High Heels & Perfect Hair

I've recently always had a problem being ladylike. I mean, if I feel like it, I can pull off some lipstick and a fancy dress with the best of them. But that's exactly the problem: I rarely feel like it. Or if I do feel like it, all I have to do is contemplate the amount of energy that would go into the whole process, and I quickly move on to other things, like eating slices of cheese whilst re-watching multiple seasons of *insert name of gaudy teen drama here*.

Most All of the phases of my life have been awkward and lacking a sense of fashion or grace.

There was Prepubescence:

Blue? Come on Rachel, you're a girl. 

Junior High:

High School:

College (which, if I'm not mistaken, is when you're supposed to finally be developing into a person who can properly dress yourself):

Misguided attempt at bangs

The growing-out of the misguided attempt at bangs

And plenty of Post-College misdemeanors as well:

No, really. This was last spring (sorry Toby).
It's only been in the past year (maybe - see above photo) that I've begun to blossom into something a little more respectable, like, say...a human being slightly resembling a woman. Why now? Good question. I haven't felt any particular sense of fashion enlightenment in the past year. I haven't had any "Eureka!" moments or been submitted to What Not To Wear (you missed the ball on that one, friends and family). I certainly haven't actually gone out and bought any of the outfits I've pinned on Pinterest.

I think it all comes down to this: I finally understand that it's okay to embrace being a female. I've always shied away from girliness (in fifth grade, my outfit of choice was pipe jeans and a large black Riverdance t-shirt; I went punk rock through junior high and high school - Avril Lavigne tie, band t-shirts, the works; and in college I decked myself out in bandanas and tie-dye and showered about once every five days), with the exception of special occasions like dances, certain parties, and Christmas. I never wanted to be seen as a girl who "tried too hard" to look pretty. I didn't see the point in putting effort into my everyday appearance. I refused to give in to the status quo and doll myself up. Blah blah blah.

Or maybe I just didn't get it. There is such a thing as taking it too far (plastic surgery, et. al.), but one of the pluses of being a girl is that you have the opportunity to get gussied up, temporarily change your appearance, and be your own Barbie doll. All of those things sound bad, but I mean them in a good way. It's fun to look pretty. I feel better about myself, and about life, when I look pretty. Making an effort isn't a bad thing; it means you care enough about yourself to show the world how fantastic you can look, and what's wrong with that? During many of my worst fashion crises (which lasted months to years at a time), I was also depressed. I didn't like myself very much, my outlook on life was negative, and it showed in my appearance. Unfortunately, bad habits were created during these times, and they're definitely dying hard. But I'm making strides. Once I can invest in a new wardrobe, these strides will lengthen, but for now I'm showering more often, using mascara AND eyeliner, and attempting to create fresh outfits out of a closet of clothing that has been accumulating since college. What I used to think was shallow has now become a bit fun. I think I'm finally growing up.

On that note, I give you the following videos that make me want to put on a dress and dance. I originally saw the first video below in this post on the blog Yes and Yes...

...and then I ran across this second video (featuring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (le sigh), circa-around the time 500 Days of Summer came out, about a week later. 

Wonderful, right? 

Now excuse me while I go put on a fancy dress and get my groove-thang on.

Happy second week in February!