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In Defense of the Selfie

Posted on: 9.28.2014

good lord sometimes it just makes my head spin when i think of how beautiful and talented the people are in my life. so last month, as you may remember, i went on vacation to the bahamas with some girlfriends. well, one of the ladies that went, Lena, i have known for years and she lives up the street. but the other girl that came along was a friend of Lena's that lives out in LA and we had only met once before. it was a great trip and she was one of the most charismatic people i've been around in a long time. so easy going and she was just so in love with life. a beautiful soul, if you will. sooo basically Stefanie if you're reading this, i miss you! 

so anyways, a few weeks ago she posted on her blog and i couldn't help but text her immediately and ask her for permission to repost it over here. i love the photos that she posts on her instagram, especially her selflies, and have always thought "dang, i hope that girl knows just how pretty she is!"  She decided to write up a post and her message is perfect and it should be shared everywhere. so here's what my new friend stefanie has to say about self worth, confidence and most importantly- 
the selife! 

In Defense of the Selfie

I’m not exactly sure when the term selfie was coined. However, I do remember I joined MySpace around 2005, and they demanded a “profile picture” which was typically one of your face. So unless you were a model with a portfolio, your only options were terribly scanned photos from years prior or cheesy posed party photos from your digital camera. Somewhere along the way, I started using my camera phone to take pictures of my own face. As did everyone else. These photos would eventually be deemed selfies. It’s even, like, a real word and everything now.
There is no denying technology and social media have altered the way we live and how easily the average person can document it. Some people embrace it (Me!), and some people don’t get it. Or they don’t care, and that’s okay too! Everyday, millions of people all over the world take photos of their food, their pets, their workouts, their cocktails, their views — pretty much anything they can fit in the phone lens shot. Of course, I forgot to mention the obvious — their faces. The selfie has evolved from a “profile pic” to a daily occurrence.
Like any trend over time, the buzz surrounding selfies created a stigma. With the creation of Instagram, a social media outlet solely for photo sharing, the selfie became something bad. An uproar of emotion that claimed anyone who posted a selfie was narcissistic and attention hungry. Suddenly, taking pictures of your own face made you an asshole. But hadn’t we all been doing that for years?
Here’s the thing: we live in a world where photo sharing and information are constantly at our fingertips. Many of us have latched on to this as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, brand ourselves, and network personally and professionally. Younger generations use it as one of their main forms of communication. Creations like the hashtag allow us to search seamlessly for others interested in and posting about the same topics as ourselves. So I want to take advantage of that. I want to turn a “bad thing” into a good thing. I want to remove the selfie stigma.
I have a 16 year old sister who deals with self esteem and body issues everyday. The same way I did, and the same way millions of other teenage girls do. If my sister can take a selfie and feel pretty in it, then who is anyone to take that away from her? All day long she can carry around those issues, but if one picture of her own face can help assuage that for any amount of time, I say go for it.
This isn’t just about teenage girls, (although as someone who once was one, I know they need it), this is about anyone struggling with a self esteem issue. Young or old. Boy or girl. If you’re embarrassed about your acne. If you’re coping with an eating disorder. If you’re a woman in a man’s body trying depserately to become who you really are. If you’re just having a bad day and need a pick me up. This is about everyone. This is about overcoming that inner struggle — even for mere moments. This is in defense of the selfie.
To bring everything full circle, this is what I’m proposing: let’s use the selfie and the hashtag for good. Let’s start a revolution. If everyone who reads this can take a moment and snap a photo of themselves where they feel beautiful in any way, then post it to social media with the hashtag #indefenseoftheselfie, perhaps we can make a change. Not for the selfie’s sake. But for every single person who participates and is encouraged to love themselves despite all outside influences. So go ahead. What are you waiting for? Take a selfie.

living with your x. and other life choices

Posted on: 9.24.2014

anyone that has been following this page for a while (all 10 of you) know that my long term x and i broke up back in january. you also know that we decided to continue living together. -insert raised eyebrow here- i love looking back on my old posts and reading what was going thru my head at the time, so i'm writing a quick post just to remind myself what this chapter of my life has been like. 

though it doesn't make sense to most anyone in either of our lives, it seemed fine to us to keep living here. separate bedrooms. separate bathrooms. separate lives. same apartment. i mean, the guy is one of my best friends and we both love where we live and we both just kind of shrugged and have made it work.  as a girl, it's kind of been the best of both worlds for me. i hated living alone and i know i could never do it again. we're two independent people but when i need a light bulb changed or someone to go see "what that noise was" at 4 am, i know i have a roomie that can take care of it. 

now don't' get me wrong, it hasn't always been easy. we have learned that while we both want to be there for the other one, it's best we don't get too involved in each other's personal lives. the romantic kind, ya know. because simply, we both ridicule who the other one chooses to date and that isn't any fun for anyone.  yes, we date. no bringing dates back to our apartment, of course. but yes, we go on dates with other people. and while i know it wouldn't be easy to tell a girl she can't come back to his apartment, the last thing i care to see is the stuff in my medicine cabinet moved around. (because i know if i were dating a guy that lived with his x, i would HAVE to go thru her bathroom cabinets) 

it's a lot of late nights, hanging out and talking about our days. what we're doing and who we're doing it with. i honestly think we speak more openly and honestly to each other now that we don't have to be a "good boyfriend or girlfriend" we tell the other one when they're being a pain in the ass and we get over stuff a lot faster because… well pouting isn't gonna get you anywhere in this kind of friendship.

there was of course a period of adjustment. things you have to decide how to handle and i found that handling them together worked best. for example, taking down photos of us together. what do you do with 15 picture frames filled with you and your boyfriend when you're still best friends with the guy? throwing them away seems rude, but is keeping them weird? we still don't know. they're sitting under jon's bed.  i just recently fixed my laptop and had to go thru about 5 years worth of photos that i thought i had lost, and while majority of them were of the two of us  it just felt wrong to delete them all. there was no bad blood when we split, and he was (is) a big part of life. why in the hell should i have to delete any of it?  plus, i was blond when we first got together. i was so cute blonde! i'm keeping them!

it's hard to start dating new people, as they don't always love the idea of our living situation. people have came and gone thru the months that can't handle our friendship. it's gonna happen and we know that. one day, we both know this arrangement isn't going to be ideal. but for the moment, it's fun. it REALLY is fun. it's extremely comical. and it is so in my character to live like this. so out of the norm. i've never really been one to do things in an ordinary fashion. i didn't graduate college the first time around… or even the second (third time is the charm!) i've dated men and women since i was 20 and haven't regretting anyone i've spent any of my heart on. i've always been the odd one out when it came to most of my friends, working until  4 am and missing their calls that come from their cubicles at 9:30 am.  living with my x boyfriend has just been another decision in my life that i just shrug my shoulders, laugh at myself, tell him "we should totally have a reality show" and go about my business. i don't want to look back and ever regret the goofy choices i've made. this life is meant to laughed at. and we can all crack up at mine for days! so there it is. the past 9 months in a nutshell. 

oh, and he took that above photo. haha

An interview: Emily of Reck+Roll Vintage

Posted on: 9.22.2014

the internet is a craaaazy place sometime, isn't it? i mean, it brings you into the lives and living rooms of people you may never actually meet face to face and i'm kind of obsessed with it. i always think to myself "jd- (that's what i call myself in my own head) jd-  you realize perfect strangers know the layout of your apartment? due to the internet?" mind blowing, it is. but at any rate, i love connecting with people out there doing amazing things that i probably wouldn't know about this were 10 years ago. 

i "met" emily of Reck + Roll Vintage over Instagram about a year ago when she complimented my flannel in a photo i posted, thus resulting in me stalking her entire IG feed. She's one of those internet friends that you just know you would be the best of friends if they lived in your neighborhood. One of those girls that makes you want to have a better outlook on everything, while also fighting over that perfect flannel at the thrift store. She creates the most amazing pieces out of vintage and thrift store finds. - I'm talkin' the best jean cut offs your butt has ever worn. 

Somewhere in between being a business owner, foster mom, fraying up all those perfect cut off jean shorts and, most importantly,  being pregnant with her first baby, she somehow found time to let me do a little interview with her. so have a read and when you're done, go check her out on her personal Ig emilywrecker  and her shop, too Reck + Roll Vintage seriously, you wont regret it. 

Q. Let me start by saying, I just love you. Your outlook is one of the most positive bad ass things about you. How are you able to stay so positive and uplifting to yourself and others?

A. Jesus. seriously, having a relationship with him gives me the strength to be loving, happy, patient, and forgiving. i’m so glad he gave us an awesome example to follow, the way he saw people and truly loved them is how i want to live. he liked to hang out with the outcasts, prostitutes, and honestly, some of the most terrible people of his day, and offer them hope. i want to be more like that. 

Q. anyone that already follows along with you, knows you have a strong spiritual relationship. have you always been so connected with your faith? or did it develop more over the years?

A. i grew up in a Christian family (my dad was even a pastor), but i didn’t really begin to understand what true grace and love looked like until i started to understand Jesus better, which was right after i graduated from college. since then, my faith has been real, and i’ve been walking it out alongside some really cool people (including my favorite human, my husband).
Q.  I get my love of thrifting from my mom. Where do you think you get your thrift skills from? 

A. growing up, our idea of a fun family day was hitting up all the local thrift stores, so i didn’t stand a chance of not getting sucked into it. even my grandparents on both sides would take us to thrift stores when we would visit them. to this day, when i come home to visit my family in Cincinnati, we all go thrifting together. so yah, it’s in my blood. 

Q. when are you moving back to Cincinnati so we can be best friend and neighbors?

A. dude. let’s get side-by-side loft apartments in OTR! it’s amazing how much the downtown area has changed since i lived there. when we were little, we had to lock our doors and roll up our windows when we would drive downtown to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory! 

Q. what is your "go to" outfit that just makes you feel amazing when you walk out the door?

A. black skinny jeans and an oversized tee (or sweater depending on the weather), paired with either Vans or boots. i’ll admit that i also got hooked on Birkenstocks this summer…which is really convenient since i’m pregnant and they are the most comfortable shoe known to mankind. but seriously, i have worn them at some point during every single day since i got them in may. 

Q.  My grandma has fostered probably a hundred kids since I was a baby, and adopted 3 of them. Are you guys loving fostering? What's the biggest challenge?

A. we are currently on our second foster care placement--two brothers, 10 & 13 years old. we’ve had them almost three months, and it’s been a wild ride so far, but we are loving it. going from having no kids to having these boys has been a huge adjustment. one of the biggest challenges has been helping them understand what’s going on with their parents. we’ve been very open with them about what’s going on with their case. their parents were released from jail recently, but they will have to work hard to get the boys back, and it’s not clear right now if that’s going to happen or not. so we continually remind them that we are committed to loving them and providing them a stable home with lots of support no matter what happens!  another challenge has been introducing them to healthy food--when they came to us, all they only wanted pop tarts and chicken nuggets. they didn’t even know what cucumbers and peppers were! we’ve worked through quite a few tears and tantrums at dinner time, but they’ve come so far, and now they love to tell people about the fruits and vegetables they eat. 
Q. You seem to have totally found your nitch in your beautiful shop. What were other job and career options you've had/thought of having? 

A. i studied Public Relations and Psychology in college, and then i worked as a wedding/event planner for the first four years after i graduated. i loved that job, but it was my life. it took all my time and energy. when i got married and moved to NC with brian, i knew that i wanted to do something that provided more freedom. i absolutely LOVE being my own boss. it gives me the flexibility to get together with friends often, help my husband with counseling sessions, volunteer in the community, take the boys to school, and show up at all their extracurricular activities. my time with my family and friends is so precious, and i’m content scouting thrift stores and working on my brand.

Q. It's fun watching your  bump grow! Do you think about adding kids and baby clothing to RRV? 

A. i have already started collecting lots of denim in kid’s sizes, so expect to see more RRV kiddo cutoffs next spring! 

Q.  What does your husband think of your shop's success as well as just people's general interest in you and your family? 

A. brian is my best friend, and we love to be involved with what each other is doing, so he helps me a lot. he actually came up with the name ‘reck+roll vintage', and he worked on my website a lot. his support means the world to me. 
Q. What's your favorite food, tv show and song right now? 

A. fresh fruit has been my jam this summer, and also freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. always. 
we are in season 2 of The Killing on Netflix right now. so good. 
my favorite song to jam out to lately has been Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, “I Love Rock n’ Roll.” the boys beg me to blast it in the car, we roll the windows down and scream it at the top of our lungs. it’s fun. i also really like Lecrae’s new song “Say I Won’t.” 
thanks again, doll! love ya! 
again, be sure to head over to Reck+Roll Vintage

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