3.31.2015





Wearing //
Asos dress, similar here and here
(use code beachfirenkxoxo to get your first month free)




I wasn't sure what to title this post, so I decided to name it the thing that's been on my mind a lot recently - body confidence. Having a personal style and beauty blog is an odd concept. It's a great way to memorialize a period of time in your life. It's allowed me to recognize how my style has evolved over the last five years, and it's been such a helpful tool in that sense. I see it as a scrapbook or journal of sorts, one that makes me smile, laugh, and reminisce when I look back at older posts. But, it's also put some pressure on me to look a certain way. The internet can be a vicious place, one in which strangers feel compelled to point out every little flaw and pick people apart in the comfort of their own home and behind the veil of anonymity. Now I personally have been very fortunate. I've never really encountered any nasty comments on my blog, and I feel very supported in this community. I'm sure if I were a "bigger name blogger", I would have experienced some negative comments over the years. I cringe when I see what some are going through. I didn't know when I signed up for this that a pre-requisite included being a size 0 and looking like you flew off the pages of Vogue. If I had known, I would have just picked up an issue on the newstand.

 I think I've just begun to put pressure on myself. It's no secret that I'm struggling with my weight right now because I've disclosed that, and I second guess every single picture I put up on my blog. That shouldn't be the point though, right? I'm not a model, just a regular person with a regular job, a husband, friends, family, a dog. I live in a condo, I dream about traveling and starting a family in the next two years. I doubt myself all the time and question everything, and this is coming from someone who studied and now works in the counseling field. I see a therapist because I have horrible anxiety. I'm now on medication for it. Why am I telling you all this? Well I'm not sure really, I just don't always want to write a simple blurb about what I'm wearing and how fabulous everything is. I've been struggling lately, and I wanted to throw that out there. Not for sympathy, because I'm okay! But just to let you know that confidence is so important in life, and mine is faltering at the moment. I know it'll pass. I know I'm taking the steps necessary to head in the right direction, and I'm looking forward to a future blog post where I can talk about that. But for now, let's all just be kind to one another. I firmly believe you can be stylish at any height, weight, or size. Let's just keep reminding ourselves, and each other.

34 comments:

  1. Hi Noelle, I am first time commenter here even though I read your blog often. Thanks for being so honest. I can imagine how hard this must have been for you to be writing this post. Infact its nice to see bloogers like you who are regular people like me. I cant stand all these so called big bloggers who protray an unreal life with their heavily photoshopped photos and constantly promoting their free gifts. Keep up the good work:)

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    1. Thank you so much, and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on this post. I really appreciate your support :)

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  2. Noelle,

    Let me start off by saying you are absolutely beautiful and you always look great! I think as women we are so hard on ourselves about our bodies.And when you see another blogger getting trashed, I think it's normal to question "what would they say about me?"

    The truth is that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I have learned the hard way that you will never please anyone who is out to critique you. No matter what weight I have been at during the five years I have been blogging, anonymous commenters have called me too big, too thin and even body shamed me when I was pregnant for being both too thin and too big. Now, I am experiencing some psychos body-shaming my toddler, which I think you saw on my blog last week.

    It is a sad world we live in when people spend the time tearing other women apart for their appearance--- but the beauty of blogs like yours is that you are confident enough to put yourself out there and share a small part of your life that is inspiring others to try new styles, have more confidence and feel good about themselves. Like you said you're just a normal woman leading a normal life and that's what I love about you and bloggers like you.

    I hope you can get through this time and regain your confidence. I know I and your other readers love you just the way you are! :) <3 I love the positive vibe of the last sentence of your post--- let's all support one another because it makes us all better to be positive and uplifting.

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    1. Goodness, where do I start V? You have dealt with these issues for such a long time now, and I honestly don't know how you or Kevin do it. People have been downright cruel, and I don't think I could personally handle it myself. I think I would have quit blogging a long time ago, but I'm so happy that you keep going because it's something you enjoy. Nobody really "knows" anyone on the internet. We choose what we want to put out there, but there are some that turn and twist things into whatever they want to. I'm sorry you've had so much drama! I know we started blogging around the same time and I will always consider you a friend because of that. Thank you for your honesty as well :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing this, Noelle, because I so agree with you. With blogs and social media being what they are, it's so easy to paint life as being "perfect" when that's not necessarily the case. I always appreciate when others post about what's going on in their "real" lives (wish I could but with my job I prefer to keep the things I post on the Internet fairly superficial). <3

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    1. Thank you too Alison! Social media can be frustrating for me at times. People want to paint their lives in a certain way, and I think that can lead to envy. I know I feel envious when I look at some of the pictures on my feed. I think we just have to take things with a grain of salt, and always stay true to who we are and what we want to share with others.

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  4. Girl, you are amazing! It's so difficult not to question things when blogging but just know that you are doing awesome! I've been following your blog since I first discovered blogs and I keep coming back because I LOVE your blog! I think it was really great of you to share your feelings too...I'm one to keep mine all bottled up but then I end up exploding. lol. Keep on being you because you're fabulous!

    http://elementsofellis.com/

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    1. You are so sweet Kacie! Thank you so much! Bottling up feelings is something I often do too, and then my poor husband gets the brunt of it! It's important to let them out! Easier said than done though...

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  5. Noelle - this breaks my heart to read this to a degree, but at the same time I am glad that you are being 100% open. You are truly one of the most beautiful people I "know" (as much as you can truly know someone in this blogging world...) on the inside and out. And the fact that you've never received a negative comment is a huge indicator of the gem that you are. The women (and men, for that matter) that feel the need to put negative energy out there by leaving harsh remarks to hurt another person are not ideal people and I truly believe that Karma will get them in the end.

    Love you to death woman! And thank you for your amazing style and inspiration and for just being YOU.


    Sequins&Stilettos


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    1. Oh don't be sad Sky, I really didn't write this post looking for attention or sympathy. I know it may come across that way. I'm very lucky to have good people in my life, and also lucky to "know" people like you too! Your family life has always inspired me, and I'm so glad I have your love and support. You know you have mine as well.

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  6. Amen! Your honesty is appreciated and was needed tonight. I could have written it myself. You are fabulous!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm sure you are fabulous yourself :)

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  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing! I always struggle with sharing more than a blurb about my outfit on my blog too, so I am glad you had the confidence to do it and in such a great way. I figure most people don't want to know the real stuff, but the truth is that life is often a mix of beautiful and hard. Just because you have a blog doesn't make you immune. For the record, I think you are beautiful. Inside and out. I've struggled with weight stuff myself and come from being made fun of for being overweight as a child. I think women of all shapes and sizes often deal with body image.

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

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    1. We are so hard on ourselves aren't we? I wrote this because I needed to get it out! I often look at other bloggers and wonder what I'm doing in the same realm, because I feel like I don't resemble anything like them. I think a lot of my issues stem from my childhood and teen years. You said you were overweight as a kid? Well I was teased for certain things, and I always felt like an ugly duckling so I think for whatever reason, those feelings have crept back in. Maybe because I'm 30 years old now, and I see my appearance changing. I'm not used to what I see in the mirror! But I know with time, I will again :) Thank you for your support Amy Ann :)

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  8. I love your blog, thanks for being open about something that women everywhere can relate to, stay positive and keep posting great outfits that inspire woman of every size.

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    1. Thank you too, it means a lot to me. More than you know!

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  9. Firstly Noelle - I have to say - you express yourself so beautifully - you can tell that you truly write from the heart. I love this "I second guess every single picture I put up on my blog. That shouldn't be the point though, right? I'm not a model, just a regular person"...I feel that struggle myself - I don't know how bloggers can find several pictures to share in an outfit post - I'll usually end up only liking one - but then I think - I don't have to look perfect - I'm sharing outfit inspiration, so I'll try to let go of some of my other thoughts and just go ahead and post!

    I also respect how you've opened up with your struggles and worries - it helps people to know that they're not alone. You're such a beauty inside and out - and you spread positivity everywhere you go <3

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    1. Thank you so much Zeba, and thank you for that sweet email last night. I wish we could meet in person! Hopefully one day! I'm sure we would have so much to talk about :)

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  10. I think everything you wrote is everything we all feel on a day to day basis. Even the big bloggers who don't seem to have realistic lives. We are all our own worst critic afterall. Not to trivialize your feelings because they are completely your feelings and I do love that you still have clarity to know that you are struggling with confidence right now. But I do have to agree with everyone above that you are such a beautiful person inside and out! I'm so thankful to have been able to meet you in person. You absolutely come across in your blog the way you truly are in real life. And I've honestly always thought you were intimidatingly beautiful. I hope you get through this low season quickly! And know that you're still inspiring all of us along the way!

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    1. Thank you Caryl :) I agree that most, if not all, women have body image issues at some point in their lives. Men do too! Nate is feeling the same way about his body! It's funny because I think he looks great, he thinks I do, and yet we both can't stand ourselves! It's all pretty crazy, but that just goes to show that nobody can make you feel a certain way about yourself. It has to come from within.

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  11. Wow, this was such a beautifully written post, Noelle. I really admire your courage in opening up to share your personal struggles. I think those of us who have followed your blog for some time (and the luckier ones who have met you in person!) have always loved exactly this about you: you are genuine, sincere, and authentic. Never pretentious, never phony. It would not change a thing for me whether you were a size 2 or a size 22 because I come here for YOU. Your ladylike style and your beachy-zen energy are one-of-a-kind. You are sweet and supportive to everyone you come in contact with and I hope that all that positive energy you've put out into the universe (and even just the blogiverse) comes back to you now when you're needing a little boost because you deserve it! Keep doing YOU and we will be here for you. :)
    Gina

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    1. You are such a doll Gina. I'm so happy we met! I also think that you are a beautiful person inside and out! I really appreciate all of your support over the past year or so. You include me in so many things, and I appreciate your kindness in reaching out to me both on and off the blog community. Let's definitely get together soon!

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  12. Beautiful post Noelle, and I do hope you find you confidence soon because you are beautiful just the way you are and you have no reason to think otherwise. The trick is all that matters is what we think of ourselves really, people will always have opinions and there's nothing we can do. But I do hope you see yourself as I see you, just gorgeous!

    xo

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    1. Thank you Rachelle, you seem like such a strong, confident woman! I am striving to find that within myself.

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  13. Great post Noelle - it's not easy to share your thoughts with the blogging world. It's hard to deal with anxiety, I have struggled with it since I started the blog, and it has been out of control. You are so inspiring, don't stop doing what you love, we are bloggers not models (always remember that). I think you are so beautiful inside out, and that's more important than any size. Kisses
    -Tatiana
    We Shop in Heels

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    1. Thank you for being so sweet Tatiana! I hope you realize how beautiful you are too :)

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  14. well written. It is such a shame that a lot of online content can generate negativity once someone or a blog becomes more popular. Instead of supporting each other, there are some folks who became entrenched in being green with envy and those feelings make those people do some not-so-nice things.

    I don't think someone needs to be pencil thin in order to be "big" or "successful" but it does seem that way when you compare yourself to who is considered "big" and "successful." So it becomes an endless cycle of feeling like we're not worth it.

    Best wishes to you since everyone is struggling with some sort of body image issue, myself included. It's not easy and it can be trying sometimes but we should all be encouraging each other! =)

    xo,
    nancy

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    1. Thank you Nancy, I agree. It just appears that the "bigger" name bloggers all look a certain way meaning they all appear to be quite the same. I wish there was more diversity, and I wish people were more upfront about why they blog.

      Thank you for your well wishes, I hope the same for you! You look absolutely beautiful.

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  15. s in Chicago4/1/15, 1:24 PM

    Today's outfit is my all-time favorite. My first thought was that I wish I could pull something like that off--and then to read the headline and words accompanying (!). It makes me sad to think that you don't see yourself the same way. But thank you for the reminder that everybody feels imperfect now and then and to stop being so hard on each other and--just as important-- one's self.

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    1. Thank you. It's hard not to compare yourself to others, isn't it? It's something I've struggled with my entire life. I always think, "oh well if I looked like her", or "if I had that job, I would be happier"...but the grass isn't always greener on the other side. It's best to just remain on your own journey. Thank you for your sweet feedback :)

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  16. Thanks for sharing and being so honest. I totally understand the pressures of having a blog and being expected to look a certain way...it can be really disheartening! You are gorgeous, and I always love coming here and seeing your adorable outfits!

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    1. Thank you Tara! Your outfits always inspire me. I know you've lost some weight over the past few months and you look great! You looked beautiful before too! There definitely does feel pressure when you know you're putting yourself out there on the Internet for all to see

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  17. Well said! Thank you for being honest! This is exactly why I connect with bloggers like you - you're "reality" - a regular person, sharing her true honest style! I completely understand the struggle - I absolutely dread each and every time we go out to take photos - honestly, I'd rather dress someone else for my blog rather than myself! Bottom line though is I just want to inspire all women to get up and get dressed in something that makes them feel something positive - no matter their height, weight, size, etc. A big struggle for me since blogging is the "comparison" I've noticed myself making to other bloggers...whether its their body size, budget, creativity, or blog readership - I need to just let it go and be "me"...the readers who appreciate that are the ones who will come back;-)

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    1. Thank you kellie :) It's so easy to fall into the trap of constantly comparing yourself against other bloggers. We just have to make a conscious effort not to do it! We all have something to offer :)

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