Paris Gerrard was one of the original "CATiD Girls." We met via Instagram, one of several special friendships that started with Instagram, engraining in me an as-lived believe that social media really can be a catalyst for new and meaningful relationships. Paris' handle @charcoalalley blends our favorite fashion images with quotes and wisdom from some favorite poets, authors, Buddhist thinkers, glamour girls, and more. I have a whole gallery full of screenshotted posts, but this particular quote has stayed with me lately...
I don't think this is a quote about vanity so much as it is a reminder that what you believe about yourself is a starting point for what you manifest in the world and the most direct shaper of your experience of life. I've always been dismissive of the "self love conversation" -- usually by way of "go make a difference for somebody else, build a bridge, and get over it" (real talk). But recently I've taken a closer look and am starting to see that treating yourself with loving kindness, loving yourself -- in a way that is about completion and acceptance rather than narcissism or self-absorption -- is one of the powerful places to come from in looking to make a difference for others. Pema Chodron speaks frequently about this idea of "loving kindess" in several ways:
How can we be accepting of others if we beat ourselves up for our habits? How can we be loving with others if there are things we can't stand about ourselves? From this place of love, we can then practice the awareness that will allow us to reshape our habits in a loving, productive way. Circling back to something a bit more worldly, here are the things that make me feel beautiful in a worldly sense. What are yours?
New York City -- when you step outside here, you feel the rush that anything could happen, that anything is possible. I can't imagine anything that would make me feel more beautiful.
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum -- when Claire makes a beauty recommendation, I always listen. On one of our recent "dates," she put in a strong plug for this serum, and of course she was right. Behold the glow. The best part is that product is vegan and cruelty free.
Anastasia brow gel -- cruelty free too! My brows were awkward in middle school, but when I discovered Teen Vogue my sophomore year of high school, they were the best thing that could have happened to me, aside from discovering Teen Vogue itself.
My tattoos -- My three tattoos all make me feel especially beautiful. I never thought I would be one to have tattoos, but I truly see them as wearable art. The moon is my favorite -- this image was on an antique sash I found, and I couldn't get over the graphic.
Proenza Schouler PS1 -- If there is one thing, and one thing only that I could keep in my closet, it would be this bag. I lusted over this for years -- the original "cool girl bag" that Jack and Lorenzo designed to be nameless. I found mine for a fraction of the price on eBay a couples years ago, and even though the PS1 has since become ubiquitous, I still love mine, literally to pieces. There are holes in the leather, I've lost track of how many brooches have fallen off of it, and it has literally been around the world and back with me. I still feel like the ultimate "cool girl" when I carry this bag, especially given the special place it holds in my heart and the many memories it carries.