What “Confident” really means.

I was inspired to write this post after seeing the cover artwork for Demi Lovato’s new album, Confident, which will be released sometime in October. I’ve been a fan of Demi for a long time, and I have all four of her previous albums. In my opinion, her new single, “Cool For The Summer“, was mediocre… but I decided to give her new album a chance. After all, there’s bound to be some inspirational messages about confidence, I thought.

And then I saw the cover artwork.

Cover artwork for Demi Lovato’s new album, Confident. The album has a confirmed release date of October 16th.

I read the lyrics for the title track, “Confident“, prior to writing this post. If the song is about feeling confident in who you are… can someone please tell me why in the world there’s so much Photoshop in the picture?

In today’s society, we are often influenced by the media. Models in magazines (and other mass media) are often Photoshopped– to the point where they don’t even look like themselves. Although I’ve noticed this trend in all forms of media, it appears to be especially prominent in magazines that are targeted towards girls and women (such as Seventeen Magazine). These forms of media often remove the models/cover girls’ imperfections, making them look absolutely flawless.

The problem with this? Young girls might see these pictures and immediately think, this is how I have to look in order to fit in. They’ll start thinking that they’re not beautiful the way they are… and, in most cases, they will resort to extremes just to change their appearance and achieve that unrealistic goal of perfection. Issues like eating disorders have become a rising trend over the years– it’s really sad, if you think about it, that the media has put pressure on young people, for them to look a certain way in order to fit in.

Even celebrities have that constant pressure to look like the perfect Hollywood star. For example, Demi went through self-esteem issues when she was a teen, to the point where she pulled out of the Jonas Brothers’ 2010 World Tour to seek help. Since then, she’s been an advocate for self-acceptance, and an inspiration to many people around the world. It makes me wonder why the cover for her new album is edited to this extent. A little bit of Photoshop is alright, but this just seems like too much, in my opinion.

I’d also like to point out the revealing outfit Demi is wearing in the photo. In regards to the topic of this editorial (confidence): if she feels confident wearing an outfit like this for a photo-shoot, that’s all that matters… however, I wouldn’t want young girls to see this picture and think they have to dress this way in order to be beautiful. A word of advice (from first-hand experience): Confidence isn’t all about wearing see-through clothing or mini-skirts… it’s about wearing what makes you happy; what makes YOU feel beautiful.

Girls (and guys… really, anyone who’s reading this), I want you to remember one thing: the models on the covers of those fashion magazines/album covers/other forms of media, probably don’t look like that in real life. In most cases, the photos have been drastically edited. Everyone has imperfections (even models), and those imperfections are what makes you special. God created you in His perfect image, and He loves you… very much. (Yes, I know I basically quoted VeggieTales there. But it’s true!)

There will be days when you don’t feel like you’re beautiful; when you don’t feel like you’re good enough. You’ll look at those fashion magazines and think, “I wish I looked like *insert celebrity’s name here*.” Well, let me tell you something: celebrities have imperfections, too; the media just edits out those flaws

We, as a society, need to start accepting ourselves for who we are. We need to stop tearing ourselves (and others) down, and start building each other up. If you’re influenced by the media, and you start to tell yourself that you’re not worth it, not pretty enough– any comments like that… eventually, you’ll start to believe those things you’re saying.

Outer beauty doesn’t really matter that much. Your personality is really the only thing that matters. When you meet people, they like you the most because of your personality. I may not know all of you who are reading this editorial today, but let me encourage you by telling you this:

You are smart; you are talented; you have the ability to make a difference, even if it’s just a small impact on someone’s life; you are loved by so many people; and you are perfect the way you are.

Never let anyone tell you any different.

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An Interview with Sarah Hamilton of LockerStyler

Over the past few months, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with some amazing bloggers and writers. One of these bloggers is Sarah Hamilton of LockerStyler.

Along with writing on LockerStyler, Sarah is also an incredible author, photographer, filmmaker, and actress! She’s one of my role models in the writing industry, so I was beyond excited when she told me she wanted to do a collaboration with me! We decided to interview each other.

Keep reading to learn how Sarah started writing, who her inspirations are, etc. 🙂

A.M.: What is your site about?

S.H.: is a teen lifestyle site which focuses on DIY’s, celebrity interviews, advice, recipes, school, and all things that teens and young adults can relate to.

A.M.: When did you start blogging?

S.H.: I started Locker Styler four years ago as an incoming freshman into high school. Ever since I was really young, I had always wanted to have my own website and it has become a great creative outlet that I love working on every week.

A.M.: What inspired you to start blogging?

S.H.: When I was really young, I became fascinated with websites on the Internet and wanted to have one of my own. Starting in middle school, I had obsessively loved decorating my locker to the max and decided to start a site dedicated to locker decor. As time moved on, the main theme may have shifted into teen lifestyle altogether, but I am so glad that I still got that start to make it what it is.

A.M.: What has been your favorite post so far?

S.H.: How can I just choose one!?!? Well, my favorite themed posts would have to be interviews with really cool professional actors, authors, etc and travel journal posts from trips. Both are really fun to put together and I look forward to making them both happen.

A.M.: Who inspires you?

S.H.: I am so inspired by so many people! From family, to friends and so many others, I find that I get inspired very often from many different people.

A.M.: In several years, what do you see yourself doing?

S.H.: In several years, I hope to still be blogging, writing books, and making films. (Hopefully, even starring in some as well!) But overall, I just hope that whatever I am up to, I will be happy and successful while still being surrounded by the wonderful people in my life.

A.M.: What kind of posts do you love the most?

S.H.: As stated before, I really love interviews. Being able to connect to others through the Internet is so wild and I love it so much. Everybody who I interview, I love what they do so it’s amazing to connect with others for a common purpose.

A.M.: What blogs do you follow?

S.H.: I have a tendancy to follow a lot of blogs but my go-to right now is Ashley Tisdale’s …it literally has everything!

A.M.: What would you say to inspiring bloggers?

S.H.: I would say, keep writing, photographing, and making those dreams (and posts) happen! Blogging is really fun and it puts a whole new perspective on life but it’s a really great way to create something and share it with others. Make the most out of it! 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Sarah! It was really fun interviewing you!

(My answers to the interview questions are here: http://www.lockerstyler.com/an-interview-with-anna-marie-teen-blogger/)

 

Back-To-School / Fall 2015 Haul

Most teenage girls these days would post haul videos on YouTube, but– as I mentioned in my first blog– I’m not really much of a YouTuber. I tried it, but posting such videos on YouTube isn’t really my style. So I’m just going to share my “back-to-school haul” in a blog post, because that’s how I roll 🙂

I went to four different clothing stores to buy my BTS clothes: Stitches, Ardene, Mark’s, and Aeropostale.


At Stitches, I bought three shirts. The first one is red and white, has 3/4 length sleeves, and is probably my favorite. It says “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger… except cowgirls. Cowgirls will kill you.”  I bought it because I absolutely love the “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” quote… and then I read the last part.IMG_6168

IMG_6170I also bought 2 short-sleeved t-shirts; the first IMG_6169one is grey and says “Today’s good mood is brought to you by COFFEE,” which is kinda true! LOL! 🙂 The other one is black-and-white striped and says “Embrace messy hair” in a fancy script font.


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About 2 weeks ago, I went to Ardene… and surprisingly, I only bought one thing. A white, short-sleeved t-shirt that says “HUG ME“. Also, it has 4-leaf-clovers… and Olaf. 🙂 It’s more of a St. Patrick’s Day shirt, so I probably won’t wear it often. But it’s really comfortable, so it will work for a pajama top.
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Some of my favorite fall clothing pieces were found at Mark’s. For a while, I’ve had my eye on this really cute purple fall jacket. It’s big enough that I can wear lots of layers underneath, and, oh my goodness, it’s so soft inside. I love it!
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I also bought these really cute, black, high-heeled booties. I wore them for the first time on Wednesday (when I went to the city to finish my back-to-school shopping), and I must admit, walking in them was a challenge, haha! But I got used to walking in high heels after a while. 🙂
TIMG_6164o finish my back-to-school shopping, I went to one of my favorite clothing stores, Aeropostale. Oh my goodness, I found some of the cutest clothes and accessories there!

IMG_6162IMG_6163Aero has these cool new jeggings; they’re called “Seriously Stretchy Jeans.” I think these jeans are my new favorite clothing pieces. Oh my gosh, they’re so comfortable! I bought 3 different pairs: teal (yes, teal-colored jeggings are a thing 🙂 ), grey, and dark blue distressed.

IMG_6165IMG_6167I also bought three camis, with 3 different patterns on them. One is grey, with lace on the front. Then there’s a bright pink one which has the same pattern– it will be nice to add a pop of color to my fall outfits this year. And finally, I bought an off-white cami with a black/grey (I’m not sure exactly which color) star pattern throughout.IMG_6166IMG_6159

I bought a pink hoodie with lace on the sleeves. The material is very light, so it will be perfect for the autumn days that aren’t too cold (Then again, I could always wear my fall jacket from Mark’s over-top of my outfit if it’s fairly cold or raining 🙂 ). Looking ahead to the fall and winter months, I bought a red waffle-henley shirt. It’s hard to describe, so I’m including the link to the product on Aero’s website. IMG_6161

IMG_6173Now, for the accessories! The accessories were probably my favorite part of the whole shopping trip. I bought this really cute floral tassel scarf that will add the perfect boho touch to any outfit!

IMG_6174Even though I had been eyeing the Aeropostale backpacks for the longest time, I had already decided on a backpack for school before going to the city. The Aero backpacks were cute, but most of them were too small. However, when I got to the store and was looking at the new Bethany Mota collection, my mom surprised me with a new backpack. I was so happy… but then I started to think, It won’t be the right size for all my school books. I ended up being totally wrong about that– the bag is huge; just the right size for all my books. (My mom talked to one of the employees at Aero, who said that Grade 11 has the lightest work-load out of all the grades. So maybe I won’t get too much homework after all! 🙂 )

IMG_6175Oh my gosh, I think I found my new favorite backpack! It’s quilted faux-leather, has two extra side-pockets and a front pocket– AND has magnetic closure! Plus, it matches my black leather jacket that I bought from Aero last year!

Those are all the clothes and accessories I bought for back-to-school this year. I have a feeling this school year is going to be so awesome!

A few of my favorite things

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the month of August already! Fall is almost here… and then, before we know it, winter and CHRISTMAS will arrive!! I’m so excited about the next few months!

So I thought I’d write this post to share some of the things I’m loving this fall (even though it’s only August 18th. In my mind, Fall has started already)

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder

Makeup: One of my favorite pressed powders for the fall is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder (in the lightest shade, NC15). This powder is amazing, and I always find myself returning to it every fall.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (in the shade Perversion)

For the past few months, I have been alternating between two eyeliners: MAC Eye Kohl (in the shade Costa Riche) and Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (in the shade Perversion). Both of these eyeliners are really good quality, but I like wearing the MAC eyeliner if I want a more natural makeup look.

MAC Extended Play Lash mascara

The MAC Extended Play Lash mascara is my favorite mascara for the fall and winter seasons.

EOS Sweet Mint lip balm

My favorite lip balm is probably EOS. They have so many awesome flavors/scents, and they come in the cutest packaging! The Sweet Mint flavor (light blue packaging) is my go-to lip balm for this season.

Maybelline BabyLips Dr. Rescue lip balm (in Just Peachy)

If I want to add some color to my lips, my Top 3 favorite products are: Maybelline BabyLips Dr. Rescue Lip Balm (in Just Peachy), CoverGirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm (in the shade Scarlet Twist), and L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor (in the shade Red Infallible).

Nail Polish:

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in the shade “Game of Chromes”

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is amazing.I saw an advertisement for this polish in a magazine, and I wanted to buy it. It’s been about 4 days, and my nails haven’t chipped once– while with normal nail polish, it would already be chipped. My favorite shades are Game of Chromes (gold), Tidal Wave (deep blue), and Style Maker (dark green).

TV Shows:

One show I’ve always loved, is The Voice. The singers are all extremely talented, the judges actually seem excited to work with the contestants, and the competition is fun. And while all the other music competition shows have been canceled (or, in the case of American Idol, are ending soon), The Voice still remains.

Finding Carter, the only MTV show I really like, is still going strong. Season 3 is expected to premiere in October, and I seriously can’t wait!

I had never watched Kingdom before, but I saw the extended trailer for the show when it premiered last year. It looked kinda violent, so I wasn’t really interested. A few months later, I decided to write a review for the series– and with that, I saw a preview of the first episode when it was released on iTunes. Wow. Even though there’s lots of swearing and mature content, the series is extremely well-written, effectively acted, and even inspirational in a way. Season 2 is premiering on October 14th, and is returning for another season next fall.

Movies:

Do You Believe?
This movie is one of the best. I knew it would be amazing, because it’s from the creators of God’s Not Dead– another outstanding movie! I bought it on DVD the day it was released, and it totally lived up to my expectations! If you’re looking for an incredible Christian movie, I encourage you to watch Do You Believe and see what millions of people are talking about.  🙂

 Books:

I received Demi Lovato’s book, Staying Strong: 365 Days A Year, for Christmas in 2013, and have finally started reading it. It’s sort of like a devotional in a way, but it resonates with people of all beliefs.

The story behind Fighter is so inspirational. Canadian hip-hop artist Chris Greenwood (aka Manafest) wrote this book about his childhood and life before he became famous. I had the chance to meet Manafest at a Christian youth conference earlier this year, and I absolutely love his story about how he overcame all the challenges he went through. When I was finished my final exams and had nothing to do during the last few days of class last year, I brought the book to school and read it so many times. It’s seriously so good and I would recommend it for everyone!

Music:

“Here” by Alessia Cara
“Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)” by Macklemore featuring Ed Sheeran

I recently heard two new songs that I love; Here by Alessia Cara and Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) by Macklemore featuring Ed Sheeran. Both of these songs have incredible lyrics that were written from the heart about true experiences.

Unbreakable Smile by Tori Kelly

Speaking of artists who write songs about true experiences, Tori Kelly is another favorite artist I discovered recently. I saw her performance at the Billboard Music Awards in May… and immediately bought her album when it was released. While I love all the songs on Unbreakable Smile, one of my favorites is Dear No One. It describes my thoughts about relationships perfectly, in a way that no song has ever done before! I also like the live, acoustic version of Funny, that’s included on her debut album. Dang, that girl is talented!

“Low” by Kelly Clarkson

I’ve also been listening to a lot of music by Kelly Clarkson, because I’m seeing her in concert on October 14th. As much as I love her new Piece By Piece album, I really like her older music (i.e. her first two albums)… one song that stands out to me is Low, the second single from her debut album.

Other random songs I like at the moment are Levels” by Nick Jonas and Anywhere But Here by Christina Aguilera.

Apps:

Instagram

Pinterest (especially since I’m looking for Fall hair/makeup/fashion ideas!)

Food:

OMG Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Especially now that it’s being made with real pumpkin. That makes the PSL somewhat healthier, right?

OMG Pumpkin Pie cupcakes. These cupcakes are INCREDIBLE. They taste exactly like pumpkin pie.

Clothing/Accessories:

Tokyo Darling by Aeropostale, red skinny jeans
Black high-heeled booties

Now that it’s fall, it’s all about sweaters, cardigans and booties! One of my favorite fall outfits is a nice cami with a long cardigan (or oversized sweater), some skinny jeans (or jeggings) and booties! I also like wearing graphic tees. To accessorize my outfit, I often wear a cute infinity scarf or a beanie.

Misc.:

My favorite fall scent is Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin from Bath & Body Works, which they just released again for the year! They announced it on Twitter this morning!

FINDING NEVERLAND (aka the best Broadway Musical ever!). It’s so inspiring.

My thoughts about TobyMac’s new music

For years, tobyMac has been recognized as a Christian music icon. From when he was in DCTalk in the 1990’s, to his debut solo album, Momentum, in 2001; and now his latest recording effort, This Is Not A Test, which was released earlier this month. But some of the new tracks (including his latest single, “Feel It“) are making me wonder about the direction his music is going in… as well as the direction of Contemporary Christian Music in general.

Upon first listen, I must admit “Feel It” is a catchy song. It’s very upbeat, and one of the few songs that I actually like from tobyMac’s new album. It doesn’t rely heavily on auto-tune (which is actually a good thing, for the most part… unless there’s too much of it used; in that case, it makes the singer sound like a robot :P). But I listened to it closer, and realized, “Hey, this sounds like something I’ve heard on the radio!”

Yes, I’m alluding to songs such as: Better To Be Loved” by Francesco Yates, Teacher” by Nick Jonas, Want To Want Me” (is that the right song title?) by Jason Derulo… and even Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. What do all these songs have in common? They are all new songs that you probably hear all the time on secular radio. And I’ve noticed that many Christian artists, in the past few years, are going mainstream.

From what I personally remember, it started in 2003 with Switchfoot. Their songs were featured in a movie, and they turned into a mainstream band shortly after. But in the past few years, I’ve seen artists like Britt Nicole and for KING & COUNTRY become more mainstream… and, as a result, their music has changed drastically… sometimes for the better (like For KING & COUNTRY), but sometimes the new songs can also be disappointing. (Now, I can’t say this is true for Britt Nicole, as her new music has yet to be released. But this is just an example)

Heck, even tobyMac– an artist whose music hasn’t been played on secular radio stations, but has reached a wider demographic than just a Christian audience– is starting to sound more like a mainstream artist. Auto-tune aside, there are many traits that secular and current Christian songs both appear to have: the repetitive lyrics… the occasional feeling of not knowing whether the singer is talking about Jesus or a more secular topic with their lyrics… I must admit, Christian music just isn’t the same anymore.

What happened to the days where Christian artists created music for one purpose– to praise God? In the early 2000’s, this was what CCM was all about. Sure, Bethany Dillon may have released a few innocent love songs (“For My Love“, “When You Love Someone“, and “The Way I See You“)… and even American Idol contestant Moriah Peters released a cute and innocent song entitled “Haven’t Even Kissed” on her debut album, about how she was waiting to save her first kiss for marriage! But most of the music was truly about serving Jesus and telling people about Him (as Bethany Dillon said in her 2009 hit single, “Everyone To Know“).

There are still some artists who write and perform music for God (examples include Shane and Shane, Josh Wilson, and Nichole Nordeman, among others), but, in my honest opinion, it’s a lot like Top 40 music now… it all sounds the same.

Introducing Me!

Hello internet world; my name is Anna-Marie!

You may recognize me from websites like A Kid’s Point of View or Rustic Christian Signs— or even Twitter (@RealAnnaMarieR), but if you don’t know me, let me introduce myself.

I’m a teenage blogger, writer (even though blogging and writing are kinda the same thing), fashion/makeup enthusiast, entrepreneur (Rustic Christian Signs), and occasional YouTuber (I haven’t posted anything in a couple months). I love love love Disney movies (Frozen being one of my current faves!) and music. And most important, my family.

Even though I already do lots of blogging over at A Kid’s Point Of View and the Christian Signs blog, I came across a blog that my mom created in 2009, and remembered how much fun it was to write on there. So I decided to create my own WordPress blog. It will be about random topics; fashion/makeup, music, TV shows, and whatever is on my mind.

Thanks for checking out my first blog post!