Denim Overall Skirt: Cello
Top: Missy Empire
Bag: Naked Vice
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (Nordstrom)
Hat: Brixton (Nordstrom)

This one's long, but it needs to be said.

I had something else originally written for this blog post, but my heart started tugging in a different direction. You see, I’m OVERALL the BS. Yes, that’s a play on wearing overalls in the edits above, but it’s also how I’m feeling lately. This one’s for all of you who feel wrongfully judged by your appearance. I just want to share a bit of my story and feelings and let you know, if your heart is in the right place and you treat others with love and kindness, you’re gonna make it through alright!

I’m 27 years old, and the fact that I still have to endure all of the idiotic drama that comes my way, drives me nuts. Why do I even have to fathom the idea of pleasing everyone anymore? Why must I still be broken and looked down upon for who I am, who I am growing to be, what I love and what I do?

True story. When I was about 13 or so my mom was pulled into a private room at church to receive a scolding about how I was attracting boys with the way I was dressed. I remember exactly what I was wearing that day, a beautiful lavender dress, just above the knees (decently covered throughout), trendy lavender chopsticks in my hair, a bun, and mini heels. I loved to dress up and my mom, I’m proud to say helped with every outfit I had ever chosen at that point in time. I stood there listening through the crack of the door, proud and happy to know my mom was defending me, while adding how she bought me that dress. SCORE! GO MOM!

Thought: Maybe those boys were attracted to me because I was a DECENT human being and didn’t talk smack about others, minded my own business and valued KINDNESS.

True story. I once woke up with a message from someone in my FB inbox that read “What will Brenda do with her good looks in this life? Good or Evil? Point towards God, or pull away?” To this day it pains me to even type that out for you. I cannot claim to know the exact intentions of the person who wrote this to me, but I can tell you this, it upset me. It upset me because I think it is so unfortunate that my “good looks” are what some believe determines my abilities to make a difference in the world. It upset me because I don’t even believe in using surface “beauty” and “good looks” as a catalyst for change.

Thought: I truly believe ANYONE can be beautiful in their own unique way. Beauty is not defined by what is on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside, it’s about personality, kindness, compassion, self care etc.  Therefore anyone can use their true beauty to steer others towards good.

True story. “Brenda has resting bitch face,” apparently. In high school, I was told more than a dozen times by newfound friends, “oh I thought you were a bitch until I got to know you.” I really disliked this so I thought of how I could change that, how I could swerve people’s misperception of me because of my “look.” So I started smiling, A LOT.  Even when I REALLY didn’t feel like it. I did it so well that during graduation, I was introduced to the stage as the girl that’s always smiling. Now smiling isn’t bad, it’s a wonderful thing, but the fact that I had to do it to not turn people off, is pretty unfortunate.

Thought: Why are we humans so quick to judge someone by their appearance? Let’s maybe stand for the beauty of acknowledgement, compassion and getting to know one another. Let’s not avoid each other.

I have so many more examples I could use, but let’s keep this one somewhat manageable. The point of me sharing all of these stories aren’t for sympathy or for a “sorry you’re going through this”, it’s to prove a few points. For a good portion of my life, I have been judged time and time again by my “looks” and the way I dress. I’ve been dumbed down for it. Today, I am judged by some I hold near and dear because I work in fashion and show my belly button online. To those of you this message applies to, you may be ashamed of my work, avoid asking me how my work is or avoid telling others what I do because you think it isn’t “godly.” But, I’d rather show my belly button than hide an ugly heart.  You can’t pick and choose what is wrong and right.

And by the way, I am SO TIRED of having to hide my shoulders, my legs or belly button because of perverted minds. In high school I was told my sleeves weren’t wide enough and caused distraction, yet the same individual who said this had inappropriate material found on his work computer.  If someone can’t control their thoughts about a shoulder, they’ve got serious issues and I don’t need to be bound by them. There are fully nude individuals that live in jungles, they seem to be doing alright. I fully believe if you think a shoulder is "too sexy" then you've either got a strange fetish or you've been conditioned to a filthy mind. Something else I’ve learned through out my journey, no matter what I wear, I’ve been disrespected by someone. I’ve been up and down on this issue and have come to the conclusion that if someone is disturbed, they’re disturbed. I don’t need to live a life bound by their disturbances. I can however hope they're healed from them eventually.

I’m no longer sorry that I didn’t become a Doctor, a Dentist or a Lawyer, or whatever some have wished for me to become. Oh, and for the record, I don’t need people to feel “sorry” for me. I ended up following another path that was set before me and I took advantage of it. And if people think I can’t make a positive difference in someone’s life with what I do, that’s too bad, because I am. I also feel SO lucky to be able to be my own boss, work under my own terms, have my own schedule and be able to be CREATIVE, because that’s who and what I am.  And yes, I am using lucky, because I don’t like using the word “blessed” loosely. I believe blessings are sacred and I have no right to claim this as a blessing. There are 7.5 billion people in this world, nearly half of the world lives in poverty, and that doesn’t even go into illness, abuse, and other issues, I’m not going to claim that I’m “blessed” while they have to listen. It’s inconsiderate.

I’m at two pages in Word, so I guess I’ll have to finish soon. My main points for this post are, let’s cut the BS, let’s start encouraging each other, lovin' on each other, treating each other with respect, kindness and COMPASSION. No more of this surface crap. I’m SO TIRED of it. And by the way, I believe THAT’S how you show God’s love, by being a decent human being. Get to know one another, I mean REALLY know one another, then make conclusions.

Until next time my loves,

PS: Thank you to those of you in my life who have continued to love on me, encourage me and be proud of me. You have no idea how much it means to me! Especially you, mom, dad and Jen. I love you.