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Feminspire | April 24, 2014

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Who is Beth? An Introduction to Feminspire’s New Fashion & Beauty Writer!

Who is Beth? An Introduction to Feminspire’s New Fashion & Beauty Writer!

Hiya readers! I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself and my background since I’m one of the new fashion and beauty writers here at Feminspire. Plus, I’m sure everyone is thinking, “Why the heck should we be trusting this girl with style advice?”

No worries, you shall all be met with great assurance. Initially, I made a video, and it was complete with lots of beautifully articulated “Um’s” and “Annnnd’s” – but sadly, fate intervened, and iMovie decided to remix the entire thing. Technology is a fussy-bussy. So here’s my intro in a compact and less goofy form.

What is your background in fashion and beauty?

I first became interested in fashion and beauty in high school when I dyed my hair pink. I had seen, get this, a photo of Kelly Clarkson with fake pink streaks in her hair and thought, “Sure, why not?” Pink hair was a huge deal since I attended a conservative Catholic high school, and I’m still pretty shocked I never got in trouble for it. This was the catalyst for experimenting with style and wanting to be weird in a beautiful way. So um, thanks, Kelly Clarkson?

There were lots of instances of classmates approaching me, completely befuddled, asking, “Why are you even wearing that?” Fashion gives you thick skin, my friends.

After high school, I modeled for a few years with an agency, but things became repetitive, so I left and freelanced. Model gone rogue! Now there’s a good title for a reality show. (Step aside, Tyra!) I didn’t get paid much, and when I did, it was in clothes, shoes or beauty services. That’s what happens when you’re from a “big-little” city like Milwaukee. So now I just model if the project sounds fun or if a friend asks for a favor.

Fashion is my hobby and my passion. It’s always evolving and morphing into something even more perplexing. The best thing about the fashion world is you can take what you want from it. You can take it seriously, but if you’re like me, you take it with a grain of salt and have fun and buy hats with horns.

What first made you aware of feminism?

I remember being around 10 years old, and my father made a comment somewhere along the lines of, “Only men can be good chefs,” and it just blew my mind. It seemed so strange to disagree with one of my parents for the first time, but I knew there was something inherently wrong with that statement. For years, what my father said has stuck with me and reminded me to keep fighting.

When I moved into the city for college, I really began to get frustrated. I walked a lot, on and around campus, and found that harassment became a part of my daily routine. Whether it was cars honking, men catcalling or yelling at me, or even creepy people following me around, I didn’t feel safe. Experiencing everything from anger to fear, it became apparent that something was unbalanced, and I began seeking out other women who not only felt the same rage, but also openly discussed solutions.

The internet has been a huge help. From forums to books to super rad websites like Feminspire, I wouldn’t be who I am today without the majestic world wide web.

But even now, I consider going across the street and not getting honked at an achievement. If I can successfully walk to my car and not hear a honk, holler or some form of harassment, it’s a good day. And that, my friends, is sad.

Tying it all together! How are feminism and beauty/fashion related?

I dress for myself. I don’t dress for anyone else. I dress the way I do because I want to empower myself. Fashion is about making a statement. Even when I’m at home alone, I play dress up. A hat with horns? Sure. Drop crotch pants? Get me a pair. I can’t help it. If something is a little strange, a little off-key, it’s interesting to me.

There’s so much propaganda out there about how women should dress for men, and it’s utterly ridiculous. It’s mind-boggling to see headlines like, “How to Dress to Get a Man,” or “10 Fashion Mistakes Single Women Make!” People actually read this stuff and take it to heart.

Have fun with your appearance. Be happy with yourself, and the happier you are, the more powerful you’ll feel. Don’t follow the rules. I hate the philosophy of taking one thing off before you leave the house. Heck, pile more stuff on. If you like that bracelet you’re wearing, rock it. If you want to wear clashing patterns, absolutely do it. You’re the one in control.

It’s your body. Your style is your own. Fashion is about saying, “Hey, this is me, and you can take it or leave it, but I’m gonna stay this way.”

Get ready for the most ironic and oxymoronic (whoa, that’s a word?!) piece of advice ever. Fashion: Seriously, have fun.

Seriously.

Random facts about myself: 

- I have two beautiful rats. I call them the fuzzbutt troop, and they’re incredibly loving, intelligent and eager to eat everything in the world.
- I don’t believe in paying full price for anything online. There are always discount codes, secret sales or little gems on the internet, like the oh-so-wondrous Ebay.
- My favorite best-worst movie of all time is Batman and Robin. “Everybody, freeze!”

Do you have any questions for me? Have you had any similar experiences? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Beth Musni
Check out her blog, EveryRoadARunway!