i am fashionableenough

Just keep swimming.

— Dory.

There’s a lot we have to worry about nowadays. Bad movies. Climate change. Our moms.

So we could embrace the happy things out there. Loud personalities. Colorful shoes. Good people.

There are little things that make us happy and really big things that make us happy. People spend too much time focusing on the “bad” things about themselves. If they already have so much to worry about, why spend more time worrying about yourself?

Love the best parts about yourself, the parts that make you, what I call, fashionable.

don’t tell me to be confident

Last year, I was at a friend’s apartment with a bunch of other girls. We were getting ready to go out that night, and I, fresh off a breakup, had made a habit of making attention-seeking comments about guys not approaching me in bars. I said something like that, and one of my friends responded with, “Chloe! You just have to be confident. Guys like confidence.” Innocent enough, but I immediately became incredibly upset. I retreated into myself and seethed in anger for the rest of the night. I’ve never been a super self-assured person, but for some reason, the suggestion that I wasn’t confident made me want to flip a table.

I think part of the anger came from my general aversion to any sentence that begins with, “Guys like …” Okay? So guys don’t like girls who are constantly seeking out compliments. That makes it tough for me, but whatever. I also think guys don’t even know what they mean when they say they like confidence. If you ask any male islander on Love Island what their type is, I can almost guarantee they will say some version of “I like a confident bird.” What I find myself think-yelling at the screen is, “Actually, you just don’t want to have to cater to someone’s emotional needs and a girl who needs words of affirmation is simply needy to you and not worth your time.” I try to keep to myself that words of affirmation is one of my big ~love languages~ (I know, I’m sorry and I’m gagging too). I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but my brain takes it too far. Compliments are unnecessarily consequential in my mood each day, so much so that I will sometimes not compliment someone because that person didn’t previously compliment me. And that’s my issue, I know. I don’t want to admit that half the reason I’ll post a good selfie on Instagram is because I know the types of comments it’ll get, but what’s a blog if not a place to publicly announce the worst things about yourself? It isn’t the end all be all of everyday life, but some days I need a little help feeling good about myself. And what’s so wrong with that?

I’ve gotten a little off-topic here. Anyway, I didn’t like the suggestion that I wasn’t confident because deep down, beneath all the self-degrading thoughts, I like myself. I like how I look. I like my personality. I think I’m pretty cool and you bitches are lucky to know me. I don’t like to think of myself as someone who needs outside affirmation, even though that’s exactly what I am. My friend pointed out something I was afraid of—that people saw me as insecure. I can be insecure all I want but I don’t want people to KNOW.

If I’m honest, I think even the idea of confidence is a sham. These days, “confidence” doesn’t mean having love for yourself. It doesn’t mean believing in yourself or being surrounded with people who make you feel good. Confidence isn’t meant to be a personality trait, it’s meant to be a feeling. You can’t feel anything 24/7, so sometimes it just feels like another thing to add to the list of things we aren’t doing enough of. Confidence has become slightly—I’m gonna say the word—toxic. Awhile ago, I watched this YouTube video that I really liked. Mina talks about how while self-confidence is not a bad thing to have, it has become like a cult. We are encouraged to “lean in” in the workplace and be more assertive, but when we do that, people either think we’re acting like a bitch or we are actually just being a bitch. Instead of encouraging women to be more “confident” like men, maybe we should be encouraging men to be a bit softer and more understanding. I know a few people who might read this and think “What the fuck are you talking about?” I’m not saying having confidence is bad or that you should never be assertive. I just think a lot of people really take the word confidence and run with it.

Much of what I’ve written about today can be traced back to the patriarchy. I’m not going to get on my pro-women soapbox now, but I will say we’re much better caring too much about what Sandra Bullock and Jane Lynch think about us than the 72 frat boys I’m forced to walk past on my way to class. And if those guys would rather I be “confident,” well, I might just keep being insecure on purpose.

abort mission!

This is the second time I’ve written this blog, and I didn’t post the first one because it was very aggressive, and I don’t want to give anyone a reason to say I’m being too “emotional.” I am emotional (about everything) but this deserves at least a few coherent sentences.

I’m sure this is the millionth thing you’ve seen or read about the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, so I’m sorry if it is getting increasingly triggering or upsetting to you. Don’t read it if you don’t want to. (what a concept!)

As I’ve been scrolling through social media in the past week, I’ve seen so many good videos and written pieces using extremely logical arguments and facts to take down conservative opinions. But, it’s become clear to me and I’m sure many others, that logic has been thrown out the window. There is no chance of winning an argument using logic anymore. Because they don’t care. In fact, many of them probably know what they’re saying is illogical, but it’s what they want, so they don’t care.

There’s a video of a political commentator named Ana Kasparian that’s come up multiple times in the past year or so. I’ve watched it over and over, and I think it perfectly sums up how I, and millions of others, feel.

Here’s the link to a clip of it.

The gist of what she’s saying is “I don’t care.” I don’t care what your religion says, and I’ll fight for you to be able to practice that religion, but it should not impact me. Most people who know me know that I’m not religious, sometimes overly so. I typically get along with friends who are religious perfectly fine, because my friends have never tried to convert me. What infuriates me is when I see Christians/Catholics telling others they are not as good or true or loved as a human being because they don’t believe in the same God, or any god at all. Where in the Bible does it say you get to hate other people for just existing differently than you?

I love Kasparian’s words so much because when I’m watching all these different videos, all I see is people so perfectly and logically proving why abortion should be a right, and it’s heartbreaking because we all know that won’t convince anyone. Sometimes only because the ~algorithm~ will never allow those videos to reach the ones who need to hear it (trust me, I know at least 98% of the people reading this don’t need any convincing). Why the fuck do you get to tell anyone what to do because you read a book and go to church every Sunday? ESPECIALLY when true pro-lifers are in the minority? What the hell is this then? Every time you’ve uttered the words “It’s a free country,” whether ironically or literally, have you thought about the fact that you only want that to apply to you? If the animals you kill for sport while dressed in camo and ridiculously bright orange aren’t worth saving, why is an unviable fetus that isn’t wanted worth it? A fetus that might not make it to term? A fetus that might kill its carrier? A fetus that will turn into a child with no support whatsoever? A fetus that will end up in the system until they are 18 and then be released to the wolves? A fetus that, again, wasn’t wanted and will drastically negatively impact the mother’s chance of success economically, physically and mentally?

I’m not worried about myself. It’s not like I have a wildly active sex life, and I know it only takes one time, but I know I have options as a 20-year-old white girl from a stable family living in a blue state. But once I go back to school in Missouri, where they’ve already gotten rid of Plan B, I don’t know what happens to the people who aren’t so lucky. Even for those with a similar background to me, what if their parents don’t know they’re having sex and can’t get help from them? What if they didn’t become aware until it’s too late? What if they (TW) were raped?

While I’ve been known to make some, well, slightly aggressive comments towards some religions, I don’t want a single one of my friends to think I dislike them because of their faith. Religion is not the issue. Ignorance is. And I know perfectly well that not all religious people are pro-life, but most pro-life people are religious, so I apologize if it seems like I’m generalizing. If any one of the people reading this were to get pregnant and decide to carry the pregnancy to term, I would support you the entire way. I would never fault you for making that decision and I would do everything I can to help you. But if you ever decide it’s okay to call someone a murderer for getting an abortion or actively prevent someone from getting one … see ya never.

P.S. As unfortunate as this is, we do need men to vote with us in order to change some stuff so if they are saying the right thing, we don’t need to tell them to shut up lol.

Some of those logical TikToks, and some funny ones:


just thinkin silly little midnight thoughts.

♬ Summer Background Jazz – Jazz Background Vibes

This is the real reason behind the #abortionban #roevswade @keishavillarson

♬ original sound – Keisha Villarson

I’d we’re going to use a fictitious story to model our society after, why couldn’t it have been like twilight or something cool? #roevwade

♬ original sound – LegacyEmma

How many people want an answer to this question about SCOTUS being accountable to We the People? #justice #SCOTUS #roeVWade @qasim.rashid

♬ original sound – Qasim Rashid Esq

what’s the deal

If you were looking for a thoughtful piece of literature to read, this is not that. Sometimes I feel like every time I post something it needs to be meaningful in some way or take a lot of brainpower, but today I just want to post this dumb list of sentences. Enjoy.

what’s the deal with the weather

what’s the deal with turning on the heat because you’re cold and then you immediately got overwhelmingly hot, and then you turn it off and get super cold again

what’s the deal with getting hot flashes at night. I’m 20! no need for pre-menopausal activities, alright?

what’s the deal with period cramps

what’s the deal with men

what’s the deal with people getting mad at comedians for being funny

what’s the deal with politicians being rude for the fun of it

what’s the deal with politicians

what’s the deal with fashion I literally can’t keep up

what’s the deal with groceries being expensive

what’s the deal with leggings

what’s the deal with my water bottle leaking when I take a sip. like I’m doing what you want me to do

what’s the deal with superhero movies

what’s the deal with people not liking all the same things as me

what’s the deal with new yorkers

what’s the deal with women in business not getting their asses up and working

what’s the deal with people who don’t like cats

what’s the deal with having a successful career

what’s the deal with Anna Wintour. do we think she’s gonna retire … ever?

what’s the deal with people graduating high school that I knew when they were like twelve

what’s the deal with pants getting tighter when you wash them

what’s the deal with men. did I already say that?

what’s the deal with the act of cooking taking so long

what’s the deal with someone stealing my girl scout cookies???

what’s the deal with 40 degree weather feeling like 80 degrees one day and 15 the next

what’s the deal with my eye twitch

what’s the deal with people not having the exact same opinion as me all the time

what’s the deal with having to get up every day and DO something

what’s the deal with eggplants. quite the aggressive presentation to taste like almost nothing

what’s the deal with some fridges keeping your food fresh for weeks and others making your strawberries moldy almost immediately

what’s the deal with my dog. why is he angry all the time

hypocritical foodie

trigger warning: discussion of eating disorders and disordered eating

I love food. But I hate the word foodie. When I hear it, all I can picture is photos of avocado toast and girls out to brunch saying “omg, it’s worth the cals” (sorry, I guess I’m sexist). However, I can’t call myself an expert or a food aficionado, so to get my point across, I’ll say you could call me a foodie.

What I’m more passionate about than food, though, is making sure we’re doing it in a mentally healthy way. I’m no stranger to hopping up on that soapbox and ranting for hours about the importance of intuitive and mindful eating to health. I’ve cried about the impacts of diet culture to my mom and distanced friendships because of it. But I’m writing this post because, well, I might be a hypocrite.

There’s nothing that could possibly change my beliefs on eating, but I express those beliefs so outwardly and so often that sometimes I forget to remind myself that it applies to me, too. I’ve never struggled with a full-blown eating disorder, nor am I on the worst end of the spectrum when it comes to disordered eating. But I also have never had the best relationship with food, and I think that’s why I’m so focused on and passionate about the issue in general.

I can’t pinpoint that unhealthy narrative to anything in particular. I wasn’t raised in an ultra-healthy household or the complete opposite. Nothing sticks out as something that could have caused it, but I think that’s the important thing to note. When we’re taught about eating disorders, we’re shown ballerinas with mean-spirited instructors, girls being bullied at school, a young kid with parents restricting their eating—basically, there always seems to be an obvious cause. But outside of some of these extreme scenarios, there’s thousands of us living completely “normal” lives with an unhealthy inner dialogue.

If I look at my own issues with food and what really causes them, it boils down to me caring wayyy too much about what other people think. There are so many things I care about that when I say them out loud, it sounds insane.

Is it embarrassing to eat a bagel on my way to class?

Is that person going to judge me for taking the free candy they are literally offering me themselves?

I don’t want people to think I’m wasteful, so I guess I’ll just eat the rest of this thing that will definitely make me sick 13 minutes from now.

Are the people cooking dinner in the kitchen going to judge me for making frozen pasta?

Are the dancers sitting in the kitchen silently judging me for getting ice cream out of the freezer?

Even worse, are they going to notice if I don’t return to put it back because I finished it?

It’s time to go grocery shopping, so I’ll plan out what times and days I’m going to eat the good-tasting food and the not-so-good tasting food, knowing full well I won’t follow that plan at all.

Is it embarrassing to be 20 years old and like Kit Kats (no, it isn’t)?

Do my friends think it’s gross that I like desserts so much?

Are my friends annoyed that I keep telling them they need to eat before going out?

Is it sad to eat alone in the Student Center?

Why does it seem like all the skinniest people only eat mac ‘n cheese and Cheetos all day?

Should I eat mac ‘n cheese and Cheetos all day? But I don’t even like Cheetos! Also WHO CARES IF SOMEONE IS SKINNY OR NOT IT’S LITERALLY JUST AN ADJECTIVE.

The thing is, being someone who tries to be really informed on this stuff means the dialogue goes two ways. When I have an unhealthy thought, I know it’s unhealthy. That doesn’t mean I don’t have it anymore, but that does mean that nine times out of ten it’s followed up with WTF Chloe? Chill out maybe?? And that can be a little frustrating to deal with. Okay a lot frustrating. I confuse myself a lot when I go from lecturing my best friends on why they need to eat what their body tells them straight to Is it okay to have a sandwich if I had toast for breakfast?

I was having a conversation with my roommate the other day about the best advise we’d ever received. The only thing I could think of was something a TV character said, which is totally on brand for me. There’s a scene in Schitt’s Creek where Alexis is taking David to do his driving test. He’s clearly having a panic attack, and Alexis says something along the lines of “David, no one is thinking about you the way you are thinking about you. No one cares,” which is just as on brand for her. Since that conversation we’ve been throwing “No one cares” into just about every conversation and honestly, it’s true. It’s such a seemingly insignificant piece of advice, but Alexis Rose really dropped the life guidance of the century!

I think I’m writing this because, to be cliché, I want people to know that no one is perfect at anything. I might tell you all the time that you really (like really) need carbs in your diet, but that doesn’t mean I’m not having similar thoughts. I want the friends that I lecture all the time to know I’m doing it because I know how it feels, and I don’t want them to feel the same way.

To end with a slightly more kumbaya moment than I would have liked, I’ll say maybe we should all be a little bit more like Alexis, and just not give a fuck.

and now, a bunch of pictures of food to make you hungry:

mint chocolate chip ice cream

a run-through of a typical day no one asked for

A few days ago I woke up to my 7:15 alarm and rolled over. I set another one for 7:45, thinking this extra 30 minutes would, I don’t know, do something. When that one went off, my arm didn’t work. You might think I mean Ugh I was so tired my arm didn’t want to move. But no, my arm literally would not move. I lifted it up and my hand went limp and numb. I managed to convince myself that I was having a stroke for fifteen seconds, but I eventually settled into the reality that I just fell asleep on my arm. Fine, I guess I’ll use my other hand to turn off the alarm.

Most days now, I wake up and lay completely still for five to ten minutes, debating between a morning of inside air and homework or a morning of outside air and still homework. I consistently feel better every single time I venture outside before work, but that doesn’t change the fact that I need to debate it. I’ve been running more often, which means I’ve gone on more than one run this semester, and I can almost never bring myself to do it any time other than the morning (credit where credit is due to my cool roommate for opening my eyes to the exercise as not always a torture fest). And I’ve established myself as strictly anti-gym, or at least anti this gym, as it’s a windowless room with yellow lighting and an overpowering sense of dread, and also the pool is filled with old men who can’t stop commenting on how “fast” I am but won’t let me pass them when I’m slapping their toes. So between that and the fact that I was sore for six days after one workout class, I’m left with running and walking as sources for endorphins, a much needed currency in NYC. 95% of the reason I’ve been running may be because I’m obsessed with my Hoka shoes and can’t stop telling my mom how it feels like a trampoline on my foot, but they’re pink and so cute!!

Anyway, if I elect to go outside, I’m either running or walking and both of those options mean I can plug my earbuds in (I’m going to continue pretending that I am the one choosing not to have AirPods and it’s not because my dad thinks I’ll loose them) and dramatize my life tenfold with excessively emotional music. Lorde, if you’re out there, just know I pretend to live a completely different life than my reality because of you.

After thirty to forty-five minutes of pretending everyone I pass either wishes they were me or absolutely hates me, I return to my half-dorm-half-cultural-center home and my life as an ~intern~. I shower (felt like I needed to point this out? idk) and make either an egg on toast or a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. There’s no in between. Don’t be surprised when I have excellent cholesterol in ten years because of the many pounds of Honey Nut Cheerios I eat a week.

Throughout the day I’m writing or uploading stories to the CMS (yay! no, actually yay because for some reason this is my absolute favorite thing to do). We write for really wealthy people and it’s definitely quite the eye-opener to their world. Yesterday I was looking at homes for sale to feature, and one of them literally had two tickets to space included in the price. I have a fantastic editor who I feel like I might be a clone of considering our similar taste in shoes (sparkle shoe owners, wya?) and the fact that I’m following almost her exact career path. Am I that unoriginal? Whatever.

I proceed to stress about things like clicking the wrong tab, having too many tabs, whether or not I’m sending too many messages to my editor, whether or not my emails are going to spam, if I’m taking too many breaks, if I’m not taking enough breaks … you get the gist. So, by the end of the day I’m mentally burnt out from over-thinking and regular thinking, which means it’s time for the best part of the day. My daily little mental health walk.

Living a few blocks from Central Park has been literally the best thing to ever happen. A couple days ago, I was writing a future blog about the park in my head and getting emotional about how great this place is. Most days, I call my mom while I walk and talk about nothing. I like to romanticize my life and pretend I’m a seasoned New Yorker on the phone with their work bff and not someone who spends most of their time planning things to do when my mom comes to visit. We talk about the weather and how much colder it usually is in Chicago, sometimes about what my dad is up to and she tells me at least one crazy thing my dog did each day. I miss him but I do not miss the fear of going outside and witnessing him maul a small child because they looked at him wrong (to be clear here I’m talking about my dog, not my dad … that would be a whole different kind of strange).

The rest of the day is pretty simple and not worth subjecting you to the pain of me trying to explain and make it sound interesting (and failing). But eventually we reach the real best part, where I decide which dessert I’ll be feasting on that night. I will say the black & white cookies are a genius combination of cake and cookie and I’ll never forget about them, but I often end up watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine and eating a $7 pint of ice cream, either mint chocolate chip or a flavor I bought adventurously and wish was mint chocolate chip.

This has been a completely pointless summary of my daily routine. If you made it this far, thanks for the support I guess? Anyway, I’ve been reading “wow, no thank you.” by Samantha Irby and wanted to try out some essay-style writing so let me know what you think. If I suck at it, don’t hold back (jk I’ll probably cry).

things I got emotional about this week

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! And, happy Maddy v. Cassie day to the Euphoria-watchers! I don’t watch Euphoria but I want you to feel seen. AND, happy whatever is going on between Ye and Pete. Five years ago, did we ever think the bane of Kanye’s existence would be … Pete Davidson? (Love you Pete no hate)


I’m a big cryer, and this week I found myself shedding a tear because of such insignificant things that those tears were almost always followed with self deprecating laughter. So naturally, I thought I would share.

  1. A dog in Central Park getting beyond excited to play fetch. You know when dogs get too eager and their little bodies start to wiggle super weirdly?
  2. Two kids who came into the bakery a few minutes apart and both bought juices before school. One spent five minutes deciding what macaron to get and the other bought a ham and cheese sandwich. To be a kid in New York!
  3. The acknowledgments section of Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. The note to Peter just left me in pieces.
  4. “Raspberry Beret” playing in a restaurant. I’m gonna be that person for two seconds and say if you don’t like this song … well, just don’t tell me.
  5. The Goldfish that my mom sent me in a package. Coincidentally, I had accidentally bought the whole wheat version at the store and it was just not working for me.
  6. My mom showed me my cats on FaceTime. I feel like that’s all I need to say.
  7. My eyes stinging and watering so much that it leads to me just actually crying out of frustration.
  8. My best friends visiting Notting Hill in London. I told them I would have cried if I was there with them, but it turns out just thinking about it does the trick (also shout out to Liv for sending me Instagram reels about the Spanish neighborhood they filmed in).
  9. Lorde
  10. Maggie Lawson and Timothy Omundson being adorable friends.
  11. My dad surprising my mom and I with tickets to see John Mulaney. What made me more emotional, though, was the support from my dear friend Anna because as we agreed, he doesn’t get paid to be a good person!!

meet my friend, anxiété

I’ve come to a point where I’m starting to feel at peace with my anxiety. Like maybe it makes me who I am. A nervous, constantly worried, knuckle-cracking 20 year old. I’ve also started blinking weird? Please let me know if you have also experienced weird blinking.

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes. Most of us know this by now because we’ve all been plagued with it since third grade, but I didn’t realize I had it myself until more recently. My understanding of anxiety was that of major panic attacks and ~the need for weed~. But I have what I now call “mini panic attacks” and being around MJ gives me even further anxiety. I just saw myself as a rule-follower. I’m what they call, um, tightly wound.

Here’s a few things that give me anxiety that definitely shouldn’t:

  1. Leaving the house without a plan.
  2. The idea of someone not liking my outfit.
  3. The possibility of my shoes hurting in three hours.
  4. The possibility of getting cold because I didn’t dress warm enough.
  5. The possibility of … weather.
  6. Committing to saying I like something, because what if the person I’m talking to do doesn’t like that thing? Ahhhh
  7. Thinking about anxiety. This blog post is a nightmare for me.
  8. A pimple that might show up because I went one night without washing my face.
  9. Waking up past 9 am.
  10. Spending money on dumb things that I will enjoy.
  11. Not spending money on dumb things that I will enjoy.
  12. Getting a headache I probably caused.
  13. My shoes getting dirty.
  14. Someone not understanding that cats are like not scary at all!
  15. Speaking in front of more than three people at once.
  16. Allowing my personality to be … my personality. Does that make sense? I don’t really care.
  17. Those questions that are like “Would you get rid of this or this?” I will never pick the right one.
  18. Fight scenes in movies.
  19. Superheroes absolutely demolishing entire cities to save like one person.
  20. Someone else getting anxiety. Omg especially if it’s because of something I did. Just get rid of me at that point.
  21. I should probably stop this list now or it will go on forever.

I’m not totally sure why I’m writing this, but I hope it shows that almost anything can be a point of anxiety for someone. It’s not weird for something to stress you out and you don’t have to pretend it’s fine if it’s not. Don’t suffer through it, but don’t hide it either. I feel like getting weirdly stressed out about these things and being somewhat open about it has helped my friends understand me better and it has definitely helped me figure out how to help myself. And that’s usually with dessert foods. Feels super millennial of me to be like “Ice cream saves all LOL!” but … what if it does.

I leave you with this image of a tiled pig in the subway.

it’s all fun and games!

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I like magazines. I mean, obviously, they’re usually pretty to look at, but there’s a lot of pretty things out there I’m not as drawn to (someone please explain to me what it is about Timothée Chalamet. I don’t get it).

So as I’ve been thinking about that, I’ve started to realize how much I love the idea of entertainment in general. And magazines are, usually, entertainment reading. IMO, leisure reading is wildly undervalued and under-appreciated. Honestly, what would we do without it? Especially now, when all news is bad news. What’s the harm in reading up on some celebrities every know and then? We need a break from the doom and gloom if we can get one, and magazines are, I think, my favorite kind. At least in written form.

Magazines are definitely not everyone’s thing, though. But we all have some kind of entertainment, and I want to know more about it. I love hearing about what amuses people.

To the five to twelve possible people reading this, I’d love to hear what entertains you. What random podcast do you listen to that you just can’t get other people into? Do you have a hobby of subscribing to quirky email newsletters? Do you keep yourself busy with fidget toys and board games? I feel like our choice of entertainment always reveals a lot about us. I mean, there must be a reason why comedy shows and movies are really the only ones I can tolerate (sorry, Sarah, I’ll just never be the Marvel Maniac you want me to be).

So, yeah. Let me know what your favorite way to pass the time is and maybe I’ll find a new front-runner … or not.

just trying to figure out where we’re going wrong

In the last, I don’t know, ten years, our society has supposedly made strides when it comes to self acceptance and neutrality about appearance. High-fashion brands pat themselves on the back every time there’s a plus-size model in their show, Instagram influencers are now making money off of BOTH diet culture products and messages of self love and celebrities are now being asked, “Did you gain weight? Not trying to be mean” online instead of in person. See? We’ve made tremendous progress.

I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer. I’d much rather be 20 years old today than when my mom was, trust me. But I’m not so sure everyone’s feeling as great about themselves as the world collectively pretends we are. We just hide it differently now.

I don’t know that I’ve ever met a truly, through-and-through confident person. But is that surprising? A lot of people who love their personality got that way because they’ve been told their looks wouldn’t get them anywhere. There’s always a chance that someone who loves how they look has been told their personality is dull. And then there’s people who are insecure about both. It’s possible this is just from my point of view and you’re reading this thinking, “What a fucking cynic.” It’s also possible this applies strictly to my generation. But we all know what it’s like to be in middle school. And we’ve all heard our parents or older siblings criticize themselves one time or another. So, that’s pretty hard to believe.

I don’t know that I view myself as being an unconfident person, but I do know I don’t have the highest self-esteem. You know when you’re like offended if someone says you should be more confident because you’re like, “I’m confident!” but then you think, “Mmm, actually no.” That’s where I’m at.

It’s pretty easy for confidence to drop when school feels like a competition show. It’s pretty easy for it to drop when you view all of your friends as prettier than you but even they don’t like how they look (and then you’re thinking “okay then wtf am I?!). Breakups don’t help either. The expectation is that we hype up all our friends on social media and then degrade ourselves “as a joke.”

What’s not easy is pretending none of that exists. The body positivity/neutrality/whatever movement seems to expect us to flip a switch and just, what, love ourselves all of a sudden? It’s like they (idk who “they” is either) are saying, “Hey, this girl wears a size 14 and she’s a model, shouldn’t that make you feel good about yourself?” But the point is that her size actually shouldn’t matter at all and we shouldn’t have to be thinking about our limbs and skin bags to feel good about anything.

My cat, with not a care in the world about what he looks like.

I’m sure a lot of people do feel like we’ve made progress. And maybe we have, at least publicly. But I preach sustainable fashion to my friends and family, knowing full well sustainable brands have some of the worst size inclusivity out there. I tout body neutrality and going easy on yourself and then go back to my room and tear apart my appearance to my roommates while they do the same.

If you’re someone who’s reading this and thinking, “I don’t deal with this at all,” then I’m happy for you. But I have a strong suspicion most of us do. So if you do, and you’re ever having a super I’m-about-to-pick-apart-everything-about-myself moment, just think: nobody cares, and in the best way possible. Nobody cares because they are all too busy feeling the exact same way to think about whatever you’re freaking out about. You don’t have to be great. You don’t even have to be good. You just have to be enough for you!

I love talking about this stuff with other people, so if you have any ideas about where the heck we’re going wrong, let me know:)

This is a photo where I don’t like how I look. Don’t worry, I know my boobs look great. But I just don’t like my face for some reason??
Some of my beautiful and perfect friends!
More of my beautiful and perfect friends!
Double feature of friends + Sarah
Me enjoying ice cream
The Glee cast, so you don’t forget.

qualms of a student journalist

It’s been almost two years now in the bustling big city of Columbia, Missouri and I guess you could say I’m starting to get the hang of things. And by that I mean I’m getting used to sitting in my room until the sun goes down, making a mug cake at 7:00 and then heading for bed at a ripe 10:30. Receiving cat pictures from my mom has made its way into the “thrill” category of my brain.

But as time goes on at Journalist Factory, and I think it’s this way for most people, you start to think, “Well I’m just different.” I know that sounds a bit pick-me energy, but I’ll explain myself. In every class, we meet new people who seem to have their sights set on a specific dream. Or we meet people who are really, really good at something. Then there’s people who have confidence flowing out of them with every breath. You can’t help but feel inadequate around all of these people, so you try to justify it with, Well I’m just not like them. I’ll figure it out in a few years and really, you know, blossom.

And I know what I really want to do, I guess. It’s not that. I think there’s a bit of imposter syndrome in that even though some of us do have dreams like the confident ones, we don’t really believe we’ll be the ones to achieve them.

A little while ago I was in an interview for an internship and about halfway through, one of the editors stopped and told me they were actually really impressed with where I was for just being a sophomore. And to tell you I almost cried right there in an interview would be an understatement. To hear a stranger say they were impressed by me?! That was out of the ballpark for my expectations. I’m sure it’s this way for just about everyone my age nowadays, but there’s no way we’ll ever feel we are doing enough. It doesn’t matter how many magazines I contribute to or how many clubs I join, there’s someone in my class who has published more or is in more. Quality over quantity has been drilled into our heads since 2nd grade, and yet it hasn’t ever really made sense. You aren’t rewarded for putting everything you have into one thing you really love, so why would you do that?

In a few years, I imagine most people my age will be applying for our first real jobs. Some will have already been working for a while but those of us privileged enough to just be starting out in our careers will be trying to find places okay with the fact that we went to school during a pandemic. By that I mean a lot of the experiences we are expected to have and gain through education have been severely altered, even if just for a year and a half. A lot of companies might not be able to look past that lack of experience. And that’s … uh … kinda crazy lol. This is what I think about every time an adult tells me, “You have to have fun in college, too!” When they were in college, I’m *assuming* there wasn’t this insane culture of competition literally everywhere you go (like literally everywhere) and a pressure to still have an overflowing resume when it isn’t as possible to do so.

So this was really just me ranting about being overwhelmed in college, but it’s just something I feel like pretty much every single person in the Gen Z territory goes through at one time or another. I don’t want to act like I’m great at this, but I think we should have a little more understanding for everyone no matter their level of involvement in their school, their job or anything. As I like to say, we’re doing enough.

What I call “The Glee steps”