Look at Me, Don’t Look at Me

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about personal looks and its connection with fashion and so have a lot of bloggers too.  Some people have the advantage of striking resemblances to models that though they doth protest, in my opinion helps a great deal in their ability to wear certain outfits.  Some have a penchant for the jolie laide (ugly pretty) features that work for them much better than being picture perfect. 

This may be a deep and personal ride but I’ll throw it out anyway on the chance that people will sort of see where I’m coming from and not laugh, deride or hurl abuse (ok…so those things are a given on the blog anyway…).  Let’s just say me and my looks aren’t exactly best friends.  Being taunted for being ugly at school didn’t help.  Having quite frankly some horrific teen years including highlights such as being called an ‘ugly moose’ online by a former crush also didn’t aid the cause.  So I resigned myself to accepting that whilst I may be very good at say baking a banana cake, I’m just not aesthetically good looking.  The smiley positive people will argue ‘No!  Every person is beautiful in their own way.’  But there it is.  The added ‘in their own way’.  I think we are adult enough to accept that not everyone is born with the beauty genes. 

Therefore I pride myself on skills and attributes that go deeper than the skin but having zero confidence in the skin can sometimes cause barriers.  My head-over-heels, delve-right-in, get-stuck-in love of fashion wasn’t initially hampered by my utter lack of confidence, correction, regard for my looks.  In some ways, I think it might have helped me escape into a world where I could fool myself into thinking that as long as I clothed myself in beauty (ok..so some of my outfits aren’t beauty incarnate but they are conscientiously considered and born out of a passion…), what my face looked like might not matter so much.  Sad but true, but there you go, 14-15 year olds have funny notions in their heads. 

The ugly truth: Susie Bubble’s love of fashion was born out of the ugly.  Snappy headline, eh?  Fast forward to the present and you’ll find someone still growing into their skin with past horrors still knawing away despite having people telling you differently (that would be Mr Bubble) and that does matter a great deal.  Yet somehow, those old monsters will occasionally rear their ugly (operative word huh?) heads and hiss away at you ‘What makes you think you can pull off that top?  Just you remember what they called you in primary school…’  So very occasionally, it does hamper my fashion choices. 

I don’t always have 100% conviction in what I wear precisely because those past monsters will come and haunt me every now and again.  I’m deeply passionate and act on whimsy and desire with my style yet probably the one thing holding me back is my ability to be 100% comfortable in my own skin.  To illustrate, whilst I have no shame about photographing my outfits in all their various mishapen stages and developments, the camera stays firmly over my face.  It’s an open invite to view my love of fashion and how I express that in my style but I’m also saying ‘Look at the outfit…. not the face…’.

Reading about jolie laide made me think of those that I admire style-wise that have jolie laide features: Carine Roitfeld and her strong brows, the late Isabella Blow and her pronounced teeth, Anna Piaggi’s smallish eyes, Lou Doillon’s wide mouth, it should hit me in a Eureka moment that just maybe that I could be of the jolie laide ilk too!  Perhaps that realisation will come later but for now, it’s still growing pains and you will never know how fashion saved me from depths so low that it verges onto uncomfortable blog subject matter.

I highly anticipate many comments of there being no correlation between how one looks and how one dresses but I’m just presenting a personal experience that I still grapple with and as this blog has been known to muse pointlessly, I hope there has been no offense caused. 

101 Replies to “Look at Me, Don’t Look at Me”

  1. you’ve bloomed into a beautiful flower…thanks for inspiring me with your creative and lovely outfits!

  2. I can relate to many of the points you made: firstly, I love baking banana cakes, I even put it in my personal statement (hehe) and I still always think that as long as I dressed well that no one will really make comments about my face, I think over the few years fashion has somehow given me a little more confidence than I used to have (thanks to the plastic girls from yr 7-9).
    Regardless of your confidence in your skin, I think you should be very proud of all youve achieved and a big “LOSER” sign to all those old monsters.

  3. Oh crikey! I’ve always felt like you about my own face, hence the reason the Irina comparisons are very, very hard to digest and accept.
    I used to envy traditionally beautiful people as I could see they got an easier ride in life, it’s sad but true, but now I’m much older I accept what I have been given. Them’s the breaks as they say. I now look at myself differently – as I said in my article, I see my father’s face in mine, which is important to me since it’s a way to keep his memory alive, and I see my mother, who I may loose, and seeing her smile in my smile makes me more accepting of my looks too.
    If someone were to say “here you go Michelle, have Ms Jolie’s face”, I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t think about it, but since that isn’t going to happen, I have learned to accept my odd little face! I look at you and wish for your youthful glow and clear, smooth skin which I too once had 10 years ago.
    People like us, we just develop other ways to make our mark, and clearly yours is fashion.

  4. i was the ‘pancake face child’ and still get constantly compared to my little sis who is ‘Miss HK material’ apparently.
    Yet I still cherish the fleeting moments in the morning when I’ve accomplished a nice outfit and left the house with confidence and also the ‘ahem’ ‘moments’ with the boy when he makes you feel super special.
    Cherish and collect together your little moments of confidence <3

  5. I suppose this explains why your pictures rarely show your face.
    As a man I know I’ve had a very different experience regarding my appearance than young women; having said that, I too experienced some fairly low lows during my developmental years. Some of that came with being one of the few Chinese people in my Montreal neighbourhood. When I moved to Vancouver it was a revelation to see so many Asian faces – revelation too in that I only then learned that my mom is from Scotland, making me…gasp…Eurasian.
    Convential beauty bores me to tears. Samantha Morton over Jessica Biel anyday I say. And while I understand, in part, why the idea of conventional beauty weighs heavily on many women’s minds, I have to say that I am generally confused by it. It strikes me as similar to Jonathan Lethem feeling less of a writer because Dan Brown sells millions of copies more than he does, or Wes Anderson less of a film maker because Brett Ratner grosses more money with one movie than all of Anderson’s movies combined.
    And yes, my choices are deliberate. The conventional, majority opinion of beauty also loves X-Men 3 and reads The DaVinci Code.
    I say, it’s high time that the opinions of people like me started taking precedence over the opinions of people like Paris Hilton. In fact, why is my opinion even treated like an opinion but Glamour magazine treated like fact? If I say the woman I love is beautiful, then is she not beautiful? And who is there to correct me?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/onegoodtum/334774707/in/set-72157594442118984/
    I’m glad you’ve found the courage to dress as you want, and to find a mode of expression in fashion you feel you’ve been denied in the past. Again, as a man I simply have to wear a tie and some interesting shoes to be considered avant garde (at least here in Canada).
    Also – whoever called you an “ugly moose” is an idiot. And probably has terrible body odour.

  6. oh my, i do believe accepting your looks some sort of spiritual hump, like coming to terms with your parents or accepting mortality.
    once i was told by a boy i really liked, that there were two girls who liked him, and it was very hard to decide between the pretty one, or the fun one… and he chose me because i was fun.
    he said that *argh* 13 years ago, and i still refuse to place myself in the ‘pretty’ category by genetic right. i do however have come to terms with my looks, mostly because i try to act like i am a beautiful woman, and more often than not people treat me as such.
    so genetic beauty may exist, but i feel that it lags behind the beauty from within.
    : )

  7. well, i hope i don’t come off as placating but my 15 year old daughter thinks you are beautiful. and that makes me very happy. i’d much rather she appreciate the unique beauty over the generic beauty such as the olsen twins anyday.

  8. Great and brave post Susie. And good timing as I have to take part in a presentation on ‘What is Beauty?’ on Thursday!! I look forward to all the other comments…

  9. I can really connect to what you are saying. Well I’ve had more guys out in the open say i’m ugly, but girls don’t call me ugly. But the only reason girls don’t think I’m physically ugly is b/c I dress really nice!

  10. hoo boy, can i ever relate.
    i knew i was different, called ugly by lots of pre-teen boys in grade school.
    eventually i sort of learned to hobble along with all my imperfections, though i haven’t completely accepted them.
    but i figure…i may not be the most beautiful, but i have style. i have substance, intelligence, and wit. i’d rather have those things define me than be beautiful but shallow or brainless.
    you, susie, also have the aforementioned attributes, in spades. you also are the most fearless fashionista i know. the fact that even you sometimes censor yourself makes me like you that much more. it shows that you are sensitive and real…and that, my dear, makes you more beautiful than any fashion model.
    just ask mr. bubble. i’m guessing he probably agrees.
    🙂

  11. About the jolie laide thing…I’m a believer that having one feature which isn’t “classical” or whatever you call it, doesn’t make you ugly…often I even don’t notice it until other people point it out if someone looks like that. Beauty is a really complex thing. Also, I never thought you were ugly…

  12. i dont think we should go around saying – I prefer perfect beauties or I prefer les jolies laides.. what makes beauty so desirable and intriguing is the balance between the two isnt it? Like you need to be able to appreciate one to appreciate the other.
    I dont think there is one woman who is perfectly happy with the way she looks- we did a survey in class – three said they were really happy and it was obvious that one of them was lying (long story)..
    What makes it really hard is that everyone will offer different opinions because its so subjective. Some are being honest, some are just trying to keep you happy. I have the same problem with my weight. People tell me Im tall enough, Will lose it when im 23, Im fine, Its pretty to have nice rosy cheeks etc etc.. Im not fine with it, but having had an eating disorder prevents me from losing weight for health and torments me all the time. (But its very interesting to have inside knowledge when studying theory as a fashion student. )
    I think everyone has to come to terms with their ‘flaws’ – in their own time.. eventually .
    sorry – again i am prone to little spiels..
    P.S
    and I reckon susie looks a little like david bowie in the second photo with that expression .. (and I love David Bowie!)

  13. you probably have a lot more confidence than you give yourself credit for! not many people are brave enough to open up about cringe-worthy personal experiences or post their faces on the internet for anyone to judge. and i think it’s precisely because you seem so comfortable with yourself that your blog is such a pleasure to read.
    ive had my fair share of dodgy experiences where my face is concerned but i think ive finally reached a certain level of satisfaction now that ive found a comfortable style for myself. and at least we girls can always tweeze and wax and make-up ourselves towards beauty unlike our male counterparts.
    we have a word for jolie laide in japanese too, haha: busukawa.

  14. Isn’t that why a LOT of us love fashion and style? Anyone can create a style for his/her self…it’s not something you have to be born with. And it lasts a lot longer.

  15. I personally think you look loads prettier than corey kennedy- I remember one picture you posted of you smiling holding your boyfriends hand… you are stunning. I would kill to have lips like yours

  16. it really touches me that you wrote this, because as a fifteen year old girl i have made those same justifications to myself that if i have beautiful, interesting clothes then my actual face won’t have to matter so much.

  17. Maybe I just have a poor sense of aesthetic, but I honestly do find you pretty Susie, or perhaps prettily cute (I somehow seem to think cute is more fitting because you have a cute mouth and cheeks o.o)
    But I also find it interesting that your passion for clothing arose out of a feeling of ugliness, and you used your sense of style to overshadow your doubts about your physical attributes. Because having that same feelings for myself, I’ve always avoided pretty clothing because I’ve always in some way felt not pretty enough to wear it…

  18. you said you pride yourself on attributes and skills that go deeper than the skin. I think you have a lot to be proud of. very insightful post, you are certainly very eloquent and articulate.

  19. i think you touched upon something really important and relevant to a lot of your readers. its great for you to be so honest about your relationship w/ur physicality with us, thats something really rare in this industry.
    i think you can look at feeling of inadequacy and the yearning for beauty as what drives a lot of people into the fashion industry. jean-paul gaultier has always felt like his looks were substandard, and isabella blow felt ugly herself. I’m a fashion design student and i have my own insecurities.
    not that its relevant and it wont change a bit of your opinion about yourself, i think youre pretty darn attractive and your bf is a lucky fella to have such a hot smartie.

  20. I think you are certainly not the only one who has had the feelings you described in your post, but I think those feelings are sometimes necessary. It personnally made me want to be different from these people since I couldn’t look like them neways and the truth is with the time people bloom and become much more interesting than the little blond girl that called you names when you were younger. If in your case you have escaped in fashion and in your fantasies, I think it made you develop something amazing. I think only that should give you the courage and confidence to stand out for who you are. I really realted to what you wrote in this post, it is somtimes hard to express these things with words.

  21. Thank you so much for this post! I can completely relate.
    All through my early schooling i was taunted for being fat and ugly. Since then I’ve spent the best part of 10 years hating myself and (for a few years there) barely eating.
    I think my interest in fashion was born out of the idea that I’d feel less ugly if my clothes were nice.
    Only now I’m starting to come to terms with the idea that I am not gorgeous, but then again i’m not ugly. I’m just me and I shouldn’t want to change that.
    I still have some really bad days, or moments, like last night when I saw some photos from a recent party and told myself I looked hideous. But then somedays I’m kind to myself and manage to feel good about the way I look. More often than not I have to remind myself that my mind (and not my body) plays the biggest part in how I feel.
    I think I’ll always struggle with the way I look, but hopefully it will get easier as i learn to accept myself for who I am.
    Beauty is so subjective anyway. I think both Lily Cole and Irina are gorgeous, whilst my sister thinks their both “hideous” to quote her.
    And just last night my mum referred to Gemma Ward as that “weird alien like model.”
    I myself can’t stand many of the media proclaimed “beautifuls” (angelina jolie, megan gale, jennifer hawkins (last two are aussies and seem to be in every single australian magazine these past few months) i don’t know how big they are overseas)
    A few people have told me I look like Mischa Barton recently, (i don’t, i think we just have noses and hair is similiar) and i was like “Nooo, i’m far to hideous. She’s beautiful and look at me: I have this weird upturned nose.” Then I saw an article where she said she felt this exact way about her nose.
    I laughed so hard when I read that because all these years spent hating my nose (among other things) and yet here is someone who feels the same way, who is not ugly at all.
    It just made me realise how much I’d ingrained in my head that this particular feature was hideous. To the point that I couldn’t see the truth – that it wasn’t as bad as all that.
    Hmm, I’m sorry if this is a rambling post. I guess I don’t really have a point. I just wanted to contribute to the post as I can relate so strongly to everything you said.

  22. to be honest, you’ve never struck me as ugly. sure, you might not be the next face of loreal, but you’re adorable all the same!
    i think the interesting thing about beauty is that it really is rather subjective. I was never called ugly, per se, however i was never one of the “pretty” girls. while i might not be the prettiest person ever, it’s quite simple to give the impression of being pretty by, excuse the cliche, a good personality.
    I agree with the people before me who said that a sense of style was preferrable to good looks. good looks guarentee nothing- a good looking person could still have the ugliest personality ever or just be unbeleivably dull. However, having style and creativity, not to mention an attractive personality is going to ensure an interesting, vibrant life.
    would i rather be ugly with good style or beautiful and devoid of a personality? definitly the former.

  23. The fashion industry is shallow in so many ways but there is most certainly a different and much wider aesthetic than that of the general public. Look at the popular models right now, like Coca Rocha, Sasha P, Irina L, and Gemma. Designers and fashion lovers may fawn over them but to “everyone else” these girls are deemed bizarre-looking, even unattractive. In the end, beauty may never have a consensual interpretation but hey, wouldn’t it be a bore if we all looked the same? Good post!

  24. Hey leng lui, are you sor sor dei?
    I know this girl in real life and she’s one of the most beautiful people I know. When we’re in HK, literally guys just gawp at her.
    The beautiful thing about Susie is that she has no fucking clue how beautiful she is.

  25. I loved this column, because for me clothes and fashion were always a way to be beautiful too; to try and put something on the outside of my thoughts and my creativity and wrap myself in beautiful things so it didn’t matter that I was at best cute, probably plain, and at worst odd-looking.
    it’s a blessing and a curse though, because as much as beautiful things and fun outfits make me feel gorgeous, there are always things that I Can’t Wear (probably in my own mind) because I feel like I have to hide my body, or that my face isn’t beautiful enough to get away with it.
    I’m still hoping there’s an age where that insecurity starts to turn into being content with how I look … in the meantime I’m craving banana cake. crrraving.

  26. I agree with Leah : fashion is born from dissatisfaction and creativity. It’s the story of the crow wanting to wear the peacock dress.
    If everybody felt beautiful then we’d all dress in the same boring way -just look at the models backstage, usually it’s just tees niand jeans, only a few of them care about what they wear.
    Now as for feeling ugly, that’s also what makes a person get better, smarter, more fun and what-have-you. I think most successful people today used to be ugly -or at least never counted too much on their looks.
    And then one day you wake up, and you realize that on top of having become a good, intelligent and stylish person, you’ve got that glow that people call ‘beauty’ too.
    I hope that day’s soon for you.

  27. I think everybody strugles with his or her body once in a while. I first like to say that you aren’t ugly at all and that you might not look like euhm.. let’s say: Kate Moss (the name is used to much, I know), but who DOES look like her (except her). There always be the lucky ones with that perfect body and the perfect face, but we are who we are and we cant change it. I’m most of the time a bit weird about myself, there are times that i think: God! You dont look that bad, youre hot! And there are times that I think: No, I want to stay in bed, I just look to bad. Susie, just remember that Mr Bubble doesnt say the oppisite, because he loves you, but he’ll probarly mean it.

  28. lovely post and just love the French for having the term Jolie Laide. I always feel more confident in Paris just because I think well, they might think I am (jolie laide) and appreciate it! I do believe that there is beauty in having a so called “flaw” – much more interesting anyway, though I’m sure i didn’t feel that way at 15…

  29. To all those who have contradicted by saying I’m beautiful, thank you, but the problem I guess still exists that there is no way of placating my head. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ etc but you can’t have people validating your looks by relying on their compliments (as lovely as they are!) as you have to believe it yourself. I guess that’s the problem…
    It’s interesting how some people toiled away at fashion, got into fashion precisely because of insecurities in their looks like myself… it forms a world of escape. Yet for some people, fashion is fearsome because they fear their looks cannot carry off certain things. I think from a personal experience, I take a ‘nothing to lose’ approach. It’s like ‘Hey I can’t look any worse than I do already so why not just play with style and not give a toss?’
    DJM: Your face? Odd? Just no…
    Sammi: I am THE pancake face and yes…having the boyf does help…
    Thomas: Good point about our views on conventional beauty. Perhaps we take longer to accept that we are the Letham’s and Anderson’s in the world because aesthetic beauty is so in your face. It’s what you confront first when you see a person. It is that initial impression. So in that respect, we do give it more importance than it should do.
    Lady Coveted: Hehe…what if you’re neither ‘fun’ nor ‘pretty’? ‘Think Beautiful’ is something a lot of fashion personalities seem to project…
    Burd: Please say thank you to your daughter…!
    Anna: Yes, you are right that with style, that it is easy to give the impression of beauty.
    Tricia: Mr Bubble does agree but I think I have to try and agree with him…. you’re too kind btw!
    Marie: There lies the crux…if beauty is so subjective then how is it that there is some sort of consensus as to what it is? P.S. David Bowie? That is pretty damn cool…scary that you think I look like him…but cool at the same time.
    CC: I have no qualms about laying myself bare on the blog…I know it’s not really a ‘bubble’ but I think of it as one so talking about things on a personal level is no biggie. But the issue here is not lack of confidence in general but, just about one’s looks. Thanks for the Japanese jolie laide…
    WendyB & Leah: Perhaps fashion is that thing you cultivate like other people develop a comediene’s personality to compensate for other things.
    Myriam: I’m glad you related and it’s sort of odd here that convening here on a blog that basically talks about aesthetic beauty, we end up admitting that we don’t feel so pretty on the inside but that we can overcome that.
    Ebony: It wasn’t rambling and it echoes what I said… only you’ve moved onto that stage of realisation where you’re happy with your looks.
    Julia: Don’t get me wrong, I do pride myself on certain attributes. There are times though when you can’t ignore the face you’re born with.
    Natasha: I’m so bad at this tagging thing…. will work on this one…
    Soleil Noir: I think fashion does have the taste for the mis-aligned and ‘alternative’ as people wish to stand out…. I don’t think I have that quirkiness either though…
    Michael: They’re gawping at my silver leggings!
    Call me Sugar: I wouldn’t let what you think about your looks hamper what you wear…. afterall, you said it…you get so much more fun out of fashion!
    Emilie: I hope so too… it’s weird still having growing pains whilst supposedly being an adult.
    Joyce: That’s the thing, I’m not aspiring to look like anyone else. By and large, I think I have sort have resigned myself to accepting what I’ve been given.
    Claire: The notions of beauty in Paris do seem to be more complex. I love that too.

  30. well yeah, there definitely is a correlation between looks, dresses AND feelings as well! i experienced that during my teenage-years. i suffered from a rather nasty disease which made me look pretty pale. so i bought myself lipsticks in – now i think about it – really disgusting colours and spent a fortune on everything that created the impression that i was doing fine.
    besides, i always felt kind of
    stuck in my small, oh so boring hometown where everyone dressed and looked the same. so i dressed myself with enourmosly colourful clothes, mixing stripes with dots and dots with flowers (and my schoolmates dispised and laughed at me)… nowadays i laugh at me myself for it really was kind of emberassing.. but yeah, life and its experiences mirror your clothes.

  31. Suz, if I could meet any one person in the world, it wouldn’t be Henry Holland or Amy Astley– it would be you. You’re one of those people who everyone can relate to in some way or another and I feel like I’ve known you for a long time from just reading your blog! I just started highschool two days ago, and being a freshman is tough- especially when there are those gorgeous, waif-like new girls. This post was just so uplifting and makes me realize that I’m not the only one that feels alienated by those pretty girls! But I’ve come to realize, that they only have one thing going for them..while people like you and I have things like wit, style, personality, smarts. Thanks for this post susie! You ARE beautiful

  32. People tell me I’m pretty all the time, but I always tell them that if I do not wear the clothes I wear, they would never notice me. I’m not ugly but I’m not pretty either and I never wear make up. I have a big nose and my skin ain’t perfect. Pretty girls in school like befriending me. They think I’m cool , I dress well…blah blah blah, but I could never be that close to them because I will never be that self assured and confident and fashion, for me, does not end in streetwear(mini skirt/jeans, tee shirt and some sexy glittery thing.)I’m really just a geek who dresses well.
    I think I prefer being myself.

  33. thanks for making this post. Having been teased about my looks [mainly my red hair] since I can remember Im very uncomfortable with the way I look and that has stopped me from really wearing the clothes I like. I feel that I shouldnt draw attention to myself. Whenever I have the guts to try on something “different” in the changing room I always think “who are you kidding?” and walk away empty handed and deflated. Your blog is certainly inspiring me to be a little more bold with my style and the fact that you sometimes have the same insecurities that I have but still do your own thing is a boost to my self-confidence.

  34. ahh i always thought you were really very atrractive and also assumed with that that you were confident about your looks! I guess everyone has insecurities..
    used to have a similar thing with clothes-more a fear that people would stare if i wore something out of the ordinary n not wanting attention, that still lingers actually.. childhood experiences are always gonna stay with you..shame really.
    had the same as the above post actually with the red hair comments, but now i’m kinda proud OF my red hair n like that i have something unusual. Kids are cruel, but
    in the end it’s all down to how you feel about yourself.

  35. susie susie, my heart ached reading this post. i read your blog regularly and never post- but i had to post this time. from your posts and pictures we all know you are an adorably cute fun girl whose great style and random ramblings brings joy to the computer screens of so many! plus you’re just about the tallest chinese girl i’ve ever seen- at least head and shoulders taller than me, and you have really lovely coloring and a sweet face- dont let anyone tell you different.

  36. I met my best friend when I was 6, I actually went to speak to her because I thought she was so Pretty. And Yes, I grew up next To a blond Beauty, that type of beauty that “pleases all”, that you can say to someone “I’m going to introduce you to a beautiful girl” and no one disagrees or gets disappointed. I guess growing up with her and being strange looking gave me against all odds a good idea of myself, I learned very young that classic beauty is only going to be to your advantage if you have spirit, that will not make you happier or more confortable with your skin.
    Susie you may not be the prettiest girl out there( but you are far from Ugly also whatever that is) but you are rich in creativity, in ideas,you are always discovering, your life is full of small wonderful things that you share with us, and that as a person makes you desirable, makes you beautiful and complete. And this is not a methaphor, the right people, who cares about the others anyway, will really SEE it like that.

  37. It’s amazing how many people can relate to the whole “beautiful/ugly” issue. It took me years to get used to my looks and not even now am I perfectly at ease with myself. However, I realize that what I might consider weird or unattractive in my looks: bony cheeks, triangular chin, slanted eyes (and I am 100% caucasian)some people might regard as beautiful. Ultimately, I guess all comes down to confidence. And speaking of the “not beautiful but intelligent” or “not conventionally beautiful but interesting” thing I know that I used to go crazy as a teen whenever people told me that. I remember wishing I could trade all my brains if I could be called beautiful. However, this year I almost strangled my former boyfriend when he called me “pretty but silly”. I guess beauty values less for me now.

  38. I can relate to what you are saying. This entry made me reflect on my own interest in fashion.
    I have never felt “naturally beautiful”, and because of that [possibly due to feelings of inadequacy] I developed a heightened interest in this particular means of expression. With fashion I could contort my image and assume various roles, regardless of the restrictions associated with untouched, stereotypical beauty. In a way, fashion has given me a sense of empowerment over my body.
    Thanks for the great post!
    And by the way, I think you’re a hottie.

  39. yep, that’s it! I will forever love this site! This entry just made this blog a complete, and perfect love affair! I <3 u ms. bubble!

  40. Would it be really soppy and a little melodramatic if I said I cried when I read your comments….seriously… without sounding like a twat, I am overwhelmed by how many of you feel the same way and it just proves to me that I’ve managed to tap into a readership that gets what I’m jabbering on about.
    Saskia: That’s a surprisingly proactive attitude you had there when you were a teen. At least you did something to get the better of your illness..
    Jennie: I can’t say that that alienated feeling won’t end once you’re out of high school…but perhaps there are ppl that will just feel alienated all their lives and that is no bad thing…
    Anon: A geek that dresses well….fooling people with fantastic outfits is fun isn’t it?
    Lou: Red hair is freaking gorgeous… take those things from the changing room and take them to a till I say…
    Faux Faux Real: You’re putting my boyf to shame with those compliments!
    Masked Mannequin: People tend to assume that because I post so many pictures of myself…but they are my way of sharing ideas rather than saying ‘Look at me!’. Again – red hair. gorgeous. enough said.
    abs: I’m not that tall…around 5″7-8…. I guess tall for a Chinese girl…. though that sometimes has its disadvantages….
    Una: You’re right…I realise that at the end of the day, it is about the RIGHT people understand what I’m about rather than having everyone take to me. So in that respect I am lucky…
    Anca: I have those silly moments too… and I so understand that thing about being called ‘interesting looking’…. it’s like ‘So..you’re saying I’m a freak?’
    Kat Sparks: Yes, empowerment would be the key word!
    Tanya: Thanks for the love 😉

  41. I have found myself avoiding ‘pretty’ clothes because I feel my face not being pretty enough I would look like I were deliberately drawing attention to myself – and my ugly face- and just appear ridiculous. So instead my style has developed into this practical “I don’t care about my apearance, I don’t try, I just look smart”
    Your dress sense is everything I admire from afar but seldom have the spirit to actually do myself…You have sooo many comments to read you have clearly struck a nerve, anyway here’s my two cents.
    The comment from Sammi in Canada made me feel very happy and gives some perpective.

  42. hi Suzie…I love y our blog!
    I had the extra problem of having an extraordinarily beautiful sister a year younger than me. She had the thick wavy hair, the perfect nose, the perfect heart shaped face. From the time we were very small everyone fawned over her. I was in the “quirky cute” category and quite a tomboy. A broken nose didn’t help my appearance. High school was spent helping boys with homework, who in turn would ask her out for dates.
    At a very early age, I developped an interest in beauty and fashion. Far more than any of my sisters, I worked hard at my appearance. I never went into fashion but I always worked to cover my “inadequacies”. If I couldn’t be beautiful, I could be the most stylish (hopefully) woman around. I dyed my red hair blonde, eventually did have my nose fixed, and worked hard to protect my few assets (now I appreciate my deadly pale skin).
    Anyhow, I’m now 44. My younger sister is still more beautiful but now she is more sweet and humble after a serious weight gain. I still don’t feel beautiful but on a good day I see the jolie and not the laide. On the days I see the laide, I try to see the interesting angles. I am very happily married with children, dogs and as full a life as I can. You see, I have a chronic disease, and it can really sap life out of you.
    Suzie, you have a great life, a great bf, and I would rather be you and look like you, than any starlet out there.
    You have brought beauty to many, and opened our eyes to beauty and intelligence in fashion.

  43. Susie – I’m 5”2!! and not that attractive!! If you’re ”not that tall” and and don’t know you’re georgous what hope is there for a squiggy “munchkin” -yes I’ve had it – like me?
    p.s. I also got a tear.

  44. Susie, we will never be able to truly see ourselves as others see us. So, you are just going to have to trust your family and friends when they tell you that you are beautiful. 🙂
    I was teased for being fat when I was a child. As a teenager and a 20-something, I was much closer to being conventionally pretty, yet I was surrounded by catty young women (and sometimes men) who let their own insecurities show by criticizing others.
    Now I have a much more loving, supportive set of friends, and I am grateful for them every day. We truly, honestly find each other beautiful. It doesn’t erase *all* of my insecurities, but it definitely helps.

  45. Thanks for that really insightful and honest entry! Everyone has insecurities, but I think having a passion for fashion may aggravate them even more because fashion is all about image. On the other hand, fashion is also always one step ahead aestheically and redefines beauty. I am really intruigued and inspired by fashion personalities like Isabella Blow and Carine Roitfeld, both of whom you mentioned. Isabella is so strange looking, but her look pairs perfectly with her outfits. She’s like a walking art work. And Carine, in every photo she is smiling a genuine smile, and she just looks so happy and confident. I think that gives her a type of beauty that transcends the beauty of “conventionally” attractive people.

  46. I think a lot of people turn to fashion to cure insecurities. It’s like an eating disorder – something you can control. I know i started to pay more attention to what i wore after a very debilitating semester surrounded by very…perhaps honest?… people. Two years later I’m obsessed with fashion, clothing, designers etc. and still never leave my house without make up. I think it’s even harder being Asian because so much emphasis is put on beauty and if you don’t match what is thought to be beautiful, no one hesitates to point out every flaw (many times over). I absolutely hate it.
    I personally find you very pretty and cute too. 🙂 I know that probably makes no difference though. When people call me cute i push it aside. I suppose criticism always shouts louder.

  47. Ms. Bubble, you are incredible. I read your blog daily and you have been the single most influential figure in my discovery of my own personal style. Please keep up this good and essential work.
    I’m 25 and just beginning to create art and self-expression through my clothes. American Vogue/Glamour/InStyle all suck because they prey on women and deny them a chance to discover what’s stylistically true to the individual.
    Cull the herd I say. I’d rather be a vintage decked-out sheep dog than the sheep. 🙂

  48. This is so touching and beautifully written, Susie. I struggle with my body and my face and fashion IS my escape, it IS my way of drawing the attention away from my thick waist and not-so-perfect skin. I have days where I feel like if I’m not wearing something stylish or strange or even something beautiful that people will see me as I see myself, just an awkward looking person with bad hair and no discernible features or curves.
    You, my dear, are beautiful. You have a great body and a cute face and pretty sleek hair… it’s ok if you never realize it but others do. 🙂

  49. “I highly anticipate many comments of there being no correlation between how one looks and how one dresses…”
    Maybe there are other people that have commented to that affect but not I… I think there is a direct correlation there… or more precisely a direct correlation between how we beautiful (or not) we were considered by our peers whilst growing up. I for one was teased mercilessly for being a too skinny eurasian girl with freckles… ugly was my middle first and surname, at least in the opinion of my classmates. Thus in order to counterbalance the uglieness of my face and body, I became obsessed with always having the perfect outfit, with the perfect accessories, always reading up on the latest trends, designers, colors, et al. If i couldn’t kill em with my looks I would kill em with fasion. While the rest of the world seems to have started to understand my physical aesthetic (skinny eurasian girls with freckles seem to be having a moment in the sun), I still sturggle with it. I dream of having my freckles lasered off (my boyfriend says lose the freckles and i lose him) and I still wish that I looked a little bit more like everyone else… that I was more of a conventional beauty than a unique one. But I lose my point… in my quest for the fashion perfection I became a designer… I have been designing for about a decade (mostly doing accessories) and have been so happy doing it. And I really believe that I have all those horrible kids in school to thank for it…

  50. When I was reading your recent post about Cory Kennedy, I thought that instead of putting Cory on the cover, the magazine should have put none other than Susie Bubble on the cover. This thought was mostly dictated by my opinion that while Corry (at least to me) does not seem like she has anything interesting to offer, and Susie should be considered the real internet celebrity, having created her blog on her own and attracted so many readers with interesting content. I vote for Susie to be on the cover of a magazine.
    Susie, at the end of the day, you are unique inside and you show it. And when people see that, they think that you’re cool and someone that they want to be like. Ultimately, they do think you’re beautiful. Like most who have commented, I too have had a lot of struggles with my appearance (unfortunately, still do) and instead of turning to fashion, I closed up and basically wore same old baggy coat and wide trousers every day. Only now am I seeing what fashion is all about and reading your blog daily has a lot to do with that. Yes, the statement about the “correlation between how one looks and how one dresses” still applies in my case. I still think I’m not slim or pretty enough to wear something, but I know I should get over it.
    PS: I got called a monkey on several occasions in my childhood. As much as I look in the mirror I don’t understand why those individuals called me that. I mean, I’m not exceptionally pretty, but a monkey I am not. Makes you wonder how much credibility the “ugly moose” comment has.
    Bottom line is: Yes, Susie we think you’re beautiful. And I am serious about that magazine cover idea.

  51. Agree with Tricia: “i may not be the most beautiful, but i have style. i have substance, intelligence, and wit. i’d rather have those things define me than be beautiful but shallow or brainless.” It seems confidence and being comfortable with who you are comes with age/experience.
    On another note, I’m not surprised these comments brought a tear to your eye. They brought a shiver to my spine for sure. And that’s only the people who posted. Think how many others read your post and related. How ironic that your bad childhood experiences have indirectly ended up helping all these other people! I guess things DO happen for a reason, no?

  52. Good point susie. Yeah, there does seem to be a consensus on beauty – although it is subjective. My theory is (and Im sure Ill find some backing somewhere) is that Beauty is like fashion. Its quite obvious with all the fashions for the ‘alien like’ beauty (like gemma) or the ‘amazon’ (giselle or megan gale).. Some people prefer the one and some people prefer the other. I guess the consensus is reached because one person glorifies the beauty (“hey look at this hot new thing!”) and everyone follows. There always has to be some sort of unattainability to it – like gemma and giselle’s amazing proportions – or irina’s lankiness (which is not that common). It also has to do with the ‘mood’ (for want of a better word) that these girls convey. Despite the fact that they are generally normal girls who might have (or had) their own qualms about their appearances .Not to say that I still dont admire them, its a love hate thing. – Im ok with my face but I still get depressed! about my own weight. But then the thin girl in my class- with the most model like proportions – says that she wishes she was less thin and more brigette bardot sexpot!
    Its subjective- the way I love it how one of Bowie’s pupils is more dilated than the other, but many others will find it strange The reason I adore him so much is because of the huge amount of talent, wit and brains he has. My sister and I both say that intellect, wit and a great personality will make anyone more gorgeous than brad pitt will ever be (I dont understand him.. )
    P.S not to say that you have a dilated pupil – but look at a 3/4 profile pic of david bowie – and you might see why you are slightly similar.

  53. When I let my hair dry naturally, part it in the middle, and wear a certain pair of sunglasses…if you look at me from the neck up, you’d swear I was John Lennon. I have to pull in my lips a bit but the resemblance is kind of uncanny. Now I just laugh at it but those sunglasses are stashed deep in the basement too.

  54. I believe this is frequently the case, or it least it was with me. Wearing beautiful clothes is a great self-esteem booster; however low self-esteem does make me second-guess my beautiful clothes from time to time. But damn, do I wish I had your craftiness! (Unrelated, but true).

  55. You need to learn to take pride in your looks, learn to own them! I don’t say it’s an easy transition, but if you present yourself to the world as being comfortable in your own skin, in liking yourself, it is true that others will see you as such. And you already have the great wardrobe and great style, feel confident about your looks and people will see it in your overall appearance! If everyone was “model perfect” the world would be incredibly boring. I work in Manhattan, on Madison Avenue, and see loads of women (and men) who’ve been nipped and tucked and highlighted and tanned and think they’re the hottest thing going, and then I see those who have incredible style but may not be as “beautiful” as the others, but they have so much more presence! Look at all the blogs (such as The Sartorialist) that have shots of your counterparts around the world all looking amazingly stylish and not all would
    necessarily be considered beautiful or handsome. Be confident, be proud!
    (And from what I can see of you in this photo, I think you are prettier than you believe–great lips and great eyes!)

  56. What? Girl, you’re cute! I do think that many, many of us have experienced and are still experiencing those ugly feelings. I think it comes with being female in the society we live in.

  57. I think our opinion of looks changes from the first moment we see a face, to later on, when you’ve seen them hundreds of times.
    Some start out beautiful and fade to dull, others start out not so beautiful and improve.
    Where you start is not under your control, but where you end up is your thing.
    I think you are sort of cute, not gorgeous, nor ugly. More importantly, your face is recognizable in the way a lot of beautiful models are not, because of this blog – if I were in your city, and see you, I’d know it was you.. that’s what a face is for. Its also the only one of its kind, unless you have a twin. That exact combination of features will never occur again in a million years, innit?
    Mili

  58. Nafisa: I think of my clothes as a way of detracting people’s attention from my face…. not drawing attention to it…. interesting how we all turn the tables around.
    Anon: What is this negativity about red hair? I’ll say it 100 times… red hair is gorgeous! I’m sorry you had to grow up feeling that way. There is something about sister rivalry that really can create a complex. Your words really touched me… thanks for reminding me that there are waaay more important things than to be having funny moments about my looks. I’m incredibly sorry to hear about your disease but you sound like you live a very rich life…
    T-Rex: Yes, and I’m truly grateful for those around me… it’s like someone previously said…we hone in on the negatives rather than the positives for some annoying reason…
    Amy: It is even worse I think if you work in the industry which I don’t as there is that pressure to keep up a certain standard.
    Caitlin: It is a bit sad to class ourselves in that group whereby we turn to fashion to fix our insecurities. I don’t certainly see myself in that ‘extreme’ category where you see people on TV spiralling into debt because of their obsession with fashion…. so I think I’ve positively used fashion as a form of therapy..as have you!
    Danielle: I have to get it into my head that when North Americans/State-side ppl use cute, it doesn’t have the same connontations as it does in the UK…. i.e. cute is used to describe bunny rabbits not girls! But compliment taken!
    Laura: ‘Cull the herd’ That is going on a post-it to be stuck on my laptop!
    Sullen Girl: You’ve hit the nail on the head……I still have those days…
    Sunshine Fox: Your looks sound incredible! I know that sounds lame but they do! I love how ppl are coming out with these stories about faring much better precisely BECAUSE of their insecurities in the past…perhaps I’ll hit my peak…!
    Shadowplay: Your monkey comment breaks my heart… it all comes flooding back, those hurtful comments…
    Me on a magazine cover? So not happening… but I’m glad that you are seeing past baggy trousers.
    Marie: I have a thing about a wit and a brain being more attractive over looks too…..
    Anon: Ain’t nothing wrong with looking like the legend that is John Lennon…
    Erinsays: Yes, it’s a dichotomy…the outfits I wear make me feel 100% better about myself but sometimes I have to question my choices because of how I feel about myself… weird…
    Jennifer: Inspirational words…. people have said that I belong on sites like The Sartorialist…but when I look at those people, I’m in awe so it would be super surreal to see myself amongst them.
    Mili: ‘Where you start is not under your control, but where you end up is your thing.’ Bravo…love that….
    Once again, I’m seriously overwhelmed by all your contributions, stories and revelations. I don’t get emotional often on this blog and I’m sort of glad that I have because it has opened up my eyes to how you guys perceive me even though this is just a blog and I don’t know any of you in person…

  59. I love that so many people see the beauty in others even though we can’t see it in ourselves, Its so sad that comments heard as child or teanager stay forever but the ones you need to hear don’t come till much later and are so much harder to absorb.
    I think you’re beautiful.

  60. how odd. i always, since the first day i found your blog, considered you as very beautiful. but then again, far from all the attractive people recognize their own beauty. but thats how i see you. as very beautiful. as said.
    and of course creative and very very stylish! i love the way you find yourself in garments and fabrics.

  61. Oh Susie, you’re one talented sweet girl with a brilliant taste in clothes. You’re already awesome like that, but now I’m doubly impressed with your courage in discussing such a sensitive matter. I’m a self conscious wimp and could never do that. I don’t have any striking features and often find myself dressing up just so that I can feel better and pretentious over people, even though I hate to be the receiver of such contempt. I’ve met some people with beautiful taste and an ugly attitude, and I’m afraid I am a bit jaded when it comes to some fashion people. It’s people like you that pushes me to uncover my feelings of pure aesthetic pleasure towards fashion, and minimize the “pretense” that is entailed in the social context.

  62. Hi this is the Christine/Anon who once dyed her red hair blonde…it’s been red again since my beautiful red headed baby was born. And since I have a red headed husband, you can imagine how proud we are to be red!
    🙂

  63. strange! i didn´t write that comment about modelly poses yet it has my name linkd. hmm.
    i actually wrote the comment above, that i always considered you a beauty.

  64. I think we all feel that way sometimes.
    For me, it’s always the “I love this outfit… //later, after trying on//.. oh no, it doesn’t look good on me, if only I were thinner..”
    But I don’t give a toss!!
    You mustn’t give a toss because one’s mind always thinks about the negative!
    ps: you are a silly moose, you are absolutely beautiful.

  65. okay you posted quite a while ago and i’m sure my comment at the end won’t matter but I totally understand what you mean. I think for a lot of people ‘clothing themselves in beauty’ is a way of reacting to the idealized beauty of society that one does not meet. It’s a way of holding something over people as well ie. I may not be attractive but at least i’m not wearing what you’re wearing. haha or maybe thats just me?! Anyway I think some of the people you mentioned Anna Piaggi and Izzie Blow specifically show that a lot of people in fashion aren’t conventionally attractive but simply you are what you make of it.

  66. You are incredibly inspirational. I’m going through that right now, but for me my biggest trouble is my body. It’s imperfect in ways that I can obsessively list until the ends of time. The interest in fashion actually has a way of hurting me sometimes because I cannot wear so many things I want to. The strong thing to do is to buckle down, go on a diet, and learn to love the body and what it can become. But I guess I’m not mature enough for that, yet.
    But you’re incredible (I repeat) for being able to find an escape even when your insecurities and people were clawing at you.

  67. wow, i can relate to this post so much.
    i’m 15. i’m still in highschool and around all the mean things that people say. this past year was my freshman year, and it didn’t even occur to me until this year how important people’s looks seem to be. it hurts to have heard my major crushes say to me “no really, what i value most in a girl is her intelligence, and you’re so smart” and then go off and date twelve beautiful blonde airheads in a row.
    my interest in fashion isn’t so much about distracting from my face with beautiful clothes.. but when i put on a really great outfit, something i absolutely love– then walking down the street, regardless of what reflections say about my face, i feel absolutely gorgeous. and if i can’t look that way to everyone and my face can’t be the way i want it to, then god dammit at least i can make MYSELF feel beautiful.

  68. hi susie. thank you for writing about yourself. i read it and felt as though i had a weird connection with you.
    when i was 19 or so, i had a horrible allergic reaction after getting a makeover done, and huge zits literally grew overnight, but i thought it was nothing. within a couple of weeks my entire face had full-blown acne and i was shocked, scared, and i didn’t know what to do. i’d never felt like that about myself before and it was terrible. i was also experiencing really tough times at home, and with the acne problem, for a while i really hated myself. i refused to go out, i refused to meet my friends, i didn’t want anyone to see me; i didn’t want to even see myself.
    i had a very hard time excepting things, and about a year later, the pimples slowly stopped coming on, but the scars remained there to remind me of a time that i hated being alive.
    my love for fashion grew stronger and stronger around then, and like you, when i first grew to love fashion, i used it as a mask for who i really was deep-down inside – insecure and afraid.
    i’ve grown to accept things the way they are now. not just about my face, but how i am stubby (my whole family is! short and stubby!), how i have a huge ass and will never be thin. i’ve had some laser treatment done recently to help lessen the scars, but it’s not 1005 gone. but i’m happier now, more than i’ve ever been, and i wouldn’t change anything for the world.

  69. I feel thoroughly ashamed now as people have opened up with stories far sadder than my past experiences and it really puts my problems with my own confidence into perspective.
    Anon: It is those childhood moments that are ingrained into your memory…
    Miri: Very kind of you to say so…. and strange that you’ve thought that since I don’t show my face that often…
    Dezmond: Or just plain contorted weirdness…
    Lillix: Love that..’avantgardiste’…
    sometimesjaded: I’ve felt like that about people I’ve met in fashion… I feel like a total outsider when I’m amongst them actually…. the only reason why I’m pushed towards purely loving fashion for it’s aesthetics is because I know nothing about the ‘industry dirty bits’…
    Christine: I’d love to see a picture…must be so striking!
    Swall: *Blushes* …yup..that is it…me being a ‘silly moose’. I know I should get it through to my thick head…but somehow, I just can’t…
    Meg: Fashion is a great defense mechanism… a shield, a protectant…look at the way Izzie Blow wore those hats..they were her armour as she felt at times, very vunerable.
    Anna: Body issues seem to be a big obstacle for a lot of people in terms of what they want to wear. Mine isn’t bad, but it ain’t great either. I sort of black out what is supposedly ‘right’ for my body and just go for what I want to wear. Yes, I’m not always going to present the ‘thinnest’ image of myself with what I wear but perhaps that isn’t a concern of mine especially if it’s stopping me from what I really want to wear… just charge ahead, is what I’m trying to say…
    Tamara: You’re nearly 10 years younger than I am and the same problems still exist even now…. as in dealing with guys who ‘supposedly’ value intelligence but don’t think twice about leering all over the aesthetically beautiful… carry on ‘making yourself beautiful’ with fashion.
    Gilda: I’m glad you managed to overcome your problems regarding your skin. I’m not sure if I’d come out completely unscathed and I admire your self-acceptance, something I need to learn to do…

  70. This post has really touched me, probably more than you can imagine!
    For 7 years whilst I was at school, I was constantly bullied. They called me ugly, they laughed at my crooked teeth and at how I have naturally blonde hair and black, bushy eyebrows. They literally made my life a living hell! This was mainly from all of the “beautiful people”, and it made me hate myself. I really struggled to look in the mirror. I constantly had this little voice in the back of my head, telling myself that I was fat, ugly and everyone hated me.
    There was one incident in my physics class when my teacher was teaching us about reflection. He brought a mirror over to me in front of the whole class and told me to tell him what I saw. I, naturally, was highly embarassed and couldn’t face looking in the mirror, especially in front of the whole class. He could clearly see me moving away, not wanting to look, but he repeatedly kept on coming over to me with this mirror. Finally, he put it right in front of my face and merely said, “You can look away, but the reflection is always going to be there.” I was so humiliated, and the whole class laughed. I personally think it was a very cruel thing to say to an obviously highly insecure 13 year old.
    Through this really hard time, I basically took my comfort in fashion. I felt that if I clothed myself in something beautiful, I would somehow take on that beauty myself. However, if I ever leave the house wearing a boring outfit, that little voice comes back, bringing back the old insecurities. I can honestly say that fashion makes me love myself again, because I love fashion.
    Now that I’m seventeen, I’m afraid to say that those incidents from my past have left a scar. I am still very insecure about how I look and find it difficult to accept compliments. It used to drive my boyfriend mad, but I think I have gotten better at it now. I also find taking photos very, very hard, although this has improved. Unfortunately, this does mean that I only have two photos of my boyfriend and I, even though we have been together for eight months! However, I would never go as far as to saying I’m hideous anymore. I’m a couple of stone heavier than I was a year ago, and, even though that would have killed me back then, I can now accept being an average size, knowing that I’m healthy and also that my boy loves that I finally have a shape, haha! I hope that one day though, I can finally look in the mirror and think that I am truly beautiful.

  71. I would just like to say, I really enjoy the way that you write. I am also enamoured of your personal style, and find you to be quite a unique person, however, I understand that every humanbeing has insecurities – regaurdless, I find you tp be one of the coolest people that I have never met!
    Truly inspirational.

  72. I’m coming late to this party, but I want to make a point:
    I contend that that Kristen McMenamy is appallingly wonderful. How do you explain that?
    You look beautiful to me.

  73. I remember a similar theme coming up when you’d posted about Ugly Betty, and I honestly wish that the teens weren’t so painful, looks-wise. I grew up in a school full of skinny girls who looked like magazine covergirls at age 11 and 12, and being gawky and mildly overweight does NOT help in the popularity stakes (and I learned rather quickly not to let on about my interest in fashion magazines, since the first thing it gets you called is a lesbian- quite a killing insult to a pre-teen). It’s not that I got much better-looking as I grew older (I’m 22 now), but having the confidence to tell someone where to get off is a HUGE help. And much like you (though not anywhere near the same extent), fashion did become a bit of a refuge that I used to console myself when things looked particularly black.
    In some ways, Susie, I actually think your interest in the off-beat might be a result of those early feelings of exclusion, because nearly all my ex-perfect-girl classmates, whom I’ve met since at the odd reunion, have gotten incredibly conventional ideas of style. It’s like they never had to challenge themselves, and couldn’t risk looking daft onc in a while..in a good way. It’s actually the oddballs who look the most interesting to me now (of course, others may disagree, but still)..

  74. Hey Susie, I haven’t commented in a long time but still read your blog. 🙂 You probably won’t read this since I didn’t see this post till late.. all these comments from your readers are insightful and some of them, heartbreaking. actually I once wrote a very similar topic: on how I feel like I’m making up my unclassical, rather awkward face by upping my fashion which I kind of took it as “if I’m not really pretty, maybe I can substitute that with nicer clothes”.
    Don’t take it as something creepy, but I wish I was there to give you a hug! I think you have a unique (positive) face that stands out and is easily recognizable. 🙂
    Keep up with the wonderful work.

  75. holy crap
    it was really weird reading this because it’s exactly what i’ve been feeling and doing except ive never heard of it in words.

  76. holy crap
    it was really weird reading this because it’s exactly what i’ve been feeling and doing except ive never heard of it in words.

  77. hi, im 14 kinda young but agreed with what u said..
    a really pretty blonde bombshell-type friend of mine said “god alex do you EVER get pimples?!! ive never seen u with one, so unfair!!!” this was so funny because every day i look in the mirror and see my face covered with zits, and i’m embarrassed to death of my face. it just shows how often ur flaws are so magnified on urself and minimized on others… and that really almost everyone is doing this too.
    i guarantee to anyone even if they’re not conventionally “beautiful”, their personality, the things they say, who they are, can shine through their face and make them beautiful to the person who knows them
    well sorry for the little rant… anyways yes haha, a good outfit can always make u feel hot and its about how you feel anyway not wut other ppl think about you. and its funny how a hot outfit can be calling a lot of attention to urself.. but really ur using it to hide.

  78. oh geez, all these comments resonate with me SO MUCH! especially your post, susie!
    i definitely feel ugly almost all the time, and the moments i DO feel pretty are that much more torturous later when i get angry at myself for being delusional regarding my appearance. i have ALWAYS hated my nose and toy back and forth between rhinoplasty, when i can afford it. i’m just afraid of looking even worse than i do now.
    unlike some others i wasn’t teased when i was younger about my appearance, only my height (i’m a shorty, 4’11!). when i do get compliments, i don’t believe them.
    and i’ve definitely thought “well, if i wear amazing clothes nobody will notice my huge, pointy nose!”, but it’s a lot of upkeep.
    hating your face all the time gets exhausting, but it’s reassuring to know that someone as GORGEOUS as you, susie, feels the exact same way.

  79. also, someone mentioned this above but my ex-boyfriend told me that if i lived in europe, i would probably actually think of my nose as my best feature. they’re more open to the subjectivity of beauty, i feel. maybe it’s just france, with the whole jolie laide thing.

  80. well first of all i believe that it’s great writing this in your blog.meaning that many would just silence.but u didn’t.
    secondly OMM it’s a blog.u make whatever the hell u want.how can some people characterise it in such an ugly(again this word) way?i don’t know(and don’t want to know) how they look but their soul is black(i don’t know how else i can say it in english).i mean they r veeeeeery bad.
    i wanted also to tell u,Mrs Bubble,that i’m watching your blog a month now.and from the beginning what made me wonder was why we could not see a face at the fotos.i started reading it and i find it great.although this thing i think was pretty annoying.so when i read this article i understood your reasons.they r respectable ’cause everyone(that’s what i thought till now) has something on himself/herself that he/she doesn’t like it.but as i said before that’s YOUR blog.so concluding i’d like to ask u to start having fotos with your head in them.i really prefer them.’cause its YOU in them and not just clothes.after all WHAT MAKES FASHION A PASHION IT’S PEOPLE NOT ITSELF!u actually said it yourself by reffering to people like isabela blow,etc.it’s them that made it special.they can be UGLY or anything else we want them to be,but at least they are unique.they r not dolls or models.’cause don’t forget that a model’s job is to be pretty with ANYTHING he/she wears, and nothing else.they don’t give life to the cloth,contrast to what really stylish people do.isn’t it what style is?a way of life after all, and not the trade of your clothes!
    i think i said enough!
    and i’d like to contact with u actually.
    bb and enjoy what u r doing!
    great job!

  81. I feel slightly different. A lot of people, including you have said that if they have pretty clothes it will distract others from what they consider to be a flawed face. Instead when I feel down about myself (peculiar face…feet too small….tits too big…odd odd face) I just don’t want to wear any good clothes because I feel unworthy, and that it may attract attention.
    Doesn’t anyone else feel like this? haha…heres hoping.

  82. Susie & all commenters,
    Reading the post and all the comments made me tear up a bit, and I am in the middle of a very busy coffee shop. I think all the people who read this blog do realize the variability of beauty and that is why we have embraced fashion, and particularly your blog/style. As a feminist I am tempted to say we discard the categories of “ugly” and “pretty” as they have been used for far too long to make many smart women silent. (And popular media seems to exalt the beauty that men love: luscious lips and bodacious bods while relegating more “female appreciated beauty”: gamine features, etc to the category of “quirky”.) As a fashionista I say we have to create new categories that are fluid, that traverse, that refer to pretty but spotlight ingenuity. Thank-you for your achingly honest post; it’s what I love about this blog. Oh yeah, this is my first comment ever !!

  83. Although you seem to think it is lacking, I wish I had your self-assurance. Being so young, mine is still growing, and I can’t wait until the day I can walk out the door without giving a second thought about whether this boy will think I look pretty, or whether that girl will think I look silly.

  84. As an artist, I think that beauty is as subjective as art. To try and quantify what is beautiful is like trying to grade art. It is a wonderful way to spend time and express yourself, but it ultimately comes down to each person’s individual opinion. I may be the essence of ugliness for some, and the epitomy of beauty for others. Like you say, you can carry around the weight of your own opinion on your looks, or see yourself in the context of a spectrum of possibilities. I don’t think you should ever confine yourself to never being beautiful. It is a fact that to someone, somewhere, we all are.

  85. You’re a gorgeous girl! Seriously. You have awesome skin. And a cute heart shaped face. and pretty eyes. And full lips. And a in-proportion nose. And your hair gives you a strong look!
    I think a lot of people have insecurities and I applaud you for being strong and brave enough to share them with us.
    I also think people have a limited idea of what beauty is when there are all sorts out there, practically everywhere you look, not just the standard conventional beauty.
    Hey you manage to find potential and beauty in items and combinations of clothing that I initially would not even consider and make them look fantastic (and challenging me on my thoughts about style) so why can’t you see that in yourself?

  86. Hi Susie~
    I can’t believe the nerve of people who come to your blog and tell you such absurd sh*t. You are freakin awesome. I might not agree with all your fashion choices, but I love that you make those choices. I think you’re SUCH a fascinating, smart and admirable woman! I love that you aren’t like the other bloggers. (Honestly, I think they all dress alike and see them as one giant conglomerate blog.) Your blog is the only fashion blog bookmarked amongst my many politics, news and pop culture sites because you’re the only one whose opinions I’m really interested in. The other girls are okay. You’re awesome.
    Also, I think the other girls take much more care to come out prettier in their pictures… I love your pictures because they seem much more raw and personal.

  87. how can you be so ungrateful and claim that you’re not an attractive person? that’s ridiculous. you’re not “attractive in your own way”, you’re genuinely pretty. You have a beautiful doll’s face and I (as a self-conscious girl) would kill for your prettiness.
    I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you because I don’t think you could be considered as jolielaide … as much as I adore the concept and many of your given examples, you don’t belong in that category as you’re simply very very pretty, there’s nothing ugly about your face.

  88. A few years late to the party, but…I feel the same way but it’s hard to understand how someone like YOU feels that way!! To me you are objectively lovely and your doll-like looks are the perfect canvas for the looks you create.

  89. You have developed tremendously (externally and internally). Everyone has positive features and sometimes you can’t see them because of all the hateful comments from other people (even from those that you might have admired). I have never received any compliments from the one person that I admired the most, I have proved this person otherwise that I am better in so many ways than just how I appear to them. As much as I admire the fashion industry, it is dreadful to see how the majority of us will always care about how we look to others. (Can’t we all just be judged by who we are in the inside?) There are eclectic ones like you (Susie) and Tavi, putting together your own definition of style. Fashion allows us to be defined by the clothes we put on not just in the fashion industry, but even in the business industry where though the clothing style is much more parallel, as a women, being fully covered up in a suit makes me feel that much more powerful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *