Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Return


So...that was the longest hiatus I've accidentally taken from blogging. Things have been so crazy busy lately that taking outfit photos hasn't really been option. After the first week (of the three I took off), I kind of just stopped worrying about it and decided that a break from the Internet was a good thing. I got my apartment the week after I last posted, and I just moved in last weekend. As you might have guessed, the last couple of weeks have been filled with Ikea and Target trips, packing up boxes, unpacking boxes, leaving unpacked boxes sitting on my floor, building furniture watching my friends build my furniture for me, and stressing out until the move was complete. Now that I'm finally settled in (with the exception of those pesky boxes that just won't unpack themselves for some reason), I'm ridiculously happy. I love having my own space to decorate finally, and I especially love the location I'm in. After driving 45 minutes to work every day, it's nice to have a drive that's about 12 minutes AND closer to where all of my friends live. I can already hear my gas tank and bank account thanking me. It's also nice to know that I actually set a goal for myself and made it happen. My brother and sister-in-law were incredibly nice to take me in, and I had told them when I moved in that I wanted to stay no longer than three months to save money. Somehow I actually stayed true to my word, and I was able to give them their house/office/guest room back after so long of taking advantage of their generosity.

Other than moving, I've been working a lot (I worked two 6 a.m. shifts last week) and writing articles for my freelance job. I've been spending time with my friends and boyfriend, who have all been wonderful in helping me get settled in. My brother Lucas also just moved back to Orange County, and I now live only 10 minutes away from him and his girlfriend, so that's been great as well. Plus, I've been wearing all of the same dresses I always wear, so I can't say that everything has changed. This is what I wore to celebrate Father's Day with my family on Sunday. We had a really nice dinner, and my parents gave me a bunch of stuff for my apartment that they didn't need anymore, so it was a pretty successful holiday if you ask me.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

An Outfit + That Time I Was Called Plus Sized


Since this is an outfit that I feel good about myself in, I think it makes sense to use as a backdrop for something serious. Last week, I wrote about the time I wore a swimsuit. It was difficult for me to do, as I suspect it would be for most women, and I went into it knowing full well that Internet trolls exist for this very reason. However, I never once thought it would become the time I was called plus sized by the company who sent me the swimsuit.

The day after I put up the post, the company  shared it on their social media. This normally would have been great, except that they titled a Facebook album with my post "Curvy Girl" and hashtagged all of the posts with #plussizefashion. There are a few things wrong with this. First, it was never discussed that this was how my photos were going to be used. Second, I know that I'm not plus sized, and I have never advertised myself as such on my blog. When I first saw the posts, I immediately felt a combination of hurt and embarrassed -- things I try my best to avoid. I pride myself on having a healthy body image; I know that I'm not stick thin, and I love the fact that I have curves. I do know that I'm not plus sized though. Like any human would, however, I couldn't help but see myself labeled that way and wonder, "wait, am I plus sized? Is this how other people see me?" And that's a shitty feeling to have. I spent so much time worrying about just wearing the swimsuit and then even more time worrying about putting up the photos. When everyone around me responded with such overwhelming support after I shared the post, it was easy to feel good about myself. So when all of that came crashing down with one silly hashtag, it felt like experiencing whiplash. It was as if all of that hard work toward positive body image was for nothing, and that's not okay.

After those brief awful moments of self doubt were over, they were quickly replaced with anger. I am a size medium. I ordered a size 36C top and a size 10 bottoms because I figured I should go up a size to be safe. Hell, the dress I'm wearing in these photos is a size medium, and I am almost always a size 8. Yet this company decided that this size was an okay standard for plus size. That alone is not only unfair to me, but it's unfair to girls who actually do consider themselves to be plus sized. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a larger size, and if I thought I were, I would completely own that. However, I'm not, and I don't think women who are would appreciate that label being used so carelessly. All of this isn't even to mention the fact that a man would never deal with being labeled as "curvy" or plus sized.

More than anything, though, I was angry at the lack of discussion in how my photos were used. The company never once approached me to say they wanted to use my photos to promote plus sized fashion. I fully understand that whoever used my photos this way had no intention if hurting me. As a company that primarily features tiny size 2 girls (others of whom they chose the much more flattering tag of #sexy), I get they wanted to promote that their product works on different body types. But since they never told me that was the goal, I can't help but feel exploited and used as a tool for likes. I'm fine with being labeled as curvy; I label myself that way. But when other bloggers are featured in a Facebook album called "lovely clients and bloggers," while my photos are put in a separate album labeled "Curvy Girl," it's hard not to feel like "curvy" isn't being used in the best sense of the word. It made me feel like the only reason they wanted to work with my blog was for my size, not for my content. My point is this: there's nothing wrong with any kind of body type or label, but I at least have the right to choose which label I want to give myself rather than have it chosen for me.

Since the posts went up, I've contacted the company and they've changed the album title and deleted the hashtags. For most of the first day, I was worried that I was being too sensitive and taking the label to hard. After talking to almost everyone I know (friends, family, my boyfriend, coworkers, other bloggers, you name it), and getting the same exact response from everyone, I decided that I had a right to be upset and express this to them. The woman I spoke gave me her sincere apologies and made sure the posts were corrected, which I greatly appreciate. I mostly sent the email in hopes that it would protect other bloggers they work with from going through the same thing I did.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day


I can't say that I necessarily planned on wearing red, white, and blue for Memorial Day, but I'm not complaining. I picked up almost this entire outfit at Buffalo Exchange over the weekend, and I've already dubbed it my summer uniform. After searching high and low for the perfect red A-line skirt, I'm more than happy to finally have one in my possession, and I'm even happier to have a striped crop top and new sunglasses to go with it. A successful Memorial Day weekend indeed.

The rest of the weekend wasn't filled with quite as many cute clothes, but it was pretty great. Since my roommate fell through recently, I met with two girls who I found online on Saturday. I really hit it off with them, and the three of us decided to look for a place together. The apartment search has resumed, and even though it's going to be harder to find a three bedroom (that's also pet friendly for both of their dogs), I'm optimistic. I also got to spent a lot of quality time with my best friend, hang out with my boyfriend, and celebrate my nephew's 5th birthday party. It was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed, so you know it was good. One of my brothers and his girlfriend also moved back to Orange County last week after living in Arizona for five years, so I got to spend time with them as well. My actual Memorial Day was spent at my parents' house eating ribs and going out on their boat. All of that's not to mention having a three-day weekend in general. I'm not ready to go back to the real world.

Monday, May 18, 2015

That Time I Wore a Swimsuit


This post is terrifying for me. The thought of even just wearing a swimsuit for the first time in years was difficult for me to handle, so willingly putting photos of myself in one on the Internet is a near impossible task. I don't do swimsuits, and I'm not a huge beach person, but when Surania contacted me about reviewing a swimsuit, how could I resist? It was a good excuse to finally own a swimsuit, go to the beach with some of my favorite people, and be an advocate for positive body image. I could not have asked for a better company to work with, as Surania offers custom swimsuits and allows its customers to choose the style, cut, fabric, and color that works for them. The feature made me feel much more comfortable about receiving a swimsuit in the mail, and I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted the moment I opened the website. Gingham retro bathing suits aren't exactly original at the moment, but I love the flattering cut and classic pattern. I was amazed at how perfectly the suit fit and how good of quality it is. Not too shabby for my first swimsuit in years.

My friends and I used taking these photos as a good reason to go to the beach together, which is a thing we never do. I was pretty self-conscious about being so exposed and knowing that I would be putting these pictures on the Internet, but they all did a great job at putting me at ease and helping me feel confident. I do feel comfortable in my body and my curves, but I can't say I feel comfortable flaunting them and shoving them in everyone's faces via revealing articles of clothing. I much prefer Peter Pan collars and knee-length skirts. That said, I'm glad I got the chance to feel better about being not so covered up, and I'm especially glad that I own a swimsuit again. I forgot how much I actually do like the beach. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Denim and Floral


I meant to start writing this post earlier so I could actually write something substantial for the first time in a while, but alas, it's midnight and exhaustion from work is quickly catching up with me. I stayed in for the first night in a while, and I had planned on using this time to plan out some blog posts. However, after skyping with a friend from college, I ended up using all of my free time to watch the newest Veep, look for plane tickets to visit my brother and friends in Illinois later this year, and looking for roommates. Unfortunately, my friend and potential roommate ended up finding a room to rent that she loved, so I'm back to square one. I'm finally ready to get an apartment now, so I started looking into some sites that I trust for a roommate since I don't have any other friends who I think I could live with or who are looking at the moment. So creative blogging has been put on hold once again. Remember when I used to write pop culture posts? Sigh. Those were the days.

I wore this outfit last week to visit my parents with my boyfriend and best friend. We ate tacos and took the boat out on the lake. California life, am I right? It has since gotten surprisingly gloomy and chilly (for our standards), which I guess means that June Gloom is setting in early. I was just starting to break out the sandals, but I suppose I'm okay with pulling my cardigans and booties back out. Who am I kidding? My cardigans are always out.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vintage Yellow


It's been difficult to find time to take photos lately. Between my full-time job, my two side jobs, apartment hunting, friends, a boyfriend, family, and the little sleep I can fit in, it doesn't leave much time for blogging. I'm still determined to keep it up, though, so here are some quick photos I snapped of one of my favorite vintage dresses yesterday. My family celebrated Mother's Day early, so I didn't actually do much exciting, but I still felt like dressing up for the occasion regardless. In reality,  all I did after work was go to Target and watch Game of Thrones. This outfit felt more Mad Men-appropriate than GoT, but I'll always choose Westeros over Don Draper's empty apartment (or lack of apartment). Priorities. 

Dress: Vintage
Cardigan: Target

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Roses


I'm behind on blogging and don't have time to write much, but hey, here's an outfit I wore a couple of weeks ago. I've since got my hair trimmed and have gotten sick, but other than that, things are pretty much the same. I've decided to cut back to one cup of coffee a day since my caffeine addiction was getting out of hand, so I suppose that's the biggest news with me. I'm also spending most of my time apartment hunting, and I'm hoping to find a place soon. I mostly just want to decorate, but that's to be expected. I'm ready to finally have walls to hang my Arrested Development and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind art prints on.

Side note: why hasn't anyone told me that it's been too long since I've worn this dress? It's unacceptable, but I'm making up for it.

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