Hello my darlings!
I hope your week is going well, mine has been interesting to say the least. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a post about attracting my first internet troll. Interestingly enough, the comment was posted on the last swimsuit series blog post, and not on insta. Whether or not the person was aware of the fact all comments on the blog are moderated (meaning they won’t publicly post until I approve them) I’m not sure.. but either way it was strange.
I reflected on the comment and their actions for a considerable length of time and how I would respond to such pure ugliness, particularly after I recently shared some very personal struggles in another post, which you can find here if you haven’t read it. I’m not going to publish the comment, but I will address each part of it in this post.
First of all, I’ve already touched on this before but WHY do we feel the need to be so ugly towards one another? I take time out of my day, every day, to search through blogs and comment on the author’s post. It takes serious time and dedication to write a post, link outfits, recipes, books; whatever your niche may be along with everything else that’s going on in your day! I love leaving positive feedback and letting the author know other people are out there acknowledging their work and appreciating their time. It feels nice to be acknowledged for your contributions or at least the time you’ve taken to put your work out there into the world! As we all know, time is a precious and valuable thing – gone within the blink of an eye. It’s already August! (How?!) When someone takes their time to be nasty, that tells me a number of things about that individual but mostly that they’re lashing out at me for a larger reason: they need help. They’re in pain, they’re jealous, they’re insecure, they’re small, they’re cowardly, they’re unhappy. I am assuming the name and email listed on the comment were both fake – but to the Leah around Houston, TX because yes, you can track IP addresses .. you my dear cannot cut me down or hurt me. I only hope whatever it is that’s causing you pain you find some solace from, or find some help. No one should live life feeling like they need to be so cruel to others, especially behind the veil of the internet.
You Need a Tan
Well – Agree to disagree on that one. I would say I’m rather shocked someone is calling me out because of my skin color or tone but sadly, this seems to be rather prevalent. That’s as small minded as judging someone based upon race. The presence or lack of a tan is ridiculous, even in a bathing suit. Do you know how many stunning individuals there are in this world who have porcelain skin? And let’s all educate ourselves on the rates of skin cancer. The days of baking in the sun or fake baking are over my friend. Personally, I’ve never tried a spray on tan, I’ve just never had the time. I have many friends, blogger friends included, who look fan-freaking-tastic with them. a) i just haven’t had the time b) i just love myself in my own skin c) there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.. it was the skin I was born in after all!
Your hair needs some TLC
Well.. let’s talk tresses shall we? You must not know me very well because saying my hair looks ratty is rather typical! My insta stories usually have my hair up in a clip- it’s a good day if it has found a brush! I LOVE being a real human being a not an unrealistic Instagram being that’s seemingly untouchable. Who can live up to that, and who even wants to? I follow people I can relate to because they make me laugh and it’s real life! I also have extensions which I talked about in this post, and I never hide the fact that I have them. I hashtag great lengths in almost all my posts. Also saying my highlights look horrible – well thank you because I tend to get lots of compliments on them and I personally think they’re fantastically fun. Unicorn colors are just so festive! Wouldn’t you agree? I will tell you though, I shot six bathing suits in one afternoon in Dallas, TX heat and wind. That hair took a beating that afternoon most definitely!
You could lose a little weight
You know.. I did actually! In the span of a year (last summer to this summer) I lost about 17 lbs. I stopped eating gluten (mostly.. there is an occasional oops!), I cut out dairy, re-hired a trainer at my gym to keep me accountable, and started working out more than ever. I also went on a juice cleanse when I returned from France, which nicked off the last few pesky pounds, and I occasionally repeat when I want to detox. I have zero tolerance for telling a woman she needs to lose weight. Do you know how many women struggle with self image and weight? In my last Wednesday Wellness post, I shared my long standing history of eating disorders that began as a young teenager. I can still hear my ballet teacher telling me to take off my leg warmers to “see what I’m hiding underneath them” in front of the entire class or telling me I looked “puffy” that day. Any day I look bloated now I have to ignore her voice because it still haunts me, and I’m someone who bloats very easily. I’m purposely sharing these bathing suit pictures BECAUSE I have belly bloat and the skirt helps cover it.
Do you know what your words can do to someone who might not be as strong as I am? Who might be on the cusp of considering their worth at all? How dare you use a platform like the internet to tear someone down, behind a curtain of anonymity. You picked up my hips and thighs in the last post, saying the bathing suit was too small. a) the bathing suit was high cut b) i love my curves – women with curves I think have gorgeous figures c) I will never be embarrassed of my weight or my stretch marks.. they resemble a very tumultuous battle, one I have overcome. You can even see them in these photos, I hope you take notice.
If you’re going to be a fashion blogger, you need to look better than what you look like
I need to look better than what I look like? Do you know what message this sends to women? You’re essentially saying “hey, go throw your image in the garbage and go find a new one.” What if all of the fashion bloggers of the internet put you on stage and picked you apart piece by piece? I can guarantee you’d be in tears questioning every fiber of your worth. Did you know I lost my twenty-five year old cousin to suicide this fall because he no longer knew his worth and now you’re attempting to make me question mine? Did you know there are approximately 121 suicides every day? You didn’t hurt me, your comment angers me beyond proper words. My heart still aches with the loss of my family and your ugliness burns the wound that much deeper. I am tired of people tearing each other apart, tired of people contributing to pain when they could so easily be lifting each other up instead. This hatred is only going to continue destroying the world, why contribute to it?
As I’ve preached many times, I am me – nothing more, nothing less. I am all my imperfections in their shining beauty. I am my stretch marks, my frizzy hair, my sometimes lazy eye, my crooked tooth, my belly bloat, the occasional photo faux pax (the under boob here). I am not a perfect person, and that’s okay! Who wants to be perfect? I sure don’t, how exhausting is that?! Embrace your flaws my loves, they’re so much more fun! And to the trolls out there, all I can say is thank you – because you make me all the more thankful.
Photography by the wonderful Megan Weaver