Today is International Women’s Day! In honor of this holiday I thought I’d share a more personal post of sorts. I have had this post written in my head for a while now but today inspired me to actually write it down. Also, sorry, totally forgot we were supposed to wear red today! I’ll wear it IRL, off of the blog. 😉
I gotta tell you. At the end of 2016 I was really struggling with the blog, mostly just wondering what the point is, and what I was doing. Sure, of course, my blog supports me and earns money and is fun to write and all that but I always like to feel like I am doing something substantial that is making a difference in some shape or form. When I was at BaubleBar, I took a lot of pride in being a good boss and in helping to build a company from scratch (I was one of their first employees so watching that growth was really cool and incredibly satisfying). Blogging has been really cool – building this community, watching my site and social channels grow… but at the end of the day, running a lifestyle blog can feel pretty damn superficial at times. Buy these clothes! Try these beauty products! Yay! I’m not saying it isn’t fun, I’m not saying I don’t love what I do (I do, desperately!) but when current events start going haywire, you start to really think about stuff and question everything.
We talked about the election and how that made me feel. I felt like crap. I’m not here to get political today but I will say one thing – if there is one good thing that came out of this election it’s how informed and interested (obsessed?) in politics I’ve become… and I can say that about a lot of my peers. Two years ago I barely read the news and was so out of touch. I am really ashamed and sad to admit that, but it’s the truth. Now I read the news every day and finally feel like I can keep up with conversations about what is going on in the world around me.
Outfit Details: Harris Wharf London Jacket // Tibi Peplum (a couple years old but love this, this, and this) // Good American Jeans // Nicholas Kirkwood Lace Ballet Flats // Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses // BaubleBar Pom Pom Earrings (also love this, this, and this)
Look for Less: Jacket // Top // Jeans // Flats // Bag
So anyway, blogging is really fun. It started as a side project and became my full time gig and I am so thankful for that. BUT, sh*t started hitting the fan in November and I started to think, and think really hard… am I making a difference? Am I doing good, or just making people buy stuff?!? I felt kind of bad about myself. I’ve never had a hard time coming up with content for the blog. I can usually talk about eyelashes and pink and face creams and Tulum and Charleston and Net-a-Porter’s latest arrivals until I am blue in the face. But it started to feel really hard to write my usual content when there is so much other stuff going on in the world (and frankly, if you have limited time in your day I would prefer that you read the news than read my blog. Epiphanies aside, I still feel that way, for the record.).
But I kept at it (of course, because it was Q4!) I posted twice a day most days, and just forced myself to write no matter how hard it was.
But then over time, something wonderful happened! I started to touch (rather lightly) on a few issues that are important to me (feminism, staying informed, staying sane, transgender rights) and you guys responded so well to them. Your comments, your tweets, your emails… it was amazing. I felt renewed, and started to remember why I loved blogging again. And more importantly, it made me think… hey, maybe I can do both! Maybe I could make this blog a place where yes… most days it is an escape… (and through your comments I’ve started to realize the wonderful escapism that comes with reading blogs… kind of like watching that THREE HOUR Bachelor episode on Monday – that was my escape) but also talk to you about the things that are important. And so that is what I have been doing, and your response has made me so so happy. I post, on average, ten times a week and maybe one of those posts reflects current events and issues… the rest of the time we talk about the shinier, sparkly side of life… and it’s completely reinvigorated me.
The Fug Girls posted this tweet the other night and I thought they say it brilliantly. You can still care about politics and global issues but love pretty shoes and lipstick. And you can still want to make a difference in the world but also like to look nice while doing it. You can care about your hair but also know that it doesn’t define you. These things are not mutually exclusive. So that’s that. I want to do both. And I’m going to. In a bipartisan way, in a graceful way, but in a way that gets us to have a conversation. That’s where you guys come in. Your comments on these more personal posts are everything. They keep me going and in many cases a) keep me on my toes, b) make me see the world a little bit differently, c) teach me something new, or d) inspire me to just be a better human.
Today, on International Women’s Day, I wanted to share a few things that I want for you. Maybe these are things I would say to my daughter if I had one but I don’t have a daughter so I’m saying ’em to you. And to me, too, because it’s important to take your own advice.
ONE // I want you to understand that it’s fine to care about looks and feeling good about ourselves but our looks aren’t what defines us. What defines you is the person inside. We all have our hangups. Do I wish I was a few pounds skinnier? That my forehead weren’t quite so big? That my hands were daintier? (Seriously guys, my hands are gigantic – it’s actually funny.) Of course. But at the end of the day, looks are looks. If looking good and feeling put together gives you confidence (hand raised), that is wonderful. But the thing that matters most is who you are on the inside. So don’t feel guilty for caring about the superficial stuff… but focus the bulk of your energy on how you are helping others and what you’re doing to make a real change in the world.
TWO // I want you to be assertive and not care so much about being likeable. I am so guilty of this. At heart I’m a people pleaser and I care deeply about what other people think. But at some point (I think it was this summer, at the ripe old age of 34) I decided I’d had enough. The only person I really need to keep happy is myself. Of course it’s important to be a good friend and family member, but keeping strangers and acquaintances (or men I was dating) happy? That’s really not all that important. Lately I’ve taken to just saying what I feel. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s not. If a new friend is flaky, I’m less likely to make plans with them again. If a guy does me wrong, he’s going to hear exactly what he did and why I’m through with him. (Why do we have to be silent about this stuff? Speak your mind, ladies… I truly believe that guys get away with the crap they pull because we are too focused on being cool – no one calls them out! Call. them. out. At the end of the day, if a man is misbehaving it is probably not going to work out, so why not?)
THREE // I want you to have friends with differing political views than your own… Disagreement and debate is important. You may have gathered from reading here (or twitter) that I’m pretty liberal in my political beliefs. I am proud of my political views, but some of my nearest and dearest are conservative. And you know what? We have the best talks – usually over a bottle of wine. I always learn something new over these chats, and I certainly have developed a more compassionate approach to “the other side.” Another good way to get the other side is to sign up for The Polar News – it provides you with the biggest stories, told from both sides.
FOUR // I want you (us) to be able to openly talk about sexism. Especially in the workplace. I’m 35 and have been working for a long time and to be honest I don’t know if things have gotten better or if I just put myself into better situations (working for a female-led company at BaubleBar and now, working for myself.) I’m going to share three examples of things that happened to me in the workplace that really sucked. I’m older now and would have handled things differently, but these all happened before I had even turned 25 – it was really shitty to deal with them. It’s scary to even write them down now but I know a lot of you have probably experienced similar things, and I also know a lot of you are on the younger side. This stuff is not okay.
In my first job, I was an assistant buyer in the women’s fragrances department for a big department store. There were two of us assistant buyers in the office… a guy (Adam) and a girl (me). I was 22 years old… this was so long ago! We reported to the most wonderful buyer, Alan. Alan is and was still one of the best bosses I ever had and the three of us were a little family. But Alan noticed that the women we worked with treated me very differently from Adam. They loved him but complained about me (and my “attitude”) constantly. We had probably 20-30 women, (mostly all older – women who had been in the industry for years and years and years, most of the having had to fight and climb their way up from the beauty counter to senior level sales positions.) calling upon us every day to get their reports, share new product launches and line sheets, and so on and so forth. I loved my job but was having a hard time and was told that I was cold and unfriendly. (I was just trying to be professional!) One day, Alan pulled me aside and told me I had to “soften my approach.” Back then I was all business. I didn’t understand why I had to be all sugary to get my job done. But in this case, I had to. I started softening my approach and being more chatty. I’d compliment their blouse, tell them how pretty they looked, that sort of thing. Within weeks they were won over, telling Alan what a great job I was doing and how the quality of my work had improved. The funny part is that because I’d become so chatty I was probably doing less actual work, but no one really cared about that. The crappy part is that Adam could have said anything to any of these women, and he would still be a “doll.” In some cases, it’s women that are the worst to each other. This is an example of that.
Also in that job (by then I had softened up my approach and started to be my bubbly self again in the workplace), there was an office happy hour. The handbag buyer took it upon himself to give me “some advice.” Because you know, he really just wanted to help me. Give me some good career advice He then proceeded to get up into my face and tell me how no one would ever take me seriously because of how I looked and dressed and because I acted too “ditzy.” Mind you, I’d just had my first review and was one of the more highly ranked assistant buyers on the floor so I certainly did not need his “helpful advice,” but I didn’t know any better. I wriggled my way around him (somehow I had gotten pinned into a corner), and went home and cried myself to sleep. I actually don’t even know if I’ve ever told anyone this story. Back then I internalized everything so much, and took his crap “advice” to heart.
The last example happened in New York when I was 25, and was the most serious out of all of them. Ten years later I can see that I was just a pawn in office politics but it still doesn’t make it any better. I was working for a company that had been acquired by a bigger company. At the time we had two VPs of marketing, one of whom would eventually replace the other one. This was another big learning experience: acquisitions of companies can be very tricky, very political, and bring out the worst in everyone. At the time I was very junior (and also very naive) and my boss was on maternity leave. While she was out, I reported into one of the VPs (the new one, from the company that was doing the acquiring). You can probably see where this is going. This guy was one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. In hindsight, I learned marketing from him – he taught me how to think critically, how to take ownership for my brands, and how to lead a (small) team. In all honesty, I had a little bit of a schoolgirl crush on him (all of the girls in the office did as he was handsome and kind- but he was also so much older than us and married with three kids… ew, gross!). Well, someone – either the other VP or one of his cohorts (who knows!) started a rumor that we were sleeping together. Again, I reacted completely differently than I would today (so many tears, throwing up in the office bathrooms because I couldn’t believe anyone would think that I’d do that! My morals! My character!!!), whereas today I would have quit and gotten lawyers involved and sued the company for creating a hostile work environment. I took it so personally but at the end of the day I was just really a pawn in a stand-off between the two VPs. I didn’t know what a hostile work environment really meant back then, but it was – the looks I received in the hallways, the way my own boss treated me when she returned back to the office, the constant trips to HR… I had panic attacks every morning before work. It was truly awful. I literally wouldn’t wish any of it on my worst enemy.
This was oversharing, and hard to write. But as with so many things, I really believe that talking about this stuff takes the stigma out of it. And things are a lot better today but I honestly don’t know if that’s because of age, working for myself and/or a female-led company for the past six, almost seven years, or if things have actually gotten better.
So yay! Girl power!!!! Jk jk… TBH that term makes me cringe a little. Kinda like girl boss. Yuck. But you know what? Get out there and celebrate your fellow females today. Lift each other up, do something nice. Tell a smart woman in your life how clever you think she is. Call your mom and tell her how much you appreciate her. Tweet at your senator or your favorite female journalist and tell her she’s doing an awesome job. Send your best girlfriends flowers. Paint your nails. Or don’t – your nails are lovely without polish too. These are all good things. Do them.
PS – I’m on Shopstyle’s homepage today, talking about what it means to me to be a strong woman. 🙂
photography by Lydia Hudgens.
This is a beautiful post and yes I agree 100% with all of it. As a fairly new blogger (and over 40 at that) I am trying really hard to balance the fun and superfluous with the helpful and sometimes serious. And you are right, you can love beautiful things and care about how you look without letting it define you. I wish I had written that!!!!!!
it can be really hard! i’m so glad you agree though. have a great day, carrie! xx
Absolutely loved reading this!
aw thanks elizabeth! xx
Your shoes and top are super cute! You’re looking adorable in this casual yet glamorous outfit! LOVE your top and ballerinas.
aw, thank you natali!
Such a cute look. And what beautiful words you’ve shared. I think number 1 is still a bit hard for me, as someone who’s always had self-confidence issues. Getting better day by day, though!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
thanks so much charmaine! xx
Such a beautiful post. Thanks for staying real with us! That jacket is everything and you look gorg!
xo elle // https://splashofpreppy.com
aw, thanks elle! xx
Amazing post. You’re such a strong woman and I never would’ve imagined that you went through that stuff. I’m really lucky to have worked in companies that had mostly female workers and I was actually astonished at how nice everyone was. But unfortunately, it’s not that way for everyone. But we’ll keep fighting and one day no one will have to go through anything like what you’ve been through.
thanks for such a sweet comment marta. you are lucky. after those experiences I never failed to appreciate the women I worked with (or try to be a good boss, better to my female counterparts, and so on and so forth). those experiences sucked at the time but they definitely made me stronger in the long run! have a great day! xx
you’re welcome 🙂
I love this post and all that it stands for. That being said, including Khloe Kardashian’s jeans doesn’t seem to fit – there are PLENTY of denim brands to choose from that don’t associate with a celebrity who advocates losing weight and being skinny to “get revenge on an ex.” How does that fit into a post about feminism? I understand cute jeans are cute jeans just as Ivanka’s shoes can be cute too, but you have a platform that lets your voice be heard and I think the items featured should include more thought.
thanks for the thoughtful comment casey. you know, that’s funny. when I think of good american jeans I think about gabi fresh who is one of my favorite bloggers and such a trailblazer in the plus-size community and was a part of the campaign. i have followed her for years and LOVED seeing her up on nordstrom’s homepage when they launched. i loved that the brand was so inclusive – including sizing and models of all sizes. also, their jeans fit me better and flatter better than any pair of jeans I’ve ever owned. so i guess we’ll have to respectfully disagree.
i actually don’t follow the kardashians. i don’t read about them (so I don’t even know what you are talking about getting skinny to get revenge, actually – haha) but I gotta say, i love these jeans.
(also for the record I threw out all of my ivanka shoes during the election.)
Thanks for your thoughtful response! It is always helpful to hear perspective 🙂
Re: Revenge Body – it is her reality show about helping women lose weight after a bad breakup. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/12/khloe-kardashian-flaunts-her-sexy-revenge-body-but-can-t-seem-to-find-her-niche.html
oh my gosh yuck. thanks for responding back – and sharing that. the whole “revenge body” concept grosses me out I can’t stand the kardashians and my way of “boycotting them” is to not pay them an ounce of attention – that’s what they want, after all. So I guess I did support them (oops) by buying these jeans but it was for me, about supporting Gabi… and featuring a pair of jeans that fits and flatters so well.
At the end of the day I guess there are different thresholds for me. the kardashians are gross and annoying, but trump is despicable. 🙂
Hi, Grace I really enjoy reading your blog, but this comment you made regarding the Kardashians made me a little upset. I understand you have your opinions and disagree with things they’ve done, but I don’t see the need to call them “gross and annoying” when you just mentioned how we should” Get out there and celebrate your fellow females today. Lift each other up, do something nice”. I don’t think that was a very nice thing to say. Again, I respect you opinion to not like them I just feel it could have been said in a better way in a post about uplifting women.
hey elizabeth, thank you for the comment! i think sometimes i’m too candid in my responses to comments here – i talk to you guys like i would talk to a friend whereas in my blog posts i’m a lot more careful. i’m sorry it upset you. i don’t like them, but you are right, calling them gross probably wasn’t necessary. have a great day!
What a wonderful post. Thank you for writing this and sharing the stories.
Keep these posts coming here and there!
thank you so much tracy!!! appreciate the encouragement 🙂 xo
YAY! Girl power! I love love love these posts where you open up and bestow some bo$$ wisdom on me. As a 24 year old in her second job, this post is one that I’ll take to heart!
aw, thank you shannon!!! i’m happy you liked the post and i hope that hearing my stories is helpful. xx
Great post! Thanks for sharing your experiences
happy you enjoyed it! x
this is seriously so good and I love it. i am so happy you’re posting more personal stuff like this!
a dreamy porch makeover is on my blog today!
aw, glad to hear it! thanks brittany! x
I love your sunglasses.
What a great post! Thank you for sharing. I really love reading your blog because you post good content and are in your thirties. I’m turning 32 soon and in a job I hate at a predominantly male company. My co-workers are all great people, but I still find myself wearing frumpy clothes to the office to conceal my figure. Your job as a blogger really does seem like a dream job to me and it’s clear that you spend a lot of time creating content on thestripe. A lot of other bloggers just seem to be shilling sh*t all the time and come off as so annoying and unauthentic. Reading your blog reminds me of reading a magazine that’s always featuring the latest/greatest fashion and beauty products. You’re so lucky to have this as your job and I know you know that. You seem very talented, so if the blog feels strange to you then don’t be afraid to try something else. You can always keep this going with less posts a week while venturing onto something new.
Also – love your outfit in this post. So pretty and feminine.
I’m posting my name as anonymous since I referenced my current job. 🙂
thank you 🙂 x
Grace your blog becomes my favorite more and more! Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve had a hard time with the current climate, but some of my favorite people on the other side of the aisle and I have to say that I respect everything you’re doing here. I’ve experienced sexism before, (Like in debate in high school when I was known as the b-word because I was one of the top debaters in the state) Hearing other women’s stories makes me even more determined to change it!
thank you ashley! that is so sweet of you to say. have a great day! xx
Thank you for your openness and for sharing your truth! Have a great day ahead, lady!
aw thanks jenn – you have a great day as well! xx
I enjoyed the stories of your early employment situations….those must have been difficult at that age. Although I am a conservative, I respect that as Americans we can have different opinions! However, your comment about throwing out your Ivanka shoes during the election seems contradictory to your post. Really? (I love Ivanka’s line!)
I really appreciate that as a conservative you can come here and we can agree to disagree on certain topics and issues. That conversation is so important! I think Ivanka is probably something we’ll have to disagree upon. I don’t want to get into politics today though 🙂
Grace, I so appreciate the first point you make – that our looks don’t define us. But it rings a little hollow when, further down, you refer to one of your former coworkers as “grossly overweight and if we are being honest was one of the most revolting humans I’ve ever met.” Even if you mean his personality was revolting (which it certainly sounds like it is!), by bringing up his weight it seems as though you’re making a value judgment on him based on his weight and appearance.
oh man AJ you are so right. and i’m sorry. i included that to give color to the story (what i remember most about it was being pinned into the corner, his stomach touching mine) but looking back it was unnecessary. i removed that bit from the story. truly mean it when i say i appreciate comments like this. you keep me on my toes.
Much respect for this!
thank you 🙂
Brilliant idea sharing these experiences, Grace–so often we’re made to feel shame for these situations we were in no way responsible for. Comparing notes with one another helps restore that power!
I can definitely identify with your experiences: Starting out, all of my friends and I were alternately labeled, “Too bossy,” “Not assertive enough,” “entitled,” etc. when we were truly just giving our best efforts to get the job done. *A lot* was projected on us. Our male peers, meanwhile, were subject to no scrutiny (and much more praise).
There’s so much in justice, it can be easy to dismiss these incidents as minor. So, this post is an excellent reminder to give props to your female coworkers when earned… great work is great work, period.
thank you eden!i agree with EVERYTHING you just wrote!
Such a great post! One of my favorite things about your blog is that you post on a variety of different topics. I love that you can post about the latest beauty trend one day and the next day you talk about something more serious like politics or women’s rights. I think the diversity in your content is great and it keeps me coming back! Keep up the great work and happy International Women’s Day! Thank you for all that you do!
aw, thank you so much angela!! i am happy to hear that you appreciate more posts like this one! xx
GRACE! Loved this personal post. Well, I’m sorry all of those shitty things happened to you (especially that last one, OMG), but you can tell that they shaped you and helped you grow. I’m still VERY junior as far as the corporate world is concerned (Associate level), but I have two UNREAL (female) bosses and work with countless other inspiring people – so it’s safe to say that I’m really lucky to get to learn from them and have positive experiences here. As far as blogging, it’s people like YOU who inspire me and make me want to not only be a better influencer, but also just be a better, cooler citizen (I started reading more about politics to educate myself and not let other opinions persuade me). So thank you!!! You’re doing an amazing job at “doing both”!
Pink Champagne Problems
thank you so much for the comment dana! it was so crappy. but it did make me a better person and ultimately a better boss when I managed my own team. thank you so much for the kind words, truly so sweet of you! have a great day! xoxo
This was such a thoughtful, genuine post Grace! I love that you’ve started covering weightier topics and you’ve done so in such an eloquent way. Keep it up!
Sorry to hear about your earlier work incidents. Sadly, I think most of us have similar stories from our 20s. I’d like to think that things have changed, but part of me thinks we just age out.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Caitlin | http://sunnystyleblog.com/
thank you caitlin. i think you are right in that we’ve probably just aged out of it. you enjoy the rest of your week as well!
Thanks for sharing your workplace stories – I think back to some of what happened when I was in my 20s and I certainly wish I had spoken up more – it’s so easy for women to think it’s something that we did or that it’s just the way it is. Having women hear from other women that it is NOT ok is very important. It’s especially bad for women in male dominated fields (the story out of Uber that came out recently is an example).
Having to be more chatty to get along with other women? It is frustrating that men can just be competent, women have to be competent and warm (but not too warm or we’re seen as less competent… or get our warmth misinterpreted by the guys!). It gets to be exhausting sometimes.
hi janet! thank you for the thoughtful comment. IT is frustrating. if you’re not chatty and bubbly you are cold, but if you are too chatty you are ditzy! exhausting is the perfect word to describe it!
This was a great post! I’m deeply saddened to say that my worst bosses have been women. So catty, so passive aggressive. I had a female boss that literally made me ill (it was later determined I had an ulcer from the stress of seeing her every day) and because I too was young and naive (this was my first job out of college), I put up with it. Never, ever again. I look forward to raising a daughter stronger than myself, and though mine is only 10 months old at the moment, I have hope for her future.
i’ve had the same experience!!! i am happy to say that i’ve also had some incredible female bosses. so they aren’t all bad of course… but it’s such a bummer when women treat other women poorly. 🙁 all you can do is either a) aspire to be a better boss to the women you manage and b) do as you are doing and raise strong daughters! thanks for sharing! xx
I hate it when people say women can do any job and are equal, there are no issues. There are SO many issues! Thank you for sharing your stories.
I’m wearing my red today! I couldn’t take off because I have less than an hour of leave, since my years of building it up was completely demolished thanks to two maternity leaves. Yeah, the fact that I’m of a sex that can reproduce so now have to live with years of unpaid leave is ridiculous.
Back to you & the blog- I appreciate your more serious posts mixed in with the more frivolous ones. We need both for sure & I always think you do a great job of making the posts a conversation. Our political views align but I think you handle it all with *ahem* grace!
haha, this is so true. there really are so many issues. happy that you’ve enjoyed the more serious posts as well. have a great day kellie! i’m sorry you couldn’t take the day off. i didn’t either (one woman show, ha ha) but i loved that so many people did.
btw since you didn’t take the day off, you may enjoy this! http://www.upworthy.com/21-ways-to-participate-in-womens-strike-even-if-you-cant-take-off-work?c=ufb1
Thank you SO MUCH for your post. I just turned 20 and since starting college last year I am thinking so much more about these issues, especially with the election. I have started to wonder and try to figure out how I fit into the world where I love being a woman and feminine but do not love the stereotypes and inequality. Every day I am starting to notice it more. Sometimes I wonder how my life will be different than I thought it would be when I was growing up because of the way traditions are starting to reveal sexism… but this post helped me so much. THANK YOU for telling your stories. You did not overshare–society wants you to think you are oversharing because it wants you to be quiet about your injustice. But we have to share our stories. Women are great storytellers because we HAVE to learn from each other’s experiences in this world. Thank you so much for this post.
katherine – thank you so much for the kind words on my post!! i am really happy you enjoyed it. xx
Amazing post and so appreciated!!!
thanks, sb! xx
Absolutely love everything you said (and that adorable outfit!) I don’t even really have words to respond because you wrote so eloquently. I will say though that I’ve always admired you for being not only very genuine, but smart, and not afraid to delve deeper. Glad you realized that you can ‘do both.’
aw, thank you so much sam!!! appreciate the kind words and encouragement SO MUCH! x
I have always enjoyed your blog, but this new direction you are taking is making me LOVE your blog and you. Thank you!
aw, thank you cory! xx
love this so much!
thanks my friend! x
Today, as always, I am so proud to call you a friend. I am SO sorry that you had to deal with those issues. I wish I would have known / been able to help. Thank you for sharing. I am sure it was hard. Please know how loved and respected you are. You bring light into our lives with your blog.
In solidarity I share two stories of my own experiences:
1) My first full time legal job was as the first in-house counsel for a small “family” of life sciences companies. They were owned by a husband/wife duo that barely spoke. I was also the head of HR at this point and the reporting structure for any harassment was me, the wife, or the husband. One day I went into the husband’s office to get some docs signed. As we went through chit chat, I asked what he had planned for the weekend (it was a Friday). He said “Oh, I’ve got a ‘honey-do’ list” Me: haha. *silence* Me (filling the silence): “I’m going to be an extra in a movie.” Him (without a beat): “A porno?”….. ugh.
2) My second job was with a telecom company and the sales guys were super old school frat boys. Telecom is one of those strangely misogynistic industries. I was constantly being told that I was “too tough” or “not diplomatic” with how I interacted with sales guys. Mind you, my male counterpart was the same but got no such feedback. It was my birthday and one of the sales guys found out as I was on a quick call with him. He asked how old I was. I believe I was 31-32. His response to this was: “Oh I get it now!! You’re just trying to be a big girl!!” What… in the …. actual….F. Again, I didn’t really know what to do I was just angry.
I hope you have a fabulous day today and know how important you are to so many people in your life, Grace.
Love you! BSDH
aw thanks bobbi! and thank you for sharing your stories!! xx
This was an amazing post. I absolutely love that you talk about both on your blog and I would love for you to keep doing it!
Thank you for also sharing your past experiences. It’s a reminder that everyone needs to remember that everyone’s experience is different and it’s important to always support our fellow colleagues.
aw thanks, dana! xx
Thanks for sharing but more importantly for being YOU.
aw thank you rachel! x
You are a freaking rockstar- to use another cliche annoying phrase, this post gave me so, so much life. As someone who currently works in an industry that is completely male dominated and often frustratingly so, it was really empowering to hear about the experiences you have had. Not in the sense that it is helpful to know that other people are going through the same things, but in the sense that I applaud you for not being hard on yourself for how you handled those things in the moment.
It is so easy to look back and say how you would have handled something differently, or “better” with some hindsight, but as someone who is still in their twenties and figuring it out as I go, I appreciate your perspective so much here. This post inspires me to feel empowered to speak up for myself in those moments, but also reminds me that it is ok to let yourself feel upset when these things do happen.
Please keep these types of posts coming- it is so so important in our current political landscape to be informed and to be open and honest about your viewpoints. But I also thank you for the beautiful photos and outfits, because sometimes a distraction is incredibly welcomed.
thank you lindsay!! i’m really happy that you found the post to be helpful truly appreciate the encouragement 🙂
The internet needs more of you, Grace! Your tweets perfectly balance how women feel today – that we need wine and the bachelor to disconnect from the world unfolding around us but when you look cute, it isn’t bad to share that!
Thank you for acknowledging that it is easy for bloggers and influencers to keep everything surface level and thank you for stepping away from that and realizing your voice goes much further when you open up and get to know/ understand your audience!
Cannot wait to continue to read your blog and I know we will get through 2017 & beyond together, stronger than ever.
that’s so kind of you to say brianna – and i’m glad you like my tweets… twitter is my favorite social channel! xo
You inspire me!!!!! Loved this article and can 100% relate. Miss you so much babe!!!!
you inspire ME! haha. miss you so much sweet friend!! hope to see you soon! xoxoxo
Grace, I just adore this post. First, I love that you’ve been speaking out. In a time like this, it’s really, really important. Also your advice. It’s all so true! You need to do things for you, and not worry about what other people think (to a degree, of course, like you said it’s important to be kind and good, espc to your friends and family.) I always try to remind myself that for all the time I’m thinking about my own life/problems, other people are doing the same with their own. No one is thinking about you that much, so just do you!
And the stories. I can’t believe you went through that (all of them, but the last one especially!) I’m still pretty new into my professional career, and feel really lucky that I’ve worked with a lot of amazing women who want younger employees to succeed. It’s scary to think what some women go through in the workplace, and makes me inspired to to do something to change it.
Basically, I really adore this post and posts like it are one of the (many) reasons I love your blog! Can’t wait to see even more content like this from you.
Oh, and I love this outfit, too 🙂
thank you so so much for your comment and encouragement diana (today but also every day, you’ve always been so supportive!)
i’m really happy that my advice and stories resonated with you. hugs! xo
One of my favorite posts you’ve ever written!!!
aw, thank you, sweet friend! I can not wait to see you SO SO SOON!!! 4 days? big hugs from nyc!
Grace. I LOVE this most. So much. As a long time reader of your blogs, and lots of blogs in general, I can definitely sense a change in the industry. I think you hit the nail on the head with this post and it’s so reassuring to hear the blogger’s real feelings behind (let’s face it) a lot of fluff.
I also really appreciate you opening up about your story. I had a similar experience of working in a hostile environment for an older man who often made comments about how I looked. He definitely treated me differently than the other men in the office. Looking back I would’ve done so many things different as well (probably like you, would’ve talked to a lawyer), but sometimes those bad experiences really teach you to value yourself.
Keep these IRL posts comin!!
thank you hannah!
that is awful awful awful… i’m sorry you went through that!
appreciate the kind words of encouragement. 🙂 x
What a wonderful post! You truly are an inspiration. Love your writing! x
you’re so sweet sydne – thank you! xx
Grace!!!!!! I am SOOO happy that you are invigorated to now share “pretty” and “serious” stuff on the blog… you know what I mean!! The beauty of being your own boss and managing such an amazing platform is the flexibility that it gives you to deliver what you want AND what your readers want. But really though, your passion and thoughtfulness on a wide range of issues/topics is what makes ME excited about what you write/share here. You are one incredible woman! 🙂
PS: Ever since you shared that the expression “girlboss” made you cringe… it started making me cringe as well! HA HA I love the concept but the word choice sounds so undermining. Girlboss should definitely be re-branded! 😉
ha ha, I am so glad I’m not the only one!! 🙂
thanks so much for the encouragement and kind words, lisa – so appreciated! xx
Grace-This is why I love your blog. You don’t pretend the world isn’t happening and you keep it real! I’m sure that the blog isn’t always the real you, but you make us /feel/ like it’s the real you, and that’s the power of your writing and your voice but also what I do think is your authentic self. So thank you for being a place that doesn’t pretend!
thank you so much, chelsea!!! truly appreciate the support + kind words!
Such a great post, Grace!! Your blog is the best and you are doing a really beautiful job balancing the fun fashion and beauty stuff with the more serious political stuff. I love reading it all – keep it up!!! xxx
aw thanks so much for the encouragement, katherine! hope you are well!!!
YES TO ALL OF THIS!
thanks Elana 🙂 🙂 xoxo
So proud you’re my daughter !
aw, DAD! I think this is your first blog post comment! Thanks. 🙂 love you!
OMG THIS IS THE CUTEST
Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I’m 37 and know from experience that while we have made great strides in the workplace there is still rampant sexism (and also that women can be perpetrators of it). We have a long way to go and talking about it is an important step.
Thanks for sharing your perspective Beth – I completely agree (unfortunately!) We do have a long way to go and I am all for talking about it. x
This is wonderful and I really appreciate your honestly and openness! I just recently found your blog and am really enjoying reading it daily. Thanks for your positive contribution to the internet 🙂
p.s. I’m going to Paris soon and its been so fun reading you Paris posts!
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Annie!!
And oh my gosh yay – you are going to have so much fun.. enjoy!
You are the best. Please keep sharing pretty things (I always want to buy all of it), more substantial thoughts, and personal stories. I love your blog so much and am glad you found a way to be re-inspired…pretty sure it’s not a coincidence that the new type of content reinvigorated your blog as well!
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Leah! xoxo
Love this Grace, you are such an amazing woman and I am proud to be your Mom and still learned from you, love you
Aw, thanks Mom! Love you!! xo
Thank you for this post, Grace! The shift in your content, including posts like these, is what keeps me coming back to your blog.
aw thank you sofia!!!!
Wonderful post, Grace!! You provide such good insight and wise words. Well done!
thanks so much Suzanne! x
I love this post Grace! Resonated the story about you working as asst perfume buyer and having to be more likeable to female coworkers, but it made you less effective in process. Why is that? If we’re competent and respectful, but focused.. why do we need to be phony or apologize. We’re getting the job done, well and right. Hope your story helps others in similar situations reacte differently based on your experiences. (and the Kardashians are gross and annoying. They are a sensationalized, selfish, and greedy family ugh, has nothing to do with being female)
Haha totally agree. It’s so frustrating! I’m glad you liked hearing my story 🙂 xx
GRAAAAACE! Yes, sister, yes. I struggled with the idea of continuing to follow beauty/fashion blogs after November for the same reasons. Thank you for being you. I’m a proud and happy follower. Cheers to all the successful, inspiring, motivating, and supportive women in our lives, both virtual and IRL.
Aw, thanks for the kind words, Carrie! xo
Grace, I have to confess that before the election, I definitely just thought of your blog as almost all fluffy stuff – and it wasn’t one of my top reads. But once you started these much more open, honest, and personal posts, your blog has become one of my favorite destinations for excellent content and perspective in today’s world. Please, please keep it up – and thank you!
aw, thank you for your honesty dana! much appreciated! xx
Hear hear!! What a fantastic post, and I so love all the points you made about how we can approach some of those hard conversations, and also get out of confirmation bubble. Yay Grace!
thanks so much for the encouragement, julie! xx
Thanks for the Polar News resource. After the election, my friends and I started a Facebook group for a bookclub to learn more about the issues. it’s actually ballooned to over 80 friends of friends! I’ve noticed women in my demographic don’t always feel confident in their knowledge to even discuss the issues openly. We are so afraid of being argued with by a man (that odds are does NOT know what they’re talking about but somehow they don’t seem to question themselves) that we just don’t speak up. So we have taken this opportunity to learn more about income inequality, immigration and human trafficking, criminal justice reform, and hopefully more to come, and to take that knowledge and be empowered to make a change and to speak out about what we believe and politely refute false facts when we hear them perpetuated. I love your book club posts and if you ever read nonfiction maybe you could consider sometimes including something in that vein, for those seeking resources? Thanks so much for sharing your voice!
I am so glad you like it, and that is amazing you guys are doing that for a book club. Is it virtual or in person! 80 people!!!!
I will think about doing a non-fiction review, to be honest, right now, reading is really my only escape. I read the paper and am glued to the news + twitter… so I like the books I read to be on the lighter side. But never say never!
This is a beautiful post and I want to thank you for doing what you do. For those of us that live in areas where there are not so many like-minded people, your posts are very important and make us (me) feel not so alone. I love having a place to visit online where I can satisfy the different parts of my interests. And I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been reading lately.
aw thank you so much, cathy!!! for the record – my reading list goes live next thursday! xx
This is awesome! So beautifully written and so spot on! I pinned the outfit because I love it, but I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to read these words over and over again. The world can be so ugly sometimes, can’t it? And sometimes the ugliness makes me want to just never watch or listen to the news again, and that used to make me feel really bad. Especially around the election and up until the inauguration. Then there would be people posting that if you weren’t all about the activism all day everyday “your privilege was showing.” Yeesh. I felt guilty for all I had, for worrying about wedding things when there were people in the world with actual serious issues. I felt guilty for stepping away. But sometimes you just need to! You can’t fill up from an empty well, and if I’m not rested and feeling good I can’t be the best me for anyone else in my life. And oh man work politics. THE WORST. I’m so sorry about what you went through, especially those rumors! I’m in the middle of it at work right now (nothing that serious!) and I’m trying to find a way out as soon as possible. It’s hard being somewhere where you don’t feel valued, trusted, or empowered to do your job. And being a people pleaser who is afraid of saying the wrong thing and having a target put on your back, it all adds up and makes the 8 hours a day you spend at your desk a chore. So you spend most of it dreaming of the day that you’re your own boss 😉
Thank you for ALL of your content! Every bit of it is appreciated!! Keep doing you, girl 🙂
aw melissa, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment. agree with everything you’ve said. thanks for sharing, and have a lovely weekend! xo
Kudos, Grace! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed the read and glad that you have found your balance again. Sometimes I feel the same way so was inspired by your comments that we can want to be pretty and look nice but still be concerned about politics and world issues – the ‘important things in the world’.
thanks, liz. 🙂 i hope you have a great weekend!
This is such a brutally honest, but lovely post! Personally I love seeing more of your personal views and how you touch on more impactful issues. We live in different, tumultuous times and while we can still appreciate beauty in life, we are also surrounded by chaos that we can’t always control!
I’ve followed you for a while but this post really made me stop and reflect. I have to find you on more platforms now!
I mostly still reflect and post about gorgeous things, but increasingly post about healthy-ish recipes and travel or family friendly tips. I debated that for a while, but hey, it’s my space. I don’t say anything brutally personal, but still like to bring brightness or at least some helpful tips. Thanks for reiterating that it’s cool to make our little space in the internet our own!
thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!! 🙂 have a great weekend.
Hi Grace! Sorry I am late commenting on this post, but I just saw it and wanted to tell you how wonderful it is. I’m a lawyer and have experienced years of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and I’m only 31! I knew it was a male-dominated industry going into law school but could have never envisioned how pervasive these issues are. I’ve been touched inappropriately, had an older male lawyer casually attempt to strike up a conversation about oral sex with me while trapped in an elevator, and have been brought along on an overnight case assignment because, as I found out later, the senior lawyer was hoping to sleep with me. Silly me, I thought I was just going to gain the experience I needed to further my career. I’ve even been told that my work product wouldn’t be taken seriously until I got married, and the guys in the office could stop being so distracted by the fact that I was “on the market.” Unfortunately, attempting to use the legal remedies, which should be available to all women who experience harassment in the workplace, can backfire for female lawyers. I’ve been told that taking action would just destroy my career or that talking about these experiences might make OTHERS feel uncomfortable. I will say that these experiences have forced me to think about what is really important in my career – control and autonomy – not playing some dehumanizing game to get a particular job title or position. I’m still learning to put my wellbeing before my career, but I’m getting better at it.
I think this is my first comment on your blog, and I hate that it was a pretty depressing one. But you’re right – these issues do need to be talked about. So thanks for being vulnerable and sharing with your readers! Just wanted to let you know that I have been following your blog for a couple of years and love it (especially as a fellow New Yorker)!
Oh my goodness. Truly cannot believe what you’ve gone through. I teared up a little reading this, actually… it sounds like a terrible situation and I hope you can get out of it. 🙁 Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your story. It’s crazy. (And it is not depressing at all, I think that it is so so important that we, as women, be able to talk about this stuff – sharing our experiences helps, I hope in some way to let others know that this stuff is NOT OKAY.)
I’ve never read you blog before, and found it after someone shared with post- but as a 21 year old about to graduate from a women’s college and be thrust into the scary “real world”, this post is everything. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.
oh my gosh thank you – that was my exact intention with writing this. 🙂 x
Such a real post, I Loved it.
Thank you. 🙂 x
Hi Grace – I’ve been thinking about this post since you wrote it. There’s definitely never been a more important time to be asking the tough questions and having hard conversations (BUT) I did want to add a note to this. A part of what I consider to be the tools in the toolkit for any career lady are things like great clothes, skincare, etc. I found myself on a video conference call at work a couple of months ago and was horrified to see how red and blotchy my skin looked. Your recs (Ponds Cold Cream, Burts Bees Daily Lotion and Neutrogena Night Moisturizer) helped me clear that stuff up! That was a HUGE deal for me – I’m on video calls a lot and it was effecting my confidence. I didn’t have women in my life who taught me this stuff and have never particularly been into it myself. Even if it feels fluffy to you, just know that there are people like me out there who seek out your content as a literal guide to tackling some of the basics. I’m so glad that you love these things so that I don’t have to figure it out myself. Keep up the great work!
Ahhhh thank you Amy! I really agree, and it makes me so so happy to hear that you have tried so many beauty products that I’ve featured!!! x
Oh man. Such a good read, Grace. I’m almost 32 and have had similar experiences in my career… and even mothers of friends say stuff like that to me. Thank you fro sharing your experiences. I don’t feel as alone in these and it’s a good reminder that we all have to do our part to improve the world. Thank you for tackling these tough issues in such a graceful manner!
PS – I always think of your post when someone tries to tell me that being a feminist is bad. All the love!
Thanks so much for the comment, Jenn. It is nice to know I’m not alone. xx