So, I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks. Birthdays are always a time for reflection and as the decades go on, you think about the things you’ve learned. While I make it a practice not to look back too much, it is kind of fun to think about advice I would have given that lanky kid in the baseball cap and sweatshirt above (I was 18 when this photo was taken.) If you’re just getting ready to graduate or you might know someone who is (or you just want a good laugh,) here are some things I would like to tell my younger self about fashion, beauty and life:
– Sun-In is a bad idea for brunettes. If you have any idea what I’m talking about, you basically just spit your coffee at the screen in agreement. Sun-In was a peroxide-based spray that promised golden locks. Which it delivered for girls who were already BLONDE. For others like me, the carrot orange mess that resulted from use was absolutely crazy. Of all my crazy beauty mishaps, Sun-In is the one I regret the most.
– Shape your eyebrows more frequently. Julia Roberts once said that she had no regrets about life other than having to constantly see pictures of all her old eyebrows. I completely agree. I wish that I had gotten that situation under control a little earlier.
– Leave your hair alone. When I went to college, I joined a sorority (Kappa Delta, baby) and had the most gorgeous, amazing big sister who I am so lucky to still have in my life to this day. My big sis had gigantic curls, a massive mane of explosive waves and curls. I wish I had followed my envy of her hair then and just let my own hair do what it wanted to do.
– Embrace red lipstick. I don’t know WHY it took me so long to find the power of red lipstick. I wish I had rocked a retro red in college. It would have gone with the preppy-rock star-country melange of clothes I had working together. Red lipstick is an instant face upgrade. Find your perfect red and rock it at every age.
– Exercise is your best friend. I was blessed with a high metabolism until my junior year of college, which is when I had to rediscover exercise. Find an exercise or three that you really like and STAY in shape so you don’t eventually have to GET in shape.
– Resist fashion peer pressure. Lord knows I tried under MUCH duress from more conservative friends , but I just cannot do preppy. As a result of people pressuring me to do preppy looks years ago, I break into a cold sweat when I see twinsets to this day. I own one ribbon belt and I regard it with incredible weariness. It’s just not my thing, baby.
– Don’t be so obsessed with love. I wish I had been more obsessed with loving myself than giving so much love to people who never deserved it. I would love to have told myself to be more cautious with giving love away, only to have it returned so poorly. People who are worthy of love usually return it in like new or better condition.
– Celebrate yourself. I wish that I had taken time everyday to celebrate the uniqueness of myself. There’s no one in the world like me and that means that I have to create my own rules and do my own thing all the time. I wish that I had been excited to explore that an earlier time. It’s the biggest piece of advice that I would have had to offer. The world is a big, amazing place that is just ready for you to explore it. Just be your unique little self and eventually you will find your tribe of bee costume-wearing fellow “uniques” in a meadow who will understand and love you the way you love yourself.