the impact of this outlet
The evolution of my self-expression and identity has largely occurred within a blog. I’m stunned at how its archives chronicle my personal growth as a teenager with changing worldviews. Most teenagers go through this rapid period of personal evolution, but I’m able to see not only when but how mine all occurred.
I was 13 when I started my first blog, Simply Daring. My dream was to be a stylist for Vogue; I was in love with fashion’s capability to convey character. I kept my posts simple-- photos of my outfits paired with minimal text— since I was too scared of classmates’ opinions to touch on anything personal. After two years, I stopped blogging because the way I was using it felt contrived.
A year later I was 16, and I started a new blog. I’d been writing a lot, studying more high fashion, and my style had evolved. My daily reading of Rookie Magazine inspired reflection, examination, and changes as well. Rookie published essays and poetry that were raw and empowered my authenticity of experience. I was greatly in awe of this community for complex, intelligent young women, and it sparked a desire to share with the same honesty.
I chose to make my new blog more personal and named it Outfits and Observations. Posts on what I wore lost emphasis as I expanded to favorite books, movies, music, and cities. As my posts gained substance, blogging turned into something I was passionate about. It’s not that fashion lost value to me, but I realized my voice wasn’t confined to it; I had a whole world to write about.
That summer I began reading Man Repeller, a website that offers a unique, intelligent approach to high fashion and issues relevant to women. It changed my perspective on the artistic and cultural aspects of fashion, wiping out the traditional view of it as vapid and frivolous. It drove me to publish posts expressing what I thought about collections instead of merely admiring clothes. I learned how artful fashion is, how it has so many layers of depth beyond aesthetics.
Through blogging, I fully realized my love of writing and desire to impact others through self-expression. This impulse to share content stemmed from an ultimate thirst to write, to translate my feelings into words.
Voicing my opinions on Dior gowns and Fitzgerald novels prepared me to publish essays about my struggles with anxiety and coming to terms with who I am. In September 2015, I published my first truly personal post. I felt exhilaration followed by blanketing peace. Almost instantly I received messages from friends and strangers about the truth and comfort within my post, called “Becoming.” That post is my most popular to date and is the one that holds the most personal significance because it makes me feel connected to the sources that facilitated my own growth.
This confirmation of my abilities provided the push I was searching for. Instead of hiding pieces about my feelings in my diary, I fine-tuned them with the hope of reaching other teenage girls. I wrote about embracing the darker periods of life and of shifts in my perspective. It felt freeing and purposeful, like it had all been building up to this.
Through high school, I’ve used my blog to record my changing views on a multitude of subjects. I’ve grown from a starry-eyed girl interested in the fashion industry’s glamour to one passionate about writing, fashion’s artistic capabilities, and making a difference with honesty. I wouldn’t be the person I am— able to experience, process, and express a deeper meaning— if I hadn’t utilized this outlet. I wouldn’t be so sure of what I love or so comfortable with having my work available to the public eye. I look forward to how I’ll continue to grow in this way.