Hello hello! Happy Cinco De Mayo 🎉 This month I am going to be sharing weekly posts from other bloggers about body positivity. I did this last year and you all loved it so I wanted to do it again! This first post is from Kristin (a total babe) who blogs over on her lifestyle blog. I really hope you guys enjoy these posts as much as I do!
Having a unique look is something that is essential for a blogger. You must be one-of-a-kind; you must be doing something that no one else is doing. Since I started blogging, never once did I think that I didn’t have “the look.” In fact, when I started blogging, I didn’t even know that a look was necessary. I wore what I want when I wanted to. That’s how I went through my daily life. I loved fashion and that’s what I thought mattered. Little did I know that blogging would be one of the hardest things to ever hit my self-esteem.
Earlier this year, I was rejected from working with a brand because I didn’t have “the look” they wanted for their brand vision. They told me that I didn’t have the right style. They wanted New York City It-Girl and I was too girl-next-door cute for them. I didn’t think anything of it at first. Perhaps I was a little frustrated that they tried to put my style into a category with which I didn’t agree.
As I started watching them work with other fashion bloggers, I noticed something that I wish I didn’t. Every fashion blogger they paired with was cute; the NYC It-Girls that the brand told me they so desperately wanted. In fact, they seemed even further from NYC It-Girl than I was with their bright pink lipsticks, lacy tops, and lace up nude wedges. But that wasn’t what I noticed. Every single one of them had a specific look; they had fair skin, curly blonde hair (or light brown hair maybe with highlights), with light eyes. I couldn’t identify with a single one.
This hit me harder than I wanted it to. I spent hours on their Instagram profile, digging for photos of a minority, any minority. When I was angry enough, I turned off my phone, avoiding the blogging world that sent me spinning into this downward spiral.
That was the first time I ever felt like my race had impacted my work as a blogger. In my three years of blogging, I hadn’t once experienced something like this. For the most part, blogging is a diverse industry with great supportive girls. But this made me question my worth and it made me question whether or not this was the industry I should be in. It was painful and was a crushing blow to my self-esteem. It made me question myself as a blogger. Was I good enough to be doing this? Could I ever succeed in this industry?
It can be hard to bounce back in an industry built on likes, Instagram-fame, and social validation. When I saw how other bloggers were doing, it sometimes felt like more pressure to conform to a certain look and take photos in a certain way. It felt like everyone just wanted one specific thing from bloggers, and I didn’t have it.
Sometime later, I started doing something that one of my body-positive friends told me to do: pick out a feature each day and genuinely compliment yourself on it. At first, I smiled at myself in the mirror and admitted that I loved my smile. Slowly, I got to my thick eyebrows and even to my button nose that I had never liked before. Eventually, I was able to look in the mirror and admit to myself that my race was something that I could not change but my race made me unique in an industry where I was underrepresented.
Coming to terms with my appearance in a highly visual industry like this is difficult and it’s a constant daily struggle. Sometimes it’s pretty blog posts that give me the push to move on, sometimes it’s the daily support I get from other bloggers, all as unique as I am.
When I started to look at what made me unique, my content improved. I felt like I could show off my personal style once again. Loving yourself gives you confidence to continue showing who you are off to the world. It improves all aspects of your life. I accepted who I was and found myself again. I felt free. Maybe I don’t have the right “look” for some, but I have the right look for me. I am me and the people who can’t accept that aren’t worth dwelling on.
Loving yourself isn’t easy, not when the whole world is telling you not to. It’s ok to go against the norm, take the advice from someone who learned this lesson far too late. And if you don’t? Fake it until you make it. Smile at yourself in the mirror, compliment the things you love about yourself and the things you can do. If you don’t love your legs but they let you play the sport you love, then you have everything to love about them. You have everything to love about who you are because each aspect is what makes you uniquely you. Validation, especially when it’s at our fingertips, is great, but the only true validation you need is from yourself.