Sunday, July 19, 2015

Inside Out, Outside In

So it finally happened: I broke the per-two-day posting streak. It's rather unfortunately since it's near the end of the month, and I could have maintained it for an entire month, but I'll try again in the future. I've fixed it by posting a short #obsessed music update retroactively (I've had that song in mind for a while, and I would have posted it eventually) and a short reaction post. Work's been tiring, but that's not why the posts have been a bit on the edge of the per-two-days lately. I've been working on updating the themes of my Tumblr blogs up to thirteen hours a day, which is absolutely ridiculous now that I think of it; it completely messed up my sleep schedules and skincare routines, so my skin is a bit out of whack right now. It was such a slow process because the problem is that I don’t actually understand code – I just delete and replace values until it looks like what I want. The rate at which I was going could have been achieved by a monkey mashing a typewriter, but all eight blogs have themes that finally look like what I want and I am 99% satisfied with, even if the code is very, very messy. I just hid the error parts and I still don’t know whats wrong, but it's all good now, so I'd call that a success.

In addition to that, I'm in a very good mood right now because just finished a huge upcycling spree (a post on that later); I'm really embracing that "clean hippie" lifestyle as described by Diana.

 I watched Pixar's Inside Out at mall with Wei-Wei and picked up a few items of makeup and clothing. After this trip I literally have no cash left save a jar of change. Of course, it wasn't all spent on clothes, a lot of the time it's the tiny miscellaneous expenses like lunch out with friends that really add up. I like spending money but I hate not having money, so I swear I'm never going to buy anything ever again (an obvious lie but I'm frustrated that I don't have unlimited funds).

I've been meaning to do this post for ages, and it's probably about a month late by now (oh well). Somewhere in the crossed out text it mentions watching Inside Out and buying things. I also never got around to explaining the "beauty" goal this year, for many reasons, which is why I delayed writing this post for such a long time. I wanted adequate time to reflect and write down my thoughts, so here it finally is, after a quick clothing haul/review/thingy. I'm just going to use stock images from the website for some of these because I don't feel like "modeling" the pieces and they don't look good flat.

DeMasqe reopened so I bought three more plain v-neck tops, in blue, light grey, and dark grey. I already have a dark grey v-neck and a blue round neck, but these tops are super plain and versatile, so you can never have too many. I know when later on in the semester at college when I don't have the energy to coordinate outfits and all I want is to be able to grab a clean shirt and go, these will be my go to pieces. Already, I've begun to wear them as my "generic functioning human being" outfits. (3 for $10)

I also finally got a chambray top! They're still expensive, even at DeMasqe, but I think it was worth it. I went back with Diana a few days after I bought it and they were already sold out. It literally goes with everything, and it's so cute and warm. The sleeves also unbutton to become a long sleeve shirt, perfect for transitioning from day to night. ($20)

I went into Cotton On for the first time. They have so many cute (but expensive) clothes. There was stuff on sale, but the only thing that caught my eye was this giant cardigan thing (not on sale sadly). It's so soft! I'm wearing it a couple posts down in my birthday post if you want to see what it looks like on me (kind of, it's not very clear in the picture). The only downside is that I bought a size small instead of extra small, so it falls down my shoulders a lot, and the material is very holey, so it gets caught on things if you're not careful. I nearly fell over because the bottom got caught on a nail as I was rounding a corner, and the stretchy material didn't snap back until a few seconds later. I am a bit worried that it's going to wear out very quickly if it keeps snagging onto things. I can see myself wearing it lot in the fall as a quick, throw-on item to finish off an outfit, or to lounge around in. ($20)

I didn't buy these at the mall myself, they're a pair of black shorts from H&M that Diana bought for me when she went to the mall. They have a high waist and such a nice fit on Diana, but the leg holes are a bit too large for my thighs. Still, they make a nice staple item in any wardrobe. ($13)

And finally, a $1 grey knit circle scarf shaped like a mobius strip! I don't know if I'm ever going to wear it, so I might include it in a giveaway sometime in the future (I've started collecting little items that I can use for one of those, so maybe by this winter I'll finally do one).

Back to explaining the "beauty" goal this year, I don't know if I'll ever be able to explain it fully, because it makes a lot of sense in my head, but I've been told that things that make sense to me make absolutely no sense to others (or maybe it's just my way of explaining things that doesn't make sense).

Society is a bit obsessed with the idea of inner and outer beauty. It's another either/or binary dilemma that I hate, because who says that you can only focus on one at a time? Sure, in a moral conflict, it may be better to be beautiful inside rather than outside, but this is the real world, not some hypothetical abstract one. Yes, you can not wear makeup and be a good person. Yes, you can wear makeup and still be a good person. But becoming a good person on the "inside" doesn't really change who you are on the outside. You still have acne. You still might wake up with a dull, tired face.

Inner beauty is where you become good to other people. But just as you want to be kind to others, you should want to be just as kind to yourself. Here's where outer beauty comes in. Dislike your splotchy skin? Go ahead and buy those face masks and lotions. Skincare is important. Your skin is your largest organ, and neglecting it isn't going to do you any favors. Want to have bright purple lipstick? You go for it. It's your body and you can do with it what makes you happy. There's nothing to be ashamed of if flicking your eyeliner on just right makes you happy.

And here's another reason why that is important. I don't want this to become a, "If you don't wear makeup you can't be happy with yourself," type deal, because it's not, but in my experience, when I do use a face mask or exfoliate or do something nice for myself, it makes me happy. I rather enjoy nice smelling lotions and body butters as I have recently found out, and using those things improves my mood, which in turn, means that I react more positively to the people around me throughout the day. Maybe lotions and skincare isn't your thing. Maybe it's fashion, or maybe it's something entirely different. But the bottom line is you can make the changes that will make you happy, and you can come to terms with the things you can't change. For me, that encompasses improving my skin, makeup skills, and other bodily aesthetic, therefore being kind of myself, which helps me be kind to others. And that's why "beauty" (I really can't find a better word for it) is my goal for the year.

However, in terms of beauty, it's not just adding more products to make a physical difference. I've been in the process of re-evaluating the toxic mindset most people approach body image with. I feel like in part, we get caught up with emphasizing our flaws in order to fit in. If you're perfectly happy with yourself and you own it, there must be something wrong with you, much like in Mean Girls, when they all stand in front of the mirror and point out their flaws, and look at Cady expectantly to do the same.

It would be a lie to say, "We're all perfect as we are and you shouldn't want to change anything about yourself." Heck, your definition of beauty might be to cut products out of your routine. 

be your best self
do what you want to do
happy with yourself, treat others better
learn a skill/self improvement

materialism is not owning a lot of items, materialism is putting large amounts of value on all items

This is starting to deteriorate into a nonsensical mess that is beginning to sound a bit hypocritical and is confusing me too. I guess the takeaway is, "Just do whatever you want." Yay. Okay I'm ending it now. ◊

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