Last year, I was Skyping a friend whom I met via my blog, and she asked me a question that I’ll never forget: “Chels, what is your intention behind your style posts?”
This question stumped me. At first, I’ll admit that I felt a little defensive. The thought that came to my mind was, Intention? I style blog because I enjoy doing it, and it’s a form of self-care. Isn’t that enough?
I’ve been thinking about my blog’s authenticity in great detail lately, and I just recently went through and re-visited my blog’s mission, which is to cultivate intentionality and promote confidence and self-empowerment. As I deeply thought about my goals with my writing, and made a new goal to focus more on the “why” aspect of each post. Why am I publishing this? To whom will it help? What is the message I am sending? Why am I trying to send this message?
Any random person off the street who suddenly meets me may think that my style aspect of my blog is materialistic and promotes consumerism, but to me, it’s never been about shoving clothing brands in my readers’ faces. It’s so much more than that, which I why I felt was important to share with you all my intentions behind style blogging. Although I’ve always felt vulnerable sharing my writing with others, style blogging specifically has been the most nerve-wracking for me, of all my posts. Why? Because essentially, I take photos of myself and share them with the world; for them to judge and ridicule me as they please, and I may possibly never even know it. Since I started style blogging, I’ve received amazing support and feedback from friends and readers, but I’ve also received negativity, and have had to learn how to deal with the hurt. It’s an ongoing learning process. I’ve also struggled with my own thoughts and emotions regarding if style blogging is ethical. Is style blogging empowering, or narcissistic? After re-visiting WHY I started styling blogging in the first place, I re-affirmed myself that blogging has always been about healing for me, and I am not a narcissistic being, so why did I even let that thought cross my mind? To me, there is a strong difference between narcissism and having confidence and fostering creativity.
Without further ado, I’d love to share with you a few reasons on how style blogging has helped me face my demons and overcome some of my deepest, most vulnerable fears, and ultimately allowing myself to find peace in who I am.
1.) Style blogging has helped me come to terms that I cannot control what others say or think; I can only control my reactions.
I’ve shared with you all before about my struggles with perfectionism and wondering what others think about me. I ultimately know that these thoughts do not serve me, but it comes with my people- pleasing nature. Every single time I publish a style post, I get anxiety. Style posts are so MUCH more vulnerable for me because with the photos, the post is largely focused on my apperance. However, thanks to style blogging, I’ve been able to come to terms that my true friends and family members will accept me for who I am. Honestly, I tried to hide my blog from my extended family members for almost the entire first year of blogging. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I started to share my posts on my personal Facebook page and allow them to see the work I was doing. It was that hard. I’ve learned that it’s not my problem if others are thinking negatively about me; ultimately, I need to do what’s best for me. And if style blogging makes me happy, I’m going to continue to do it.
2.) Style blogging has helped me cultivate my creativity and accept myself for who I am.
I used to be the most creative, artistic person, and lost that part of myself ever since starting college. I used to spend hours as a little girl creating; writing stories, newspapers and songs, scrapbooking, making comic strips, painting and more. I also had a passion for expressing myself via how I dressed; I’ve loved dressing up for as long as I can remember, and even recall planning out my outfits in elementary school. (Check out my killer outfit from the 90s; #FirstFlatlay). In addition, I remember wearing odd things in high school that normally other girls wouldn’t wear such as obnoxiously high heeled furry boots that looked strange on me because I was already tall at 5’8”, but I didn’t care. It made me feel special, and I loved that aspect of myself. Even before Instagram was a thing, I loved taking photos of my outfits. As you can clearly see, LOL.
Since losing touch with my creativity as an adolescent, I didn’t start creating again until I started this blog, which was back in 2014. I started posting style posts because I loved it. I finally started to express myself again, and it felt almost as if I had re-connected with a long-lost friend. I’ll admit that still to this day, some posts are hard to publish because my style can be very different from the norm and I worry about what others will think. It’s been a long journey of self-discovery and ultimately, courage-building. Learning to freely love my body has been a lifelong struggle, and encouraging others to love themselves exactly as they are helps encourage myself as well. Others may not accept the way I dress, but I love who I am, and I’m proud to be this way. And you should be proud of who you are, too!
3.) Style blogging has encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone.
Since I’ve started to get serious with my style posts, I’ve made the effort to collaborate with other like-minded creatives. I joined the Rising Tide Society and attended a local meet up in Green Bay, where I was able to hook up with a few awesome photographers! The past version of myself probably would have never blindly attended a networking event by myself when I didn’t know anyone, but the woman I’ve become now (thanks to blogging) is much more empowered and courageous.
Going out of my comfort zone also means having the courage to be who I am, despite my fears of what others may think. (Notice a common theme here?!) For instance, I LOVE these 70s style pants that I am wearing in this post, but I’ve gotten a lot of weird stares while wearing them. They are my absolute favorite, and when I wear them, I feel so much like “Chelsea.” I realize that I am different from others in many aspects, but that’s what I believe makes me special and fun. Thus, style blogging has truly helped encapsulate this version of myself by encouraging me to go out of my comfort zone and embody my uniqueness.
It’s important for me to communicate to you that everything I do, I try to do with intention. Style blogging to me is all about cultivating my creativity, being vulnerable, and encouraging you to be confident with your own self and body. I hope that when you leave this blog, even if it’s a style post, you leave feeling uplifted and encouraged. I love you all so much and am so appreciative that you are on this journey with me.
I’d love to hear from you- what creative talents do YOU love to share with others? In what areas of your life do you struggle letting others in? Leave me a comment below!
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