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Guest Post: Two Eyes in the Mirror.

6 Jan

Guess who’s back for my fabulous final guest post? That’s right, the amazingly inspiring and absolutely stunning Ashley from Two Eyes in the Mirror. Final guest post, I hear you scream? I know you’re probably gutted, because that means you don’t get to know one of these amazing girls every other day of the week. Well, you know what I’d say to that? Suck it. I am off my crutches, and while my ankle might still be an interesting shade of purple, I’m ready to get my life back. Hell, today I even managed to fit a proper shoe on it for the first time in 3 weeks. Anyway. For today, Ashley has a little story for you. Enjoy.

 

My name is Ashley.  I’m a 21 year old girl, and I’ve had plastic surgery.

You might know me from my own blog, Two Eyes in the Mirror, or you may remember the series of posts I wrote earlier this year for Amy on Beauty Standards in Korea.  Well, I’m back, and I want to discuss with you a vaguely related subject, but on a much more personal level.  Let’s call it “plastic surgery and me.”  It kind of has a ring to it, no?

Wait, what? YOU’VE had plastic surgery? But aren’t you “that girl” who tells everyone to love their body as it is?

Yes I am.  And yes, I’ve had plastic surgery.  And yes, I’d totally recommend it.

I don’t understand. What kind of plastic surgery have you had? Oh, I know. Your boobs aren’t real, are they?! I KNEW IT!

Actually, my boobs are real, thank you very much.  You can tell because they aren’t situated within my collar bone.  But we’re getting off topic here.  My ears!  I had plastic surgery on my ears!

This was how I was born. No, I wasn’t born in DisneyWorld in a pair of shitty drawstring shorts, but I was born with the ears. Big ears. Dumbo ears. Whatever ears. I’d heard it all before the time I was twelve.

People can do a number on you when you’ve got the ears, and although I’ve been moderately cocky confident for most of my life, that’s one thing that always got to me, mostly because I knew it was true. The ears didn’t do anything for me. They didn’t make me cute. They didn’t make me charmingly quirky. The ears didn’t do anything but make me insecure. So I decided to change them.

Okay, so, it wasn’t as easy as all of that. It took years and years of teasing, of insecurity, and of me hating my appearance before I finally worked up the nerve to just go for it. I had a consultation appointment when I was eleven, which is the first step in the otoplasty (ear pinning) process, but I lost the nerve to go through with it after hearing that I’d have to be knocked out and wear a headband around my ears for two months after. Let’s face it–if kids are going to tease you for having big ears, they’re sure as hell not going to pass up the opportunity to make fun of you if you’re wearing a sweatband every day of the week. So I gave up on it.

For a while. And then, when I was 16, I’d had enough. I had my consultation in November. I had my pre-op physical on January 6 and my surgery three days later. I was knocked out for two hours while some guy gave my ears the antihelical folds they were missing. Then, I woke up. Then, I was told to go back to sleep because I had woken up too early. Then, I woke up again. And, after two trying months of wearing the headband, I no longer had the ears. I just had ears. And it felt good.

Maybe you’re reading this right now and you’re thinking how weak I was because I wasn’t able to accept my difference. Until you’ve been in that situation, you really can’t judge. Everyone can look in the mirror and see things they don’t like. “Ugh, look at my thighs! They’re so huge!” or “OMG. I HATE my gut!” But these are things that can be changed easily enough. You can get on the stairmaster and carve yourself out some killer thighs. You can eat nothing but soup for a week and your gut will probably be gone. But to look into the mirror, hate what you see, and know that there is no way you yourself can change it is probably one of the biggest blows to one’s psyche. To know that you could probably be an attractive, confident* person if it weren’t for one minor detail kills. It’s always hanging in the back of your mind. “Oh, I look nice today! …But I still have the ears.” I didn’t want to feel like that for the rest of my life. Who would?

If you don’t like something, you have two options: you deal with it, or you change it. Is one option better than the other? I don’t know. Everyone’s different. Do I have any regrets about having the surgery? Absolutely not. No way. That tells me I chose the right option for myself.


Me, five years later, rocking the man-made ears (and man-made hair color).

* Because let’s face it. Attractiveness and confidence are basically the same things.

Guest Post: Mademoiselle Sonushka.

4 Jan

Today, for the penultimate in my series of guest posts, I am welcoming the lovely Sophie-Marie. I guest blogged for her back in November, discussing my two passions, fashion and travelling, and how they hate each other. You can read that here. For now, she’ll be discussing something I really have a problem with; elegance. (I tend to over think all my outfits and it looks like a charity shop threw up on me).

Hello ladies! My name is Sophie-Marie F, I live in Washington DC and I write the blog Mademoiselle Sonushka. It is my greatest pleasure to be guest-blogging here on Fashion’s A Stranger!

Elegance. As any ideal, it is as hardly achievable as it is hard to define. We may know what it contains: a delicate balance of beauty, class, style, wit, glitz, simplicity, fanciness. Achieving elegance is the ability of finding this delicate balance and, like the perfect soup, the attempted definition is more than variable. It varies with cultures. It varies with people. It varies with eras.
Yet an elegant person strikes. Radiating perfection, she makes heads turn on her path and creates inspiration, envy, and admiration. Who is the elegant woman? She can be the courtier at Marie-Antoinette’s court, in a beautiful gown and carrying herself like a queen. She can be a woman in the 1950s or early 1960s, in the iconic Dior New Look silhouette. She can be the stylish Parisian girl, in skinny jeans, a cashmere sweater and Repetto flats, walking out of the metro with her hair flying behind her in a light cloud of Chanel perfume. She can be the celebrity on the red carpet, wearing an Elie Saab evening gown that sculpts her body to perfection. She can be the aspiring politician in Washington DC, dressed in a suit so perfectly tailored and Louboutins, and standing out from all the others, ready to get to the top. She can be this mysterious femme fatale walking alone in a bar, in a sheath dress of dark silk and a sable fur coat, ordering a martini in a dark, luscious voice like the 1930s Hollywood film stars. She can be Desperate Housewives’ one and only seemingly-perfect Bree van de Kamp (who doesn’t love her!).

No matter who the elegant woman is, details of her strike. So when one wonders how to emulate elegance, how to reach it, it is those details that should be looked at closely. Having lived myself in Paris, France, and in the French community of Washington DC, I had more than enough the opportunity to observe how French girls and women do it, for they seem to have elegance in their genes. Here’s what I found.

–          It’s in the attitude: to be an elegant girl, one must think elegant. One must have an open mind and look farther than what is popular. One must be cultivated and smart. When you are, it transcends. Be sure to have enough general culture. Learn a new language, read your classics and more, listen to opera, classic rock, anything is earlier than the last five minutes.

–          Money isn’t all: celebrities and socialites with the ghastliest tastes are only a sad proof that dressing head-to-toe in designer fashion and cosmetics doesn’t do the trick. If you wear the wrong shade of foundation, it will look horrible, whether Chanel or Cover Girl.

–          Tone it down on the labels. Shirts and clingy jewelry with the designer’s name or logo on it looks like you’re trying too hard, or that you’re desperate to flash people with your collection of designer items, and thus you have serious self-esteem issues.

–          However, quality is important. You may want to moderately invest in good basics, a nice leather bag, a beautiful piece of jewelry, a mythic perfume.

–          Introduce a little bit of luxury without breaking the bank: a cashmere sweater, a vintage silk scarf, diamond stud earrings. You can find these online or in second-hand stores if you look well enough.

–          When in doubt, start with a clean canvas: nice, fitting dark jeans, a classic white tee or a black or navy sweater or cardigan, dark leather heels or flats. In itself, it doesn’t look boring. Then accessorize moderately, keeping the outfit balanced. When in doubt, take it out.

–          Three words: little black dress. (I have so many of these in my closet!).

–          Start with simple, natural-looking make-up: foundation, concealer, (if needed), matifying powder, some blush (my favourite is Benefit Coralista), a bit of lip balm (I love Smith’s Rosebud Salve) and some mascara. Don’t bother too much with bronzer; it looks fake unless applied by a pro. Keep in mind that there shouldn’t be a drastic difference when you’re wearing make-up and when you’re not. Then add one striking element, like winged 1960s eye-liner, or red lipstick.

–          Have a signature fragrance. One that people will recognize you for. Make sure you feel yourself in it. My signature fragrance is Chanel n. 5, although I switch to Opium by Yves Saint Laurent in the winter. And obviously, don’t apply too much. It goes without saying.

–          Own a vintage piece. I own a fur coat, a few rectangular leather handbags from the early 1960s, and a lace evening dress, among others. It can be a scarf, a bag, a clothing item, a necklace, anything that you loved at first sight. Make sure it’s good quality and doesn’t smell bad.

–          Be preventive for “those days”, when you’ve been cramming all night for final exams, or you’re just tired/hangover/sick/[insert reason]. When I lived in Paris, I knew I simply couldn’t walk down the street in pajamas or sweatpants to get Chinese food (yeah, I said “those days”). I treated the problem at the core by packing dark, opaque leggings and long tee-shirts which I wore when I was home, for lounging/sleeping/studying/etc.

It can be tricky. You may try, and try too much, and look and feel like a joke. But at the end, the effort is worthwhile: not only will you get ego-flattering compliments (they’re always nice!), but you’ll feel good about yourself and more confident. Isn’t that what our individual relationship with fashion is about, after all?

As a bottom note: Amy here asked me if I could tell her readers about a frightening surgery I had. I was lucky enough never to have had major surgery yet, or broken a limb, although it’s quite miraculous because I’m quite clumsy (my friends nicknamed me Miss Catastrophe). I do hope that with all the Christmas preparations I still have to do until tonight, today won’t be the first time. I did have two teeth removed two years ago, and I remember it was extremely painful. Not to mention, the dentist, who was a family friend, kept making jokes that would have been funny in a different context, if someone else was strapped to that seat instead of me. The only positive aspects were that I got to eat tons of my favourite ice cream (peppermint and chocolate chips), and that my lips were swollen, like I always think they should be (I would have liked a little more plump). It didn’t last to the moment where I felt good enough to go out. More recently, I was at the dermatologist getting a cortisone shot (my skin tends to misbehave), and my best friend starts humming the “Jaws” theme song… Epic scary.

It was my greatest pleasure to guest-blog for Amy, and I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy holidays!

With love, S

Guest Post- The Closet Shopper.

2 Jan

Today my wonderfully witty and charming blogger friend Tracy from The Closet Shopper will be sharing with us how her fear became her passion.

Hi you guys. My name is Tracy from The Closet Shopper. Amy asked me to write a guest post while she’s recovering from surgery. Get well soon, my funny and stylish friend!
Amy suggested the topic of FEAR for these guest posts. Well, honey, I can definitely relate to fear. So, here’s my story.
I’ve been terrified of heights my entire life. I couldn’t walk across a bridge without having a panic attack. It was anxiety producing to even drive over a bridge. I would have to stay in the middle lane. I was too afraid of what might happen if I drove near the edge.
About seven years ago, I decided to try to deal with this fear. To face it head on. So, do you know what I did? I took a flying trapeze class. That’s right. I know! Stupid. But let me tell you what happened. I walked into the circus school and I looked up at the platform, thirty feet in the air. A very small ladder leading toward it. I couldn’t breathe. I thought, “Get me out of here. What was I thinking?” As I was thinking this, I was being inundated with rules and being fitted with a safety belt. Before I knew it I was climbing up that ladder. My knees were sweating. Standing from the perch, my breathing was shallow and I couldn’t look down. The instructor on the “board” grabbed my safety belt and led me to the trapeze bar, holding it in front of me with a hook. She told me to grab the bar. WHAT?? I don’t think so. But the only way down was to swing. They won’t let you climb back down that ladder.
I was crying and shaking but I grabbed the bar. The instructor said, “READY……HEP” and I jumped. I JUMPED. And I screamed. And I flew through the air. I was flying. And it was the most terrifying thing. And by the end of the class I was ready to make a catch. This is the most exhilarating part about flying through the air. The catch. You have to trust that the person on the other trapeze is going to grab you and not let go while they swing you through the air.
I actually made that catch. It was thrilling and freeing. It was the feeling I got from my very first catch that kept me coming back. I was hooked. Not to the adrenalin as much as to the freedom. The letting go of the fear. The trust and courage it takes to just let go completely.
Since then I’ve been addicted to the circus. I not only became a flyer, but an aerialist. I perform on the side and it’s a huge part of my life. I’ve attached a video below of me flying without safety lines. This video was taken after I became an advanced flyer. I’m also attaching photos of some of my favorite moments in the air on static trapeze and aerial tissue.
I hope you enjoyed reading about how I gained a deeper respect of heights. I can’t say I conquered my fear because it’s still very scary. But I’m working on it.

A video of Tracy at Work – How amazing??!! 🙂

Guest Post: Locked Out Fashion.

30 Dec

Today we have the cute and lovely Michelle from Locked Out Fashion sharing her (perhaps slightly irrational…) fear with us all. Enjoy 🙂

I’m terrified of my belly button coming undone.

Hi! I’m Michelle from Locked Out. When Amy asked me to write a guest post for her, I completely blanked on what to write about – but when she asked if I could write about either my first surgery or my biggest fear, I knew what I needed to write about.

When I was four, I got my appendix out.

I don’t remember much about it. I just remember having a terrible stomachache at dinner one night – it had to be in the winter, because it was 6pm (dinner time) and dark out!! I lied down on the couch and that’s the last thing I remember, before being the hospital for a long time and my mom sleeping on a cot beside my little hospital bed. (You know your parents love you when they sleep on tiny, hard, rollaway cots in smelly hospital rooms in pediatrics!)

Nowadays, when they get your appendix out, they just do a variation of laparoscopy – they cut a small incision in the belly button, insert a tube, fill your abdomen slightly with gas, insert a hook, and pull out the offending organ. All without leaving a gigantic scar. When I was four, that was not the case!

My most vivid memory after getting my surgery has inspired one of my biggest fears. Are you ready? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

I’m terrified of my belly button coming undone and my insides falling out.

Totally and completely irrational, but let me explain!

When I got my appendix out, they made a small incision on the lower righthand side of my belly and removed the (apparently useless) organ. This left a pretty gaping wound in a four year old! They used a new form of stitches on me that disintegrated as the incision healed and, to keep me from scratching them, or worse, pulling them out, put a piece of clear body tape over it. I could see the stitches. I could see the cut. I vaguely remember it being bloody. Mostly, though, I remember being absolutely terrified of the tape coming off. I failed to understand that the stitches would disintegrate and the wound would heal and they would replace the tape, but never leave it off. And that, eventually, I wouldn’t have an open hole in my belly.

I remember going to get the last tape removed – with the incision almost completely healed and the beginnings of a faint scar forming. I remember being terrified and crying and scared. And from that point on, I promised myself: I would never let my insides be in danger of falling out.

Over time, this sort of moved towards “belly button coming undone,” which I’m not sure how that happened, but it definitely put me off of that teenage rebellion of piercing my belly button. I’m also terrified of needles for the same reason: I feel like they might make my belly button come undone. Yeah, I am a complete weirdo.

I know my fear is completely irrational, but it doesn’t stop me from cringing whenever I see a belly button ring, have to get blood drawn, or worse, have to get an actually laparoscopy!! (Yes, I got one two years ago for a variety of reasons and it inspired some of my most irrationally panicked moments ever.)

When it comes down to it, all my fears are irrational. My belly button coming undone. My hand getting caught in a blender or garbage disposal (I actually can’t be around them when they are on). Getting hit by a car. Dying in a plane crash. And getting kidnapped by a serial killer. Oh and the dark. I’m kind of a scaredy cat when it comes to everything, but at least I realize I’m being completely irrational, right?

So there you go! I’m the girl who is scared of her belly button coming undone and her insides falling out.

Guest Post: While Life Passes By…

28 Dec

Today Christie from ‘While Life Passes By…’ is introducing herself to us 🙂 Isn’t she lovely?! x

Greetings lovelies, its Christie here….. Hope all is well. It gives me great pleasure to guest post for Amy today and I can only hope I do her blog justice!

I thought I should do more of a little intro/get-to-know me post, rather than one about a particular topic as this is my first guest post, and to be honest I’m rather nervous.

I call Sydney, Australia home and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve travelled to a few countries in the past several years, and since then the travel bug has hit me hard. I love experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, and so can’t wait till hubby and I have some more money so we can go on another overseas adventure. Our next wish-list holiday destination is Alaska/Canada.

During the week I work as a primary school teacher. This year I’ve had a lovely class of third and forth graders. They are just delightful, but I think its the lovely teachers I work with that make me really love my job. There isn’t a morning where I dread going to work, or even an afternoon where I wish I could get home sooner. Its a wonderful environment to work in – with people who respect and appreciate the work I do. I’m forever grateful for the wonderful people I work with, who are always there to support me in every way every day.

I love to occupy my spare time sifting through racks of second hand goodies at various thrift stores. Almost 100% of my wardrobe has come from thrift stores and I couldn’t be happier. Saving money + recycling clothes = one very happy Christie. I also love drawing and recently became a regular artist at Free Crappy Portraits.com. The idea behind the website is quite clever & creative – you send in a photo and someone from the other side of the word will draw you a portrait based on the photo and blurb you’ve sent. Its fun and free and you never know what you’ll get. You can request a particular artist too – so if you’d like, feel free to request me.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my post, and a BIG thank you to Amy, for inviting me to be a part of your blog.

Wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to your return to the blogging world.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Over and out.

Christie.

Guest Post: Pretty Nifty Thrifty Fashion.

26 Dec

Today we’re hearing from the Thrifting Queen, Elizabeth from Pretty Nifty Thrifty Fashion 🙂

 

Jacket: Gift, Shirt: Value Village $5, Jeans: Value Village $8, Boots: Spring $15, Hat: Ardenes $7, Scarf: Christmas Gift

Hello everyone!! I am Elizabeth from Pretty Nifty Thrifty Fashion and i am guest posting for Amy while she is taking a much deserved break from blogging to recover from her ankle surgery. My first surgery was actually a few months ago when i got my wisdom teeth removed and leading up to it the part i most dreaded were the needles. A couple of years ago i went to alot of doctors for various tests and i developed a little fear of needles after one technician didn’t do the best job drawing some blood (it was so painful!!!). So on the day when my doctor went to put the iv in, my hand was clenched so tight it wouldnt open and he asked me very nicely if i was a little tense which made me laugh, i hadnt noticed it was like that until then!! I had worn my Iron Man tshirt that day so the nurses and i began to discuss the merits of different super heroes which made me relax a bit so i didnt really notice the pin pricks. Discussing the pros and cons of Spiderman is the last thing i can remember before waking up in the recovery room with the whole thing over, it was such a relief!!! Before going out to take outfit photos for this guest post i thought long and hard about my outfit and then decided i would just wear all of my favourite things together. I will admit i have alot of clothes (being a major thrift shopper can be bad everything is so cheap!) but i wear all of these constantly, they are my go to items. I hope everything went well with Amy’s surgery and have a nice day everyone!!!

Guest Post: Amber Rose.

24 Dec

Today we have some winter tips from the ever enchanting Amber Rose to make yourself cosy this Christmas.

With cold air nipping at our nose and old man winter pulling warmth from our cheeks and fingertips, sometimes I find it difficult to muster the motivation to move from my warm covers, thus wasting away a day.

Below, I’ve compiled a small list of my favorite things to do to motivate myself on a less than amiable day! Do let me know if you have anything to add as I’d love to know!

  1. put your blanket in the dryer for fifteen minutes. It’ll be nice and toasty, and you can snuggle under it.
  2. brew coffee and let the smell fill your house.
  3. plan your day around a catnap in the middle of the day, permitting.
  4. catch up on homework while listening to Christmas music.
  5. add peppermint flavors to anything. It just perks up any coffee, drink, or snack!

xo,
Amber Rose