I AM…

As long as I can remember, and as video and pictures can illustrate, I have always had a “thing” for fashion. Now, I’m going to get real for a quick second. ALL my outfits have NOT been perfect, or fashionable. I went through a “tom boy” phase when I was around 8 years old, and definitely followed some trends that I regret (we’ve all been there, and I’m sure there are still some to come). As long as you are happy and confident, that is all that matters!

From videos and pictures, I can say since I was an infant I have always loved dressing up (aka, wearing my mom’s shoes back in the day). I wore beads around my neck, and loved wearing my “dress up” clothes around the house (even played dress up at my Grandma O’s with my aunts old prom dresses). I would wear bathing suits around the house during the winter time (it happens, right?!), and I can also distinctly remember watching Grease, and dressing up as “bad” Sandy, in my black stir-up pants, and black shirt (sorry there is no physical evidence of this one). Even through my “tom boy” phase (let’s be real, I feel like the late 1990’s/2000’s had an overall sense of “tom boy” style with baggy clothing) I was still keeping up with the trends, wearing chokers, and staying up to date on Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion trends . Colored sunglasses for the win!

Around my “tom boy” stage, I remember Lizzie McGuire started airing on Disney Channel. Lizzie was known for trying to fit in with the “popular” kids, and talked fashion, quite a bit, even to have an online game revolving around fashion. There was a number of items, and the point of the game was to fix up an outfit for Lizzie. She liked quirky patterns (this could be a reason I like patterns), and mixed patterns regularly. I looked forward to playing this game, online, fixing up a unique outfit, and fixing up a brand new manicure for Lizzie. I liked fashion then, simple as that.

Another website that I found when I was around 10 or 11, was Paperdoll Heaven, now known as Stardoll. It was basically an online game based on the paper doll concept (I also had a few paperdoll in real life [Little House on the Prairie]). Paper doll’s are “figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by paper folding tabs” (Wikipedia, paper doll). So on Stardoll, which had online celebrity “paper dolls,” users could dress up different celebrities, the most notable that I can remember is Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Britney Spears. Similar to the Lizzie McGuire online game, I could chose different articles of clothing to create different outfits for my favorite celebrities.

In addition to enjoying creating outfits, I also enjoyed designing houses (the bones of the house and the decor), when I was around 8. A few of my aunts and uncles were building houses, and one particular uncle built houses, so he gave us a computer program to design houses. I thought this was the coolest thing EVER! My sister and I would watch Trading Spaces on TLC, and come up with designs for our future homes. To this day, I still enjoy watching HGTV, and saving numerous home design options on Pinterest. To this day, I still think it would be amazing to be an interior designer.

So home design, and fashion design have always interested me, and still do. A way for me indulge in both home, and fashion design, when I was younger, was The Sims. I definitely have played a fair share of The Sims games over the years, but my absolute favorite thing while playing The Sims, wasn’t actually playing the game, it was creating my sims (designing their outfits, hair style, make up, etc.), and building homes. Again, I wanted to be an interior designer, so The Sims let me create some cute (and some not so cute – let’s be real here) homes.

Although I can go back all the way till I was a wee infant for my interest in fashion, there are many years (particularly Junior High, and High School) that I don’t know what I was thinking. I blame the 2000’s trends for this (This BuzzFeed post can illustrate all of the fashion trends we all wish we could forget). I am sure I will feel this way about some of the trends right now, but that is why they are trends. Trends come and go, and we will all regret some trends we partook in later in life.

When it came to hair, and make-up, I still do not feel that I am overall knowledgeable in these areas. I thank Pinterest endlessly. I’ve had naturally curly hair since I was young. Some years waves, but a good chunk of years with natural curls, so I kept my hair natural. I didn’t master a straighter until the last couple of years, so I felt my natural hair (once I found what worked junior year in high school) looked better.

Before I figured out my natural curls, I always loved getting my hair done, and having them straighten it, because it looked PERFECT. Having my hair washed, cut, curled, or braided was always something I looked forward to, and still do. I remember going over to my grandma’s house, and she would have rollers in her hallway closet, that we’d sometimes put in while my grandparents watched us. I even got a set of toy curlers, and a toy curling iron when I was 4. I also had kits of “play” make-up, and loved getting lip smackers flavored chapstick or lipgloss.

Over my short journey so far, I have come to understand, that you shouldn’t dress for other people. It is okay to be inspired by others, and their unique fashion tastes, but define who YOU want to be. I will wear cute clothes that I feel comfortable, and confident in, rather than clothes that others “think” I should wear. There may be a time or two, or three, that I wore clothes that were too short, too revealing, to “impress” guys, or to “imitate” others, but find who YOU are, and what your style is. We are all unique humans, with different interests. We admire different people, different styles, have different tastes, but make sure to still be unique. What I can say now is, if you dress for yourself, be the unique person you are, and feel confident, there should be nothing else that matters!

P.S. I also have no shame in snapchat filters!

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