Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How This Blog Has Changed My Life

Pretty grand title, huh? Well, it’s true; I’m a different person than I was when I started this blog. I’ve changed in lots of the little ways you’d expect: I’m more conscious of trends, I visit thrift stores more often, I dress more creatively and I shop more than before WIW2D. The biggest change I’ve seen, though, has been in my attitude towards others’ dress. I’m much more accepting of other people’s style choices than I used to be.

I used to delight in the criticism of other people’s clothing. My favorite part of What Not to Wear was the snarky comments Stacy and Clinton made about the “before” wardrobe. In the checkout line, I’d flip directly to the back of Glamour magazine and the infamous “black bar” page. Next, I’d grab a tabloid off the rack and see what witty things the rag had to say about badly dressed celebrities. Throughout the day, I’d note what other people were wearing and I’d think: too tight, too short, too loud, too tacky, too sloppy, too wild. I constantly judged what others were wearing and usually found them lacking.

There’s nothing like living in a glass house to teach one not to throw rocks.

The nasty comments started in the forums. I’d notice traffic coming to my blog from a message board and check out the thread. For every nice comment (if there were any!), I’d find ten hurtful remarks. Then, “anonymous” started leaving cruel comments directly on my blog. I was cut to the quick. Each unkind remark left me with a hollow feeling in my chest, a hitch in my throat, and a buzzing in my head. I’m not confrontational, so I did not engage the commenters, but I was busily justifying myself in my head and venting to my friends. I felt victimized and misunderstood. I contemplated giving up the blog on more than one occasion.

One day, it all just clicked and I realized that every time I judged others harshly, I was behaving exactly like the trolls. Even if my thoughts were left unshared, I was ashamed to be associated with them. I changed my attitude.

Instead of curling my lip in disgust at a woman’s outfit, I’d imagine what the offender was thinking when she got dressed. Was she in a hurry to get her child off to school? Does she dress to identify herself with a particular subculture? Is she expressing her mood with her dress? I also found things to admire in outfits that I would have previously snubbed. What a great pair of shoes! Look how she picked up that particular shade of green in multiple places. And, the number one attitude-changer of all, I admire her confidence!

Confidence is just what I gained from this exercise. As I accepted others around me and their fashion choices, I became bolder with my own. The new confidence inspired me to wear what I want, without worrying about whether it “went” or was too dressy or impractical. I adopted a more carefree attitude about my appearance. Why not take a risk today? I can play it safe tomorrow. Fuck the detractors. They only WISH they had the courage to try this.

There are always going to be nasty people in the world and they are probably always going to say nasty things, but I feel better in knowing that there is one less. I admit, the world would be a boring place if we were all winners and no one was better than anyone else (a la Harrison Bergernon), but maybe we could all cut each other some slack when it comes to style. There are so many ways we can express ourselves through our clothing. I’d like nothing better than to watch the parade go by and appreciate your choices.

68 comments:

Stephanie said...

What a great post. I have to admit that I too sometimes take pleasure in judging people's clothing harshly. Only in my head, though. That doesn't make it okay. I, for one, absolutely love pretty much everything you put together. I admire how courageous you are with pairing bold prints and different colors. I always love your colorful tights and I ADORE your shoes. You also have some of the loveliest accessories. Just keep doin' what you're doin' because I, and many others, adore you and your blog.

Andie said...

very insightful and it resonates with me, Kasmira! I have to agree!

JR said...

People can be harsh, especially when they are hiding behind a keyword. I recently made a post about a place I want to travel with my husband now that his cancer is in remission. Some anonymously called it boring. I mean, I just poured my heart out about why the place was special and why I wanted to spend time with my husband who had just gone through chemo. What is wrong with people? I try to act like it doesn't bother me, but it does...and almost worse than if someone had just said it to my face! Keep doing what you're doing, I think it's fun and interesting.

Rebekah @ Shell Blog said...

wow. i check your blog often and don't comment, but today i wanted to congratulate you on this wonderful post. you deserve many kudos for your intelligence, perspective, and maturity. i've all but abandoned a few of my regular blogs due to the bloggers being incredibly whiny and disrespectful about commenting. i think the nasty trolls are miserable people, for sure, but i think some fellow bloggers could learn from the growth you've experienced through this process. what a strong person you are! it's very inspiring!!!

Audi said...

Excellent post Kasmira, and hear hear! It's great to be reminded that we all could stand to be more accepting of one another's personal choices, be it fashion or anything else. Also, I'd like to kick Anonymous's ass for you.

Kira said...

Well said!!! Love your blog, love your style and love your confidence!!! If everyone could adopt this attitude towards life in a multitude of ways style or other wise the world would be a much better place!! Thanks for hanging in through all the trials and self doubt! You have inspired so many in more ways than just with your style!! Love ya girl and keep it up!!!!

Kim said...

Yours was the first fashion blog I ever read and I still look forward to seeing your pictures almost every day I turn my computer on. You've inspired me to start caring again about my outward appearance and being more daring in my choices as well.
You're an endless sources of happy and I thank you for it!

Amy said...

Perfectly said!!

La Historiadora de Moda said...

This post really resonated with me. While I don't think there's any thing particularly wrong with respectful, constructive criticism, being judgmental, snarky, and nasty just isn't necessary. Style choices are just that - choices. They are personal and made for a myriad of reasons, and we should all be respectful of that fact.

Sal said...

Right ON, lady.

sloth said...

Hi Kashmira

I am one of your adimrers for a year now and this is the first comment of mine (I know I should speak up and said) but I am not, oh well, I wanted to tell you that I really REALLY like your post today! I admirer your style and confidence and I think thats what I am lacking. Thank you for such an amazing inspiration!

Julia said...

Awesome post. I think you've hit on exactly what personal style blogs teach us all, for good or ill -- one gains confidence, one must learn to deal with the judgement of others on a daily basis, and one ultimately finds the courage to liberate oneself from previous notions of "what goes with what."

Dressing ISN'T always about looking good, or sexy, or put together. It ISN'T always about wearing what flatters our bodies or looks good with our skin tones. It's about opening ourselves, in a visual and electrifying way. I love this post. I'm glad you've changed in these ways :)

xx

Lorena said...

VERY
WELL SAID !
CHEERS !

Jennifer said...

Fantastic post! I think we, as women, are harsh and judgemental with one another at times because we are jealous. Or lacking in our own confidence, so we find someone else to 'tear down'. Like you, I have really changed up my fashion (a lot of that has to do with reading YOUR blog!) and realized that it's ok to try new things! And once I started having more fun, I found that I became less critical. I've always appreciated a woman with style, but never gave credit to those I thought of as poorly dressed. Now I see things in a much different perspective. It is refreshing to come to this conclusion and I'm glad to read that you have as well!

And I must say, there are pieces you put together that I never would have thought of - or even try myself - but you pull it off because you have that confidence. You have definitely encouraged me to try some unusual prints and I LOVE it! So keep doing what you do, lady! I love checking in with you daily :)

Rachael said...

I've been following WIW2D for a while, and this is the first time I've ever been bold enough to comment. This was exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks!

Mishy said...

similar to a few other commenters up there, i'm an avid reader who seldom if ever, comments in your blog, (or any other blog for that matter). i just wanted to chime in and let you know that i'm sure there are plenty of fans of yours who don't comment but enjoy your posts all the same.

i have no idea what negative comments you may have recvd in the past, i probably won't bother checking either cause what's the point? most people, especially those who hide behind a computer, are complete dillweeds and their insignificant feedback should really mean nothing to me or you. i don't have any blogs though cause i know, i would probably get into interweb fisticuffs on a daily basis.

hang in there and please don't stop doing your thing!

Charlotte said...

I agree wish many previous posters. Just seeing you looking confident in your outfits makes them all look good to me. You've also inspired me to start making little changes in my wardrobe - just mixing it up a bit more. Thank you for that!

Alyssa said...

Fantastic post - thank you for sharing your experiences! I am also non-confrontational, and the few times I've had a nasty comment on my blog I felt the same way as you. Kudos to you for not only rising above it, but learning from it too.

Hannah said...

Bravo to you for saying this!!
You expressed yourself well, and in some ways, I feel exactly the same!
It's so great to accept other peoples styles and see the beauty in everyone.
Thank you very much for sharing this! :)

maryeb said...

You write beautifully. I'm so glad you didn't quit this blog. You've changed how I view fashion and encouraged me to take more risks.

Ria Kennedy said...

I was making a comment on a lady's behavior once. Something to the effect of "she seemed over-the-top". And someone said in response, "Says who? YOU?" And what could I say?

Life is TOO short.

Do what makes you HAPPY.

If that's being one way, be that way. If that's being another, be another. I think the most -- if not ONLY -- important thing is not hurting others.

Something sometimes easier said than done, but then hopefully, we'll all get a lifetime to practice being nicer. :D

The Fabulous Gloria Blackwell said...

I truly admire your courage to step outside the boundaries of conformity and dress for yourself (and share it on the Internet!)The fact that people waste their time posting negative comments on blogs just shows that they need to get a life. Why should you even value their opinions? They are too chicken shit to even identify themselves. (Probably ignored by their parents as children...yawn). You are creating, not destroying. I'm glad you didn't let them win.

Rock on, Girlfriend! Be who you want and shine on!

Zoe Suzanna said...

I've enjoyed your blog for a few months now and this post shows growth as a person on your part.

If the law - "You get what you give" holds true - your attitude change should reflect few nasty comments towards you?

Thank you for your your time on this blog - I enjoy it much!

Grace said...

Yes, you are right. I Do agree that we are allowed to get dressed as we wish. Whenever I am curious about getting dressed in new ways and myd dis as whther this or that is OK, I would as "Is it comfortable with you(physically and psychologically)?" If so you can go with any outfit you want because you can tolerate anything about the outfit:whether, mismatched colors, slight(or bluderous) inappropriatenes, unfitted shape, etc. You have tomorrow, or at least other chances for changing only when you try something in your own. I am a Korean and our society forced us to get alert about the somebody's opinion. Whenever my mother-in-law, who lives wiht our family and is proud of giving constructive pieces of advice for everything at her 80, refers that "somebody's" advice to criticize me and people around her. No thanks. She needs kasimiraish attitude.


I like Kasmira for this adventurous easy going attitude. Oh, yes I DO know how you try hard to do all these and yours are inspirational in many ways. Applause!!!!

DaShannon said...

whew! you scared me for a minute... i just found your blog about a month ago and it sounded like quitting time there for a minute! i look forward to your pics and upbeat comments~ keep at it. earlier today when someone was being especially difficult i thought "no one gets a free pass to be mr. nasty!" then i calmly got in my car and drove away with my dignity. you can not change the world but dag gone it you can change your attitude and reactions. enjoy~ because we as your readers sure do!

EvaNadine said...

*applauds*

cheryl :) said...

Great attitude!!! Cheryl :)

beangirl said...

Excellent. Thanks for posting it. (And I loved the Irish Professor.)

Kathryn said...

This is a great post. I definitely have gained confidence since starting my own blog. Thanks for the great reminder of how your attitude and decision to judge or not to judge can totally change your experience.

Londyn said...

You go girl!

I totally agree with your post. You really aren't the same woman you started out as when you began this blog - in more ways than just looks!

More people then you probably even know are inspired by your creativity and fabulously funky fashion. Keep it up fashionista!!

Andrew Yu said...

Great post! Worth repeating. You are as beautiful in character inside as your outfits are outside!

Sheila said...

What a wonderful post, Kasmira - and how very gutsy and confident of you to 'fess up to being judgemental...and how you've changed. You've inspired me in countless ways: to be more daring in my dress, to push the envelope, to explore my own personal style, regardless of what other people think of what I wear.

I applaud you - you've grown so much!

Cheers,
Sheila

tmougo said...

I hate "What not to wear?" Clinton and Stacey strip these poor people of their individuality and make them all look like clones. Love this post!!! You rock!!

Tizzy said...

Well said Kasmira! Please keep doing your thing and sharing it with us. Don't let people without anything constructive to say get you down.

Laurie said...

I love what you are saying here, and it can be applied to more than just fashion, no? The simple act of compassion and the realization that we are not "everyone" and everyone is not just like "me" - why are those things such a challenge for us?

Thanks for a very thoughtful entry - your blog is a lot of fun to visit.

The Magpie's Daughter said...

Great post. :)

Tina said...

Great post! I agree 100%!

Faux Fuchsia said...

This is an interesting post and so much of what you say is true. Love seeing what you're wearing and really enjoy seeing the looks you pull together.

Gretchen Clark said...

I check out your blog every day~don't let the grouchy people get you down!!! I love you fashion sense and witty personality :)

Jess said...

I have had a pretty similar experience. Once I started really thinking about what I wanted to wear and why, and more importantly reading other people's thought processes, I gained a whole new appreciation for different fashions. Maybe I wouldn't wear what other people are wearing, but I can appreciate why they love it so much.

Sure, I still think some choices are just plain unflattering, but that doesn't make it bad. It's not always about meeting one particular narrow ideal, nor do we all think just in terms of basic silhouettes. No one should ever wear something that doesn't make them happy, and in the same light you should be able to wear what *does* make you happy, regardless of if it meets some arbitrary benchmark of what's 'in'.

estrella said...

Well done, I admire your courage to change your attitude.
Thanks for sharing!

oolagirl said...

What a great post! I've never commented before, but I just have to tell you that yours is my favorite fashion blog. I so admire your style, and your fun sense of whimsy! Work it, girl!

Jennifer le Roux said...

I know what you mean about the Stacy and clinton-itis! I used to do that too, reading blogs about fashion and in particular, your blog, has made me re-asses peoples, and my own fashion choices.So thank you! your blog changed me too...

The Cheap Chick said...

Wow - I really, REALLY needed to hear this today. I received an incredibly nasty comment on FB yesterday after I did my television segment (regarding the extreme 80's-ness of my hair), and it cut me to the quick.
This reminds me that a. trolls suck, not me and b. just keep swimming! There will always be haters, but I don't have to be one of them, or let them get me down.
BTW, I've read those mean comments you received and if I could have reached through the screen and throttled them, I would of. You are fabulous, they are not.
Thank you again,
Erin, The Cheap Chick

i_b_erin said...

Well put! You are awesome...

and...I love that tomorrow is a new day, and a new outfit!

Cheers!

Ann said...

Kasmira, you have taught me so much. Maybe this blog has changed my life as well as yours. A sewing blog friend led me to you and to Angie, and the two of you have re-made my look. Never would I have guessed that one dress could be worn in so many creative ways! I never thought of changing something I might find at a thrift store. Or how much a fun bag would add to an outfit. Sad, but true! One might think that only a self-absorbed narcissist would show the world every day what she picked out of her closet, but your blog never seems to be that way. Instead, you seem to have more of a take-a-look-and-laugh-along-with-me attitude. In fact, that may be the greatest thing I have learned from you. Thanks SO much.

Ann said...

Well. I am so happy that you kept going, for the simple selfish reason that I find you inspiring! I have always been a matchy matchy type in my (dare I say..."outfits") and therefore I am truely inspired by your out of the box thinking! Due to your blog and a few others I am pushed that little bitty bit to step out of my own box... and really who cares what the naysayers say. Just think of it this way... we are giving them something to do. Or as my grandmother would say, "Dahling just think to yourself ...there is no.one.else. better to talk about than you."

Ann

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

Confidence. You wear it well.
Angela

RETRO REVA said...

That's why so many people follow u !
You are so freaking honest and I love it ! This will seem creepy, but when I first started blogging, i printed a photo of u in the hawaiian dress and wrote underneath, WWKD? It inspire me to start a blog, to start being ME, and stay true to myself. Thanks, Kasmira ! ( I'm not a stalker ;)
Tee, Hee !

Seanny said...

Best post ever... thumbs up for u!

Kerry said...

What a brave and honest post. I'm so glad you continued with your blog.

I was always been a bit of a quirky dresser, left over from my art school days long ago, when I loved to wear bright patterned op-shop dresses ove clashing patterned trousers. But in the past 10 years, I've had trouble translating my previous dress sense into a corporate work environment, and have often felt very boring. Reading your blog over the past year has been so inspiring! You've re-inspired the confidence to do things like wearing a small-floral patterned jacket, with a different small-floral skirt, and you've reintroduced me to groovy scarves, belts and tights. (I only wish I could wear shoes like yours, but I have foot issues, so I'm a flatties and boots girl)
Now I love to choose what to wear each morning. Thanks Kasmira :)

These nasty commenters - they'll get their karma too.

Sheila's Sketch Book said...

Thank you for sharing your process. Also, thanks for sharing all of your great outfits. I love them. They help me to become more bold in the way I dress. Your playful way of dressing is very refreshing. It gives me permission to experiment. Thank you for being you!!!

Mary said...

At 70 I probably am one of your older fans. I wish I had developed your fashion understanding years ago but that is water under the bridge. I'm putting together more interesting outfits by thinking of what you have done to make colors pop and balancing one print against another. Thanks to you I covered heels in a red plaid...my husband has one less shirt and I have had a ton of compliments. Keep on keeping on... including changes Mary

Chloe, Butterfly Cupcakes said...

well said, I wish the world were a nicer place but you can only change yourself. Love the blog too, theres many outfits here I love.

Lemondrop Marie said...

Fabulous post, I agree that the blogging world has made me look for what I do like about someone's clothing instead of negatively reacting.
Your blog is one I always find lots to enjoy- so thanks!

Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

Leslie aka "MissusSmartyPants" said...

Kasmira,

Keep doing your thing. We all judge one another...and the truth is deep down inside, there is no right or wrong way of doing things. Just our way of dressing and it should be unique.

We need to appreciate each other. I don't dress as bold as you, but I appreciate that you share your outfits and put yourself out there!

Keep on stylin' the only way YOU know how!

WendyB said...

I had the same epiphany but it wasn't thanks to nasty commenters. It was due to Ice-T's blonde hoochie mama Coco. I owe everything to her. I'm not kidding!

潘云闲 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

I admire you for having the guts and confidence to put photos of yourself and what you wear up on a blog.

It's also a great way of understanding others more too.

Great post.

Kasmira said...

Thanks all for your comments and support! I've loved watching fellow bloggers come into their own style and hearing, through comments, of readers who were similarly inspired. Thanks for reading!

lazyllama27 said...

What a great post! Criticism is never fun to deal with, especially about something so personal as fashion or blogging. I think it's very mature of you to recognize that you were doing the same thing that trolls do, and you changed your attitude! Thanks quite admirable. I really admire your confidence. You've inspired me to start taking pictures of my own outfits. Hopefully one day I can look just as chic as you! Thanks!

jlag said...

Love this post. I think we can all relate.......

herana said...

Great article and your blog template is so cool. Is this template free or not. If so, Where could i download this template? if not, how much does it cost? Thanks a lot!
By Air Jordan shoes

OCD Bunni said...

so awesome post - i've been so busy havent been at your blog in a long bit - but glad to see that you are still amazingly awesome in your dressing and your thoughts...

girlnextdoorfashion said...

this is so interesting, and so true.
I've only been style blogging for about 4 months, and it's really helped me to up my game in terms of what I wear, but it is frequently met with criticism when I try something new, and my friends often consider me to be overdressed and judge my outfits when they are less than conventional.
but i agree with what you've said. it's helped me to open my eyes and respect people in terms of their fashion. and while I do still criticise people (in my head), this has helped me consider what other people are thinking when they get dressed.
great, and inspiring post.

Charlotte
girlnextdoorfashion.wordpress.com

xxx

SAHSHA said...

Well done.
Well said.
The observed life changes its behavior. As light changes how it behaves when observed (acts as a particle rather than a wave).
Sahsha's Mummy

nixthings said...

CONFIDENCE! you ooze it, and so whatever colour your hair, dress, skirt or shoes - you rock it, and ooze sexy, happy vibes. Way to go girl.(I don't think you realise how your blog has changed other people's lives too!)

Melissa Miller said...

Outstanding.