Have you ever done something, then looked back at it like a month later and seen it from totally different perspective? Yeah? That's basically what happened to me when I was featured in "Teen Vogue."
The entire process started way back in November of 2012, when I got an email that was going to rock my fashion world. It actually arrived on the second anniversary of my blog. That's right, I've been doing this for quite a while. The long and short of it was that "Teen Vogue" was looking for up-and-coming teen fashion bloggers, and they wanted me. I screamed really loud. Then, I kept it a secret. As much as my friends and family love me, I don't think the majority of them really understand my obsession. I did tell my "wolf pack," a group of fellow teenage fashion bloggers/lovers who have become part of my family over the years. We were all really excited. I answered all of "Teen Vogue"'s questions, sent them back, and that was that. It's strange how detached you can get from something in two months. Then, on December 26, there was a tweet.
Actually, there were several tweets, and nearly 20 new followers within 10 minutes. I clicked on one girls' profile, and the first thing I saw was the new issue of "Teen Vogue." The next, MY FACE in the new issue of "Teen Vogue." It was insane. I'd had no idea that the issue was even out yet. I mean, it was December, and we're looking at the February issue. I immediately called my dad and had him pick up a copy for me on his way home from work. That was the first copy. Over the next few weeks we must have bought at least 20. But it was what happened after the issue had reached everyone that put things in a new light for me.
Nearly every day, I am getting emails, tweets, Facebook posts, and more, from teens around the world who saw my feature. They're reading my blog, and they feel inspired, and they write me to ask questions. That's a really big thing to for me. I work really hard on my blog, and it's something I love so much, but it's crazy to actually realize that somewhere in Poland, or Brazil, someone else is sitting down on the other end of that screen, and smiling or laughing. They are enjoying it so much, that they write me and tell me. Comments are a lovely thing, but someone taking the time to sit down and write you a long letter -- that's something special. Then there are the adventurous souls who are so inspired that they decided this is something they want to try. They write with their questions. My first thought is, "Am I qualified to answer these?" It feels like not too long ago that I was the one writing these letters to bloggers I loved, whose opinion I desperately wanted on whether I was ever going to get anywhere. Because of that, I make sure to write everyone back, even if it takes me a week. I know that feeling. Blogging on its own can be confusing, but the fashion blogging world comes with its own set of deep waters.
Ever since the "Teen Vogue" feature launched, and I started getting these letters, I've had a heightened sense of how important what I do is. You might be thinking "Gosh, you're not the President, you just talk about clothes." Six months ago, I might have agreed with you on some level. But I've come to realize it's not about the clothes. It's about the people. If one person is having an awful day, and they read my blog, and laugh at my attempts to take a serious photo, discover that "You know what, I really like Adele." or decide to wear that cool pair of neon pants they love to school tomorrow, I have accomplished something. I might have realized this on my own after a while, but the "Teen Vogue" story put a spotlight on me. It was either rise to the occasion, or melt. As we all know from "The Wizard Of Oz," "melted" is just not an attractive look on anyone.