The Vulnerability Project

The Vulnerability Project

One large step into being comfortable in your own skin.
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It was my junior year final project. I was taking an Arts Outreach class and the topic was vulnerability. We had been analyzing different perspectives of it for a few classes already, but now it was our turn to explain how each one of us can be vulnerable in our own ways. The teacher let us interpret our own definition of vulnerability; I defined it as “the act of stepping out of the comfort zone and ignoring all fears.” I wanted my project to be completely original/creative, but also wanted to gain some sort of benefit from it.

It wasn’t all that difficult to think of how I could be vulnerable. I don’t think of myself as a very closed person. I’m generally very open with people about myself and I’m not ashamed of myself. I like myself. The only aspect of myself that I hid from people was my face. I didn’t think I was very pretty without makeup. I felt better about myself with the black eyeliner to outlines my rather plain eyes and the pale foundation that matches my porcelain-like skin tone to cover up those regrettable, little red spots all over my forehead and chin. I didn’t think of myself as ugly, just not as very attractive as I was with makeup.

It wasn’t always this way. The root of my issue with my face started in middle school. I was going through phases and trying out new styles, like a typical middle-schooler, and one of the phases happened to not include makeup. And like a typical middle-schooler, I had one of those relationships that was a big deal at the time, but was really just a memory that seems funny now.

What happened was, I was hanging out with the boy one day during the no-makeup phase. I was actually feeling good about myself without all my eyeliner and foundation on. Little did I know that that feeling would not last very long. The boy looked me in the face and said, “You know, you should really wear makeup.” I am not paraphrasing, this is from verbatim.

So from that point on, I hated the way I looked without makeup. I started to “cake on” the makeup throughout the next couple years. That rude, little comment he made stuck with me despite moving on from that hurtful “relationship.” It still does to this day, but I wasn’t going to let it take over my life. When this project came around, I thought it would be the perfect time to let go the pain and torment I felt. The best way I could do that is to share my natural face with the most critical, public, and terrifying crowd a person could face, the internet.

My project looked like this: I took a picture of myself, plain as my face can be, no editing, no filters, no nothing. My face was cleaned and I pulled my hair away from my face. Every single freckle and red spot was available to the eye. The only makeup to be found was now on the remover wipe. Once I took the picture, it was time for the moment of truth. I opened the Instagram app, clicked the camera icon sitting at the bottom of my phone screen, selected the final picture, and added a spoken word I wrote on my story to the caption box. The only thing left for me to do was select “share.” Once I did that, there was both a sigh of relief & added tension to how people would respond. I received nothing but love. I accomplished my goal of being vulnerable and became a confident adult in the process. Despite degrading cultural norms, I became confident in my natural skin.

I encourage every person to try something like this at some point in their lives. You truly can't know how things will turn out unless you give things a chance.


Cover Image Credit: Samantha Ledbetter

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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If You Own 6 Of These 10 Brands, You Are 100 Percent Basic

How basic are you?

akumari
akumari
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For every brand you own, give yourself a point.

5. The North Face Bookbag

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6. Patagonia

Patagaonia Jacket

patagonia

7. Hunter Rainboots

Hunter Rainboots

https://unsplash.com/photos/zi2zXhEFbiA

9. Nike Shorts (NORTS)

What was your score? Are you truly basic or not? If you are BASIC embrace that, who cares what anyone thinks! If you aren't basic, well then you are clearly embracing your style and thriving! Meanwhile, the rest of us are BASIC as can be and we love it!

akumari
akumari

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