Fashion and Beauty

I AM NOT MY HAIR

“I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectations, I am the soul that lives within.” – India Arie There I was, standing in the shower in disbelief at the clumps of hair in my hands. At first I thought nothing of it, but as the days went on and the clumps of hair continued, I thought something was seriously wrong. This cannot be okay. As someone who does not like white coats (what I refer to doctors as), I decided I had to make an appointment to see what was going on. After numerous blood tests and getting referred to a dermatologist, it was decided that the best course of action was to have a biopsy taken of my scalp to test not only for thyroid cancer, but a few other things, with all signs pointing to the big “C.” Great I thought. Just f—ing great. Two w...

AUGUST SUPERWOMAN: CHELSEA FUNK, FOUNDER OF PIT AND PUG ADAPTIVE

Every day, we get dressed: pull on our jeans, button our shirts, tie our shoes. For some of us, it’s not something we think about very deeply, but for others, the daily task of putting clothes on presents challenges that are unique to them. Chelsea Funk of Columbus, Ohio seeks to bring inclusive fashion to differently-abled kids through Pit and Pug Adaptive, and it’s a project that is changing lives. Chelsea knows what it’s like to feel like clothes never really fit right; she was born with amniotic band syndrome and is without part of her left arm. She specifically recalled having a hard time finding winter clothes that fit. However, this simply inspired Chelsea. She knew she wanted to help people full-time, and she had learned to sew from a mentor. Thus, she decided to give fashion a try...

SEE THE LIGHT

It’s like a dream where you know only the middle and not the beginning. I don’t remember how all of it started. I have spent half of my childhood believing that I can’t have it all or more like I didn’t deserve it. The reason was me being a dark-skinned Indian girl. From the very beginning, this terrible thought was etched into my soul that I was not good enough. My eight-year-old self used to believe that only fair-skinned and vibrant girls were allowed to be happy. On television and in theatre, I saw all these pretty fair-skinned girls and somewhere, somehow I began to believe that they were the only species of girls who were admired by everyone, who got to do pretty amazing stuff, fall in love and have a perfect fairytale ending. All those movies made me believe that nobody would fall i...

FIRST DATE FASHION IDEAS

You’ve met a wonderful guy online and your first date is coming up, but you still don’t know what to wear? This sounds way too familiar, and if that’s the case with you, don’t worry because you’re at the right place! Here are some useful first date fashion ideas, as well as some general tips on how to pick a venue where your date is going to take place, so check them out and accomplish your goal like a true fashionista! First of all – pick your first date venue Speaking of first dates, there’s one essential task you need to tackle before you make a decision on what to wear. Of course, we’re talking about the venue your first date is going to take place. The fact is that your overall outfit depends on it, so make sure to determine where you’re going to meet for the first time. Possibilities...

LIVING A “NO LOGO” LIFE

When I was in high school, every few months we had ‘no uniform’ days. I went to a private girls’ school, and ‘no uniform’ days were the equivalent to a teen fashion parade. It was a day where everyone could show how stylish, how trendy, how wealthy they were. The latest fad were low rise Sass & Bide jeans, if you had the logo plastered on your right buttock, it meant you could afford a $220 pair of jeans. You had made it. Logos are part of our everyday lexicon. Most of us have grown up with so much advertising, we have become numb to it. Logos fill every inch of our digital, visual and mental space.  When there is so much advertising noise in our everyday life, brands have to find new ways to scream louder to be heard above everyone else. This is true in the most literal sense &#...

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH ACNE

I can’t tell you how many times I sat on a cold examination table in a paper robe at the dermatologist’s office, asking the same questions over and over again, and unfortunately, getting the same answers. “Are you sure food isn’t causing my acne?” I’d ask, sheepishly. “Of course not, that’s ridiculous.” They’d respond dismissively, throwing me back into a pit of stress, confusion, and insecurity, again. I knew, knew, *knew* (intuitively) (even when I was 15 years old), that what I was eating was impacting my skin a lot. But I didn’t have the tools or knowledge to articulate this, and so I spent the next 15 years struggling with acne; trying every pill, cream, antibiotic and topical cream possible. Finally, I had one awful and completely shi**y dermatologist who, after 15 years of various t...

FASHION, VEGAN STYLE

  How to Create a Kind Closet Years ago, if someone mentioned vegan and fashion in the same sentence, I would think, “But I don’t look good in beige and hemp scratches!”  Fast forward, and here we are in a day and time with limitless kind choices. There is no reason to sacrifice color, look, feel, warmth or comfort – you can have your fabulous style and be kind! First, let’s talk about why. Why should we care about making our closets kind? Because when we wear animals, we are supporting pain and suffering. Just think about it for a moment: why would we truly want to wear someone else’s skin, feathers or fur? I would never wear my cat, so why would I wear any other animal? Here’s what I used to see when I would look in my closet: a down coat and vest, leather and suede boots, sho...

5 WAYS TO SHOW YOUR STYLE SOME APPRECIATION

It seems like every time I pack for a vacation, the clothes I pick out are not the clothes I really want to wear. Consumed with self-doubt, I’ll roll with the punches, eyeballing my choices with utter disgust. I’ll snap 100 pictures for my Instagram, and I won’t like one. My mind virtually shifts to my wardrobe; why didn’t I wear this? Why did I pick out that? How many likes will this outfit get? As shallow as this may sound, it’s the truth. They say women dress for women. I say we dress for social media. With all this mid-level scrutiny, I think I knew what I was doing wrong. First, I had to stop the criticism, stop the obsessive need to be liked. I wanted to channel all that energy into appreciating my style for what it is—unapologetically me. Easier said than done, right? Perhaps. Well,...

DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE IN 2018!

Being real, I hate making New Year’s resolutions. Nobody ever keeps them, and I’m too much of a planner to follow them. I’m more of a long-term and short-term goal kind of control freak. However, in 2018 I just might have to make an exception, I should have made it a long time ago. My New Year’s resolution is to not let anyone rain on my fashion parade. Now, there is a backstory to this: flashback to freshman year when I thought I had fashion all figured out – I didn’t then and still don’t! Anyway, freshman year in one of my fashion merchandising classes my teacher asked the class to define our personal style in one word and present why you think that. The class went on and all the other students described themselves as “preppy” or “edgy.” When it was my turn, I walked up to the front of t...

LUXURY, MEET MADE IN AMERICA | BRITTANY REED | FOUNDER OF TESORO TALKS TO HARNESS

You may or may not be familiar with the brand Tesoro, but you will be. It’s an affordable luxury handbag company founded by one badass millennial babe, Brittany Reed. Tesoro creates beautiful handbags from leather sourced right here in the United States of America. We were wondering how this beautiful business came into existence, and it is such an amazing story. Brittany was creating handbags from her parents’ basement for close friends and family with the hope to one day make it her full-time gig. One night, an angel in disguise named Miranda offered Brittany and her former partner, Emily, the chance of a lifetime. Miranda and her husband encouraged Brittany to leave her job and start her own company. The couple offered to be mentors and investors in the budding business. Bot...

10 THINGS THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY WON’T TELL YOU

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve fallen head-over-heels for the lies women are told by the beauty industry today. We all want to be accepted, to be told that we’re beautiful, to feel worth something, but – unfortunately – that also means we’re often convinced that we can find those things if we only look a certain way or buy a certain product. After my experience on America’s Next Top Model, I wanted it too. I spent years chasing the idea that I could prove my worth, all the way to New York City, and it wasn’t until I was standing at a photoshoot, about to step in front of the camera, that I realized it was all a lie. While there’s nothing inherently wrong wanting to look or feel beautiful, there are a few important things that I’ve realized over the years that women of all...

THE FREE BEAUTY THERAPY

In a world where a tap of your phone can make you feel inferior coupled with the pressures of your life as women, it is little wonder that beauty and mental health are closely interlinked. The impact of pregnancy/raising children, work pressures, romantic relationship and the relationships with your friends and family can all impact our mental wellbeing from time to time. The relationship between mental wellbeing and the constant bombardment of so called “beauty” fascinates me and worries me at the same time. I was fortunate enough to have some women share with me how their mental wellbeing affects their view of beauty and how to overcome this fragile relationship. “I work in mental health, I really shouldn’t be experiencing mental illness, should I?” Beauty for some is i...

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