The Last Warm Days
I wouldn’t call this outfit flattering exactly. But it’s a combo I have worn repeatedly throughout the summer. Pleated, wide leg denim has enough air flow to be worn on hot days, and the belt and sandals give the whole look a ’90s feel.
I love this hand-tooled belt, purchased on Etsy a couple months ago. The seller and I got into an argument over missing postage. But in the end we reconciled, so I think (affiliate link) their shop is worth a look.
To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a crisis over my appearance lately. Now that I’m out in public most days of the week, I’m acutely aware that the good enough attitude I had about cutting my own hair or putting an outfit together during pandemic lockdown now feels decidedly not good enough. Even sharing this outfit feels like a risk.
I feel like I don’t know how I’m being judged or what people assume of me based on my appearance. And it’s really wearing on me. I am hoping that, with time, I will start to feel more secure.
The fact is that trends and aesthetic identity markers shift so much in culture that there is no way for me to keep up while also dedicating an appropriate amount of time to the things that really matter to me. I think I just need to claim what I like and stop worrying so much.
The Internet Gaze
In other (related?) news, I watched the entire season of The D’Amelio Show on Hulu and felt a lot of feelings. I am not personally invested in the lives or careers of the TikTok star sisters, but the documentary series did bring to light, however clumsily, that social media is terrible for your mental health.
Being rich and famous doesn’t remove basic human insecurity or magically bolster emotional resilience. I think the show could actually be really helpful for people who have experienced bullying on social media, particularly young people.
One thing that someone brought up on the show is that people who grew up with social media are conditioned to view themselves from the perspective of potential anonymous observers. It puts a lot of pressure on them – and us – to have to constantly consider every way we may be perceived in order to do preliminary damage control.
I didn’t grow up with social media, but I have still willingly put myself under public scrutiny (in admittedly small ways compared to many influencers). I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t opened me up to trauma and fear. I’m still working to move past performance anxiety.