The Reluctant Stylista

I’ve long wanted to pen something impressively profound this month for the blog, as March is International Women’s Month. But like what always happens with life, it’s been an absolute shitstorm of work and other responsibilities, so that’s not going to happen. I wasn’t able to sit down long enough to focus and compose my thoughts into something meaningful, helpful and thematic. Plus, how do I go about this without sounding like an annoying know-it-all? There’s probably no way around it–I’m going to sound like it at one point. But that’s the beauty of blogging–you’re reading this, flaws and all, because you’re curious about unfiltered thoughts, whether you agree with them or not. (And I’m in the mood to write them all down for public consumption and judgment.)

Anyhow, these are just (very) random things I say or have said to friends (and myself) in the name of female empowerment. Please know I don’t mean for this to sound like a lecture. And if parts of it appear somewhat disjointed, I blame the wine (Matt Bellassai is my idol). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Here goes.

 

Try to find a personal style you’re comfortable with when you’re in your mid-20s.

It only gets better from there. By the time you hit your thirties, you’ll be most comfortable in your own skin and you’ve refined your techniques.  You’ll be old enough to look sophisticated and young enough to get away with an outfit for a 20-something but more fabulous ‘cos you can afford it now.

Be yourself.

Unless you’re an asshole just for the sake of being an asshole. It’s one thing to give zero fucks for what people think of you, but it’s another story when you’re deliberately being offensive to someone else’s feelings.

Just Girl Things

“You don’t have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive.”

This is my favorite Diana Vreeland quote (and she has said a lot of amazing things) because I feel it’s quite important to understand this. Being attractive doesn’t have much to do with looks and it means different things for different people. You don’t have to be standard beautiful to convince people that you are.

Being attractive helps make everyday interaction with the world and everyone around you easier, and it affords you plenty of opportunities. Sure, being physically pretty helps out a lot, too, but unless you know what to do with it, it’s not gonna help you get past the door. And on that note…

Beauty is just a tool.

It will open a lot of doors, like I said. Use it. Don’t be ashamed of using your feminine wiles to make life easier (so long as you’re not stepping on anyone). But don’t be the fool who relies on it for everything.

Confidence is key.

People respond better to someone who looks like they know what they’re doing. If you don’t have it just yet, then fake it ’til you make it.

It’s normal to objectify and be objectified.

It’s human nature. But don’t be a sleazebag about it and don’t encroach on somebody else’s personal space without their consent. Admire at your own private time and place (like in your head. Where it’s safe and you’re less likely to be arrested). Don’t make other people uncomfortable with your raging hormones. It goes the other way around, too. If anyone crosses the line with you and you feel violated, then kick their ass.

Put an end to slut-shaming.

Sometimes, it feels like we haven’t learned enough from Mean Girls. So someone loves wearing pekpek shorts. Or likes going to the gym in full makeup (okay fine, sometimes that makes me smirk, too. That shit will clog up your pores, man). But there are a lot worse things to be in this world. If you don’t know what she’s been through or what her story is, it’s best to just let her be. Worry about your own life.

Being strong doesn’t mean you don’t yield.

Nor accept help. It may be true you can be anything you set your mind to be, but you don’t have to be everything all the time.  Pick your battles. Or find the right person for the job.

Men and women aren’t equal.

We are all built differently. We are great in our own ways. As a female, you don’t have to keep making the man a standard for everything that you do. I don’t believe in gender equality, but I do believe in equal respect and opportunity.

Just Girl Things

You have to know when enough is enough, and you have to say it out loud.

A lot of women still have this fear of looking like a brat or a diva. Know your rights and your limits and when it’s time to put your foot down.

Stop looking to other people for ideals, or you’ll never be happy.

I love the fact that people are starting to recognize different kinds of beauty nowadays. What I find a little disturbing is that sometimes, people resort to belittling the old standards. The point is to be more accepting of others, in whatever shape and form they come, right? So maybe it’s prudent to stop whining about impossible beauty standards. Don’t keep adhering to it, then! It’s not Adriana Lima’s fault that you feel bad about your body and yourself whenever you see her because you don’t look like her.  Never put somebody else down just to make yourself feel better.

Also, somebody will always be smarter than you and better-looking than you. But fuck that–you are never going to live somebody else’s life, so worrying about it is pointless. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

Respect is everything.

In any relationship and any discourse, respect has to be present–even if you don’t necessarily like the person. Do what you want or let your freak flag fly but when you lose respect, especially self-respect, then it’s time to cut lose.

 

 

Photos by Noel Salazar. Makeup by Rae Venturanza.

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