goofing around

The last post was a bit of a downer (understatement of the century?) but it felt...cathartic... to be able to finally write it down and accept that it was real. And now for some more upbeat stuff!

I don't have proper outfit shots of this look because I decided that it wasn't 'stylish' enough to make the blog. The weather was awful (16 degrees and windy and rainy!) so I chose to be comfortable...and that's how I justified legwarmers. Whatever.

But anyway, I spent the afternoon with Cassie and this was the day we took over 650 photos. Here are the highlights; enjoy!

I got a chicken hot dog from Snag Stand (oh my goodness, freaking delicious!), and then we went to Lindt, which has become our tradition.


Did a bit of tourist-ing in and around the State Library. As you can see, the side ponytail's become my new favorite thing. It's my very own homage to the 1980s (along with a cropped cardi in that particular shade of aqua-ish green, and jeans with legwarmers and sneakers).


Silliness at the Botanic Gardens. And suddenly I was vividly reminded of how much I used to adore climbing things.


And finally, sat around a bit at Circular Quay, next to the Opera House.

A Wear jacket, Louche cardigan, ASOS top & socks, Topshop jeans, Converse shoes || photos by Cassie & me

let's try honesty



WARNING: SERIOUS CONTENT AHEAD

I was talking with my friend today and the topic of bullying came up, and it brought to the surface so much shit from my childhood and adolescence that I thought was long since buried, but apparently not...so I figured I'd self-therapize and do a bit of a thoughtdump here.

My experience with bullying has almost exclusively been racially-based. Looking back, I can't believe how incredibly naive I was. When I was little, I didn't know about racism, I didn't realize that making fun of someone because of their race was even a thing. It was just like, why would you even?? At ten, moving to Mississippi set my head straight and rectified all of that ignorance.

One of my most vivid early memories of starting school in MS was, other than all the standard new kid gauntlet, was essentially being interrogated about my eyes. One classmate asked something to the effect of, "Why are your eyes so weird?!" And I was trying to explain, to the best of my limited, 10-year-old ability, about monolids and how they were pretty common in Asia, etc. It was vaguely uncomfortable to be gawked at by the other kids -- I usually liked to be at the center of attention, so at the time I had a hard time trying to pinpoint exactly why I felt so uncomfortable. The big moment was when our teacher joined in on our conversation, and she'd apparently been just as ignorant about the monolid as the kids. So she came up at me, literally three inches away from my face, inspecting my eyelids. At one point she actually freaking poked my eye.

I had never felt like less of a human being than in that moment, being poked at like a specimen and talked about like I wasn't even fucking there. You know, I've been whistled/honked at when I wear short skirts, I've been hit on by creepy drunk guys -- and we women aren't supposed to tolerate that because it objectifies us. But those experiences of being an objectified woman will never compare to that moment in which I didn't even feel truly human. I was being objectified at ten years old. At one point I would have leapt up to my classmates' and teacher's defense: they didn't know any better, they thought it was completely normal to say/do that, they were just curious, etc. But now I realize that what's truly disturbing is the fact that it is so normalized...it escapes criticism.

I also got the standard "Ching-chong" mocking shit, but I also had cruel chants made up about me. "Open your eyes!" "Flat face, tight eyes!" It makes me want to cry even thinking about it now, how utterly careless kids can be in their cruelty, like their momentary amusement was worth the permanent emotional scarring of another human being. Maybe it sounds like I'm overreacting, you know like all kids are like that, you should just ignore them, etc. But for me it was near-daily abuse, and it lasted fucking years. They taunted me in front of teachers, who never did anything about it. They taunted me in front of someone who I considered my very best friend, who never stood up for me. It got to the point where I dreaded going to school in the mornings, and I was looking forward to weekends with such an intense desperation because it was a couple days of respite from constant insults.

My experiences made me ashamed to be Chinese. It's so difficult to type that out, like writing it legitimizes it. I remember never wanting to share my middle name, because it was Chinese and therefore shameful. I remember never wanting to talk about what I had for dinner the night before, because it was Chinese rather than 'normal people food' (as my sister called it), and therefore it was shameful. I remember refusing to speak Chinese in front of my friends because I was ashamed of it. I remember praying to God, "Please, I wish I was white...please, make me white." I didn't even believe in God, but if praying was what it took, then I was willing to do it.

I'm not entirely sure what kind of conclusions I want to draw from this. I'm not going to say that "It gets better," because who am I to promise something like that? I can't even say that it's made me a better person; like I'm more courageous, more likely to stand up for other bullying victims because I know exactly what they're going through. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never stood up for anyone in that situation, even when I could have. My sense of self-preservation dominates, and I just can't bring myself to rise above the mentality of "as long as it isn't me." Maybe it's the self-hatred that's been instilled in me or the self-worth that's been stolen from me, but I find it so hard to believe that a broken girl who's been beaten down to the very edge of sanity has even the remotest chance of making a difference. What saddens me most is the fact that there are so many kids who have gone through exactly what I've gone through, that none of my experiences are unique.

There's so much that I haven't talked about, all these fragmented thoughts floating around in my mind that don't really make sense on their own. I can't hate the kids who bullied me because they're not evil people, they're a product of a particular socio-economic, and culturally homogeneous, environment. How can I feel bitter about kids who'd claw their way into social acceptance by pushing somebody else out? I would've done exactly the same. And exploiting physical differences, there's honestly nothing easier. It's an absolutely vicious reality....all you can do is try to survive it.

thrifted Ally cardigan
Modcloth top
ASOS skirt
Forever New tights
Valleygirl belt
Oasis shoes

narcissism much?


Modcloth top, American Apparel skirt, Oasis shoes || photos by Cassie

I was talking to Cassie the other day about how boring our lives would be without a camera. We're all about free entertainment, so our hangout days have essentially devolved into a routine that goes something like, 'visit some vaguely photogenic location and go crazy with the camera.' We can take hundreds upon hundreds of photos in a couple hours (650+ was a recent high, ha!), and we both agreed that we couldn't really imagine subjecting any of our other friends to an activity that's so rooted in pure narcissism (hey, facebook photo albums won't add themselves!!)...but at least we have each other, and I'm glad that it's sort of 'our thing.' These are some shots we took from our day in Darlinghurst and Hyde Park.

stripes



These were taken (aaages ago) with a self-timer and my old lens, you can see how out-of-practice I've become -- the two best shots and I'm not even looking at the camera. Ahhh, back to essaying!

Etam Weekend top
Topshop skirt & shoes

the state of blogging



For bloggers out there, does the thought ever cross your mind, "What the hell am I doing?!" That's how I've been feeling for the past couple of weeks -- it's like my motivation to blog has just disappeared. Writing up the actual post has never really been my favorite part of blogging and nowadays I find it pretty much unbearable. Even taking photos has become a chore to do. Which worries me a little because in all the time I've been doing this blog (nearly three years!), taking photos has always been the best bit. I realize that I'm essentially complaining about nothing, and this is pretty much the pinnacle of first world problems. That this is the biggest problem in my life right now speaks pretty well of what my life is like. Either way, I thought I'd get that off my chest and sort of talk about why I haven't been blogging regularly recently. I'll heep chugging along though (I've got a backlong of around half a dozen outfits that won't post themselves) -- hopefully my inspiration returns.

Soaked in Luxury top
American Apparel skirt
ASOS belt
Topshop shoes

flashy



I'm pretty sure that this is the first time I've used flash in my outfit photos, I can spew bullshit about stylistic/artistic direction, but reality's a bit more boring -- it was raining outside so I didn't have much of a choice. And as always when the photo quality doesn't meet my ridiculous expectations, time to edit the crap out of them!

A Wear jacket
Hollister shirt
Topshop jeans
Seychelles boots

pink & green & future talk



These pictures are from last week...or maybe the week before? Is it possible to look at pictures of myself and feel envious? Because it's been cold and gray and dreary lately, and I've been in jackets and jeans all week. Where did the sun go?!

In other news, I think I've finally figured out what I want to do about my whole school situation. I'll be finishing my degree at the end of this semester, and so I've decided to get my Master's! My uni is starting up a new program next year where they'll not only pay your tuition for the Master of Research degree, you also get a stipend ($8,000 in the first year; potentially $16,000 in the second) for doing it. At the moment I'm trying to decide on what my concentration should be; it's between Politics & International Relations...and Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. I'm leaning towards the latter -- how freaking exciting does that sound?! :) I've already applied for a job so hopefully I'll be making money during the holidays, and I'm also looking in to doing some internships and work experience things as well.

Hopefully everything works out all right... But it just feels so satisfying to finally have some direction in my life, and for the first time, I'm actually looking forward to the future! :)

Dorothy Perkins top & shoes
handmade skirt

flares


A Wear jacket
Polo Ralph Lauren top
Free People pants
Nine West shoes

washed out pink



Ah, so blogging seems to have gotten away from me these past couple of weeks. I've been so busy with assignments, and then my laptop's just got another virus, so I'm currently posting from our gloriously dusty old desktop.

I wore this a few Mondays ago to watch Ruby Sparks with a couple friends. This dress is comfortable and cottony and has an elastic waistband, which makes it perfect for lounging around like a slug in movie theater seats.

vintage dress
Oasis shoes