a top fashion blogger do this.

DISCLAIMER #2: I had no room to talk because in my case (at the same festival) I was feeling so anxious that I got free tickets to a festival and hadn't posted to instagram yet, that I got in a fight with my boyfriend and made him take a picture of me spinning to St. Vincent. He got the shot, I walked back over, posted, and we moved on to a beautiful evening. It's not magic. It's lies. Sometimes.

TRUTH // There are a few truths behind social media

1. Sometimes it really does boost your confidence, you just have to make sure you don't rely on it to be confident.
2. Don't let posts of people's full-time vacation lives fool you. They don't live perfect lives and you shouldn't compare your life to theirs.
3. It does have some AMAZING power. Online petitions are saving animals from unfair executions. Social media gives the power of the news to the people. It spreads messages quickly. And it can be used for good. (Sorry all of my examples are animal related, obviously there are other powerful messages but I seriously LOVE animals.)
4. It's making fashion more accessible for the everyday woman. Yay to the power of selfies, expressing yourself, and trying whatever trends you want!
5. Women (and men) can make careers out of being online influencers, let's bridge that paycheck equality gap eh?
6. There is nothing more powerful than the present moment, sometimes an app can help you instantly remember it for life, or you could turn off, tune out, and enjoy. Lucky for you, you have the freedom to choose either!
7. Behind every account is a REAL person. Every brand posts photos of REAL people. DO NOT HATE. Mean comments should be kept to yourself and you should start to be aware of it because that kind of negativity will hurt you.
8. On the other side of the coin – if someone sends you hate mail, comments something rude or mean, FORGET THEM. You're awesome. Amazing. And special. The fact that you are posting pictures of yourself, sharing yourself, your style, or your selfie takes confidence, cahones, and you rock for being so bold!
9. It can encourage creative collaboration, and often does. Plus you can make friends through social media! Groovy.
10. Black Jaguar White Tiger

No comments:

Post a Comment