Moda Monday: Real Blogger Beauty

~ Hello Lovies ~
How are you!?!  Even though I've been "communicating" from the mountains, it didn't feel the same as writing from my trusty kitchen table.  So, it's good to see you again and be back in the real world.  Today I have just a quick outfit for you from our last night in Tenn, and then it's on to the real "meat & potatoes" of today's post.  

Friday night, on our last night of the trip, we decided to leave our beloved cabin kitchen (because even though we loved the granite counter tops & stainless steel appliances nobody wanted to cook) and head on down the hill to the "Apple Barn." The portions in this place would make Mama June full! We were greeted with fresh apple fritters & homemade apple butter; Wake ate three all by himself.  Then with any entree you got a salad, soup, side of choice & dessert...INCLUDED!  And the natural cliche to follow here would be, "I was so full I ripped my pants."  However today, in my case, that would not be a cliche because I legitimately ripped a whole in the crotch of my jeans.  Now the good thing is that I did it before we even went to dinner when I was yanking them on and did the atypical plie' to get them situated over my hips...but regardless, the irony was not lost on me!

Tunic: Amour Vert // Sandals: Tory Burch // Jeans: James Jeans // Bracelets: Love Andrea's Closet // Charm: Moon and Lola // Watch: Michael Kors // Earrings: Kate Spade


Today, I am also linking up with Maya over at Charmingly Styled for #RealBloggerBeauty day. As Maya said back in May, 

"I've struggled since I was a kid with the idea of being "perfect" {and looking the part most of all}, and it's something I don't talk about enough. Everyone has something they're passionate about, scared to talk about, etc - and as a blogger, I think it's important we take the time to share something real and beautifully imperfect about ourselves, which is how #RealBloggerBeauty was born... 
I'm planning on sharing my own journey of struggling with Body Dysmorphic Disorder in high school and college to becoming a fashion blogger {quite the transformation!}, and how I still struggle with perfectionism everyday."

I'm beyond excited about this opportunity and I'm so proud of Maya for bringing us bloggers together. Today I am going to share with you something I've struggled with all my life, and in a weird twist of fate what also got me started as a blogger...mean girls & the need for validation!

Flash back to 1995. I was in the 7th grade. My mother, my best-friend, who I trusted my life with came home one day and said she had just seen the cutest haircut and it would look perfect on me. At that point in time I was too busy playing outside to know anything about "appearance."   So I willingly let my mother take me to the hairdresser & chop off my hair like Jennifer Lawrence.  Today, I would have rocked that short hair with big earrings, red lips & a sassy attitude.  But at 12 years old I looked like Lloyd Christmas (only thing missing was the chipped tooth).  I was awkward, had braces, wore a Canadian Tuxedo for my class picture, and could have sworn my chest was actually inverted.  (All pictures of me from this time have since been wiped off the earth in a fiery offering)  But little did I know that this haircut would define who I am as a person today. 

Apparently my haircut made quite an impression in the hallway on that first Monday when I walked in, because by the time Home Room was over (a mere 10 min time period) a group of 8th graders had nick-named me "Butch"...and it spread like wild-fire.  (*Side note...there are certain things about yesterday that I can't even remember...but I can tell you the name of every single person that was in Mrs. Adams' Home Ec. class that morning when "butch" was created. Mean Girls have been around since the beginning of time. Forgive, but never forget).  By the end of the day, I felt like I had been run over by a bus.  The teasing I suffered because of a stupid haircut was unbearable!  I hate the word "bullying", but it was brutal. Kids chanted, "Give me a B, give me a U, give me a T, etc..." on the bus ride home. During a football game later that week they taunted me so bad I left the student section to go sit with my parents. Certain class periods were so upsetting that I would have to do work in my Guidance Counselors office. Blah, Blah, Blah.  But despite all that, here was what killed me the most: I remember walking up to one of my friend's lockers, relieved to maybe have a moment of peace & support.  I said hello as usual and got no response.  So then I asked her if I could have a mint (she always had a huge bag of those lifesaver mints on the top shelf of her locker). She turned to look at me, shut her locker door and said, "Listen Morgan, we can't be friends right now because you're too embarrassing to be around with that haircut."  I'll never forget first (of many) experiences with mean girls.  I shutter to imagine how worse it would have been if the Internet had existed.

Since then I have had this overwhelming need to feel validation.  Being "Butch" taught me how to be really strong and proud of who I am.  It also taught me what real friendship is, and the truth about women & friendship can be harsh. (In my 31 years on Earth I have been heartbroken by "friends" more times than I would like to divulge).  So I decided to wear my heart on my sleeve and to delete the filter in my brain.  I would say what I wanted, when I wanted.  Because, after all, if people were going to judge me anyways I might as well really give them something to talk about. Plus, the people who wanted to be my friends would always know exactly what they were getting when it came to me. I was black & white; brutally honest but loyal to the death.  I made it a personal mission to never care about what people thought about me in regards to how I dress, how I do my exterior.  But I became obsessed with making sure that people knew the inside of me; how I wasn't damaged. How wrong my tormentors were.  How I didn't turn to a number of negative vices or outlets. How good of a person I really am and how big my heart is, and this unfortunately is probably why I still continue to get hurt by girls. We are such a vicious gender.  But anyways, as my father always said, "What's the greatest revenge? LIVING WELL!" And that's what I aimed to do. 

So I went to school far away, but the mean girls followed; sorority life, roommates, motherhood. And it was there in college that I realized that mean girls will always exist.  I use to think/wish that they would go away with age & maturity. But shit in one hand and wish in the other and tell me which fills up first.
Becoming a teacher was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I felt needed, loved, and accepted. Then I got married, and my husband verified my whole existence. And finally my son Wakeland came and the world stopped for me. Everything I had ever experienced was utterly insignificant with him in my life. He made life worth living and everyone else could go blow for all I cared!  So I quit my job as a teacher to devote my life to him. Again, I didn't care what people would think. And I don't regret it for a second, but I missed being relevant and having a place outside of my house.  Thus began Pampers & Pearls;  A part of the world where I can say what I want and feel like it matters...without the haters.    

Throughout it all I've been cut off by friends, gained new friends, kept a very small handful of good friends, and even heartbreakingly let a few friends go. But that's how life works, and it's been my wish from the beginning that Pampers & Pearls allows me the outlet I've always wanted to be who I am, with the support I've always longed for. Because in my world...knowing I made someone smile goes a long way.   

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Pampers & Pearls

Linking up with:
Still Being Molly
Fizz & Frosting
Little Miss Fashion Queen

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