Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beauty Shaming

We were walking to my next class, having just finished our heated discussion on the professor's teaching philosophy, when she looked over at me and casually said:

"You know, you would be so beautiful if you didn't wear makeup."

I was taken aback. My first thought was uhh yeah, no. You haven't seen my naked face in the morning. It's pretty scary. But, I just kinda smiled at her and brought up a new topic.

But as the day went on, the comment kept bugging me. I kept thinking how rude it was to judge another woman's beauty based off her choice in to wear or not to wear makeup.

You see, my beauty does not lie in the choice I make to wear makeup. In fact, my beauty doesn't have anything to do with my face at all.

I am beautiful because of my passions, the things that drive me, the dreams I aspire to. I am beautiful because I can make people laugh and because I am smart and caring and kind. I am beautiful because of my character, my inner-thoughts and the depth of my soul. None of those things have anything to do with makeup.

Beauty does not correlate to what I decide to put on my face. 

I think that the issue lies within what women and men are taught from a very early age. We are taught that thin, tan legs, flat stomachs and a big chest contain women's beauty... that the rosiness of our cheeks, the length of our eyelashes, the color of our cheeks make us pretty. All these things are instilled in us as things to strive for. But I reject it. I am not beautiful because of those things and they are not what define me.

As I think about what that peer told me that day, I want to respond with this:

As women, we need to stop judging ourselves and others. Personally, I do not care about your choice in not wearing makeup and you should not worry about my choice in wearing it. What I do care about is if you are a genuinely good person with a good soul who wants to make a difference in this big ol' world.

Yes, I like to wear makeup. But I realize that my face is only skin deep. I am constantly reminding myself that if what I have on the inside doesn't match with what appears on the outside, I have a problem.

I think that as a society (not just women), we should be more uplifting and accepting to differences. I should love you not because you choose to wear makeup or not, not because of who you love, because of the religion you follow and not because you have a different skin color than myself. None of those things should define who you are and I should not be judging you based off those facts.

Let's choose to uplift and inspire one another, not degrade and bring each other down. Together let's strive to be more accepting to others and their differences and to learn to look past the surface. Let's train ourselves to not judge outward appearances and focus on making ourselves better human beings on the inside. 

Beauty is not a check box. It cannot be defined by a certain set of requirements. So please, please stop shaming one another. We are all better than that.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Texas State Fair, Y'all.

So I'm from Dallas. (No, I don't have EBOLA. I figured I'd mention that forefront.) And if you know anything about being from Texas, you'll know that the annual State Fair is like a huge deal. From my memory, I think it might be the biggest fair in the nation? (fact-checkers correct me if I'm wrong.)

We have this creepy dude named Big Tex (who rather ironically, went up in flames a few years ago... it only seemed like a big deal at the time.) Everyone, and I mean everyone,  has to get a picture with him. It's basically a right-of-passage for any Texan child. That and the easter bunny. (Although I'm pretty sure the easter bunny is a little more world-renowned than poor ol' Big Tex.)

 Then of course, there's the fried foods. You know, fried butter, fried sweet tea, fried milk and cookies, fried guacamole and several more variations of the like. Basically anything they can fry, they will. Note: above we are consuming fried cookie dough. It was fantastic...just like a fresh cookie from the oven. Which leads me to a very important philosophical question: why they don't just serve regular old cookies?

But hey.... It's FRIED!

Side note: an impeccably creepy big tex photobombed this picture ^^ like a boss!

Then there are the rides. What's more fun than risking your life on some poorly maintained ride for about 70 seconds of childish pleasure? Oh, don't get me wrong, I love fair rides just as much as the next girl, but seriously...there's something pretty terrifying yet exciting about risking your life. Especially when the ride operator tells you "Hmmm...good enough!"

Of course there's the ferris wheel. It's true you know, everything really is bigger in Texas. I believe (again fact-checkers correct me) it's one of this biggest in the US. No, we didn't ride it because we refused to pay the $30 fee to only get unbelievably nauseous and terrified of heights. 

By now you're probably thinking "Oh Amber! Please, please tell me what your favorite thing is at the fair." Well lucky you, I'm about to tell you.

The answer is fairly simple:

Cotton Candy. 

(AKA Candy floss to you Brits/Canadians)

Yeah. Enough said. 

So there you have it, folks. That was my wonderfully vague and yet terribly uninteresting lesson on the Texas State Fair, Y'all.

(Sorry, I had to add that. It was completely necessary.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

August and September Ipsy Bags!

So, I get pretty awkward once again in this video. I was in a strange mood (maybe just how I normally am, you'll never know.) which might explain some of the awkwardness.

Anyway, this is what I got in my past two month's bags. Like I said in the video, I am thinking about canceling my Ipsy subscription. The quality has seemed to go down recently and I find that I just keep giving most of my products away. Let me know what your thoughts are!

Friday, October 10, 2014

{A Very Late} Weekend Wrap Up: Quick Trip to Tampa + A Gorgeous Wedding!

 I am perfectly aware that it is currently Friday and I am just now posting about this fantastic past weekend...that's just how I roll these days. 

So, since my mom now lives in Florida and I only have class on tuesdays and thursdays, I was able to come out for the weekend to attend my (2nd) cousin's wedding! (Also because we found a super cheap ticket. 

I packed up Friday afternoon and headed out to the airport. And because it's just just my luck, the plane was delayed by 3 hours so I didn't end up arriving at my Aunt's house until late that night. 

We woke up early (to my college standards) and decided to head out to another Goodwill in the metroplex that we hadn't been to before. It was a really good one and I ended up with a pair of chucks, KED slip ons and a few cute tops. Side note: you should've seen me trying to shove those in my small 'personal item' to carry on the plane. 

When we got back, it was already time to get ready for the wedding!
My mom's cousin (my second cousin) Sara was getting married.
The wedding took place in a gorgeous country club in Tampa and the actual ceremony was in this breathtaking garden with trees canopying the gazebo where they stood. 

 She made such a beautiful bride...I fell in love with her dress!

Here are some pictures we took before the ceremony:

My Nana and Papa and I

My cousins and my youngest brother...aren't they handsome?

My beautiful aunt and I

My cousins, brother and mom!

Stealing kisses from my cousin, Matthew ;)

Then it was time for the best part...the reception!!
While I don't dance (must be a family thing because no one else in our little clan does either!), we still had a blast. 

I introduced Matthew to the greatness of Shirley Temples!

All of the Dixon/Abells/Hamiltons/ Greens!
 Let's see (going sorta clockwise) that's the bride's dad Waymon, his wife Dianne, my Nana's other brother, Ted, my aunt Tee, my mom, my brother Addison, my twin cousins Jake and Tyler, my Nana and Papa, Ted's son Jason and his fiancee Nicole and finally me and Matthew in the front!
Whew, that's a lot.

The night ended with me being the DD and running through McDonalds for a a late night junk food run.
So many fun memories I'll have from this day!


Sunday morning my mom, Addison, my cousins Jake and Matthew headed out to the beach. Yep. You read that right, it's October and we went to the beach. Gotta love Florida!

Now, I didn't say it wasn't chilly... hehe

We found an alive jellyfish! It was so cool.

We concluded the afternoon eating the best chicken I've ever had at this little shack called Ya-Yas.
The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and spending quality time with the fam...especially this sweet girl that I missed so much.

Monday morning after getting all the cousins off to school, Addison, my mom and I got donuts at the one and only Dunkin, then went out to the coolest music store ever...seriously!

The building used to be the most ritzy, fancy restaurant in the 80's that had the prettiest architecture and these glam chandeliers...there's even a fancy garden that houses hundreds of statues. 
You can read more about the history here.

It went out of business and now the gorgeous building houses a music store. It's kind of sad to see how fancy this place used to be and how different it is now, but I thought seeing all those bad-a** guitars juxtaposed against the chic, vintage decor was kinda neat. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon touring USF Tampa (such a beautiful campus!), eating Chinese with sweet Matthew and packing me up to head back to the big D. 

The end came way too fast (please refrain from a 'That's what she said' joke).
Before I knew it I was back in Dtown. The plane ride was pretty cool because I got to see downtown Dallas and even the State Fair!

This is the only picture I could get and it's pretty crappy...sorry.

I had so much fun spending time with family and visiting the great state of Florida!