Month: May 2014

How to Look and Feel Confident in Clothes?

Here is another question I found on my new favorite site XoJane, this one from a young woman trying to figure out the basics of dressing to impress when your body type may be less than impressive:

I need help managing my image. Externally, I mean. Internally, I’m happy with how I “look,” so to speak, but externally, I feel like a total slob. It might sound a little arrogant, but I’d like if my appearance, fashion-wise, could be as cool as I think I am…
The problem is, I’m totally clueless about dressing myself. I know what looks good on other people, however when it comes to my own clothes, I always find myself unsatisfied. My body shape is kind of odd in that I’m a bit taller than average, slim, and very top heavy. I don’t feel comfortable in tops that show off my cleavage, nor in bottoms that reveal too much of my long legs. I also dislike baggy clothes, or clothes that cover up too much. No matter what I’m wearing, either I feel like I’m being unprofessional and revealing too much of my body or unfeminine because I’m completely covered up in something unflattering.
The clothes I’m most comfortable in are skinny jeans and men’s white undershirts: in that sort of outfit, my legs get accentuated a little, and the curves on my chest are neither completely invisible nor directly in anyone’s face. But I know I can’t wear those clothes out, and to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed of them. I want to look like a put-together, confident woman. My clothes don’t do me justice, and it’s completely my own fault.
I don’t really like accessories, make-up, or cute hairstyles. I’ve always been pretty tomboyish, in the sense that I don’t like to spend too much time getting ready; I’m definitely a throw-it-on-and-go kind of girl. I like dresses and skirts, but I feel like they show too much of my body, so I can’t really wear them. I also like to feel like I can run if I need to (what if there’s a spontaneous butterfly that needs chasing?), so skirts that are too long or too tight are no good for me.
To me, my body is a very private thing. I love showing myself off to my partner, but I don’t want the world staring at me and seeing too much. At the same time, I want to look the best that I can, and I know that at this point I just don’t. How can I dress myself better? Please give me some advice.

My Answer:

Despite you saying at first that you are “happy with the way you look” it doesn’t really come across as such in the rest of your statement, there is just a whole lot of negativity going on in there that I think you may want to re-evaluate. We all know that we are our own worst critic don’t be too hard at your reflection in the mirror.

Now remember that there are parts of everyone’s body that might not be “ideal” I mean come on not even the Human Barbie naturally has the perfect body and not everyone has the means or conviction to go under the knife. So how do people do it? How do they manage to put themselves together day after day as they go out to face the world? Fashion, which doesn’t mean that you need to stalk the runway or buy pricey duds but it does mean learning about what works for you and your body.

You say that you are top heavy with long slim legs, next you go out shopping try on the popular Peplum tops to pair with your favorite skinny jeans and a cute heels or flats. It is an easy grab-and-go addition to your wardrobe and what it also does is create balance and a feminine shape for your body.

Peplum Top from French Connection
Peplum Top from French Connection

Another item that you might want to explore is the A-Line midi skirt. It too with give you a fuller bottom half as well as give you some modesty while still being comfortable and easy to wear matched with a Graphic tee and a pair high-top All Stars or light loafers with a leather jacket.

Image c/o collegefashion.net- Outfit Inspired by Rachel
Image c/o collegefashion.net- Outfit Inspired by Rachel

The point is you can’t be afraid of trying new things. Each time you go shopping make it a point to try something that you wouldn’t normally go for. I mean what is the worst that can happen? You put it on and you don’t like it? Fine take it off and try something else, no biggie! Also if your shopping with a friend bring someone who is supportive of you, will give you an honest opinion and whose style you admire. So leave your man at home and work it out!

Your style should always say something about you, and why should it say anything but “I am fabulous, confident and I make this look easy!”

Don’t forget to check out xoJane for more questions like this and other fun and informative articles!

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Unemployed? So, Now what?

Things recently have been super busy for me and I was worried I wouldn’t get the opportunity to commune with all of you, my dear readers, with a new post anytime soon and so I asked a dear friend of mine, D. Ajane Carlton, a currently unemployed actress, what tips she had for those who might find themselves in similar situation. Check out her post below!

The fact is that in our current economy unemployment is like mono in high school, somebody is gonna get it and it might be you! So this “list” will hopefully lend you (or someone you know) some leverage to get out from under the huge rock that a lot of Americans are pushing up that mountain. So, Let’s Go Sisyphus!!!

First Things First!!!

FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT!!
I cannot stress this point enough.
FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT!!!!!!

Are you unemployed? YES?
Do you like doing fancy things like; eating and paying rent? YES?
Would you like to continue doing those things? YES?

Then FILE!!! Seriously, it’s there for you, for this exact reason! Trust me, its best to do this as soon as possible, because in some states like, New York; there is a “wait” period of at least one week from the day you first file a claim before you can start receiving benefits. So as soon as you get a chance get that done! And it is so easy to make your weekly claims by phone or on their website; they’re basically giving you a few months (approx. 26 weeks) of money so you don’t need to start looking at that Cup O’ Noodles like it’s gourmet dining (unless you are into that sort of thing.)

Have you filed? Ok, Good.

Next: Have a drink, or five…

Losing your job or being fired sucks balls! So feel free and totally vindicated to go out and let it all out now in the company of friends (and strangers) who have been where you are right now. Seriously shake out the shock, dance off the doubt, drink out the… umm… BAR! Allow yourself a few hours (or days…not too many though) of FTW, before you go and deal with the real world.
But remember to drink responsibly (or at least with responsible people!), although if you end up in the hospital, losing your job won’t seem so bad… I guess…

Had your drinks? Woken up early with a hangover, only to realize you don’t have to get up, because well… What job?!

The Work of Finding a Job:

Whoever said finding a job is full time job itself wasn’t lying. When you consider the unemployment rate for the United States is 6.3% (as of April 2014), that might seem like a small number but trust me, that’s A LOT of people looking for a job. But, now that you don’t have one, HAHAHA (too soon? Sorry…) this might be the best time to put some strategies into the foundation you are building your life upon.
Is the job you had one you wanted to keep for the rest of your life, moving up the ladder to see how you got before retirement? If it was, then it’s time to go back to take a step back and review what resources you have at your disposal. Plum your former teachers professors and colleagues for advice.

Remember that guy you met at that conference a while back who told you to keep in touch? TOUCH HIM!! (not like that!) Resources like these (personal contacts) may get some of the leg work done for you. Don’t feel like you have to start running them to ground either, linkedin.com and similar social websites may also get you a lot more mileage than you expected.

Although, this status change, to unemployed may be a real wrench in your Corporate America takeover plans. Have no fear! This is a great time to start fine tuning your skills in order to prepare yourself for your next move. What do you have that others don’t? What can you do to make yourself the better bet? A broken bone once healed is stronger than before.

Now, if the job you had was just that, a job, take this break as a good time to focus your talents, put some real, thorough thought into where you want to go next in your life, and in your career. Are you just looking for something to pay the bills while you finish your screenplay? Do you need a day job to make your car and credit card payments so you can save up a good chunk of change for that summer tour with your band that all your YouTube fans have been begging for? Well then perhaps a “Survival Job” is more your speed.

A survival job is basically that, a job that keeps the cash flowing so you can focus on your non-corporate career. But it’s not just being a cater-waiter or a bartender, so you can audition during day, although that work is perfectly fine, it’s using your talent in more diverse ways. Are you a Ballerina who just got off back to back tours and you wanna take a minute and eat a freakin’ hamburger? Teach a dance class. Lead guitarist in search of your next band? Teach beginners guitar at your local Community College. An actor whose independent film went to Cannes, and now all you’ve got is a freaking T-shirt? Monologue coach anyone? If you know how to do something and do it well there is someone who wants to learn to do it too!

If you noticed that there were a lot of questions in this post; being unemployed like all other change, is the best time to start asking questions. Big questions like: Where do I want to go from here? Is this what I want to do with the rest of my life? Or even the small ones like what was Cellino and Barnes’ number before they changed it that 888 B.S.? Or why don’t I know any cool card tricks? I think in this day and age we place so much importance into the jobs we have that they become who we are. The status of being employed and upwardly mobile can overshadow all of the other things we are as human beings. To be quite frank, when a woman commits suicide rather face another day of being unemployed, there is a problem with the system. In other words, finding a job will as long as it takes, just don’t be afraid to ask the questions.

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Lesson learned; 5 yrs. later

It’s that time of year again, Graduation Season! As thousands upon thousands of students countdown to that day when they too will don their cap and gowns to walk across that absurdly long stage and take those first initial steps into “adult-hood” and all the opportunities to go out and concur the world; to make a difference and to be successful.

This May being my 5th anniversary from graduating from University.I can’t help but wonder if I was ever so innocently optimistic?

What have I learned since then? What would I tell those who are preparing to leave school and the realities they are bound to face?

1. Don’t rush into furthering your education (Graduate-level) right away: It is not that I don’t support more education, because really nothing can be further from the truth, the fact still stands that unless you are going to Med-school or Law school (which may not be such a smart move either) will only put in you in debt with no work prospects. There are tons of people with advance degrees who can’t find work in their prospective fields who are stuck working whatever job they can find just to keep there heads above water and a great majority of them are barely managing to even do that! So my advice is to put it off for a while and look into starting a career first because there are still some companies that offer tuition reimbursement and/or training that you would need to grow in your career.

Being social at the work place….

2. Learn Business Etiquette: Trust me on this, no matter what field you are in or what you are doing, learning how to appropriately communicate and interact with your co-workers and superiors (both written and spoken) is the Number #1 rule for succeeding in the work place. In Corporate America, even if you work for yourself, your not moving up that ladder unless people take you seriously and they LIKE you!

I can’t even begin to tell the amount of times I have had to tell co-workers (my age and some younger) that Yo’ is not a greeting, emails don’t begin with Hey and now is not the right time to have a loud ass discussion about that party you went too last night! (Don’t laugh! It happens!) There are tons of online resources that will teach you the basics of how to write emails, memos, minutes, slides etc. and they are all FREE! so there is no reason to not do your research and save your self some aggravation and start your career with your best foot forward.

Speaking of jobs…

3. If you managed to land a job realize that you are lucky to have one, no matter how much it sucks: I get it, you have just spent all of that money getting your degree and the last thing you imagined yourself doing was working at the supermarket, mall, movie theater etc. The moments when you hear “Where is the restroom?”, “Can you make that a Large?” or “I need you to order my lunch.” make your eyes roll and lead to drink away your misery.

But guess what? you have a job! Your making money and you are getting out of house! And trust me after spending almost five months unemployed I was all too happy to get that job working in retail for the holiday season and so should you be!

Making it Work…

4. Have a Plan A and figure out how to make your present situation work towards that plan: So your working the sucky job but have dreams of owning your own business/writing/acting etc. It is all about making where you are right now work for where you want to go. All those hours you spend sitting at your desk doing virtually nothing, start doing some research about what you would rather be doing, start writing that great novel in between calls or start a blog *wink-wink*. In retail and wanting to act: start playing with character development while your on the sales floor, change your accent, start quoting lines from your favorite movies at the register!

Not only does this make your day more interesting for you but allow yourself to work towards your Plan A and still make the money you need to survive.

5. There is no shame living within your means: Financial literacy is what your quality of life will be built on because there is nothing worse than worrying over money. It will affect your relationships, family planning, career, health etc. And is one of those things that is never too early to learn. If your lucky enough to have family that will continue to support you, take advantage of it! Even if that means living at home for a while, not buying rounds at the bar for all of your friends and getting those $300 shoes.

And if your friends try to laugh about you still living at home and being on a budget just let them know that when they start worrying about their credit card bills you will be laugh all the way to bank! And get you some like minded friends, on time, who are trying to something with themselves!

If you get the chance…

6. If you can swing it, Travel: While you are still young and free from significant commitments see the world, not only will you get the chance to learn more about others but you will definitely come back (if you decide to come back) knowing yourself a whole lot more.

There are tons of opportunities to go abroad and work/volunteer, like Teaching English in Asia or doing Eco work in the Andes and you will never regret the experience and the stories you will have for a lifetime. If you do decide to go, a word or two of caution; do research about the country you are looking to visit; not only touristy spots and night life but the political climate as well. Also just because your traveling/working abroad doesn’t mean you can ignore your financial commits back home (ie: Student Loans) make sure you work out a plan to continue making payments on those while you frolic over seas.

It is important to remember that there will be surprises, break-ups, let-downs, laughter, tears and tantrums along the way. But just take a deep breath and live in the moment you are in now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izx9ADLjgbM

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Is Body Positivity Even Possible?

So in my search for inspiration for posts for The Un-Life, I ran across xoJane’s advice column, where they allow the readers to answer/advise, and thought that I would weigh in on the discussion.

The Question:
I’m 18 and three weeks ago I got a breast reduction. I was overjoyed going from a 32H to a 32D (or thereabouts), but after the initial shock of a lighter load and a higher rack wore off, I become increasingly disillusioned with my body. I was never an exceptionally chubby kid, but for whatever reason I was teased for my weight starting in preschool. This, coupled with a family who decidedly never complimented my appearance (I think they did it out of love. You know a pretty-is-not-everything kind of thing? They’ve always praised my intellect, creativity, etc) left me feeling unmentionably ugly and fat. I experimented with eating disorders in middle school, and eventually worked my way out of it, but was still left with the feeling that I was horribly unattractive. I’m only 5’3″ and weigh 135 pounds–which I realize is not overweight at all, but I carry most of my fat in my stomach, leaving me with a pooch that my mom sometimes says makes me look pregnant. In the beginning, it was only stomach I hated but as I’ve gotten older its spread to my pasty skin, my round baby face and lack of cheekbones, my smile in pictures, the blackheads on my nose, even my toes. I tried to buy new clothes post-reduction but they seemed to highlight every one of these features. The majority of my friends seem have grown into beautiful, womanly, confident, semi-adults. I on the other hand feel flabby with the insecurities of a preteen. I am wondering if body positivity is even possible or if I should stop deluding myself that I will ever be pretty (or moreover, feel pretty) and try to focus on other, more important parts of myself? When I asked my mom for advice she just told me to go on a diet and workout more.

My Answer:

The first thing to realize is that Body Positivity, is a journey, FOR EVERYONE! Not only for those who are on the heavier side but also for those “semi-adult” looking friends who you are comparing yourself to, and that is where you should start; by NOT comparing yourself! The human body is a varied and wonderful thing and should be honored as such!

I found myself in a similar place after losing a significant amount of weight and instead of enjoying the new body that I was in I was standing in front of the mirror pinching, poking and criticizing the areas that I felt just weren’t “good enough”. Which led me to burying the body I had worked so hard to achieve under layers of clothes and doing the best that I could to go unnoticed by others.

But what is good enough? The women on the cover of magazines? Hell, they don’t even look like that! With the amount of articles online about #photoshopfails in popular ads I think it is about time we stop fixating on those images for standards for own bodies. Be your own standard of beauty. You are uniquely and beautifully you!

Alright enough of my preaching. Here is what I suggest, start small: everyday find something that you Do like about your self. Maybe it is the color of your eyes or the shape of your mouth if so, slap a fierce lipstick on it! Start building confidence from there. Be kind to yourself, you don’t have to love everything but you have to start liking something!

Look for Inspiration! Use the internet as a tool to build yourself up start reading body positivity blogs (or start your own!) that detail loving the body your in and being unafraid to disregard societies rules for what can/can’t wear or should/shouldn’t look like! I feel talking to others as well as surrounding yourself with positive people who understand (sympathetic/empathetic) where you are coming from will definitely help also wither that is a professional or a friend. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!

If you still feel like you would like to make some changes with your start incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine; eat healthy, drinking more water and moderate exercise will not only having your looking “better” but feeling better as well.

All in all, you are not hopeless, Body Positivty is very real and obtainable but the road to getting there all starts with you!

To see the original post, the comments readers left in response, and other questions like this visit XOJane

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Follow me on Blog Lovin’

JUST AN UPDATE: I am so happy to have finally joined Blog Lovin’ and hope that this can the beginning of an amazing journey reaching and connecting with lost more people!

SO click the link and follow me and many other amazing bloggers: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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I am a Millennial; Un-Ashamed

During my daily on-line trolling I often come across thought provoking articles or topics, that then led my on a merry day-long quest for more information. Today, that article (featured on HuffPost) is Ira Wolfe’s Why Many Unemployed Workers Will Never Get Jobs and while Wolfe does bring up many good points on of some reasons the currently unemployed may remain so. It was his comments on their overwhelming feelings of entitlement that led me back to my own considerations on Generation Y.

And seeing as I tote this blog as being an accounting of The Un-Ashamed, Un-Afraid, and Un-Apologetic life, it seemed important that I write this post about Millennial shaming.

My first encounter with Millennial shaming happened a few years ago while having a casual dinner with some older friends (professionals in their early to mid 30’s). As we were dining on decadent sushi and Japanese fried chicken at Bozu (in Williamsburg, LOVE IT!) and the libations were flowing, conversation took a natural turn to work gossip and #workfails in the office, which happened to center around one particular intern. According to the friend; she had no idea what she was doing and always sure she was right, wouldn’t listen to anyone, lazy and full of herself!

Somehow this poor girl managed to single-handedly embody all, that we are told, is wrong with new graduates entering the workforce! And what was the response this was met with? “Oh well, she is a Millennial what can you expect?”

So if you will imagine, me (at the time I must have been 21 or 22) only a few years out of college myself listening to them talk about the evil that is a Millennial, like I was at some sort of rally for the 30+ professional

With just me alone there to represent the opposition!

I, as someone who has always prided themselves as being a conscientious and hard worker, never asked any one for anything, but went out with determination for everything I wanted, felt nothing but embarrassment and spent the remainder of the evening quietly in my corner, and when pressed for comments simply nodded my head in between bites of Tako-yaki. Needless to say I was more than glad when the night was over but never forgotten.

Since then, I cringe every time I encounter a piece on Millennials in media, I mean how many times do I have read that “Gen Y (Generation Me) is unprepared, difficult to manage, narcissistic, solipsistic and too filled with a sense of entitlement to ever be major contributors to the workforce? Is it just me or are they harping on this a little too much? All this talk is really starting to make me feel a certain way about myself, and not in a good way!

But why should we feel ashamed of who we are, when we are the by products of our circumstances?

The Economy sucks and there are no jobs! Fine, so we begin to make opportunities for ourselves through any avenue available to us (ie: YouTube)

The Environment is unstable! Alright, so we devise ways to promote sustainability in our food, recreation and transportation (but those bikers need to learn to stay in THEIR lane!)

You are Narcissistic and Entitled! You’re getting a little harsh there but- We (at least not ALL of us) are not sitting around demanding what we feel we are owed! As a generation, Gen Y, has spent more time and resources to causes that support those who have less (TOMs, GAP’s Red Line, FEED, etc.) What previous generation has not wanted more than there parents had? What parent, in that case, doesn’t want more for their children?

While these sort of generational gripping is not particular to the Millennial and everyone previous to us has had there turns (*cough-cough* Baby Boomers) None the less we are your future and I refuse to be shamed for it!

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