July 1, 2011

when i was just a little girl, i asked my mother, what will i be?

I hate to be someone who apologizes for not updating their blog, but I do regret not updating as much lately because I have lots to say! Lots of ~inspiration and ideas! All this energy is going into my room, which for about three years has looked like this. And that is probably the one and only trait I do not want to share with Leslie Knope.
"


Tee, gift from Sophomore. Soft cardigan with girl scout patch from Troop Moore on ebay. Miu Miu skirt. Random headband and tights. Backpack I've used since I was 4.

I took this picture a couple months ago, going for some Heathers/Twin Peaks vibes, but started thinking too much about how I look in it and avoided posting it for a while. I wasn't insecure, quite the opposite -- I didn't want to post this photo because I look good in it. And, as someone whose "thing" for so long has been "Challenge beauty standards! Screw convention! Look like a grandmother on ecstasy at Fashion Week!", that somehow felt hypocritical.

First, let's talk about beauty privilege real quick, just so we're all clear and so I don't sound like a jerk:

When I say good or pretty or attractive, I mean by the standards that dictate our society, which usually start with being thin and white. I'm not saying I always like how I look, and you may look at the picture above and be like "what are you talking about you resemble an opossum," but through the very narrow lens of mainstream media, pop culture, etc., I possess some beauty privilege.

People who are conventionally attractive have the privilege of going through life knowing their appearance will usually not act as a barrier in accomplishing what they want to accomplish. Of course, this is a general statement, but typically, Pretty Woman does not have to worry about missing out on opportunities because of her appearance. (Pretty Woman also gets Richard Gere.) So when some people have to live with being judged based on appearance as well as or instead of merit, it would be really annoying for someone who doesn't have to worry about that as much to try to say she deals with the same thing. It's not bragging to acknowledge your own privilege, and pointing out that you meet certain society-dictated standards does not have to mean you agree with them. I strongly recommend this article for a better understanding of beauty privilege.

(Educational tone over.)

The general voice of my blog has been very much against the idea of those (or, in a way, any) standards for a long time, maybe not in so many words, but definitely in sprit. I once relished in an email I got saying I was an ugly boy because it felt like proof that I hadn't given in to societal pressure to be pretty that girls usually feel affected by. I got all self reflecty on Tumblr about creating my own ideas of beauty. I wrote simply during September's No Makeup Week that I never felt the urge to wear any. I used to dress much more frumpily and goofily, on here and in public real life. Which was great, and I loved it. But, as is the point of this blog, my style has changed a bit.

I would be lying to say it ends at simply wanting to try a different aesthetic of dressing, though. With one's freshman year of high school comes a new batch of insecurities and a new kind of self-awareness. Except...I would be lying to say it ends there, too, because I know I'm smarter than that, and I know I have a good bullshit filter when it comes to conformity pressure in high school and women's magazines and men's magazines and industries that thrive on their female demographics' insecurities.

Before I got contacts in March, I just never really counted myself in the general pool of people who might be considered attractive. I wasn't insecure about how I looked, I just made peace with the fact that I wasn't, to me, an attractive person, and decided to milk my charming personality instead. The glasses were an easy way to isolate myself from even having to consider keeping up some kind of face. Then I slowly came to feel that, well, maybe I did want my face to be visible. Maybe I liked my face. Is that not okay?
"To force some forever identity on other people is stupid. Point out inconsistencies in their behavior, explain how they are not 'truly what they say' because you saw them 'do this' one time...why? Because it's easier to deal with cardboard cutouts than real people." -Kathleen Hanna
She has a point! And while confining people into caricatures is extremely convenient, it can just be a way to simplify issues that are fairly complicated into something black and white. In an ideal world, I could be a 15 year old girl with a certain amount of public attention and crushes at school who wouldn't want all these things. Right now, I could pretend to be an archetype of a feminist superhero and say I never want to be a conventionally attractive person. But, while I have so much respect for the people who can say that truthfully, I'm not there yet. I think it would be, in my case, much more effective to be honest and willing to have this conversation instead of signing myself to a stereotype I can't fit. I admit to the basic human desire to be attractive. That's certainly not all I want to be, and I'm not bending over backwards every morning for it, but it's there.

I don't know if I'm trying to justify this to readers of this blog or to myself. I do know I'm uncomfortable pretending, on a blog that is, on a certain level, about appearance, and my personal ~journey~ with it, that I can keep up with a set of principles developed when I was younger and different and 12 years old. But I mentioned earlier my bullshit filter, and I think it's that awareness that makes it easy for me to know that my new almost-daily makeup routine and glassesslessness and etc. are for myself and no one else.

But even if I have my own reasons for doing so, I still can't help but feel a little uneasy about playing their game.

239 comments:

1 – 200 of 239   Newer›   Newest»
Ellie..♥ said...

Lovely pictures!
You look amazing as usuall!

ellie oxoxoxoxoxo
http://obsessedwithfashionx.blogspot.com/

Ai-Lin Ava said...

I've been waiting for you to do a post on Heathers :) I thought the 90's nostalgia and morbid themes would totally be a 'tavi' thing.

And I do agree, you do look quite 'good' in this photo but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
You should wear whatever you like, regardless if you look good or bad (as defined by society's standards) and not give a single shit.

from one teenage blogger to another
-ai-lin
anotherrandomteenageblog.blogspot.com

Hannah said...

You do look lovely in the picture, but I can agree with what you're saying about ideas of beauty. I think if I was conventionally attractive I probably wouldn't dress as 'different' as I do. Heathers is brilliant x

Kathryn said...

Life's choices aren't "yes" and "no" but so many people tend to treat it that way. There are more than two options or mode of thought and you're smart to embrace what you're feeling you want to do, you have to experience things like this to have a more knowledgeable opinion!

Matilda said...

Wow, you look so different to when I last clicked onto your blog.

Tilda x

*Oh So Kitsch

Jenny said...

Briliant post, I understand where you're coming from with the glasses/contact attractiveness thing. Make-up should be used to enhance, as with style, natural beauty, not mask it! x

PZ said...

I actually hadn't even noticed that you had gotten contacts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting things or having feelings you don't want to have or feel you shouldn't have. You're a person and that gives you the inherent right to feel however the fuck you want. Fuck being a perfect feminist role model. What does that mean anyway? You never should have to take a poll on the choices you make just because your life is a little more public than others' lives.

Love the vibes, yadayadayada

Intrinsically Florrie said...

I personally think you look lovely in this photo, but you do in lots of others in my personal opinion!
I agree with lots of what you have said, except for the glasses part. You seem to be implying that it is not possible to be mainstream 'attractive' with glasses. I get that glasses aren't seen as overwhelmingly positive in beauty standards and you have every right to wear contacts, but I know girls in glasses and their spectacles do not detract from their facial structures. You probably have lots more thoughts on glasses yourself and there are many kinds of glasses, but here the discussion on them seemed to be negative. So seeing as you brought the topic up I just wanted to add my thoughts. :)

Florrie x

Jessica said...

Great outfit!!!!

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Little Miss C said...

Tavi, just do what you do babe... Don't worry about the rest of the world, they're not that important at the end of the day xx

Monica Di Francesco said...

Damm girl! this is a amazing article. Just what I needed this morning.
Kiss from spain

jessxmay said...

'Pretty Woman does not have to worry about missing out on opportunities because of her appearance.'........Pretty Man doesn't maybe... http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.php?c_id=3&objectid=10720394

Julia said...

This post is beautifully written. As a 19 year old gal, between my freshman and sophomore years of college, this post strikes me as a mixture of stubborn resilience and a bit of shameful desperation. Let me know when you get this bit figured out, will you? Because even though I think I'm above all those societally enforced rules of beauty and normalcy, I still find myself poking at my face in the mirror or censoring my thoughts and words in the company of those who might find me me odd. I'm not too sure if I'll ever find the answers, but I've got faith that you definitely will. Chin up in the meantime, though. :) Contacts means that you'll be able to wear crazy sunglasses, and makeup can definitely push at the edges of those drawn-in boundaries.

And ps., thanks for posting this.

fraulein jess said...

i'm hugely into the look. and the inspiration. i've been deeply inspired by twin peaks for almost five years now. it doesn't seem to want to run out. must be all those secrets.

thanks for the link to the beauty privilege article too. i struggle with seeing myself in any sort of way and i'm almost 27. it's brutally impressive that you're able to consider yourself and accept yourself in the ways that you are. keep at it.

jess.
http://frauchic.tumblr.com/

. said...

Goodness, Tavi - you look beautiful. Whilst I totally understand - and agree with - your ideas on 'beauty privilege', and your feelings of unease, I would advise that you sometimes let this slip and be content with looking pretty. Not that you don't always, of course! But you ARE pretty, and there's nothing wrong with flaunting that. And the 'simplicity' of this outfit is just another style, influenced by different people and different things: it doesn't have to mean anything more. :) xx

Elena Lovecat said...

Oh, Tavi, please, be my new best friend forever so we can spend nights talking about feminism and society and appearance while eating a bunch of junk food. I can be your cool older girl! I don't have a rat... but I know about 80's porn and grotesque films.
Great post, mostly what I think about aesthetics. I have gone through the experience of being fat and ugly at an early age (and everything that came with that), and then the change to a "beautiful" lady. People's kinder behaviour now make me sicker of them, but also aware of the power of appearance.
I would tell you not to worry much about looking according the beauty stereotype as long as you feel good yourself. The way I see it, fashion has an important part on playing with people's feelings and reactions, but dressing does not define the whole of a person. Is (more than this, I know, but I'm going to simplify)just the first layer. As long as you are different on the inside, people will realise. Sooner or later.

On another note! I have been following your blog for a long time, and please allow me to be a granny for a moment: Ooohh you have grown up so much! you look like a lady now, you even have tits! *keeps on with the filthy compliments* (I don't know about yours, but my grandma is exactly like that).

Victoria said...

I do feel conventionally "prettier" without my glasses, hence why I don't put pictures of me with glasses on my blog. Is this a bad thing? If my glasses were tortoiseshell and/or cat-eyed I doubt I'd be half as ashamed of them but hey ho. Go teenage insecurities! :) WHY AM I ON YOUR TUMBLR 24/7?! it's addictive seriously...

Minella said...

Tavi, you're definitely my hero. You're awesome!
And I do think you're pretty, just not in a conventional way. You're not the kind of pretty others girls look up to, I think you're more of a hidden beauty.
Okay, that sounded (even though I'm writing it ;p) weird. I guess I can't really explain
xx

Anke said...

I think you're the best type if pretty, the Chloe Sevigny kind of pretty.
And I understand your mixed feelings about it, but you're not selling out/ going against your values or anything like that. Enjoy being pretty! :-)

Tanya said...

Love the last photo.

Visit my blog :)
http://tanya6991.blogspot.com

The Clothes Press said...

I think it's fine that you want to be attractive. I'm sure many people reading this do. The thing is, you, for me, always stood for looking how you want to. Dressing how you want to. At the time, you obviously enjoyed dressing goofily etc. But now, if your style has changed and you want to look a little more pretty, girly... that's fine. Because it's what you want to look like.
And you DO look pretty in the photo. AND it's great if you want to be a bit more into makeup etc.
I understand. I used to (and still do a bit!) want to dress like you- even the old granny on speed kinda thing- because I admired how you dressed. But it wasn't natural for me. I was more into makeup etc. than you were at that time, and I liked dressing a bit girlier.So I now do wear makeup sometimes and sometimes look very girly.
So it's fine if your style has changed to be a bit more feminine and attractive. Feel confident- because you stood for dressing how you wanted. Not to tick off any sort of criteria.

FashionFreak/Mihaela said...

"Grow up Heather. Bulimia is so '87"

ahahahhhahh. xD

You look so pretty.

My blog♥mfashionfreak

Saúl said...

Your thoughts are very interesting but difficult to understand for me because I speak Spanish, I love that you feel inspired by movies and that stuff.
I think you are very beautiful and that beauty is something subjective and limited by the education of our society.
Finally I just want to say that you always inspire me so so so much!! haha but today, thanks to you, I have finally found the way I wanted to convey my ideas to people through my blog.
Kisses :D (I have been waiting for this entry for a lot of time, but now Im glad because you have made a really fantastic update)

wlotus said...

Everything you wrote about this phase of your style journey is genuine and valid, not to mention well-said. In fact, it applies to this phase of my fitness journey (42 y/o wanting to lose 30 lbs. mainly for looks, but also for health). So thank you for sharing your views. You have encouraged me.

olivia said...

YOU, my dear, are not pretty. Nay, you are GORGEOUS. Not just conventionally, but because you don't *care* as much as we mere mortals about conventional beauty and all that shizz.

By the way, I am the same age as you, and I'd like to say that when I was twelve I was wearing hippie skirts and crazy hair and saying I'd never wear makeup or date a boy or anything. Now, well, I still wear the skirts, but people grow and change and it's all chill. We still love Tavi. :)

T. said...

I think one thing that made your blog so successful is the fact that you are original. Now if you started to copy yourself and tried to stick to that feminist-grandma-on-extasy-look (or whatever you called it) forever just because you think that's what people expect from you, you would loose your originality.

cancercowboy said...

first, your ability for self-reflection and your honesty towards a bunch of strangers impress me.
second, to like and be comfortable with oneself is important, whatever that means for a particular person.
the beauty bias isnt affecting women only. males have to fit in and meet society's and females' expectations and standards (assumed, perceived or imagined) as well. the "weirdly dressed person who doesnt give a flying fuck about appearances" can be or become an act and a niche (and thus a 'prison' of sorts) too.
personally i didnt consider you ugly 12 months ago and i certainly will miss your glasses, 'cause i really liked them, but i use contacts myself, partly because of vanity, partly because when i sweat too much i start to get sore points behind my ears where the sidepieces seat on and that hurts ^___^
whatever, you were a damn smart kid when you started this (which qualifies as a certain advantage and special trait in its own right), and when one oldens (kinda strange word to use in this context ^_____^) the personal horizon changes, hopefully opens up. new and different factors come into play. as long as your bullshit filters remain efficient i don't doubt that you'll mature into a decent (and damn pretty) person ^___^
being attractive isnt a sin, nobody's an island etc.
just remember that even in the mainstream of whats considered beautiful there is an enormous variety, and then there's the fringes... heck, humans have delved deeply into so many aspects of aesthetics and we still don't know exactly what makes us tick; we haven't come up with anything better than the trivial (but nonetheless true) "Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder". its not your job alone to shake and challenge society's standards.
the media just use the lowest common denominator because its way easier to make a buck that way than to portray reality. don't mistake the published view on things for what people really believe. some of the most non-conformist people i know dress totally nondescript. everybody can get 20 facial piercings and pretend to be a rebel. ultimately its the mind that counts.
oh, and you do look good in that photo ^______^

Bon voyage!

Soup Maniac said...

Oof, I'm 20 and still feel the same way about "playing their game". This feeling reminds me of a Susan Sontag quote I recently found here that is very brave, but very reminiscient of how beauty privilege is also magnified by a certain effort put into accentuating one's pre-existing beauty privilege. Where does equality start if society most rewards those who fit their standards and wear "normative" makeup, and punishes those who do not put in the effort (such as shaming "frumpy" people who don't do their hair and makeup every morning because clearrrrly those people do not want to be respected /sarcasm)? Hard life question...

Amber said...

love the outfit you do look great, and thanks for posting this!, I agree 100%.

I think its a shame that so much depends on how you look now-a-days. *shakes head*

http://fashionisabearsbestfriend.blogspot.com/

Cristina said...

Nice post. I'm sure you have already herd enough opinions, but here's another one! (That's what you get for putting thoughts online!)

So as someone who was totally the same way when I was your age, I just want to say that wanting to "feeling pretty" is totally ok, especially when it's mostly for yourself. It's when you start to agonize over not looking like the magazines that maybe you should chill out. But the point is that self expression doesn't mean you have to be anti-pretty or mainstream. It's a middle-road made up of what makes you happy and what keeps you interested in fashion and art.

Now that I feel more comfortable in my body type, let me mention that didn't happen until I was 21, I feel gorgeous when I get dressed and put on my make-up. Not like 24/7 or anything, but on the whole I like myself. I also get weird looks sometimes, but that's because I don't exactly dress in the norm all the time. I do what I like to do! It sounds like you are on the right track for a smart artistic girl your age!

p.s. I still have big huge glasses, just like in first grade, and I still hide behind them sometimes :)

Cristina

http://mostlyclothes-cristina.blogspot.com/

ClosetCravings said...

You look very pretty. Love all the red. I think fashion and beauty are all in the eye of the beholder. That why trends come and go - and then come back to play again. =)

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Katarzyna Zuzanna said...

Nice post. xx

http://balletme.blogspot.com/

The Fancy Teacup said...

I love your honesty and the maturity you have with in handling your ever evolving style and other self-evident revelations that come hand and hand with growing up. You look beyond beautiful in the photo.

♥, Jamie
www.TheFancyTeacup.com

Autumn said...

God, dress exactly as you want, as you have always done, regardless of what may be running through others heads/their justification for you dressing so. You look 100% great, and always do.
(btwyourhairlooksespeciallygreathere<3)

zoomslow said...

To be honest, I think you've always been very pretty!

Ariel said...

Tavi, I haven't commented here before, but i share your uneasiness with "playing their game", even for your own reasons. A recent massive and doctor-recommended weight loss has had much the same impact on me that your contacts have on you.

That said, it is natural to love beautiful things, and if you also have a healthy love for yourself, it syllogistically follows that you would enjoy feeling beautiful - and simply because your personal attributes match up with those preferred by society does not make you a traitor to those whose do not. Continue to acknowledge and champion beauty that is unlike your own, even as you begin to explore beauty for yourself. Don't deny your own privilege - simply work to extend it to others. Their game is exclusionary, and no amount of lipstick can make you forget that unpainted lips can be beautiful, too. (And that there's nothing wrong with them if they aren't beautiful!)

Maike said...

Hi Tavi,

agh, it is not easy. I do want to be pretty. I do not want to engage into beauty stereotypes, but sometimes, I feel it`s hard to withdraw yourself from everything related.

In blog post you have models, on the street there are beautiful people, there always have been. Beauty has prpbably been an issue since mankind, but surely has become harder on women since people make loats of money with it.

I have days I feel gorgeous and days I feel not worth looking at, and I think it is good to admit that openly so everyone women or girl around you knows it`s normal (doesn`t help when someone like Kate Hudson or Heidi Klum does that, though, but with real life people it does).

Thank you for expressing your thoughts, again, and thank you for being such a strong girl.

bam! have a lovely day!

lobsterleyla said...

I'm so happy I read this post!
The blog is reminiscing of our childhood diaries. Of reading backlogs and freak out a little over where we were then and where we are now, and we need to rationalize and make peace with change. I felt the same then and still debate it in my head to this day, it's relieving to see proof that it's a shared human experience.

Quinn said...

I think you're brilliant and just think about this--Veronica Sawyer and the Libson sister wore makeup, too! :)

Sarah Dee said...

You do look good! And that is not a bad thing at all. I consider myself a pretty hardcore feminist too but I also wear a dress everyday and put on makeup. Its not because I care what other people think. Its because when I look in the mirror and see my privileged beauty (yes I have it too...) I feel more confident & that's what I need sometimes. I think if the way you dress makes you a tad more confident you should just accept that as another aspect of you. And also I think accepting your own beauty is the most empowering thing any woman can do!

<3 Sarah
theantiquepearl.blogspot.com

Shelley Noble said...

Pro-found post, Tavi. Profound.

I love your honesty and intellect.

You are beautiful in every way.

Sarah said...

Beauty is a really confusing thing.For dim people. I'm not going to rant about how the media is wrong and blah blah blah angst. If you feel unattractive, to me, you're unattractive. If you feeel as though you're beautiful and nothing can stand in your way, then you're the most beautiful person in the world. But don't be vain.
'Tis all.
Cheers

Daria said...

That's funny, Tavi, what kind of a reasons unite us in fashion after all. You're denying your beauty (excuse me for being that inaccurate with words I just draw a situation no offense) to be something else, something with a substance though not quite sure yet what this substance should be, and here I am, choosing fashion to hide my uglyness and duckliness. It is a great joy for me to watch you growing up and developing.
You should know that all this people and me - we come here not to hear some amazing feminist super style icon talk. We come to hear you, whoever you are today. This is actually the main thing bout you - you're always different, so why not try this thing now? I mean, you're not obliged to be any sort of Tavi for forever. It's not only you who changes but entire world around us. I do change.And whatever you wear and look like today - I will look at it as something YOU wear so my brain will go far searching for all the meanings, reasons and inspirations as always, it means every change is still very YOU

Daria said...

And you know what else? I think you think too much. This is your thing, totally, but it bites into you sometimes. Maybe this would be a nice idea for you just to let everything be...just like in that No doubt song Platinum Blonde kinda life -
I want a platinum blonde life
So I keep bleaching out the colors
I try to do what I oughta
Do you understand what I meant?

Gabrielle R. said...

Tavi-
I've been reading your blog for the past two years and have just never felt the urge to comment. After this post, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for making me think about just life in general. Fashion in general. Teaching me that having an obsession with fashion does not mean you have to dress the way fashion wants you to dress; it does not mean you have to idolize only the "most iconic" designers; and above all it does not mean you have to be "good or pretty or attractive".

Thanks.

-Gabby

Kacie said...

Hee hee. I can't believe I've never seen that movie! Must put it on the list.

Kacie
http://www.acollectionofpassions.blogspot.com/

MY NAME IS IRS..., IRS INITSUGA said...

Owhh...the overly-hi standart of so-called-beauty it's killing me. Not just in my society, even in my family. Nevertheless, so much effort we might to changed that fact, we just can't. Skinny/White/Socialite will be prosperous like...(i hope not) forever, and the opposites, well...have to encouraged themself as 'attractive-inner-beauty-personality', it's just deppressing, yet also waste of time. As myself, i've been battled to create my own 'perfect' self-image for a long time. And, some of it i'd accompished, but further now, just made me exhausted. I don't care what people think/judge me anymore, better be ignorant than be helpless mourners. The fashionese/-ista just made the freakin' standart, very shallow, but that's reality (it BITES!). As for the cult-anti-beauty film/art/fashion, err...no offense, but...somehow they're expressed hypocricy too, they still used beautiful artists, rite? (Winona, Virgin Suicide's, Isabela Rosellini, etc) Do they want a 'ugly' faced/body in their 'cult', heck no!That's how the entertaiment (wth they try to made it 'indie'-er) works.

Back to you, Tavi (as to much mumblings of mine), i really love how your post represented, as honest, and real phenomenon that really happened in our world (esp. fashion world) right now, nice!:)


XOXO,
http://irs-initsuga-cocoonair.blogspot.com/

Mari said...

you do look goos in that outfit.

http://uuuunique.blogspot.com

EmK said...

I love reading your blog when you post things like these because I know that I am not the only other person at this age who actually believes in reality.

People around me say you either don't care at all what people think of you or you care to much. I act like I don't care, but I do. I think anyone who says they don't care at all in any way but buys expensive clothing or does their hair, etc is wrong in that statement. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to fit the beauty standards of such a commercial world, in fact most do. But being able to admit it is at least is commendable. You wouldn't buy clothes if you didn't care.

P.s; I've secretly always wanted glasses, haha.

Tavi said...

Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments. (And now I feel a bit silly sitting here getting my ego inflated but I'll take it.)

I definitely overanalyze -- I'd like to just put on eyeliner in the morning without having to think about what that MEANS. And, I mean, contacts aren't bad -- most people DON'T wear glasses! Still, writing this got all these thoughts out of my system, and I feel lucky I have a bit of a community here who support honesty and share their points of view as well.

Intrinsically Florrie -- Sometimes I go back and forth with glasses and how accepted they are. I do think it's possible to be mainstream attractive with glasses -- bad on me for not clarifying that in this post -- but I know that for me, glasses don't highlight my facial structure or whatever, and *I* am more mainstream attractive without them.

neon rose said...

As always you say exactly what I think, but better and with more reason. And more big words. I do admit that sometimes I get upset, not because of the way I look, but because the way I do look doesn't fit in with the, as you would say, "general pool of people who might be considered attractive". And also, agreeing with the person who commented above me, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to look "attractive" to other people, because, however shallow, it does help you in life. Despite this,I think people shouldn't be made fun of for the way they look. It's not exactly like they got to choose to look the way they do.

Well, this is probably the longest comment I have ever done on a blog, and I'm glad I spent it on this one.

neonrosefashion.blogspot.com

CARRIE said...

Tavi, you are pretty all the time, though. You're pretty when you follow the norms and you're pretty when you're dressed up like a hobo grandma. Beauty can be found in many different ways, even in tragedy, so it's silly to limit ourselves to one convention because if we do we'd be missing out on so many other amazing things, no?

That being said, there's nothing wrong with evolving to fit the changes in your life. You're not any less "you", you're just in a different place. I recently looked through an old picture album from college where I listed all of my favorite things and where I thought I'd be in the future and I had to laugh because it's so far off from what I'd list today, although at my core I'm still the same girl from high school who wants to be a combination of Marcia Brady and Bjork.

Just go with it and dress how it makes you feel good right now. People who never change and grow are dreadfully boring and you, miss smarty-pants, are far more interesting than that.

June said...

Hello Tavi,

I believe what you're thinking and talking about is so very important - striving to be aware of yourself and the reasons you do everything that you do, is something that everyone should take the responsibility of doing for themselves. There is a science to it - there are reasons for everything that a person says and does, both conscious and subconscious.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with shaving your legs or putting on makeup and desiring to look a certain way. I don't think it's wrong to want to be physically attractive to other human beings. It's a primal thing.

As I see it, as long as everything you are doing is *your* choice, and not a result of insecurity or fear, then you can know inside yourself that this particular thing simply appeals to you and you like it for whatever reasons, and that's why you do it.

But majority of people do get rid of body hair and wear makeup, not because it's their true choice, but because they are slaves to their insecurities and fear, as much as they might deny it.

For instance, if a girl does not feel like she has any other choice but to go to a bar in a short skirt and tight top, and can't imagine/wouldn't be willing to walk in there in her most unflattering PJs, I would say that she does not have a choice in the matter, and is simply catering to her own insecurities or fears about beauty standards.


Tavi, it's so wonderful to see someone be so vigilant about the freedom of their own mind, to be greedy for it. It fuels my hope for a better future.

Capitán Ríos said...

in a couple of years, promise me you'll attend smith college. i think you'll find lot's of kindred spirits there.

June said...

P.S - I had another thought about your last comment - how you say you feel uneasy about playing their game.

I believe that feeling of uneasiness is there because "playing the game" is at its most base level, about attaining or maintaing power and status in some way. It doesn't feel good, because it isn't good. But in the reality of this world, I do believe that in order to protect ourselves from others who are very invested in superficiality, and that is a lot of people, we do have to "play their game" at some level in order to not get stepped on by them. I think it's very necessary to understand how the game is played so that you do not walk away from an aggressive female store assistant (for instance) and not really understand why you have just walked out of that department store feeling a little less confident about yourself. (because she was playing the game and you didn't even know there was one, so you ended up being walked over in subtle, yet effective ways)

Rachael said...

Tavi ~ I really empathize with you. I've been wearing glasses since I was seven-ish years old and never really thought about switching them out until about two years ago (when I was 27) I finally got the courage and suddenly it was like "Oh wow - my face looks completely different. I look...dare I say...pretty!*"

* = in that accepted in society terms

Sure enough, while still on my trial pair of contacts, I landed a supremely attractive boyfriend...who ended up loving my glasses more.
I now have the confidence to wear either/or but it took me a long time to get here...to not feel like I was "giving in" to either the idea of pretty OR into the stereotypes of a girl who wears glasses.
You're only human - and whatever you wear that makes you feel good about yourself, I say wear it.

City Girl said...

I totally agree with the fact that our society creates some kind of appearance standards that we all feel obliged to follow. I even feel insecure posting photos of my on my blog, since I believe that I'm not so attractive as other bloggers..
Even if I understand that this is silly I can't take the decision of taking my own pictures..

Ragamuffin said...

Thank you for posting this. Your intelligence and self-awareness is really astounding for anyone, but particularly for your age. I've been struggling with the conflicting desires to be "conventionally beautiful" and take advantage of all those privileges that come with it, or purposefully...not unattractive, exactly, but nonconformative certainly. I avoided getting contacts for 10 years because i felt like it would be caving into beauty norms. But it really just allows for more creativity; and then, if necessary, we can use normality to our advantage for brief moments.

Anyway, to sum up: Excellent post. This is a beautiful photo, and I really appreciate you posting it with your thought process. This is why you stand out among other style bloggers. You're really spectacular and I cannot wait to see what the future brings for you.

Miss Dolly said...

This argument seems to then simultaneously corner feminists into a bracket where it's assumed they can't be attractive and wear makeup/look conventionally 'good looking'/make an effort in their appearance because they're instantly assumed to be doing that to obtain male attention and conform to what men supposedly want women to look like.
Just do what you want for yourself. Always.

www.dressingmissdolly.co.uk

Kermo said...

Hey Tavi,
I've been thinking about this same topic, and I think I've come to some kind of understanding about why I've always wanted to be considered beautiful. I'll try to put it into words, so I can share it with you.

Right now, I don't need beauty to be great at my job. I don't need it to lure people into friendship and I don't want anyone else falling in love with me. I'm not looking for a job as a model, and no one is following me around with a camera.

And yet, I want to be beautiful. I think this is because I want to be a Protagonist, and Protagonists are (let's face it) usually beautiful. Ok, Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre were plain, but look at their cinematic counterparts. I want to make decisions, enjoy good things, and have my own story. The Goofy Neighbour or Homely Best Friend don't have significance or control. Their lives revolve around the interests of the Protagonist.

I think I've grown up with this association between beauty and significance. I've always known that life is easier (in some ways) for those with beauty privilege, but I didn't realize that I was assigning value to my own story based on such superficial assets.

Bianca said...

tav you look good kid.




http://crumpetsandt.blogspot.com

whitemaskgirl said...

As always, you are amazing on putting your thoughts on the paper (or in this case, the blog). I think it is your right to be what ever you are, beautiful or ugly grandmother. As long as you feel good about yourself, and the way you look. Because in the end, that is what is important. If you want to be dressed all black one day, and look like a clown the next, I don't think someone care really. Because the true spirit of fashion, really is that you are allowed to be who you are. The Industry has just lost their way, but I do think things will change soon.

Christina said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've been going through the same thing in terms of being "sexy." I've always had confidence in my personality, my brains, and my sense of humor. I had the same antagonistic attitude toward "prettiness," wore crazy makeup, weird outfits, and a series of homemade, crazy-ass haircuts. Over the last few years I've grown out my short hair and lost about 20 pounds by going on long solo hikes. I've seen a marked difference in how both men and women react to me - when they learn that I actually make jokes and like to talk about art, there's always a chance it'll be met with surprise (which I find patronizing) or jealousy. Ironically enough, it made me insecure for a while. Which is stupid! Because I'm still me. Always will be. I think part of growing up is realizing that having self-confidence sometimes means being okay with being conventionally attractive, and not having having a vendetta against your OWN standards of beauty just because they might overlap with society's. I love the way I look right now, and I'm more comfortable with my style than I've ever been.

PRETTY HAPPENS. DON"T FIGHT IT.

Hanna said...

crap, it all comes back to kid philosophy like being yourself

chagrin not said...

incredibly honest and bold post. you are very attractive tavi. conventionally or nonconventionally. utlimately it comes from your confidence and your integrity, constantly fronting your fashion sense and your quirky self. been reading your blog for past 2/3 years? dunno half a year after your originally started it and your growth is outstanding

Jule said...

Wow, at first: the pictures are very inspiring!

And then... The article is great, while I'd been reading this and some of the comments, I asked my self: Why do I want to be beautiful?
For me?
For others?
To be cool?
Actually I don't know why.
I want to find it out.

Thank you so much.
www.lifeisacutechaos.blogspot.com

penelopethierry said...

Wow, you look very... feminine. And I can totally understand your issues with beauty privileges etc.
I mean, we're in puberty and everything so it's normal to change your style every now and then.

lavogue-ish7 said...

firstly..I think sometimes veering toward hypocrisy isn't that bad..It sort of leads to self-development oui?! But not that I enjoy Hypocrisy in its evil form haha...
After reading this..I do believe self-acknowledgment....understanding..is the most important in today's beauty standards...The world is in a contrivingly complicated genre rite now..Its hard to self-reflect somedays..whether you're physically attractive or not. And thus it gets hard to be honest with oneself...Basically everyone's conforming into... someway or the other..
I just think that you're beautiful and You wear contacts if you want to. Your blog has always been about you and your opinions in a very genuine way..and these changes does not affect that.
P.s- you do look a bit like michelle williams here (I dislike the actress) but I do Like you :) and I loved heathers....miss winona!

CUP OF COUPLE said...

love heathers and laura palmer!! inpiring!!

G

Samantha Nandez said...

You're looking so grown up!! You're turning into a beautiful woman. I absolutely love the vibe of this outfit.

tala said...

If it makes you feel okay with how you look, who cares what other people think and say...What matters is how you feel about it yourself .
To me, everyone has their own unique beauty, each of us must find a way to tap into it.

This is what makes us beautiful human beings. Just an acceptance of who we are and what we look like. I think also, tapping on this individual uniqueness, makes the fashion world alive and interesting. Since out of this comes new ideas in fashion.

Tavi, whatever you look like doesn't conceal the fact of your talent, wit and intelligence. You Go Girl!

anne m bray said...

Tavi, you are an astute and venerable soul in a young body. I sure wasn't thinking so clearly when I was 15. (Then again, it was the 70s.)
Your posts are always interesting and I admire how you remain true to yourself despite all the societal pressure. Going from glasses to contacts IS a huge change. Stay strong and dress/embellish however you want to.

Emilie said...

Okay to be completely honest, as someone who has on and off followed your blog for a couple years, this is a bit of a relief to hear. Only because while I too admired some of what you were going for with that message, on occasion it felt as though it was being forced down the reader's throat (may I emphasize on occasion). It wasn't terrible, but there were times where I couldn't help but think there is nothing wrong with dressing to look "good". It doesn't make someone a conformist nor does it serve to undermine your message . Finally, though I don't want to go in to too much detail, I disagree with this idea that if you're "skinny and white" your obstacles are somehow lessened. I do agree though, that looks play far too great a role in determining a person's success and unfortunately are often prioritized over their competency.

laia. said...

A++

so proud of you boo.

Samantha said...

i love all this "beauty privilege" talk around the blogosphere - this post (http://rachelhills.tumblr.com/post/5876435777/do-sexy-girls-have-it-easy) has stayed with me as much as this one will.

Nicole said...

hi tavi. i've been reading your blog and never commented but i've always thought you were pretty. and it made me happy you didn't have to post a million pictures of yourself like others bloggers to validate yourself. always remember to be humble

Maggie said...

My thoughts as I scrolled from the top to the bottom of this entry:

Que Sera, Sera! I love that song.

Ooh, Heathers! Awesome movie.

Damn, is she obsessed with Twin Peaks or what?

Wow, Tavi is GORGEOUS. *stare*

/scroll some more

Holy crap, am I psychic?

Mina Jade said...

This is sweet. When I was a teen, I suffered so much because of my appearance. I was also anorexic. By now I love my looks - I still have my insecurities, but in general I am happy with my appearance. I am still very thin, and I love it. It expresses perfectly what I think about the world and myself. I am strict and independent and NOT a wife/mother material in the slightest.

Raymond Suny said...

You are too darn cute!

diana nguyen said...

You are too intelligent for your age. I've read your blog since you were 13 and even then, I couldn't believe how young you were. I'm 23 now but the way your mind works far surpasses my own, and a lot of people my age and older. Also, I've always thought that you were conventionally beautiful. A younger Scarlett Johansson, but that's probably just me. Keep on writing, you have a knack for it.

b said...

you know, theres a daria episode that covers this.

but manoman you are such a gem, little one.

sounds stupid, but i dealt with the same thing. i was conflicted between an accepted appearance and my own values...ultimately, trying to sum up who you are based on your face doesn't accomplish much. yes, people look at it and judge by it, but you aren't going to keep that job or friend or opportunity or whatever it is that your pretty face got you if you aren't any good at anything. a nice appearance might get you somewhere, but it wont keep you there. not to say that we shouldn't fight a societal pull towards good lookers, but still, theres a weeding process. at least, i think so?

so yeah, on an entirely shallow point:
damn woman! that picture is hot!!!

Loca nina said...

COOL BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

http://jula-locanina.blogspot.com/

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http://jula-locanina.blogspot.com/

Tatiana said...

I agree with you. appearance means a lot in our world. verified by experience. on that and saying "meet on clothes, was escorted to the mind":)

the paperdreams' honey said...

hey tavi, this is one of the posts of your blog I enjoyed the most.
no matter which beauty or anti-beauty standarts you follow - I am glad to hear that you always stay yourself.
you dress and style up yourself because you want to - and you show for me an essential part of fashion: it can be fun and enjoyable - and it can only be that if you are honest to yourself.

Aneta said...

Tavi, I agree with the point you make at the beginning - that it's important to be able to recognize and admit one's privilige. I believe it's damgaging not to.
In my eyes you are pretty in some pictures, beautiful in others, defenitely photogenic (which has probably contributed to your success, let's be honest, desire to look at beauty is a natural human drive). Go on, lovely, enjoy the game, while the biological time is right! ;)

Sofie Marie said...

This is all so inspiring,not just your post,but all these comments...they just let us as a blogging "family" but also a human "family" (yes,cheesy,bleugh bleugh) that we are all in this.We all feel this.

I'm 16,and find everything you write on here so relatable.I feel you just take my thoughts,and write them so eloquently. It's very important to question everything. Your questioning yourself,beauty standards,ect-which is really important.
I wear make-up(not in the masses,'cos it feels weird on my face),and at times I say "am I giving in? am I doing this for there sake?".It's so very challenging to justify wearing make-up-I'm constantly in fear that I'm not "me" anymore. But then I remember that often the make up I wear is to add to an outfit,and isn't to attract.And if I'm doing it to make me happy,then that's okay.And if I am purposely doing it to attract,then that's okay too-as long as that factor never becomes too important,because one day you'll fall hard on your face.
This is gobblydigook,so I'll just leave it there.
Sofie

KEEP BEING AWESOME!

Matrix Music Teacher said...

If we believe the movies, every plain girl (always the one wearing the glasses, BTW) can, by shaking loose her hair, removing her glasses, putting on some lipstick and a red dress, become beautiful. Happens all the time. Great post.

Maow said...

I FEEL YOU!
Sometimes i feel like i should feel like a bad feminist because i enjoy looking pretty. But then I think that's stupid and restrictive too. If you do it for yourself, for real, it's different (is it?)
I find it all really confusing, especially as someone who used to be obsessed with my appearance and spent most of my adolescence hiding away in insecurity. Now I try to keep a balance. I really don't care, in my heart, about appearance. But it does make me happy (as in cheerful, in a better mood) to look prettier. So, for example, now i only put on make up if i have spare time. I never create make up time by sacrificing other activities.
Dunno, it kinda works for me.
Anyway it wouldn't be fair to expect you to carry the whole weight of changing society's ideals of beauty.

L said...

why are there so few people like you?
you could teach your generation a thing or two.

Melissa said...

Beauty: is it real? Is it wrong? Is it right? Is it unavoidable? Are there privileges for those who fit into the norm? What about ugly?

I don't mean to overwhelm you with questions, as I'm mostly speaking to myself out loud as a reaction to reading this post.

It's good that you had these thoughts and let them float around.
I think the most important things thought didn't just occur to "geniuses" but to every body. the difference is that some people let those thoughts fully develop into self discoveries and sometimes world discoveries, while others shove fetus thoughts into the corner and carry on with their day.
Its kind of disgusting when you put it that way.

Melissa said...

thought abortion.

Alexandra Pauly said...

I admire the title of your post so much! "Pretty" is one of my favorite poems, or whatever I'm supposed to call it.

Alexandra Pauly said...

I admire the title of your post so much! "Pretty" is one of my favorite poems, or whatever I'm supposed to call it.

Me said...

I sometimes wish you would address topics which are less superficial, for someone so intelligent you focus on aesthetics and appearances an awful lot. Selfhood is so multi-layered and looks really don't matter, even the most conventionally attractive amongst us are so much more than what they see in the mirror, they may know that their appearance won't act as a barrier, yet they may have myriad other issues to face.

Cassandre said...

Tavi, you're post is great. As a 17 year old and in a way past SOME of the wildly angsty days I have found it becomes easier to accept one's inability to console this inner tension between who you want to be in an ideal world and the person you are in the real world. Everyday just striving to be honest to yourself is a hundred times more satisfying than keeping up with a standard you created. I would not presume to understand all your worries or insecurities or comment on your life as I don't know you but for some reason I felt compelled to say this and just really let you know that your honesty is really refreshing and as far as I have seen in my own life, a great attribute to have.

cmrd.anreus said...

Tavi,

Not only do I find your blog to be fashionably fabulous and your observations about cult classics such as My So Called Life and Freaks and Geeks to be spot on, but I particularly found your recent post about defining/re-defining beauty and plummiting into your teeenage years to be insightful and truthful.
I think the dichotomy you pose between being a feminist superhero and a conventionally attractive person is something many intellgent young women face often.
I do not think you need to justify this dichomoty because(at least from what I have learned in my limited experience of 21 yrs) life is never black and white and no one can ever be one type pf person.
I feel like I am rambling,
So........
be the best fifteen yr old you can be now and every other year the same after that. I know its a bit cliche, but thats all I really have.
Keep up the great work, you have even inspired me to get back into the social networking/blogging world.

In Solidarity,
Isabel

20thCgirl said...

As someone who has a pretty strong "bullshit filter" as you put it i can really relate to this. I guess it's just the line between accepting that wanting to be attractive is human - but you don't have to be what the media states attractive is to BE beautiful.

Cess said...

Tavi, you are (one of) the most crazy, creative and cooly dressed people Ive ever "met" (ive only read your blog u see, no I am not stoking u I am not as creepy as I may seem... Do I seem creepy?). I agree that your style has changed, but this is not a bad thing and you dont have to feel bad about looking good, youre just naturally pretty!I love your blog and hope you can find the time to check out mine:

http://theflowered.blogspot.com/

Charlie said...

aahhh! this outfit is perfection!

rouli said...

<3

Jean said...

Love that you have the backpack since you were 4.

H said...

GO HEAD ON 'N GET UR SEXI ON TAVI! UR BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT!

AimsterSkitz0rz said...

This is such a great GREAT post I agree. I feel and have felt the way you do. I really like that Kathleen Hannah quote because it is a sentiment I have had rolling around in my head for quite sometime and she articulated it perfectly. I am going to clip and save that. I love your blog so much! <3

RedHead said...

You look very pretty in this picture. It's true, whether you like me saying it or not.

kristyfruition said...

You're growing up.

And you're lucky being a smart person (not only a smart girl, a smart person) you can not only sense the bullshit of the apparent saintly quality of "not caring about one's appearances" but "caring too much about one's appearances" as well. And owning up to it. To be a functioning member of society, it's all about moderation, my friend.

Let's face it, the more we preach that physical appearance doesn't matter, that there is no standard of beauty (everyone is beautiful!), the more we're implicating that yes, being beautiful does matter.

We should instead be teaching people, it's OK to be ugly, and it's okay to be beautiful. Just like it's okay to be athletic or clumsy, dumb, or smart.

Claire said...

This is a wonderful post. I've also been experiencing something similar, in that I just one day woke up and was "pretty". I've really been struggling to figure out who I actually am, as in what I want to look like and all that fun stuff... It's quite complicated. And lately I've been leaning more towards the "I just want to be ridiculously ugly", but that never seems to come through in the way I dress... I don't think this is quite what you're talking about, but similar nonetheless.
I don't even know right now. But really great post, by the way!
www.notimeforchitchat.blogspot.com

Claire said...

Also I love the title! The poem "Pretty" right? Such a great poem. <3<3

Forest City Fashionista said...

Tavi;
I've followed your blog for a couple of years now, and watched you grow into a bright, self-aware,deliciously dark-humoured young woman. You will always have your essential self whether you are wearing contacts and red lipstick or glasses and purple hair. If you were my daughter I would be so proud of you!

Zayin said...

My cool older (online) girl taught me: not to feel guilty about who I am or what I'm into.

www.twwly.com

Jshizzle said...

That is a beautiful picture, and since you have the eye for it, you recognize your own beauty. I went through my teen years feeling very ugly and would avoid pictures at all costs.

homouscheesecake said...

nice post, one of the most honest things i've read/seen on the internet in ages. noone ever talks about your own perception of beauty, cool to see an actual person doing it honestly for once.

L!MEgreen said...

you look gorgeous in that photo and you look gorgeous in every photo you've before that one; whether you had glasses, makeup, or dead raccoons tangled in your hair. That's the important thing to know, is that even if you do "play their game" you can stop playing it any time and know that you will be just as happy with your appearance. i think if you value all different types of beauty that means also valuing the type of beauty that society values. and there's nothing wrong with that. Society has every right to value that type of beauty (it's when they discriminate against the other types that they start doing something wrong). So go ahead and wear as much makeup, as many contacts, as many dead raccoons as you like! If you like it and think it's good then nobody needs to justify it for you.

Emily said...

You're so much more than "just" pretty! you are brave and smart, and I love the way you have found a way, here, to communicate with other people about the feelings that teenagers have. In your blog you have a document of who you've been/who you are becoming. Is it hard sometimes to look at yourself in old posts? Think about the many layers of seeing oneself:how carefully we appraise our image in a photo, the sense of how others see us versus what we know to be true, the challenge of putting on eye make-up without one's glasses,the sense of security of "hiding" behind glasses versus contacts, the daily decisions we make, about how much to turn up the beauty privilege. Thank you so much for bringing your thinking to the "mindless" (or is it all consuming?) topics of appearance and fashion.

Fraîche said...

"Pretty Woman does not have to worry about missing out on opportunities because of her appearance"

This is exactly the opposite of true. As a woman scientist who obviously takes interest in and applies effort to her appearance, I am judged extremely harshly and constantly passed over for opportunity, despite the fact that I have more education and experience than some of my detractors. It really bums me out that you feel this way. Pretty still means dumb to most people.

parreya said...

You ARE CONFUSED to yourself? WHAT is Fashion?
BEAUTIFUL OR UNIQUE !! Unique might be cool but it might not cool too. Don't be Afraid to be pretty in cool way ! when you are 30 y/o what is your style?? now you are just excited in the hight school and try to dress like your friends in your group. that's all.

parreya said...

because your new friends at school are not into fashion. so that's why you are not into too!

XJ9 said...

Tavi, you have certainly grown up (and I mean that in the most respectable and non-creepy way).
I wish I had half the maturity that you have when I was your age.

Dafne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clairedontcare said...

You look very nice in this photo and you should not be afraid to post it cuz you look "good" Your blog is a place to express how you are feeling at the moment not how your astetic has been for the past few year.s People will respect you for it. You looked great as a granny on escasty and you look great now. If you use your excellent the bullshit filter, you will remain yourself and still look how you want to look.
I love the heathers and you look amazing so no sweat.

Strid said...

It's not about "fitting standards", it's about choice. Feminism is all about the freedom to choose. Freedom to wear, to make up, to act, to be who you want to be. If sometimes, you fit the society beauty expectations, it's not betrayal and giving in to pressure, it's expressing your free will. Being stuck in a model, even if it's a "screw convention" model, is as idiotic as wanting desperatly to fit normality. It's all about having the choice and choosing. "Sois anticonformiste et non pas conformiste de l'anti".

laikababe said...

I was wondering when heathers would show up here :)
I've been thinking a lot about conventional attractiveness lately too. And I'm exactly like you, I'll own up that I want to be perceived as attractive but I'm not quite ready to fully embrace that.
I had bad acne for a long time, and I was always convinced that people were looking at it so I slathered on makeup, wouldn't be caught dead without foundation. I don't think so much people really treated me differently, but I definitely felt insecure and paranoid, that I could never be considered attractive because what is attractiveness without one's face? And now, my skin has started to clear up a bit and I've stopped wearing makeup most days and it feels great. My skin can breathe, and I feel okay about it (and myself) for the first time in a long time. Sorry if I'm blathering on here...
People are so concerned about appearance and spend way too much time stressing about it! I think some people are surprised I like fashion and makeup and stuff because, well, I possess some intelligence, but seriously, everyone is more than a cardboard person.
Anyway I'm a big fan, you rock this stuff (the clothes and the inspiration and the films and the feminism and everything)- keep it up!

zoomslow said...

(Educational tone over.) = :-)))

martona said...

Your comments reminded me of a feminist in my country, that in the 70s-80s argued against the need to appear unshaved and ugly just to make a fashion statement. Feminists can have nice legs and show them, too.

vanessa. said...

You look gorgeous Tavi <3

-- Vanessa.

Solineauxfraises said...

Love your post !!

So Line
http://tutuetbarbeapapa.blogspot.com/

ambria said...

When I was in a high school, I had ideas against "vanity" and "materialism" and refused to wear anything nice or look in the mirror before I went out of the house. I love who I was then, but I later realized that it's okay for me to be interested in fashion.

You are absolutely allowed to appreciate how you look. If you don't allow yourself, you are actually playing their game more. You are just as much a victim as anyone who doesn't appreciate themselves because they don't have "beauty privilege". So stare at yourself in the mirror and think, "damn, I'm pretty", even if your good looks just happen to be what our society sets as a standard. It's good to think about what that entails, but don't let those standards make you feel guilty about being beautiful.

Filia said...

I think it's a pity that there are society standarts that rule our lifes - about what we should look like - but although I don't like it, I do fit in most of the time, trying to be "normal". It's not easy, but the most important thing is - that's what I think - to keep your identity and to express yourself the best you can. Only you can make yourself happy.

Love the Ninetees style!

Filia
filiasenchantingworld.blogspot.com

Lulu said...

I think this is one of the posts I prefer the most on your blog ^^. the reasons are quite obvious (see commentaries of above)


thanks for such a great blog!

Ravenna Moreira said...

NICE POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :DDDD

Tavi said...

Again, I appreciate all the 2 cent-offerings. I feel WEALTHY with KNOWLEDGE! Or something less lame.

parreya -- My friends respect how I dress, I can assure you I'm not trying to look like them.

Fraince -- I'm sorry to hear that. That's why I put "Of course, this is a general statement, but typically," in front of the part you quoted.

Me -- This is my space (thankfully not MySpace) and I write about what I want. I'm interested in aesthetics and have a lot to say about them. I couldn't agree less with "I sometimes wish you would address topics which are less superficial, for someone so intelligent you focus on aesthetics and appearances an awful lot" but I don't feel like doing the 101 of what my blog is about. Feel free to look through the archives, I have some posts there about fashion as self expression, or just open your mind a bit.

<3 to everyone.

Jessica Soukup said...

Tavi - here's to those of us who let that which is beautiful shine through, who know that is much more than enough, and who are discovering that makeup does nothing to hinder that, but is just another crazy fun art form with which to express ourselves and our ideas. :)

LauraPage said...

Love your retro kookie vibe!

parreya said...

Princess is Princess. You really deserve the crown.
And everybody get lost in the Twin Peaks town

Me said...

You're right actually Tavi, this is your place to express what ever you want and my comment was a little misjudged, what I or anyone else think you should write about doesn't matter one little bit; I sometimes forget this is a blog and not an academic journal on jstor or something. I just think it is easy to invest way too much of one's identity in appearances, whether or not you still looked like a grandmother on ecstasy or the beautiful young woman you are now, really has little or no influence on the person you are. I live in Northern Ireland and for the last semester of my university degree I've been concentrating alot on selfhood and identity; I've spoken to a few people who thought that putting on a specific colour of a football top encapsulated their entire identity-religious, political etc even though after a quick chat I found out that their real opinions were much more nuanced than their tribal colours might suggest. It just felt a little foolish that they regarded a bit of cloth that can be folded up and put into a drawer as one of the main exemplars of the people they are. I know that's off topic and your post was talking about a very specific subject, so again it was utterly misjudged of me to make such a sweeping generalisation.

LYDIA said...

I really want to watch twin peaks, it looks really interesting. I've seen you write quite a few posts about it but never thought anything of it... I finally came to search it and read the plot. Now. Theres one thing going on my christmas list. :D

http://lydia-floralandtheglam.blogspot.com/

Tavi said...

Me -- I appreciate your recognizing that and for saying so, which I know isn't easy. Fashion definitely can be superficial, but not always. Sometimes I want to write about something more stereotypically "intellectual," and sometimes I want to write about what makes me happy. xo

Vogueista said...

You like gorgeous in that photo! Ever considered modeling?

natalie and annabel said...

you look good in every picture i think.. because you always look like you. X

Megan xx said...

Tavi, you are beautiful. Not by current media's standards, but by the standards of encountering someone who's actually gifted, and, just... Special. This is you, Tavi, giving your words out to the world,and I have so much respect for you. Honestly, don't worry about the more "normal" side to things, because you're beyond that. Besotted with your blog, and, obviously, ( trying not to be creepy but failing- I'm being BRUTALLY HONEST IN SAYING THAT-) I just love you! You GET it, and I can't get enough. Keep going, we all think the world of you. : ) smiley face for you there.

Zoe said...

THANK YOU.

Living without beauty privilege is suprisingly difficult. Though I have the 'advantage' of being white I also have to live with the fact that my body will never be socially acceptable, by virtue of the fact that I have a disability and I'm outside of a 'desirable' weight range.. Even though I wish I didn't, I too struggle with the feeling of wanting to conventionally attractive. I'm surrounded by many women who honestly don't care about such things and I've always felt like the odd one out..

So again thank you for writing this!

However I think privilege (whether it be beauty privilege, racial privilege, social economic, etc.) comes with the responsibility of using ones power, so to speak, to challenge said systems of oppression. As a person coming from a white middle class educated background there are times when I wish I could turn my back on my upbringing but to do so is not really a viable solution. It might be easier to try and downplay ones privilege in order to escape the 'guilt' but, again, being in a place of privilege is something one can use to incite change.

If you are lucky enough to come across the anthology "This Bridge Called My Back" please do read it!! It's hard to read but I can honestly say it changed my life and my thinking about privilege and the intersection of race and gender.

That was incredibly long-winded and I have no idea if that made sense, so in short: Cheers on the great post!!

Nothing Lasts Forever said...

Love the outfit ! Your hair looks really good in blonde :) ! Check out : http://nothinlasts.blogspot.com/

Holly said...

What did she say? Your mom?

Furious George said...

You look amazing because the outfit, as usual, is carefully put together to reflect your chosen influences, and your sense of humour. You're a cute girl, which can go one way or another, but it's a great photo because you're dressing for your personality. Its seems to me that if some sort of conventional attractiveness also comes out of that, it's incidental.

meri said...

A N Y W A Y you're so cute...

this is always the last place i visit before sleeping (L)

Tavi said...

Thank you for the recommendation, Zoe! And for your own insight. Thanks to everyone else too. x

ataritastic said...

I think the misconception that "looking attractive" or "beautiful" can't also coincide with feminism is just plain wrong. I'm all for unconventional beauty standards, but I think that what should be more important than that and, in effect, would change what the world perceives as "beautiful" is just dressing for yourself. If you like how you look, no one else matters. If you think you look attractive, then that's more power under your belt. There will always be people that agree and disagree, but that added confidence can help you change the world.

Sorry, this is more like a blog post than a comment, but I ~*~*~felt like sharing~*~*~

Loca nina said...

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CORA said...

Another amazing post. i think its fair to say that everyone once in a while wants to feel attractive, I admire those who are so 'detached' from that wish but I myself find it difficult. That was a true reflection of yourself and I completely agree xx

Dhiana said...

beautiful pics...is this from a movie or a mag? some pics are so familiar, think I have seen these before..



_______________
Indian handicrafts online

anastacia bogdanova said...

thank you. i like what you write.

http://www.igoonnon.blogspot.com

nicoleciomek said...

You look gorgeous. Rock it.

Be true to yourself, and be who you want to be now.

At the end of day, we all change. We are all constantly changing. And when we are teenagers, we are changing at hyper speed.

Enjoy these different phases of your youth and seize the opportunity to explore.

meg said...

Tavi I have like A Lot Of Feelings about this? which I think also comes from like having been thoroughly convinced (and okay with) the fact that i was 'unattractive' until i turned 19 or so and went to college and realised that apparently most people thought the opposite was true? for a while i got really into it, this newfound pretty-ness, like i grew my hair out and dyed it blonde and dressed really girly and got really interested in boys paying attention to me and all that stuff. then the novelty wore off real fast and i cut my hair off again and started wearing funny things again and i don't know. and then two years later the real world happened and i had to 'look presentable' to 'get a job' which is also distressing, though at the same time i started sort of feeling more comfortable with 'looking feminine' or 'looking pretty' or something, without overanalyzing and critcizing myself if and when i wanted to wear makeup or shave my legs or whatever.

and so I think at some point it ("it" being the surprising fact that it took me 19 years to realise which is, of course, that i am at least reasonably pretty and definitely white and reasonably thin) sort of turned into something I could take advantage of, where like I could work in fashion and be by nature 5'10" and thin and symmetrical with long hair and like, use the privilege of looking like I fit in to be somewhere full of assholes and not be the asshole? also like Straight People Are Not Scared of Me because i look like a Straight Person so it makes it easier to be all "hey can you not call things gay when you mean stupid" and "let me politely correct you on that dumb thing you said." Which is weird and crappy and also makes me feel like this giant snob but yeah.

either way you should watch the episode of daria where she gets contacts, i think it is relevant and i once wrote a paper on it freshman year (of college).

toru4watanabe said...

"thin and white"? are you kidding me?

elyse said...

I hadn't noticed that you had gotten contacts! I have, however, been digging your outfit posts more than usual lately. You're rocking the (gothy, schoolgirl, teenage agnst, etc]) vibes amazingly well. I think it's cool if you wear makeup and take on a new style challenge.. because ultimately, you're doing what YOU want to do.

Restricting how you truly want to dress in order to rebel against society's norms is, in a way, playing their game. It could be interpreted as a sort of conformity with a counterculture too...

Always stay true to yourself, that (amongst other reasons) is why you rock! :)

An Ho said...

It's been a long time since I've seen an honest and reflective post. I think it's all right to worry and to question both your surroundings and yourself. I am also a fashion blogger. Clothes should not be a costume, a cover up of true emotions. Clothes should reveal expressions.

www.ahanimal.blogspot.com

Rachel White said...

Tavi, it's not about beauty, I think. Because you've always been beautiful. Just as clearly as you've always been white and thin. What I see in this picture is not about beauty, but about sex appeal. You look sexy here! And that is something that I think is to be embraced. Most all of us are sexual beings and there is nothing wrong with exploring and celebrating that sexuality in fashion. Too often though there seems to be some silent code amongst women that says if you want to be taken seriously, don't be sexual--don't be femme. If you want to be a feminist, don't wear the femme role (which is really a sex role too, as in a "in bed" role). I need to think about this more, but this line of thinking strikes me as particularly slut-shamey and destructive to sexuality. Hope some of this makes sense, my brain is feeling a bit mushed on these ideas, but I think there is something here. And fuck yes to you for looking a bit sexy.

GothBarbie said...

I love how you look in this photo! I think it's great to find a look that you ENJOY putting on.

I have to say that I've always been a glamour monger - loved "pretty dresses" from toddler on up - got into makeup in 3rd grade - and rejected all that "beauty" stuff for a year or two because of the gross reaction of the male animal. I dressed horribly on purpose to scare them off - but men are just as gross no matter what you portray so you might as well dress the way you LOVE to dress.

warren said...

'But even if I have my own reasons for doing so, I still can't help but feel a little uneasy about playing their game.'

...it's that very unease and self-awareness that can help keep you from spiraling down into a dismal oubliette of vapid insincerity.

Overconfidence is every bit as offputting as zero confidence, but for some reason we tend to respond more positively to the arrogant buffoons than those who prefer to be tentative.

Somewhere in the middle is nuance. I'd say you're doing pretty well.

Liina said...

I'm 28 and still trying to figure out my personal political stance on makeup/attractiveness. This post really spoke to me.

Corinna said...

This reminds me of the lyrics Ani DiFranco wrote in "Little Plastic Castle":
People talk
About my image
Like I come in two dimensions
Like lipstick is a sign of my declining mind
Like what I happen to be wearing
The day that someone takes a picture
Is my new statement for all of womankind

I wish they could see us now
In leather bras and rubber shorts
Like some ridiculous team uniform
For some ridculous new sport
Quick someone call the girl police
And file a report

Like Ani (back then, anyway) you have become a symbol of something to a lot of your readers, but good for you for allowing yourself to grow and change honestly. That's a symbol of something else very good!

Nina Morena said...

I love this. You do look good in that picture, don't ever be ashamed of embracing your beauty. Although I don't like looking like I stress out about society's standards, I agree with what you're saying. We try to look good for US. Being white and thin is not something we could have helped turning out like. As for finding yourself attractive, it's really great that you do because a lot more people find themselves ugly. Your natural confidence should never disappear.

kt said...

At 27, I joke with friends that I was a hell of a lot more interesting and cooler as a pre-teen/teen. I was heavily influenced by a particular alternative tastemaker at school, an older girl named Julia, and by junior high I was a self proclaimed rude girl who prided herself on being knowledgable of traditional ska music and the scene. I can understand now how much my style was a reflection of being heavily into music and their accompanying scenes. I have a whole separate rant regarding music and how scenes and style emerge through it, but for now I'll just focus on the issue at hand. I think that you'll see as time passes, even when you start to become more mobile, and have sufficient funds to explore your style even more freely, that your internal, mental, and emotional states have much to do with how you choose to present yourself. As I've grown older, my penchant for style and fashion remains, but admittedly I've grown super lazy. I don't put in the same kind of effort and enthusiasm as I did 10-15 years ago. I don't have the same kind of energy to expend in being more fashionably creative at this stage in my life. I used to scour thrift and vintage stores, and hang out at the local record store all of my free time, soaking up everything that I possibly could. But now, as everything's much more accessible to me, I lack the same intense desire to explore and learn in the same way that I had years ago. I guess that makes me sound jaded, but I don't believe that's it. It's when you reach different points in your life and have experienced different things that tend to shape your appearance along the way. There are different concerns occupying my mind that weren't there before. Like having an existential crisis every month. Or needing to figure out where to live, and work, and eat, and socialize. The general things we have to learn in order to be a self sufficient adult.

I think your style is relevant and reflective of where you are in your life as a high school student, which is exactly what it should be. There's no need to politicize everything you wear or don't wear. It's okay to put on make up everyday if you want to. It's okay to wear contacts if that enhances your look. I myself wore glasses since age 10 until 24, mostly bc contacts scared me. But now that I've switched, I don't know why I couldn't do it sooner. The whole idea is that whatever you choose to do, is ultimately for you.

Dahl said...

It's funny, because when I saw that picture, my first reaction was "wow, Tavi actually looks like a teenager now." I mean, you've kind of already been one for 3 years now, but you look distinctly older/more sophisticated in that photo. I get what you mean about being shocked that you actually look "attractive" (which, by the way, you were all along), but growing into our own skin is something that happens to everyone, and you should embrace it.

mike said...

Well Tavi, all I can say is that the picture of you from the magazine article where you are standing in front of the house in the snow, is well, just incredible. It can't be done better. As for glasses or contacts. Glasses can be a real drag to wear because they get dirty and blurry. But take it from someone who knows, I have been wearing contacts for the past 14 years and only because glasses can't fix my vision problems at all. I have to wear contacts or I can't see at all. Trust me, I consider you be be very lucky in being able to choose one or the other. For what it's worth to you, you really do look great!

Hazel said...

Totes appreciate the post about privilege. Even in the feminist communities that I'm invloved with, it is not always completely understood. There are many, many kinds of privilege. For beauty, as you mentioned, age, race, gender, etc. I noticed that you mentioned tumblr too. ^.^ You should check out inherhipstheresrevolutions.tumblr.comShe posts a lot on privilege. Def on of my favorite bloggers. Maybe you could post more on it in the future?

Cheers,
Hazel

heatherheartsfashion said...

I love my face, and I don't think anyone should be guilty of loving or wanting to love their faces and/or bodies. I happen to also enjoy looking like a grandmother on ecstasy at Fashion Week, and may well do so if I ever get the opportunity to go. I know would dress in my own way whether or not I thought I was beautiful, but I consider myself lucky to actually believe that I am beautiful, and I'm not scared or ashamed to say that. I probably feel better about the way I look than the majority of all those girls who do feel that unfortunate societal pressure to be pretty.

You will never be 'conventionally attractive' Tavi because you are beautiful (not to mention exceedingly stylish, intelligent and fabulous) in your unique way, and you should be proud!

Thank you for your endlessly inspiring and thought-provoking blog.

http://heatherheartsfashion.blogspot.com/

Marissa Joy said...

Pretty picture! And while I completely agree that there is a beauty privilege, (just like there are so many other forms of privilege), I think beauty can also act as a deterrent to people taking one seriously.

Similarly to being fashionable- which at my high-ranked university, saying one has an interest in fashion is usually an invitation for the comment "why?'" and then a judgment regarding one's intellect- I believe that beauty is also cause for a lot of scrutiny. Jealousy, judgment, and expectations usually come along with a pretty face.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying that beautiful actresses and models should be crying about their hard lives. However, beauty definitely has its societal benefits and occasional societal deterrents.

stylebymj.blogspot.com

Maddie said...

you're growing more and more gorgeous every day <3 and I love the message of this post

fashiondevotion said...

You look awesome in that photos, and really have captured that Heathers/Twin Peaks high school vibe xxx

www.fashiondevotion.com

Fee said...

Wow! The pictures are just so amazing! I love the outfit! Lovely Post! Your blog is simply so amazing!

Please vote for my dress!

Ms Avery said...

Thirding/fourthing the people who recommend the relevant episode of Daria...

Alexandrа said...

You look much older with this lipstik! But I like it!


http://ohsoalexandrish.blogspot.com

Lydia said...

Well, I think you look beautiful and there's nothing wrong with looking beautiful. And so what if some people are just naturally pretty? Is it better to be unattractive and above it all? I don't ascribe to any particular beauty standards, or think that women should strive to be pretty or wear pretty clothes and make up to fit into societal standards, but I think it's important to love yourself. And if that means loving how you look in pictures, loving how you look in clothes, in make up, naked, first thing in the morning, however, whenever, what's wrong with that? Being pretty doesn't mean you have to fit any sort of mold or be perfect or standard. You're gorgeous, and that was my first thought when I saw this picture. Own it, girl.

Sarah Williamson said...

When I saw the picture of you--before I read anything else--I was actually taken aback by how ethereal and lovely you looked. Normally that's a side of Tavi we don't get to see. You are beautiful, and yes, life does have a different flow for the beautiful. While fashion is about pushing boundaries, it's also about excentuating who you are as a person. You're so inspiring--I love reading your posts. I think they speak to the angtsy teen that still lives inside me. Keep it up.

-Sarah
www.sarahplanet.com

L said...

1-Love the Leslie Knope reference.
2-I really need to start watching Twin Peaks. My friends say I look like Laura Palmer. I even went blonde to red, which somehow goes along with the story line? It completely creeped them out.

www.blackandblondeone.com

Limequat said...

Tavi, whether or not you are uncomfortable in the public eye, I'm glad you are in it. There are many people who really need to read what you have to say (and look at your awesome photos) and really reflect about what it means to themselves, to their friends/lovers/wives/daughters/boyfriends, and to society.

...no pressure. lol

Clever Name Etc. said...

maybe part of being privileged [the part that alleviates guilt anyway] is having the compunction and ability to help people that are not as privileged. sort of like using your super powers for good.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

Brilliantly written. All points aside, you are way ahead of your age as always. I think everyone deep down inside cares (to whatever minute degree) about their appearance in some way. Sadly, this doesn't change as you get older. Thank you for dissecting this in such a simple and poignant way.

Rachel Cannon and Ken Sims said...

You look beautiful Tavi! Whether you're ugly or pretty, what you look like does not determine your personality. We will love you either way. : )

Sincerely,

www.SartorialSoul.blogspot.com

Daisy said...

I went through the same issues when I was your age, I fought against all the conventions of what it meant to be pretty. What you didn't mention is how you are becoming a woman, and as cheesy as that is- finding ones own beauty and sexuality is part of that. Wanting to be attractive is part of figuring out who you are as a woman, weather or not we want that to be true. When I compare your style now to your style when you were 12 on your blog I don't think about beauty (because you are beautiful) I think about how you are starting to be a woman instead of a girl. That is really the only difference I see. Its amazing to watch you change and grow.

Amelie said...

Thank you for this post, Tavi. You do look gorgeous and you should definitely not be ashamed of it. You got beauty and charm, which is great.

I think oftentimes we're afraid to let our beauty out. I'm not sure why we're fearful of it, but it's a real fear.

justinmanning said...

Before I even read the massive thing about being worried about looking good, I was thinking "damn, Tavi, you're lookin hot!"
But anyways, there is nothing wrong with looking hot. Keep it up, I'm loving it.

Sara said...

Okay - unrelated but I only started reading your blog (I know KIND OF LATE right?) but its got me hooked. My favorite thing to do with any blog is to scroll to the archives and click to the first post, read that, then jump back to now. Its always incredible to see how, what starts off as a little online project, grow and change as does the blogger change. I started a fashion blog of my own and I'm still trying to get my footing in with all the fashion blogs swimming around now. I'm incredibly fickle and tend to loose interest in things very quickly so its become my personal goal to stick this blog through (as I didn't with the others HAH.) so that I've got my own little list of blog archives to scroll through one day.

Your blog is refreshing to read and exciting to look at. I'll always keep it in mind as I attempt to not care about the confines of beauty (okay related to your post now).

and just because I'm like every other wannabe fashion blogger, let me spam my URL once: lamodequivole.blogspot.com

Diah Deir Zahrani said...

wow Tavi, you're on Go!girl magazine Indonesia. now lots of indonesian teenagers know you amazing style.

Festy said...

Great post!
Have a nice day!
xoxo
Festy
http://festyinstyle.blogspot.com/

Love Nicoline said...

You & your blog are sooo amazing & lovely

Love Nicoline❤

elisa. said...

hey tavi i like your blog,mostly the 90`s vibe.
saludos !

(im from chile,south america)

Kim said...

Gah, I wish I could word my thoughts as eloquent as you do. Anyway, during highschool I resigned to the fact that I wasn't "conventionally attractive" (or even mildly attractive at all). It didn't _really_ bother me that much, I had friends and did my thing. But then by the time I graduated my acne cleared and I figured out how to pluck my eyebrows and hey, suddenly I didn't look half bad. I wish I could say I didn't care either way, but I suppose I am a bit vain now. Because if I don't put in an effort now I'd feel like I'd do my former "ugly duckling" self a disfavour. So ironically I'm more concerned with my appearance now than back when I didn't look half as good...

Stacey said...

I completely agree that its sometimes hard to love fashion and love individual style that deviates from conventional beauty standards. You actually inspired a post on my blog: http://staceysfashionblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/tavi-is-incredibly-smart-girl.html

So long as you stay thoughtful about being true to your individuality there's nothing wrong with being conventionally pretty too.

admiralsmallhat said...

oh Tavi, you are allowed to be beautiful. But it's not the thing we like you for.

flashingfashionx said...

You always so inspired by old movies and photographs are you never inspired by modern films or artwork?

http://flashingfashionx.blogspot.com/

yuyu holickova said...

B e a u t y is a coat of the s o u l.

Kirsten said...

I can see where you're coming from with the whole 'conventional beauty' thing. Though I also feel like you are defending yourself too much. It's okay to feel pretty and find yourself attractive.

I can remember sitting with my mom and my 9 year old sister talking about my mother's wrinkles and my acne. We told my sister how lucky she was to be so effortlessly beautiful. We asked her what she thought and very humbly and modestly she said: "Well, I think I'm beautiful."

See what I mean? Also, I really appreciate you writing things like this. I am a 15 year old girl too, so when I read your blog it is a nice reminder that I'm not the only one going through this chaos.

Cheers, Kirsten

Stephanie said...

you have such a unique voice. fantastic post!

unicornsplooge said...

i really love reading your blog and seeing the changes that your fashion, influences, and inspiration have gone threw...I'm not that much older than you but it definitely makes me reflect on how drastically i have changed since i was 15 and makes me feel a sort of nostalgia about growing up and how we all aren't much different as girls who go through phases and changes... i don't think you should concern yourself so much with trying to not give in to conventional beauty because either way you are by being concerned with how you look, which i don't think is a bad thing because its a form of expression. just look at changes in your fashion as landmarks in your life...people are silly if the expect Tavi to stay one way forever, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel beautiful..its empowering and beauty is whatever you make it

Resources for Aspiring Law School Applicants said...

Dear Tavi,

When I was in high school, and all the way through college I liked to dress in loud colors, big glasses, perms, boy-cut hair, combat boots, be ghetto fly and all that.

Some days I felt insecure just like any old girl, and other days I felt as though I was braver than anyone for daring to wear unconventional clothes. All the while, I strove to be kind, intelligent and open to anyone, as a means of demonstrating in my own, indirect way how appearances can have very little to do with the inner substance of a human being.

Then I got to thinking...

If clothing, to me, truly had so little to do with what I want, ideally, for myself and others to consider MOST IMPORTANT (kindness, thoughtfulness, yearning for further knowledge and real human connection)--then why did I beat myself up some mornings trying to put together a cool-but-unconventional outfit?

And, just as I felt alienated by well-groomed girls in expensive clothes, didn't others around me feel alienated or confused by their own interpretations of the signals my appearances were sending?

What if I was hiding behind my glasses and using my outwardly silly appearance to excuse: a lack of conviction; not having something interesting to say; shyness; unwillingness to engage with the world in a productive way.

I'm 23 now and I'm going to law school. I'm not going to wear beat up Air Force Ones with cut up dresses anymore, and that's okay. It was fun to dress the way I did when I was young like that, but it's time...to go Banana Republic to revamp my wardrobe before school starts.

I acknowledge that as social beings, people are going to judge my competence at least initially, by the way that I look. It sucks, but I've got to pick my battles.

And besides, I'm much more confident in my arsenal of thoughts, words, opinions to not to have to wear my armor of clothes.

I don't think there's anything wrong in thinking that fashion can make a statement. But WORDS, such as the ones you write are so much more direct and better equipped to facilitate a progressive conversation between people than something as ambiguous in meaning as an outfit.

I love that your blog brings the outer and inner Tavi in confrontation with each other and I wish that I had come to embrace my natural desire to..well, not look like a silly girl all the time.. as early as you did. I imagine I still have a lot of hair-growing months ahead of me before I start feeling like a full-fledged lady.

You're great! Thank you for sharing yourself with the ladies of the internet.

aphasia said...

you look amazing. i am twenty years or so older but i love the 'heathers' montage in conjunction with that. and i remembered how i was so, so excited about getting gla

sses as a kid. your blog has always made me feel happy/
inspired, and thanks..if you want to tell people about the evolution of your aesthetic, and even have fun in high school, it doesn't make you less real to anyone.

Tessa G. said...

Perfect.

I loved this and am reminded heavily of the episode of 'Daria' where she struggles with the idea of getting contacts because she doesn't want people to think that she is into vanity-or she doesn't want to admit she is experimenting with vanity. I get stuck with the same mindset-I sometimes get upset when I want to look "attractive/hot" because I know I don't need to do that because that's not what I want to base myself on. It's hard when as a woman you're supposed to be nice to look at, but when you know what you have more to say and offer than your looks, it gets hard when it comes to focusing or playing up on the former.

There are times where I want to play down my attractiveness (not in a pompous way, but as you said, I possess qualities that people would consider attractive) and depend solely on my personality. It's interesting to see how people perceive and treat you. Changing styles and embracing a personal change is always a little unsettling while being extremely exciting. Don't ever worry about catching flac for change in your appearance and style. People who don't allow you to grow into what you want to be and experience are lame. Rock on-do what you want.

I think you look beautiful in that photo, and I thought that before you had pointed it out. I also think that people should be more willing to point out when they look good. So many drone on and on about their imperfections-the opposite is much more constructive. Nice.

Great post, Tavi.

Jenna said...

Tavi, your individuality is what makes you beautiful. Yes, that's directed exactly to you. From the bottom of my heart, I have always seen you as a very pretty girl. I remember commenting a post of yours around a year ago with "you should consider modelling".
However, I understand and agree with what you're saying. Society dictates what's considered beautiful and what is not; such contributions are also evidenced through the media, i.e. the Kardashians blah blah blah. But, whenever I see somebody who is smart and/or unique, I see them as beautiful. However, many people don't and I've accepted that. I'm constantly trying to appear 'prettier'. It's what males expect of females - and that's the truth.

Tavi - I think you're beautiful, but I also believe that your intellect coupled with your individuality makes you extremely likable, hence the millions of followers. Please, don't change that.
Makeup doesn't change who you are - it can make you more confident, thus enhancing your self-esteem. Makeup experimentation is integral to an individuals development. As a teenager myself, I concur with such statements.

Once again, don't change Tavi. We're all here to support you.
And yes - that photo of you is stunning.

Lottie said...

What a beautifully written blog entry.

Your ideas on beauty really struck me. When I was at university I was a lot fatter than I am now and I used to look on in envy at the girls in my classes who conformed to the media ideals of beauty. It must also be said that back then I had no style to call my own.

Now I have lost some weight (not to conform you understand, but for my own health) and in doing so I have gained the confidence to wear things I never would have before, sticking two fingers up to those who think I look ridiculous. I am comfortable in my own skin and even more comfortable in my developed style.

Never worry what others think. If they think you are the stereotype of beautiful, that's them and must only be taken as a compliment, as likely intended by that someone. If somebody thinks you are ugly, then take that as a compliment too, as it means you are different, and the world would be a boring place if we all looked the same.

Me? I think you are gorgeous, but you must understand this is not based on the conformities of beauty, but your amazing natural sense of style.

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