Emily Staubus Photography Emily Staubus Photography Emily Staubus Photography
Happy Tuesday, y’all! It’s been such a busy two weeks, and I’m finally taking a bit of a break. I spent today at Starbucks (work from home perks) and on the couch. It was actually a relief to not do anything after work, since we’ve spent so much time catching up with old friends now that we’re back in town. One of the fun things that happened during these busy weeks was a photoshoot with Emily Staubus, an INCREDIBLE photographer who I went to college with! She’s a photographer by night and engineer by day, which is honestly like Hannah Montana but a million times cooler.
When I got my amazing pictures back from Emily, I started to think about how my self-confidence has evolved over the years — and how it’s actually improved my fashion sense! For those of you who are new around here, I’m very open about my mental health experiences and struggles. I dealt with disordered eating on and off for years and had terrible body image for a long time.
It’s only through therapy and lots of introspection that I’ve finally been able to love myself, and even then it’s a struggle. But one of the upsides of self-love and body positivity is that my fashion sense has improved. Beforehand, I was always shopping for the body that I wanted, which meant clothing that was too tight and languished in my closet or baggy clothing that swallowed me whole.
Now that I’m able to love myself as I am, I’m okay with the fact that my shirt is an XL and my jeans are a size 14. It sounds so silly, but beforehand, I would’ve gone home crying instead of buying clothing that looks good on me. Today, I’ll buy anything that flatters my figure, and I’m better off for it. I’m having fun with fashion, and I love trying things on, even if they don’t end up working! As a result, I’m so much happier, and I actually enjoy getting dressed instead of having meltdowns. Have you ever had struggles with self-love and self-esteem? I’d love to chat more about your experiences with loving yourself!
Ayana Lage is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Tampa, Florida with a background in digital media and content marketing. She’s worked for Bustle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and numerous freelance clients. As a blogger, she’s worked with 50+ lifestyle, fashion, travel and food brands. When she’s not blogging, she’s focused on her day job in digital marketing, watching Queer Eye, or laughing aloud at tweets from @dril.