What if you’re not good enough?

I need to stop being so apologetic about myself. I feel so sorry for myself, sorry that my waist isn’t as thin as I’d like it to be; sorry that I can’t see or even contact my boyfriend because he’s away for most of the time(I see him about 4 days a month); sorry that I’m lazy; sorry that all my high school friends are off doing their own thing now. As if I’m the most sorry girl in the world.

Being sorry about everything automatically puts me in the submissive and takes the grounds for my confidence away. It squeezes the zeal out of you and slows you down.

That’s exactly what’s happening to me right now. Exams have just ended(my first uni exams!) and it’s time to get back on track with my upbeat, hectic life. I have people to meet, business to do, stories to write, studying, and myself to take care of. Yet thinking about all the things I need to start doing kind of puts me off from doing them. Yes, it’s probably partly because I’m a lazy bum, but a thread of thought that keeps winding around my brain is ‘What if you’re not good enough?’

“What if you’re not good enough?”

I knew, from the moment I decided to take the route of fashion as an under-experienced, prep-school student surrounded by prep-school friends who pursued lives indulged in studies, politics, or law, that the path I had begun to stroll along was going to be anything but easy and stable.

I know that some people still don’t approve. Whenever I hear about people that know me talk about my blog or my efforts as ‘asking for attention’, I think, ‘well… technically I am asking for attention, but the right attention’. I write (almost; sometimes I just don’t give a shit, I need to let out what’s on my mind and that’s all) every single post hoping that someone out there, in the fashion industry or outside of it, will be able to resonate with what I’ve written or at least feel something. I hope that it catches someone’s eye and maybe that someone will view fashion in a different light than they used to before.

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(Being free. Denim, red, and flowery patterns. Took this two years ago.)

Business itself isn’t a virtue, but I believe it can be a tool to get to bigger things. I need to get myself back on track. I need to work on my eBay affiliate work and business, but mostly I need to focus on being a creator; thinking in depth again and expressing, rather than pushing down, my emotions. Guess this post is a start to a new term : )

 

Why I’m a Taylor Swift fan and proud of it #beingbasic

It seems that Taylor Swift has become the epitome of “mainstream”. I mean, even my DAD knows what she said in her latest interview, and he’s Korean and has never heard of the Kardashians(I repeat, the KARDASHIANS). She’s all over the place, with her music becoming anthems for teenage girls and rise to success becoming topics of great academic research for scholars all over the world. Her latest album, 1989, was the biggest-selling album of 2014, and her Billboard records match up to those of the Beatles.

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She’s become so terribly successful and famous, in fact, that it’s making us all feel guilty to admit we love her. Like any well-known person, she has almost as much haters as fans.  But it’s not just the haters-it’s the fact that there are so, so many other people that listen to her music apart from themselves that bothers people. Liking Taylor Swift’s easygoing, lighthearted songs make people feel “basic”, and, let’s face it-no one wants to feel basic, when we’re all so convinced that we’re incredibly important and one-of-a-kind. ‘Basic’ is the new negative word for ‘typical, shallow, and not special(, let alone artistically valuable)’. Downloading her songs alone on your phone at night while getting emotional about your ex makes you feel like you’ve become that basic, (usually perceived as)dumb girl that orders the infamous pumpkin spice latte while texting on her iphone, in leggings and Uggs. 

And it’s not only that. It’s also the fact that almost all her songs are about the simple emotions involved in falling in love and falling out of love, unlike other mega-selling records of the past that are known for having real artistic value, like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, or ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson, or ‘Rehab’ by Amy Winehouse. Of course, lots of other famous songs are about love too-take Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, for example- but we remember ‘I Will Always Love You’ as a romantic, soulful, legendary song. I’ve never, ever heard anyone call that song “basic”. However, everyone calls Taylor Swift’s songs basic.

Why? I assume it’s because her songs have simple melodies, simple lyrics, and are about simple emotions that we’ve all felt before. They’re not about some deep, artistic rendition of love. They mostly describe the feelings a high school girl would have about that cute boy/girl in Biology, the lousy ex that betrayed you for another girl/guy that you spent all night crying about while eating chocolate in your college dorm room with your friends, or your current S.O. that you smile about before falling asleep every night, imagining holding his/her hand and going on picnics and doing ridiculous lovestruck things that you see in every soppy romantic comedy movie. The thing is, her songs are mostly about everyday feelings. Things that don’t apply exclusively to those who are in a love so complicated and holy and mature, but apply also to the ‘average’ teenager next door that loves procrastination, doesn’t know where her/his life is going, and has a crush on her/his classmate at school.

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Taylor’s songs are mainstream because we can all relate to them. I’ve been told that I try too hard to be unique and sophisticated and that I act too mysterious and chic(which is actually because most of the time I can’t think of anything smart to say so I just sit and stare at people), but I can’t help indulging in the common ‘girliness’ of Taylor Swift’s songs every once in a while, sometimes. When I’m singing in the shower. Everyday. Okay, fine, I have practically ALL her songs on my playlist on my phone, AND I’ve been to a Tay Swift concert back in 8th grade. But I refuse to be ashamed about my affinity for this ‘basic’ culture. Whenever I tell people I like Taylor Swift, their initial responses are always either ‘Seriously?’ or ‘Wow I thought you were really unique and different though’. No one says that when someone likes Amy Winehouse, or Nirvana, or Weezer, or AC/DC, or some alternative indie band. When someone says they like Oasis, it’s all ‘Ohh you know your music!’, unlike when someone says they like the Backstreet Boys(yes, I just made a My Mad Fat Diary reference).

I DON’T GET IT.

I don’t understand in the first place how some pieces of art/music can apparently essentially hold ‘more artistic value’ than others. Art isn’t like a math test; it isn’t something where you can just weigh one against another. Every piece of art holds a different meaning for every single person, evokes different emotions in every single person, and affects every single person in such a variety of ways, and I do have the audacity to say that the silly drawings that I drew of unicorns and princesses when I was four mean way more to me than a Jackson Pollock painting or a Michelangelo sculpture worth millions. 

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Also, I think it’s wrong for people to talk about mainstream pop singers like Taylor Swift or One Direction or even Justin Bieber(unless they’re talking about his stupid antics, then, yeah I agree he needs to get his life together) and their music in a condescending way, assuming that they have less artistry than other ‘legendary’ musicians like, I dunno, Nirvana. Firstly, creating something that the vast majority of ‘common’ people can relate to is not only more difficult than people think but also extremely meaningful. Taylor Swift’s songs reach out to so many people, whoever they may be, and I believe that this connection through her music, between her and the listeners, is a manifest of one of the biggest, most sacred assets of humanity-artistic communication. Because at the end of the day, being able to touch the heart of another or make someone see a certain reflection of their own life through something you created, and being able to create something that can bring a huge group of people all over the world together emotionally in sympathy(even IF it is just about your highschool sweetheart and how you broke up with her/him at school), is one of the most important fundamental principles of art itself. Secondly, even if lots of popular singers today don’t make their own music, I still think that performance(not just ballet or operas but also performing at the Superbowl) is also a legit art which requires much artistry and effort. The process of interpreting a song and using your voice, body, or instrument to communicate with others about the song, whatever that song may be, is still just as valuable as the process of creating the song itself.

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Rock on, Taylor.

I’m a coward. There, I said it. (My passive-aggressive tribute to 2014)

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(Me in Jeju Island for the first time. This year.)

I’m a coward. Honestly, truly, I am terrified of life. It gives me the chills to think that in a year I’ll lawfully be an adult. It scares me that I may or may not get married someday. I am frightened of becoming attached to things or people. It scares me that I know I am scared and yet I am not doing anything about it.

What’s stupid is that I’d always thought I was the strongest person in the world. I just knew I would succeed. I knew I was clever, driven, and assertive, and I was confident that I had the ability to ‘make a dent in the world’, as Steve Jobs stated. The word ‘coward’ never really came to mind when I was referring to myself, even while I was thinking my deepest, darkest thoughts.

Over the span of a year, it’s shocking, almost bloody brilliant even, how my perception of myself has changed. It’s kind of like the feeling you get when you look back at an old photo of you back in the day and you get that rush of nostalgia whooshing up your throat, threatening to seep out through your eyes as tears? Well, that’s how I feel about the past year, 2014(of course, there is no need to state ‘2014’ specifically again, but I feel like simply calling it the ‘past year’ isn’t enough; like we need to establish and state some sort of concrete, serious name for this chunk of time that has come and utterly rooted up my previous self-image). After all, it’s the year I’ve realized how much of a freaking coward I can be.

I realize that I didn’t act all dismissing and condescending about love because I’ve never felt it before. Of course I have. Everyone has experienced love in whatever form, at whatever time in their lives, but I always gave this sort of I’m-superior-because-I-don’t-care-for-petty-emotions-like-that sideways smirk(which has kind of stuck to my face as a default expression now) and said, in the chicest, most nonchalant way possible, ‘I don’t believe in love’ because I was scared of it. Because I know, deep inside, that I can so casually and obliviously slip up and become attached to someone who may not love me as much as I love them. I was avoiding the issue altogether, like a coward. I know that once I get quite close to a person, falling into them is as easy as getting someone to agree that Beyonce is definitely, without doubt, queen of pop(aka easy-peasy).

These days I’m especially terrified of the future. Well, my future, to be exact. I (or at least I feel like I have) have experienced so many miserable failures(what happened to getting a boyfriend? what happened to getting better at Spanish? what happened to getting better grades? seriously though, what is up with these grades? WHAT. HAPPENED. KONNI.) in 2014 that I could write a whole, hardcover, at least two hundred page book on how to fall and smack your ass hard on the ground called life. I know this is getting repetitive and possibly a little obsessive-addictive creepy but I can’t help but keep asking my inner, shriveled self- WHAT HAPPENED??? I used to be the girl with all the fierce attitude of the whole room, sucking out the patience in people until they finally got tired(physically and mentally) of me and told me to shut up and go chill or something, the girl who would obviously be voted ‘Most likely to succeed (and break her neck trying because she just cannot stop being so obnoxiously enthusiastic)’; now I feel like I’m just a shadow of that girl. Right now I don’t feel ready to take on the world at all. Now I’ve become obnoxiously anxious of my future, although of course I don’t really show it, I just think it in my head. I’ve got a year left until I get sucked into society as a (*ooh*) ‘grown-up’ but let’s face it: I AM NOT GROWN, UP, DOWN, RIGHT, OR LEFT. I feel like I’m back to the start of the monopoly board because bloody 2014 came and gave me that red card thingy that has instructions on it that tell you to go back to ‘START’.

And the problem here is, when I’m scared, I somehow get petrified, as if someone came and shot me with a stun-gun. I collapse under fear. I cease to think rationally. Like right now. I’m barely thinking about what’s coming out of my brain and onto this laptop screen, but here I am, writing my thoughts out (although it may actually be a good thing since this post will probably turn out to be one of my most raw, honest ones). One thing I do know now, though, is that I really need to pick myself up and make sure that all this was worth it. Since I can’t change what has already happened in the gloomy, swamp-like depths of 2014, I inevitably owe it to myself to at least make sure that it was all worth it somehow; that it was all for ‘something bigger’.

So basically, since 2014 has upper-cut me in the face so many times, I just have one wish for the new year. That I improve myself and get to a happier place.

2015, don’t expect me to play along like last time. It’s MY turn now.

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(P.S: Also, when in doubt, eat.)

Goodbye, 2014.

Things I realized from being brutally honest with myself

Writing has always entertained me, in one way or another. A fun, relaxing, magical thing. My parents always encourage me to write things out, whether it be a personal diary entry full of my feelings, or a professional article on my stance on a current issue. Because of this (maybe ‘nurtured’)affinity toward writing, I think that when I write, I see a true reflection of myself in the most honest way possible.

It’s when I’m sitting alone in front of my laptop with a cup of coffee, in an old cafe(which is what I’m doing right at this very moment) that I can pluck up the courage to connect with myself. When I say ‘connect with myself’ I don’t mean some superstitious voodoo business; I mean actually acknowledge myself for what I’ve become.

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It’s really not as easy as it sounds, you know, acknowledging yourself for what you are. Of course, once in a while we all whine about how we’re so doomed because we procrastinate endlessly, or we rant on about how we eat too much and sleep too much(or too little, in my case. Sleep, I mean.) But have we actually journeyed further than that? I doubt it. We never really get to step beyond the comfort zones of our smartphones and casual social media binging.

We’re at the point where it seems taboo to question the most fundamental things. Try asking a random basic ‘philosophical’ question to a friend. It will probably make them(most people I’ve tried it on have, anyways) almost instinctively try to lighten the awkwardness of how fundamental and ‘deep’ your question was by joking around or seeming clearly uncomfortable with how ‘pretentious’ you sound by asking such a thoughtful question instead of commenting on the latest hot topic or something. Considering this situation, the only way we seem to be realistically evaluating ourselves is through our selfies. Which I think is really bad, since selfies don’t even begin to scratch the surface of who we are at all. Whenever I take a selfie I feel like I’m deluding myself by filling up my empty spots with the shallow satisfaction of how I look(not that I think I look fabulous…but you get what I mean in general) and establishing my existence by posting them on Facebook, rather than actually taking the time to get to know my inner self.

Today I had a lot of time to kill on my hands since finals ended last week and I was alone for most of the day, so I decided to stop and take a break from mourning over my horrendous finals scores and sending my friends memes on Facebook and just be alone for a while. To get off social media and stop worrying about what other people are gonna think of me(or whether they’re thinking of me, *cough cough* hot guy on the third row in chemistry class) and just devote a chunk of time solely to myself. It’s harder said than done. It can actually be quite frightening to some people, and I understand that. For some of us, being alone with our thoughts can be harder than facing a room full of a thousand people, especially in today’s world. I admit-hitting the ‘deactivate’ button on Facebook was a big decision, my index finger was trembling as I hit the button that would segregate me from the world and disconnect me from my primary source of self-worth, but I survived it like a warrior. Okay, that was exaggerated. But still, it was hard.

I sat in a cafe, ordered my usual green tea latte, and basically I just…sat for hours, writing out things on my mind, sipping latte and listening to Christmas carols(only 4 days left now!), and thinking about things I usually don’t have the time to think about. I’ve been sitting here in the corner of this cafe for hours now and I’ve come up with some thoughts at least remotely worthy enough to put down on paper, or, on my laptop screen.

Being brutally honest with myself for once, firstly, I realized that I was stopping myself from becoming more successful in life. To be exact, my arrogance was barring me from advancing in so many areas of my life. I had never realized it before because a) I always seemed to have more urgent things to think about and b) I was too afraid to face my flaws in the face BECAUSE OF my arrogance(a vicious cycle..arrgg) in the If I had continued on with my life unaware of this

Secondly, I realized that I am being very weak right now. Finals finally ended last week and school is about to let out in a few days; obviously it would be an understatement to say that I’m a little over the moon and therefore am a little in the partay-all-day-whoop-whoop mood but I’m going to have to go to university next year and I.NEED.TO.GET.UP. I am being lazy. I’ve been in denial about this for a week now but now I must get myself together and STOP ILLEGALLY BINGE-WATCHING ‘MY MAD FAT DIARY’. Seriously. Procrastination isn’t cool anymore-has anyone else ever felt the sickening feeling of being left behind when everyone else seems to be moving forward in life and living out their dreams step by step?

Thirdly, I realized that I’m not that attractive. I’m not saying this to be degrading toward myself or try to earn your sympathy. I just feel like I should acknowledge reality.

Finally, I realized that I should be more honest with not only myself but also with others in my life. A few white lies here and there are acceptable, but mainly I need to have honest, genuine bonds with the people around me that I love. From now on, it’s going to be either a true relationship where I don’t have to act superficial, or no relationship.

Whew, this one was really emotional and long and personal.

The story of how I fell asleep and missed my interview with Pixie Lott

Hey readers,

I feel like, because it’s hard to find an avid fashion blogger my age in Korea, lots of people tend to think I must be an incredibly amazing blogger. The thing is, whether I’m interviewing America’s Next Top Model models, hosting collaboration projects, or talking to magazine editors, I slip up a lot. And I mean A LOT.

For example, the other day I was supposed to be interviewing Pixie Lott, but I FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED IT.

Yep, you read that correctly. I just literally could not attend the online webinar BECAUSE I WAS FRIGGIN SLEEPING. IN MY BED. And this is THE PIXIE LOTT we’re talking ’bout here.

So here’s what happened. Recently I found a blogger community newsletter in my heap of emails. There was a link to attend the online Q&A session with Pixie Lott, hosted by the brand Magnitone. Of course, being a Pixie Lott fan, I applied. As I waited in anxiety and anticipation, I received an email informing me that I’d made it; that I’d been chosen to participate in the exclusive live webinar session with Pixie Lott. At that point I could practically imagine the looks of utter shock and admiration on people’s faces when they found out about it. Tingling with excitement, I posted this on facebook.

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And people were in awe, as I’d expected.

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I was too busy basking in the glory of being the first person among my friends to be able to exclusively interview someone as famous as Pixie Lott, that at first I did not realize that the Q&A session was in three hours. I was probably the last person put on the list.

I honestly freaked out when I read the words ‘Reminder: the exclusive Q&A session with Pixie Lott is in three hours(4AM)!’ in my business inbox. I’d been studying at school until 10PM that day, I was tired, I needed a shower and a nice few hours of sound sleep. A short internal conflict occurred in my head-should I stay up until 4AM and talk to Pixie Lott, or should I just forget it and get some sleep? After a split second, I decided that the former would definitely have to happen, because, who knows, this could be my big break, right? You never know in the blogging world.

So I drank my coffee, washed my face, and sat at my desk to prepare myself for the painful three hours of cruel, wearisome waiting in anticipation and irritation from severe sleep deprivation that were to come. I did everything to keep myself awake. After all, I couldn’t let my readers(you guys) down, and my friends were counting on me to nail this Q&A session and tell them all about it.

AND THEN guess what I did. I got a little drowsy, so I thought, ‘just 5 minutes…yes…I’ll just close my eyes for just, just…5 minutes’, and then I WENT TO MY BED. Now there’s one thing you need to know about my bed-it’s the coziest, softest, most sleep-inducing patch of space on planet Earth. It’s truly a fine bed. And as I lay down, I kept telling myself, ‘Everything will be fine… I’m sure I’ll get up before 4…’ BUT NO.

NO, NO, NO. JUST. NO. I DID NOT get up before 4. In fact I did not get up at all until the clock struck 7:10 AM. I opened my eyes, got straight up, stared at the clock, rubbed my eyes, then stared some more. The clock definitely said 7:10. I panicked for a while, even thinking, ‘well..well…maybe the webinar isn’t over! Maybe I’ll still get to talk to Pixie…’ But I regained my logical thinking skills, muttered some bad language about how I was such an idiot(WHICH I WAS), and went back to bed, because, you know, maybe it was just a big bad dream(which it wasn’t).

And that’s my story of how I almost, just almost, interviewed Pixie Lott. My friends were totally bummed when I told them, of course. My mother just laughed at me. I was mad at myself for a while but then, oh well.

This post was supposed to be about my almost-happened interview with Pixie Lott, but since it didn’t happen, here’s my reflection on the whole situation.

Thinking back now, firstly, I’m beginning to realize it’s not that big of a deal. #YOLO. Just kidding. That hashtag is overused. But seriously though, take that in for a moment-You Only Live Once. If I only live once, I wanna make mistakes, especially while I’m still young. I’m only human. There’s no point dwelling on the past and getting angry all over again. It’s a waste of precious time. Secondly, while I do need to forgive myself and move on, I also need to learn from my mistakes. Me missing the interview chance was totally my fault. I cannot blame anyone else for it since it was just the result of me being an idiot. Blogging and tackling school work all at once is turning out to be harder than I thought, and I do struggle. However, since I made the conscious choice to continue on with my blogging career, I need to start being more responsible for it. I need to improve my time management, primarily.

I also need to focus on the essence of my blogging. I always told myself that I didn’t want to be the type of fashion blogger that just posts photos of Chanel and Givenchy, accepting unhealthy fashion ideals and passing selling them on to the public as if those standards are the ultimate rules of fashion, conforming to trends without critical thinking. However, these days I often find myself thirsty for opportunities with famous, popular people that might give me my ‘big break’. It’s ridiculous, I know. I need to focus on my writing; my posts, which express my true colours and insights, and stop floating above my conscience, swimming on the edge of glamour and undeserved fame. This is my confession and promise to you guys that from now on I’ll remind myself each day of why I’m staying up this late(or NOT staying up, in the case of how my Pixie Lott interview went down, haha) and take myself to the beginning whenever I feel like I’m becoming too obsessed with the shallow glittery stuff. Because I believe I can make a positive change and contribute to the development of self-expression.

I love you guys. Thank you.

Interview with Lenox Tillman from America’s Next Top Model!

Hey readers,

I’ve picked up a new habit of doing, not saying. As the Tyra Banks(a major role model of mine) once said, “Don’t make excuses, make improvements.” Which is why, as I was watching America’s Next Top Model(ANTM) last week, I thought, “What’s stopping me from getting closer to pursuing my lifelong dream in fashion?” All the contestants on ANTM seemed to be making their way through rubble to achieve their dreams(heck, they walk down buildings and pose mid-air and walk practically naked down a runway full of strangers just to prove they’ve got what it takes). ANTM is a perfect embodiment of the bittersweet glory of reaching out toward a dream in fashion. The ANTM theme tune goes, ‘Wanna be on top?’ And this time I immediately think, “Hell yeah?!” And what did I do next? Reach out to ANTM, of course.

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(Tyra Banks and Lenox Tillman)

So here I am, a week later, with an interview with the smart, talented, and beautiful 19 year old Lenox Tillman from ANTM Cycle 21(the current cycle that’s currently airing). She’s one of the most talented contestants on the show right now, and it’s unbelievable that she started out as just a sweet, quiet small-town girl. Now she’s just rockin’ the whole competition with her amazing photos. We talked about what it’s like to be on ANTM(obviously!), working with Tyra Banks(gosh I can’t even), modelling in front of the judges, hardships, and some personal stuff.

You can watch Lenox and the other remaining ANTM contestants on the CW. Wonder who will win…(http://www.cwtv.com/shows/americas-next-top-model/)

Now without further ado, here’s my exclusive interview with Lenox! Enjoy! : )

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Keep up with Lenox! (FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM/TWITTER)

1. Tell us a bit about your childhood. What were you like at school?

I was a pretty shy but active kid. I played softball all of my childhood and was almost always outside if I wasn’t sleeping. In school, I would tend to be the quiet and weird kid to everyone and I definitely wasn’t the most confident. I usually was just drawing and kept close to my small group of close friends.

Haha, I can definitely relate to this.

2. What/who inspired you to run for ANTM at first? 

I always said I would try out for the show once I was 18 because I was such a huge fan of it, but once I actually turned 18 I felt like it was unrealistic to think I could get on! It was actually my mom who saw an ad for a casting call and talked me into going and trying. So I guess my mom was the one who inspired me!

3. Have you watched the episodes released so far? The other contestants talked on screen about how they thought that your ultimate weakness was your lack of self-confidence. How do you feel about that?

Yes, I have seen all of the episodes. I love watching it just like I did with all of the other cycles but me being on it now makes it even cooler, I have to admit. Haha! As for the lack of self-confidence comments, I wasn’t surprised by that when I heard them. I think they’re right, and while I think I’ve come a long way with being okay in who I am, I still am super tough on myself. This competition definitely brought that out in me, too.

You’re only two years older than me but you’re so much wiser! 

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4. What was trying to model when you had to act “sexy” like?

It was awkward since I had a giant crowd of people watching, but I did my best and tried to laugh at myself throughout it since I wanted to be a good sport. I’m working on it!

5. What’s going through your mind when you’re modeling in front of the camera? Is it nerve-racking or does it make you more confident? Have you gotten used to it?

When I first started modeling I was absolutely terrified during shoots because everything was so foreign to me. I have gotten so much better since then, though. I now tend to just be constantly brainstorming from the moment I walk on set to the moment I walk off. I am much more comfortable with it and just try my best to see it as an art experiment that photographer, makeup artist, stylist, and I are doing together.

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6. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Eat an onion.

7. Who’s your ultimate role model?

In my modeling career? Lindsey Wixson. In overall life? I have so many; I would say Jill Bolte Taylor, Stevie Nicks, and Florence Welch if I had to narrow it down.

8. Tell us something no one (referring to the general public) knows about you.

Hmmmm, I can lick my elbow! It is said to be impossible but I can do it!

Cool!

 

9. What are your plans for the future?

I plan on growing up and working hard at whatever I am doing, mostly. Hopefully, I can continue modeling and enjoy all of its adventures for as long as I can. One day I hope to own my own avian rehabilitation center or sanctuary, too. That would be amazing.

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(Lenox with Cory from Cycle 20!)

10. If, in the future, your child wanted to become a model and follow in your footsteps, would you tell her/him to go for it?

I want my kids to do whatever makes them happy. If modeling is what makes them happy then I will gladly encourage and support them.

That was such a flawless response, haha.

11. Are you a feminist?

Yeah, duh. Equality between men and women is awesome. Men are cool and women are cool, that is obvious.

12. What’s it like to stand in front of the ANTM judges at panel? What was is like to work with Tyra Banks?

It is terrifying! All of your hard work from that week is about to pay off or be thrown in your face and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. As for Tyra, she is a great business woman and I really enjoyed getting to see that behind the scenes. I hope I can learn to juggle that well- haha!

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Lenox is just amazing. Inside and out.

I’ll be back soon with more : )

Here’s a huge thank you to ANTM’s publicity manager Ellen who helped me reach out to Lenox, and of course thank you to Lenox herself for giving such thoughtful answers(and being awesome).

The friend that looks amazing in her soccer uniform and sneakers

Hey readers,

The time has finally come for me to show you guys the photos I’ve been taking with the new camera that my friend Jen lent me.

I took loads of photos of my friend Jiyeon. She has a unique look, an interesting sense of style, and an easygoing attitude, so she makes the perfect model to work with. The sunlight was just perfect when we were taking these photos.

So this is what we managed to create after about two hours of light bickering and fooling around with the camera(which was a Canon DSLR, by the way).

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The one above is my personal favorite. It was hard to get the right angle though.

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“Why are they always telling me to sit?”

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I love photos of natural, honest moments, like the one above.

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Thanks : ) Don’t forget to leave a comment!

How to not deal with emotions

Hey readers,

I feel like I’ve been abusing this blog too much by going on and on about my personal life and all its nitty gritty details! Am I being too selfish? Here’s one last personal post for this summer before I get to work and fill you guys in on all the fashion stuff.

I thought writing about personal things would be the hardest, since, from my experience, no one’s really good at voluntarily and truthfully exposing themselves to the rest of the world. It usually takes lots of time, memories, and shared secrets for people to pluck up the courage to simply show themselves to each other. It’s a ridiculous human trait now that I put it this way, but it’s also understandable, since as a species we humans are so good at picking each other apart for who we really are. In this sense, it’s quite natural for me to be afraid (or at least nervous) of putting myself out here, writing myself down, on the internet(which is infamous for bringing out the inner brutality in people-hello haters?). But contrary to my original thoughts and popular belief, I actually feel most comfortable when I’m sitting here alone with my old broken laptop with a mug of iced latte, telling hundreds of people I’ve never met before about my personal inner self. I think it’s interesting. Don’t you?

I think it’s easier for me to be honest here than to most people I know in real life because we(you, reading this, and I, writing this) don’t have any strings attached. As humans we actually are capable of being genuine and caring about each other without calculating profit(shocker, I know). We just never get the chance to do so because our society is built upon structure and class pyramids and all this give-and-take. It gets to my head sometimes. I mean, a lot. That’s why I’m very proud of myself for creating a little haven on the internet here where we can all just chill together and be who we are and not be judged or discriminated or used. All I ask of you is to be genuine and honest.

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(It’s a shame that I try to cover the camera lens all the time when people try to take photos of me. Maybe I just haven’t fully accepted myself yet?)

Speaking of honesty, a personal thing I want to share with you here in my personal haven called my blog today is that recently I’m realizing that I haven’t been a very honest person, in terms of emotions. To myself and consequently to other people, too. In the past I thought I was amazing at the art of self-expression. After all, I’m a (self-labeled) artist, writer, blogger, and photographer. Back in London, my favorite class was drama-when I was a child I wanted to become an actress. I was the epitome of self-expression; the queen of expressing human emotions. Or so I thought. Until yesterday.

I was always good at coming up with expressive, unique ideas that no one else in the class could think of. But I know now that that does not make me good at ‘self-expression’. Expression through art and real honest emotional expression are two different concepts. I could convey certain emotions through my literary skills or art skills or acting skills, but (especially as I grew older) I lacked the ability to communicate what I myself was feeling in real situations in my life. As I hit puberty and matured, I absorbed the ideals of profit and give-and-take that my competitive surroundings(hello, private prep school) were feeding me, and my inability of honest emotional interaction got worse and worse and hardened inside me, becoming a solid characteristic trait of mine. And not only did the inability stick, but in my mind I also started to form prejudices against emotions themselves. I thought emotions made people weak, and that the stronger people were the ones that knew how to not let petty things like compassion or ‘feelings’ affect their lives and their paths to success. I idolized logic and cold-blooded-ness. My face lost its aptitude to move its muscles to transmit what was going on inside my emotional chamber. In middle school people(friends, ex-boyfriends, teachers) would often tell me I should smile more and stop looking so devoid of emotion all the time. In high school(which I’m still attending), when doing “What type of person are you” quizzes on Buzzfeed with my friends, my friends shout out “emotionless!” on the “How do your friends describe you” question. Even then, I smirked silently inside as I gave myself a pat on the back for succeeding in concealing my vulnerability-my emotions. And all the romantic relationships I’ve had probably don’t qualify as romantic relationships since there is no romance in faking, saying things I don’t mean, and being a user. (I hope my ex(es) are not reading this.) “I don’t believe in love.” I would state, proudly.

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Up until a few days ago, my whole 17 years of ego and self-esteem were built on my pride in my absolute devotion to logic and complete disregard of childish emotions, and my belief that that made me tough and gave me an advantage in life. What I didn’t realize was that hiding and ignoring my emotions did not make me a stronger person. I was blinded by my obsession over rationality and accurate calculations, and my bias on human emotions. Whenever I could feel my feelings seeping up from the barren asphalt of my mind, I would try my best to squish them back under the surface and coat another layer of asphalt on top of the crack from where they had seeped out. What I didn’t know was that burying the emotions alive wouldn’t kill them. Ignoring the emotions would get them out of the way for a while, but the emotions would still be there inside me under the layer of asphalt, bubbling and boiling and knocking on the surface to get out. I was basically just planting volcanoes in my mind and heart. And those volcanoes erupted yesterday.

All the anger, sadness, and vulnerability I had bottled up inside me finally got the best of me. They had been eating at me little by little from the inside, and yesterday they erupted like there was no tomorrow. Something inside me exploded. I cried and laughed and felt more numb than ever all at the same time, and my mind, which was only used to pushing emotions out of the way, wasn’t trained to handle emotions, so I panicked. I was in a terrible state. I acted out by being rash and not thinking(a total opposite to my usual habits of over-thinking everything) and doing something very stupid. Luckily, my friends helped me out and stopped anything too big from happening.

So here I sit in this cozy chair in a cafe that I usually go to on my street, after the storm. I now finally see how ironically irrational I was actually being.

I remember I once asked my best friend, “Are emotions important?” And he said, “Yes.”

“Why?” I demanded. “They just make you vulnerable.”

To this he said, “They’re what make you human.”

I now understand what he meant. Emotions aren’t childish. Trying to ignore them is. And ignoring them comes with terrible consequences. Everyone has them(unless you’re a psycho/sociopath… in which case you should go see a doctor right now). Even I have always had them. Thinking back now, I’ve actually experienced many deep emotions(I think I actually probably have a pretty high EQ). I just refused to acknowledge them as a part of me.

Now that I’m removing the veil of prejudice and clouded thinking before my eyes, I can see that me trying to appear emotionless was only a manifestation of my insecurities. I didn’t know how to deal with my insecurities and my own vulnerability and was afraid of them, so my mind reacted to the fear of showing my weak spots by just not showing anything. I was a coward. I thought it made me strong but it made me weak and almost killed me inside. Now I’m going to practice exercising my emotions in a more healthy way; practice being human.

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Image Credits: http://theladyawkward.blogspot.kr/2014/03/evil-cold-hearted-ice-queen.html, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/329748003936339933/

Bon voyage, everyone!

Hey readers,

I don’t really get to travel a lot because being a high school student in Korea takes up so much time and energy(Gahh I’m not kidding-I have lots of friends that only get 3 hours of sleep every night even though it’s the summer holidays right now), but sometimes I do find the space to just get away for a while and relax. A week ago I went on a family trip to the seaside! There’s this island called Jebudo on the west coast of Korea. We stayed there for just two days but I had an alright time, writing stuff, reading Shakespeare(okay to be honest the reading part was pretty boring), taking long walks along the shore, and barbecuing!

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(No kidding. I was reading Shakespeare in Jebudo.)

Aside from the stay at the island, one thing I noticed during the length of the whole trip was that for some reason I enjoyed the journey of getting to Jebudo more than actually being there. It occurred to me that this wasn’t the first time. Thinking back on most of my past trips, I had always anticipated and loved the journey to the destination more than the destination itself. (But don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean that I don’t appreciate the experience of mingling with people and chilling out at vacation spots. I just tend to enjoy it less. If that makes any sense.)

To be honest I think it’s partly because the ride there gives me some time to breathe; some ‘vacant’ time. It’s a time when I’ve got nothing planned and can rightfully waste time without feeling guilty-since there’s nothing planned which means it’s basically blank time, right?(Okay writing this is making me feel guilty… I guess being good at self-rationalization has its drawbacks!) Seriously, it’s one of the best feelings ever to just sit in the car/plane/train/whatever and look out at all the buildings and people and fields and cows(I really did see some cows on a field. No kidding.), imagining what their lives must be like. Although, life as a building is probably pretty boring. I love the moments of simply listening to good music, eating snacks, and writing about whatever comes to mind, like there’s no tomorrow. Usually I always have to think about my schedule and plans and all the things I have to do, and that gets to my head sometimes.

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(Journey to the top of the mountain…in my favorite comfy oversized knitted sweater.)

However, ultimately I think it’s because, when I’m going on a voyage, I like the feeling of knowing that the immediate future is unpredictable and may hold unlimited fun and happiness, even more than the sensation of the actual ‘having fun’ part that happens at the destination of the journey. In my daily life I spend way too much time worrying or being paranoid about my future-“Will I get this done on time?” “Will my teacher scold me for this?” “What if I screw up on this test again?”-that, upon hearing the phrase ‘the future’, I seem to unconsciously light a fire of paranoia inside my mind, and the fire catches on and I start worrying about everything related to what I was originally worrying about. So when I have something to look forward to, it’s great to have that tingling feeling of positive anticipation about the future for a change.

Is this ultimately a good thing or a bad thing? I really don’t know. But I do know that, in a certain aspect, it can be a positive trait, if I interpret it in the right way! Unfortunately, I often observe that many people forget to enjoy the ride to a certain destination, whether it’s your dream job/school, fighting an illness, or even making a peanut butter sandwich(yeah, enjoy your sandwich-making, people). People are so focused on their destination that they don’t think to enjoy the journey of getting there. “Oh I’ve got that test next month? I guess I’ll just sit and memorize everything meaninglessly and lifelessly until I know enough to just get an A. And then I’ll empty all the information out so that I can start memorizing for the next test. Even though I hate studying. God I hate studying.” Honestly. I swear some people think like this(and it’s annoying…). I mean, I understand that goals are made for achieving. But Dorothy wouldn’t have met the wizard of Oz without spending all that time making weird friends and getting into trouble with those witches! One way or another, Dorothy had to follow the yellow brick road to get to Oz. It was up to her to either enjoy the road or to whine the whole way there.

Let’s enjoy the journey together! Let’s imagine a bright future and dream big, so big that it scares us just thinking about it. And let’s work hard but enjoy all the little things along the road. I’ll be there for you : )

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(I am the statue of liberty and I shall make you feel better-from my debate trip to NY)

Let me know about YOUR journey by leaving a comment(click the title of the post first, then scroll down to the bottom of the post- you’ll see the comment box and like button) or reaching out to me at konnikim@gmail.com. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be about your journey, it can be anything and I guarantee you I shall respond to everything, sooner or later. I haven’t been able to respond quickly to comments lately so sorry! But now I can! : D

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(“What? You wanna talk? Gurrl I am listenin’.)

My good friend Rylee. And our little photoshoot!

Hey readers,

I took the MBTI personality test(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), which is a surprisingly accurate test that can determine which of the given 16 personality types you belong in.  I got ‘INTP’. This means I’m extremely analytical. I enjoy(and unfortunately or fortunately feel the irrational impulse) analyzing just about everything and anything that catches my eye. It’s a pretty useful personality trait in terms of studying subjects like fashion, but today I decided to utilize it in analyzing my good friend Rylee. It made me see her more clearly as a person and made me realize that she’s actually a pretty cool person if you think about it.

This is the first time I’m writing a post about someone else other than my sister(who I always use as my model), so if Rylee is reading this she should probably feel blessed. : D

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(YES THIS IS RYLEE)

I was a bit worried about writing this post at first because I thought that maybe it would seem to you guys that I’m talking about a topic too distant. You know, the awkwardness when your friend suddenly starts talking about her friend from Art class who you don’t know. The irritation you feel when you’re having a lovely conversation with someone about ice cream and they suddenly change the topic to the history of quantum physics, and you just stand there with a blank, lifeless expression, thinking, ‘So you were saying… chocolate or vanilla?’ Yeah… I really didn’t wanna be a turn-off in that manner so I honestly am anxious about you guys’ reactions, so be sure to leave a comment and tell me whether you liked it or not!

Anyways, here we go!

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Think of that one friend-the most easygoing, crazy, spontaneous, yet surprisingly smart(probably the result of DNA, since, well, the day you see this friend being studious is probably gonna be the day Miley Cyrus stops twerking. A day we shall never see in this lifetime.), slightly-obnoxious-at-times friend. The one friend that we can always count on to grace our Facebook newsfeeds with gloriously disturbing yet magnificently delighting photos, always making us smile awkwardly into our laptop screens(, not quite knowing how to respond to the piece of exquisite photography before our eyes).

Well, in my life, Rylee is that friend. And she’s so amazing that I want you guys to cherish in her awesomeness with me. (okay that was too cheesy.)

The best thing about Rylee is that she’s always up for fun. Whether you wanna go dress like Lady Gaga and sing and dance like a lunatic in the middle of the street or just sit and talk about your feelings, Rylee will be there for you. But the thing is, since she’s always there, it’s easy to make the mistake of taking her for granted. Which is what I did yesterday night when I was talking to her on Facebook. It was 3AM and I guess we were both just tired and cranky when we talked, but that’s when your true feelings start seeping out, right? When she brought up the topic of me putting other priorities or other people over her and our friendship, I realized how there was so much truth in what she was (probably) absent-mindedly saying to me out of the fatigue and crankiness and raw honesty of 3AM.

So Rylee, if you’re reading this, I apologize. I agree that I’ve been pretty thoughtless lately regarding us and I’m sorry.

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Another great thing about Rylee is that she’s so brutally honest. Sometimes I can just feel her honesty smashing against my ego, but strangely enough I actually love that. (No, I’m not a masochist.) I cannot emphasize enough how much I worship honestly, even if it can be painful at times. I remember this saying that I picked up back in my Tumblr days-“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” It used to be written on my phone background. I love that Rylee has the courage-something that I notice many others don’t have-to speak her mind. It’s really not that easy to be able to do that if you think about it. People are usually dominated under circumstances or authority and we always seem to find a way to self-rationalize holding our tongues even when we feel the urge to speak, but I’m proud to have a friend like Rylee who isn’t afraid to expose her thoughts, whether they’re right or wrong. If my hair looks bad today, then I can count on Rylee to tell me it looks bad! If I’m slacking off and need to get a grip and start working harder, then I know that Rylee will be there for me with a cup of coffee, telling me I’ve got to try harder.

There are still so many things I want to tell you about my friend Rylee, but I really think it would take all night. So I’ll just show you some pictures I took of her while we were on our photoshoot spree during our school’s festival and we’ll call it a day.

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Once Rylee said to me, “I want to know everything about you!” And Konni was happy that day because she felt thankful to have a friend who was willing to hear all about her dull, tragic life story.

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If there’s one thing about Rylee that I’d point out in personal disagreement, it would be her fashion. I personally would never dress like Rylee. It’s too sporty for me. (This is just my personal opinion. I’m not saying Rylee’s fashion is objectively bad. I actually respect the fact that Rylee is not wrapped up in current trends or the latest fashion. Really.) But I like the ensemble of simple clothes in the photos above, especially since they suit the atmosphere of the graffiti in the background.

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(Sometimes Rylee and I like to chase random ducks together.)

They say your friends are a reflection of yourself. (If I looked at a mirror and I saw Rylee looking back at me, I would feel… wait, wrong train of thought…) If Rylee is a reflection of me, then Hooray for me! I’d love to be more like Rylee. She’s athletic(hello, miss head-of-the-school-lacrosse-team), cool, and much braver than me in many ways. I’m grateful to be lucky enough to have a special person like Rylee be my friend. I don’t know what I would do without her.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Don’t forget to Like this post or leave a comment below- just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Comment box and Like button at the bottom of the post.