We Drink Bubbly Things at the Windmill Park

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Fashion

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“Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain. It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental…and then are derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think tit gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.”

Dear E,

For some reason when people asked me what I was doing over IAP I always felt a twinge of shame when saying that I worked for a fashion start up. The shame stemmed from the fashion part. It’s not like I thought anyone was judging me or anything, it just felt shallow, you know? I want to be a doctor and it doesn’t really line up with all my plans of saving babies in Africa and acing the MCATs and all the other things that pre-med students are expected to do.

As you know I love fashion. I absolutely love dressing up. Half of the fun of going out is getting all dolled up. I love buying cool unique pieces I don’t think other people would wear and then rocking them. I love creating outfits for myself and others and I love thinking up unusual but genius combinations of clothes. Fashion is an art, and I love being blown away. I love things that are wild and out there and I respect the women and men who wear them. On the same note I have a love for classic, timeless look and I truly do believe that fashion is a very important way of conversing.

When I slip on a pair of heels I am ten times more confident….and intimidating. When I put on my power suit, it actually does make me feel more powerful. When I wear cool backless shirts and bright yellow beaded halter tops and denim mini circle skirts I feel cooler and more interesting. And when I feel fucking awesome, I act the same way.

I hate that caring about clothes makes me “shallow” and I hate that people could even think about trivializing me for reading fashion magazines or working at a fashion start up or caring about what I wear.

I’m going to keep my art form thank you very much. I’m going to keep wearing lace crop tops and velvet bustiers and converse or whatever the heck else I’m in the mood for while I’m working towards my dreams. Put me in a box, I dare you.

So much love ❤

P

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What Makes You Feel Beautiful

Hello my dearest darlingest E,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I shall have to update you about SF soon, but as you know I don’t have internet in my apartment and I literally did not have a spare second this weekend to go to our little cafe with free internet, so the posts have been sporadic.

I stumbled upon this beautiful video while looking for interesting designers on tumblr (for my job.) I love the message of this video. We’ve discussed body image and body acceptance many many times on this blog and in life, and we will probably continue to discuss it as needed. I find the statistics at the beginning of this video absolutely appalling and kind of horrifying, but this is true life E.

I found myself smiling with my entire being at a lot of parts in this video. Occasionally when I look in the mirror I find that I am tearing myself apart. As you know, to me my mind and my heart will always be my number one assets. I never feel like I’m trying to “fix myself” when it comes to these things. I always want to improve myself, there is no doubt, but it’s so different. I just want to devour books like there is no tomorrow and learn all of the things and there has never been any doubt in my mind that I can fit love and acceptance for another new person in my heart. But when it comes to my body and I look in the mirror I always think “I would be so much hotter if I just lost 15 pounds, once and for all” or “I wish I had clearer skin” or I sometimes look at pretty pictures of myself and wonder if I actually look like that in real life. I don’t know why I do this to myself when I am so forgiving of other people—I can find beauty in almost every face or being and I think every person has something you can fall in love with. I don’t know E, I really just don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a goddess/warrior/superheroine/sparkling human being and sometimes I feel like I’ll never be skinny enough, pretty enough, “fuckable” enough.

I feel most beautiful when my heart hurts from how beautiful life is—a conversation that forces me rethink how I feel, a book that inspires something within me, a view that steals the breath from my chest, my favorite people (like you E, or my little brothers who would die of embarrassment if they ever saw this.)

How could a body that holds all of this not be beautiful?

Sending you love and sunshine from Cali,

P

P’s Favorite Things

Dear P,

Our hometown is still flat. It seems flatter without you here. I am missing you badly, and I feel bad that you are struggling with five finals.

Because you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, I am writing this post about some of your favorite things. I was feeling nostalgic about how you used to come to my house every day after/during school, and I remembered how you would grab a bag of Oreos and eat them in my room. A quick wikipedia-ing reveals that you are not alone-Oreo is the most popular cookie in America. “America’s favorite cookie”, if you will. It’s owned by the company Mondelēz International, which also owns…wait for it…Cadbury!

Cadbury reminded me of all the chocolate we ate while we were in London, which leads to one of your other favorite things: traveling! I have had the pleasure of traveling with you around Italy and the UK. You are the best traveling companion. Your enthusiasm and sense of adventure blaze a trail before you wherever you go. Even when we encountered problems, like the evil Scottish customs officer, you held steadfast. You kept your sunny attitude even when we did less-than-your-favorite things, like cooking or mosaic making. When we lived in our flat hometown and it didn’t seem like we were ever going to escape, you forged ahead and fought to bring joy to your every day. I was happy to join you in this battle: hence the birth of this blog.

Actually, our first forays into using the Internet to fight off boredom did not start off with this URL; it started with Hey America. That’s right. I still have the link. Hey America joined together two of your other favorite things: fashion and quotes. Your last post on Hey America was this:

This was a fitting last post on your first blog. You, P, more than any other person I have ever met, refuse to let anything get in the way of your using your days to the fullest. You persevere. Usually that word is used to imply arduous, trudging labor, but that’s not how you persevere. You make progress with joy. Whether you are competing at the national spelling bee, carrying our high school volleyball team to state, or pushing through five finals at MIT, you are working as hard as you can and having fun while you do it.

Thanks for being my best friend,

E

A Beautiful Day for a Thrift-Shopping Lesson

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Dear P,

Sometimes, even thrift-shopping queens like us and Macklemore need a refresher. I don’t know if you’ve seen this TED talk, but it is adorable. Even if you don’t love all of Jessi Arrington’s outfits, you have to admit that her attitude is infectious. I’ve been missing our pound store back home: the thrift stores in Austin are more picked over. Here is a beautiful article on Rookie about Halloween thrift shopping with the band “Au Revoir Simone”. If you’re more into practicalities than aesthetics, there is also this article about how to thrift your holiday gifts. Here‘s an excellent article by one of my favorite bloggers, Elsie of “A Beautiful Mess”. Her tips are solid. My rules of thrift shopping are contradicting:

1. Keep an open mind

2. You don’t have to buy everything

Stay away from items that are awesome but slightly too big or otherwise not flattering. It’s easy to buy too much when everything is so cheap. On the other hand, you can find a lot of great vintage slightly out of the way. Keep your eyes and mind wide open.

The cover of this post is John Cusack in “Say Anything”, which I watched last night. It was a great eighties movie with an uplifting ending. I highly recommend it. I think they set a good standard to thrift shop to.

I hope you’re having a lazy Sunday,

E

Flashin’ Fashion

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Button-down: Rugby by Ralph Lauren

Shoes: I want to say DSW but I can’t really remember

Khakis: F21

Bracelet: Tory Burch

Watch: Michael Kors

Dear E,

Hope your summer has been great so far! I love all of the cute snapchats of Grant and Blake. They are SO adorable!!!! I’m busy studying for finals. Four days and it will be summer. Hopefully my brain won’t melt into a big puddle of mush before then.

Love you loads,

P

Flashin’ Fashion: Take Me Back to Paris

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Dear E,

I just want to run away. To somewhere like Paris. I want to hide out in tiny cafes and brokenly speak French while eating macaroons and lusting after Chanel shoes. I want to be taking polaroids of the Eiffel tower and be carrying my badass suitcase around and be wearing big floppy hats like this one. I want to buy unique jewelry from Parisian flea markets and walk around the Louvre extremely slowly or just lie in one of the millions of gardens and take a nap. I want to kiss a French boy and dance all night long and drink champagne under the stars. Sigh.

Instead I’m just slaving away in the library. (kind of)

Things this week and last week have been just a little bit off. Hopefully next week will be better.

Au revoir,

P