Friday, May 15, 2015

Excepting Lauren's Challenge - Social Media and the Myth of Perfection

Over the last few days I have seen several bloggers take up the challenge offered by Lauren of Wearing History to share the “behind the scenes” stories of some blog posts, to show that none of us are perfect. Her recent post about social media and the myth of perfection is well worth the read. It's a very thoughtful and poignant post about our real/authentic selves versus our self-constructed image in social media. Lauren's post is a good reminder that how we portray ourselves, or how others portray themselves, on Facebook and the blogoshphere is sometimes far removed from the actual portrait of our lives and experiences. It's also a good reminder that we need to be kind to one another. No one likes to share the bad and the negative aspects of our lives so we put on a happy face and do our best to carry on. Like many bloggers, I want to present myself with my best foot forward. I very rarely post anything online of a personal nature because I'm actually a very private person. Some things I'm just not comfortable sharing online.

I gave a lot of thought as to whether or not to take up Lauren's challenge, because as I said I'm actually a very private person. I wouldn't describe myself as a shy person but I can sometimes be very self-conscious. It's easy for me to get worked up over something that is not that big of a deal. I don't really like going new places on my own if I don't know anyone else. And I'm really uncomfortable being the center of attention. (This was a real problem for me when planning my wedding. It's pretty hard to "blend in" when you're the bride!) When I started blogging I held off posting images of myself for a long time, partly as a privacy thing, but also because I wasn't completely comfortable with the idea of total strangers looking at pictures of me. (I still get a little weird-ed out when certain people tell me they read my blog.) It took a long time to finally feel comfortable posting pictures of myself in my vintage and historical clothing. Over time I was thrilled to discover just how wonderful and supportive the online costume/vintage community can be. I'm so thankful for the people I have "met" and the friendships I have made. :)

That being said, this was a really hard post to write. Some of these are kind of funny but some were hard to share.

Day one into a three day WWII event. It was an event I'd never been to before and there was soooo much I wanted to see and do. And it was hot! About mid way through the day I realized I was extremely dehydrated, so much so that I couldn't eat dinner without feeling like I was going to be sick. Just the smell of food made me nauseous. I made Cori take me back to our hotel and as soon as he parked the car I got sick. Luckily I manged to get the car door opened first! I got out of the car and was sick again. And to make things worse I almost ruined my new suede shoes. Gross I know. Cori was such a dear and cleaned them up for me while I was resting and recouping.

This one is going back a few years. We were sailing in a small wooden boat from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum down the lake to Fort Crown Point for an 18th century event. What started as a lovely afternoon sail on Lake Champlain turned into a five hour rowing session because the wind died. I had to pee so bad during our "sail" that I seriously considered using the bucket used to bail water.

Many of you will be familiar with the story of how Cori and I got engaged but I don't think I ever shared this particular story or photo. Here we are in our "green screen" engagement photo at VPT's Experience Inspired by Downton Abbey event back in January 2013. The screen was set up in a the conference room of the hotel where the event was held. In the next room over there is a small kitchen. When everyone was watching us and taking pictures one of the kitchen staff caught her uniform on fire. Fortunately she was not hurt and the fire was put out quickly!

I'd spent weeks working on my dress only to be frustrated by the final fit and stressed about getting my hair right. When this photo was taken I was really hungry, had the beginnings of a major migraine and was rather annoyed with Cori who wanted to go take pictures instead of finding food. Shortly after this photo was taken he proposed.

The GBVS Winter Formal. We drove two hours to get to our hotel and I spent too long getting ready. What should have been a 15 minute drive from the hotel to the event took over an hour because we took a wrong turn. We arrived late and very cranky with each other and almost missed dinner.

Some of my pictures are Photoshopped. I suffer from psoriasis which is particularly bad during the winter months when the air is extra dry. I typically avoid wearing skirts during certain times of the year as a result.

After attended an 18th century event in the morning, I changed out of my 1770s clothing in a public rest room and put on my 1940s dress, stocking, etc. Then drove another hour and a half to attend a WWII event. Cori drove and I styled my hair in the car. I pretty wiped out at the end of the day when this picture was taken and my hair was spitting out bobby pins left and right. But that's a real battleship behind me and I got to go on board. Totally worth it!

I normally have someone take photos for me but didn't have anyone this particular day. All the photos of my Spring for Cotton blouse were taken using the timer on my camera. I don't have a tripod so I'm forced to get a little creative with where and how I set up my camera.

Sometimes a single photo can say a thousand words. With two weeks until my wedding, with lots left to do, running on very little sleep. Oh and we'd just closed on our new house. Yeah, no stress there! To top it off while driving home that night I hit a deer with my car.

In real life, I almost never look this good. Sometimes I dress up just to take pictures and that's it. Although I do like to work vintage or vintage inspired items into my everyday wardrobe, at heart I have to confess that I'm most comfortable wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Or a sweater, because it's cold in New England!

Sometimes the best laid plans just don't work out. We went to a friend's wedding Friday night, got up early to drive to an 18th century event only to discover we were missing a few critical articles of historical clothing. In this photo Cori is missing his linen shirt and had to borrow my neckerchief and an extra pair of my stocking. (Which are now completely stretched out, thank you.) I somehow managed to forget my shift. Thank goodness I'd packed my bed gown! Oh and we had to change in the parking lot.

We went camping and slept outside. In the morning I got dressed in a parking lot, and yes that seems to be a common theme with me, for the 1920s beach party. The beach was lovely but the water was freezing and we were almost eaten alive by nasty little black flies.

Back when I'd first started blogging, I wrote a post asking for advice about what to wear for an up coming event. A few days later I discovered that my post had been re-blogged by a local, and very poorly managed, news blog. I was horrified by the comments left on that site. Most of them, anonymous and in one form or another, basically said not to wear anything at all. I tried contacting the admin of the site to have the comments removed as they were inappropriate and offensive. But there was really no way of contacting them so I deleted my own blog post so there was nothing to link to. I was so embarrassed that I almost didn't go to the event.


  1. That last one about getting your post reblogged and commented on so horribly is awful! I wish I could find all those nasties and punch them in the face for you! Not cool.

    It takes grit to put this stuff on the interwebs. It's nice to know you're a normal person, especially the not wearing such fancy vintage outfits every day! I'm currently in a major hair struggle and have worn a lot of not-remotely-vintage ponytails lately. :)

    1. Thank you Emileigh! Some people really having nothing better to do with their lives then say mean and nasty things. :(
      On the weekends ponytails are pretty much the way I go, especially if I'm working outside or just feeling lazy!

  2. I got caught up in weekend activities and I'm not sure if I posted or not:) I just wanted to say that this is a wonderful blog post and thank you for sharing these insights into your world. This is indeed terrible what Emileigh said about reblogging. This is a difficult area that we have to put up with when we post our blog information online. It is amazing that people can be so thoughtless and really hurtful and do these terrible things to others on the internet.

  3. Oh, that last one ~ I can't believe people are so awful, yet, there it is. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, but it is nice to know the 'behind' the scenes stuff. It makes it seem more authentic you know? :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  4. Hi Emily! I saw you comment on somebody's blog (I think it was and discovered your blog. I wanted to tell you that it's SO AWESOME that you're into historic clothing and costumes! It's very fun to see a picture of you in 1940s clothing and then in the next one *bam!* you're in the 1770s. I think you pull every look off effortlessly and the differences between the eras and clothing make it seem as if you've been timetraveling :D

    Greetings from Estonia!


    1. Hi Mariann, Wow! Thank you for your wonderful comment! <3 And from Estonia too, neat! It's great to see the so many people from so many different places following my blog. :) Yes, I do have a lot of fun time traveling. Sometimes too much fun, but that's ok right? ;) Glad to have you following along.


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