The Importance of Authenticity: NCP x Tobi

 Photos by  Ryan Kell .  This is a partner post.  All opinions are my own. 

Photos by Ryan Kell.  This is a partner post.  All opinions are my own. 

DRESS- Tobi     Jacket- H&M     Necklace- Similar

Authenticity.

That word gets thrown around a lot.  

What does it mean to be authentic and why should we care?

In my final collaboration post with Tobi (see post one HERE and post two HERE) I thought that I would explore and talk about my own authentic self.  

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Ever since I was a kid, I had fun reinventing myself and playing dress up.  I was never that little girl who played house and had baby dolls...I used to make my Barbies walk on the runway and pretend that I was a celebrity and put on performances and give award acceptance speeches to all of my adoring fans (aka my parents and my brother)  In 7th grade, I started dying my hair and wearing makeup.  I remember that my mom took me to the Clinique counter to purchase my first "natural" makeup colors, and a year later I was in deep with eyeliner, frosted lipstick, and ALL OF THE GLITTER.

Every year in high school, I completely switched up my style.  Freshman year I dressed like a combination between Baby Spice and a Delia*s catalog...you know exactly what I'm talking about.  Sophmore year I brought out my faux-skater persona and had my most favorite pair of JNCO jeans...those things were hideous.  Junior year I thought, "Why not exclusively shop at Hot Topic?" And in a complete 180 degree flip, Senior year was my Abercrombie & Fitch phase thanks to LFO.  

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But no matter how I dressed, one thing stayed completely the same.

My personality.

Wait, okay so two things have stayed completely the same.

My personality and the fact that I love to look G L A M.

Throughout all of my changing "phases" as my parents called it, I never once wavered from who I was as a person, what I believed in, and how I treated other people.  I've always been completely obsessed with Backstreet Boys (and still am), will break out into some crazy dance moves at the drop of a hat, sometimes wear way too much makeup, think that dogs are better than humans, and unconditionally love my dearest family and friends with my entire heart and soul. 

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Social media is a funny thing.  We tend to only share our "highlight reels."  People talk about how easy it is to compare themselves to someone else's perfect looking life, when in reality these highly stylized Instagram lives are far from perfect.  Look, I'm guilty of only posting the pretty photos, but if you scroll through my feed, these pretty photos are actually my real life.  The yummy food I'm eating, the people I'm spending my time with, my beautiful fur babies, random adventures, art, more food, shots of the city, life in the studio, and even more food.  I would never endorse or post about anything that I would't normally associate myself with, because that's just weird and people can see through that mess.  Sure, I'm not going to be posting a pic of me having a mental breakdown in my office on a Wednesday, but I'm not afraid to tell you that it happens.  

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So what's my point?

My point is....this hair, this makeup, this entire outfit...this is me.

My authentic self.

When you put yourself out there as much as I do, you open your life up to comments and criticism.  A lot of the comments that I receive are about how I shouldn't wear as much makeup as I do.  This is actually me, though.  Like, as I'm typing this I'm in full glam with lashes and all.  It's what makes me happy, and if someone is enjoying something and isn't hurting anyone else in the process, then what's the issue?  If all of a sudden I stopped wearing makeup, that would not be my authentic self.

Is this another phase?  Check back with me next year to see if the lashes and the blue hair are still here.  Chances are that they will be, but you just never know.

Maybe I should bring back the JNCO jeans.

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I just wanted to give a huge shout out to Tobi for collaborating with me on these posts.  The clothing is amazing and I can't wait to wear these pieces again once the snow stops flying!  

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