asking for trouble

Woke up this morning to find that I had one less follower: 1058, down from 1059. No idea who, or why they decided to unfollow me, but I assume it's because of my post yesterday. (Then again, for all I know, four people could have unfollowed me, and I gained three new ones). And by noon, it was back to 1059 anyway.

The weird thing is, it never occurred to me it would spark such a good, meaty, juicy, wonderful debate. I love what each of you said (even you, Mom: and yours was the most 'critical': fair dues). It was just a freak coincidence that the Times published that article yesterday, and that an Anonymous reader, H, sent me the link, and I'm very grateful to you, whoever you are.

As Jen said: this is what I love about blogging! This is why I do it, frankly.

It's funny, when I started blogging last year, I hoped to create a virtual salon, illustrated with stylish people and, hopefully, pretty images, where we could chat and debate about the same kind of issues I talk about with my real friends in real life. As anyone who has a blog knows, it takes time - and effort - to become part of a community, to make new friends, to get people to visit, and comment. I feel so honoured that you're talking to me - and to each other. And that your voices can feel HEARD.

I never know which posts will spark controversy. We thought we were being so mischievous when I posted directions to the blue bells ('cavorting in a field of bluebells..') and no one batted an eye. Talk about asking for trouble: just climbing thru a muddy ravine in suede ballet pumps, not to mention risking tearing my tights and the borrowed American Apparel lace pattern dress (if you like it & want to buy it, please click thru the ad on my side bar: I'll get a commission!), while risking being arrested for trespassing and being shouted at by a mad woman (in both definitions of the word) with big black dogs.

And yet, nothing bad happened.

I feel the bravest thing to do is to put up 'self style' photos and risk strangers laughing at you, or opening oneself to criticism. When I was younger, before blogs, I did all kinds of arty photos with a self timer and a tripod. In this case, my husband, Mr. Dot, is the tripod, and I'm so grateful he wanted to do this. I know I'm a bit out of shape - I've really been missing my swimming and yoga - I know I'm not a model. I love the way women (because it IS mostly women) of all ages are doing these fabulous self style blogs, and I'm guessing for the same reason I did my photos back then: to try to figure out who we are.

I love that I can still be goofy and girlish and that my husband can, too. (Not girlish: you know what I mean).

When I woke up this morning and looked back at the Times article, the first comment on the issue of teenage smoking was the following, from all people, the talented Swedish producer and songwriter Max Martin. (Among other things, he co-wrote & produced I Kissed A Girl, by Katy Perry):

"Don't laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find his own. "

-Logan Pearsall Smith


iliketweet said...

You obviously don't need to go to the gym, you look beautiful! The bluebells remind me of being at my grandmother's in the school holidays when I was little :)

Putting yourself out there is so brave, it's nice to have such a positive blogging community behind you!

tweet tweet tweet


jill said...

Oh, gosh Clare, thank you! But I still need to go to the gym for my own health mind/body spiritual everything - plus it tones me up. I just love love love to swim! Same with yoga. Just love the way I feel when I do.

That is so sweet of you. What area does your grandmother live in? Is she still there?

The Photodiarist said...

You are pretty in shape based on the photos. But I know what you mean. I just came back from the gym after not going for a while and it feels great to have worked out. As for your photos yesterday, I thought they were well done. I've posted photos of people smoking and I've also received a disapproving comment or two. I am showing reality, not encouraging smoking! Do and post what you want to on your blog. And don't worry about followers. Someone or many-ones will always follow you Jill. You have a great spirit.

Sarah said...

Jill you look hot in this dress!!!! beautiful pics xx

Unknown said...

agreed with clare, gym phaa! well i can safely say your blog is one of the ones right at the top of my daily read, even if i don't always leave a comment.

so out of interest how many boys actually read your blog, is there many or am i of a rare breed? the community is good and i'm glad to have a nice following, from a boys perspective too.

the style crusader said...

oh my. that is such a beautiful quote at the end. i am loving your posts lately jill - they are so thought provoking and really beautiful. i know a lot of yourself is going into them and no one can manage that everyday but i'm really enjoying it. like mat said, your blog is definitely at the top of my daily read.

and... can i just say, SEXY LADY!! jill that dress is freaking incredible on you!! honestly i wasn't that blown away with it when i saw it on the AA site but it looks so cool!! i really really want one now. must go by the shop and try one on... but if i buy it i'll definitely come back here and click on the site through your link. lovely photos. mr. dot did a great job with the photography. i love the ones of you climbing over the wire!

The Fashion Cloud said...

the blue bells scenery is just stunning I wont to go there and lie there for ages, would be bliss but no non no stuff behind a computer studying :(

I really like your side bar cation too and thanks for the link means a lot xx

Love the outfit here and would knew you were he thrill seeking type, love it!!



I want to cavort in a field of bluebells!
Simply stunning pictures x

expresswhatyoufeel said...

wow awesome photos

ronelmarin.com said...

like your bluebells or lavender background..:) pretty cool

Sarah xo said...

You look stunning! The dress suits you so much. That setting is gorgeous. Oh my life, the vivid blues, I love it. I always love reading your blog, it's a great mix of style and culture. I love me a mish-mash! Thanks for always sharing (: xo

the Citizen Rosebud said...

If I oould follow you twice I would!
It's nice to see you frolic in front of the camera too! It does take a certain willing vunerability to pose in front of the picture. AND You look marvy, and I'm loving that spring bouquet at your feet.

When I first started my blog, I was trying to recruit younger svelter girls to contribute outfit posts, and one beautiful friend, 10 years my junior said: ME? No way, I'm too old and too fat." Well, she's about 20 lbs lighter than me too, I might add. As I was trying to convince her TO DO IT, IT'S ABOUT STYLE, I decided that a chubby 44 year-old Latina was up for the job, so I started snapping pics of my own outfits.

I try very hard not to be self-critical (the curves! the dark eye-circles! the wrinkles!), and just focus on posting my unique style: I'm not a 14 year-old off duty model, I'm poet, a cook and a vintage/thrift store enthusiast, and have been around the block enough to know that I can get my parking validated. (I'm not even sure what I mean by that.) But I'm going to post. My favorite style bloggers are from all walks of life, all ages, and I'm proud to represent a little something different.

Whew! That soapbox was a mouthful! -Bella Q

Style At Every Age said...

If thats what you call "out of shape" I shall go and hide for the next year! fantastic pictures!

Altered Spaces said...

wow Jill- you look amazing...love the shots in the field of flowers...

maya griggs said...

Jill, you look great without the gym! I am speechless about the flowers...
Bella Q: You go, girl!

Ms. Scotch said...

I love your blog (definitely on the daily read list) and, personally, I loved the smoking picture. It was so classy and artful, it really is a fab shot! Keep up the good work, and those that wander away because they are so PC that they can't see the art must be terribly uptight...

The bluebells make me want to run right outside and find a meadow to lay in, and you look amazing by the way!

XOXO Ms. Scotch

Leah said...

One word Jill: FABULOUS! Gosh, I love these photos... I sincerely do. You know I always tell the truth. But this I have to say, I hate you! Hahaha! Look at that body!!! Gosh, you have to do a self-style blog. Enough of shooting other people, you should be your own model. This is what I love to see.

I was just kidding about the "I hate you" thingy... you know how much I adore you. I'm just a little green with envy. Hahaha!

daniela kate morosini said...

jill you mad thing, dancing around in forests! why not, looks like you had fun :) i'm hoping to divide opinion with my blog post..biting your tongue isnt always a good idea! x

Anonymous said...

wow, sexy lady! if i may say so, hehe! you got a back to impress, lovely! you are so slim and beautiful in your figure! love that dress..kinda 90s inspired! you rock! :)

Rebecca said...

You look good! Shut up about needing to go to the gym ;)
And it looks lovely there, shame about ripping the dress!

It's Cohen

jill said...

Thanks Rebecca. Didn't mean I 'had' to go to the gym - I know I'm not perfect & I'm happy with my imperfections - just meant I'm not pretending I'm perfect. And I 'have' to go because when I don't go enough I just feel all stiff: I love to swim for all kinds of spiritual reasons I can't put in words.

Besides, who cares about that: what's happening in the news right now is waaaaaay more exciting! Great Britian is, as we speak, without a leader. Gordon Brown is interrupting the Queen and Prince Phillip's dinner & Coronation Street. History in the making!!!!

Rosalind said...

Great bluebell wood shoot! I love the vibrant colour.. Funnily enough, I just did a bluebell wood shoot which I can't wait to post on my blog.
I think the smoking debate is very interesting. I'm personally very opposed to smoking, but in photography I think it is a personal choice.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment - I must have been alking about the email I sent in return, which I don't think I got a reply too. I hope we can sort something out too!


Olivia Isabella. said...

You look great in such a figure hugging dress! I'd love to do yoga...
Beautiful shots as always!
Replied to your e-mail about your comment :)
UO x

Adorngirl said...

i love the spirit of the photos great alternative to the very sullen weather at the moment. x

Anonymous said...

Jill you look A M A Z I N G!!!!!! No need for Yoga!!! hahaha!
I love love those pictures, the colours are magical. Have to give credit to Mr Dot's photographic skills as well.

Alma said...

You look great!! But you should go to gym to have a healthy lifestyle!:P You know, I started blogging probably the same as you, making all kind of outfits in the house and then taking pics. I didn't had the courage to go out dressed like that. But from some time, I began dressing in my own style on the streets. I felt a bit uncomfortable with peaple staring at me... But I thought that it's better to be noticed than ignored!:) And life is about learning...:)

Love Food said...

Jill you look amazing! The pictures are so full of life and the blue bells look absolutely beautiful, like a fairytale. And you most certainly are not out of shape! I'm really considering buying that dress now.

Lydia xxx


iliketweet said...

Hi! I found the comment in the end :)

I love to swim too, it's just so much fun! Plus you can so feel the benefit afterwards...

My grandmother lives in Kent, there are so many bluebells in the forest near her house, so pretty!

Will definitely link you up, don't know why I haven't before to be honest...

tweet tweet tweet


chele said...

I do believe that this is the first comment I have ever made....I just felt moved to say something I think is important for people - smokers - to know. I started smoking at 14, (I'm now 36 (cringe!!!!)), & smoking was such an integral part of my life. If you were to ask any of my friends they would tell you that smoking was my whole identity - it was my "thing". You would have to trawl far & wide to uncover a photo of me without a ciggie in my hand & I was, in all honesty, a 50 a day girl...on a good day! THEN....two years ago, a friend of mine read the Allen Carr book (you mentioned it yesterday?), quit, & recommended it to me! The night I finished it I tipped my remaining tobacco down the drain outside, weeping with joy...& I have never looked back! From the first day of being a non-smoker I was able to be around smokers NO problem. That book is INCREDIBLE - I know SO many people it has helped.
I didn't mean to write this much, I apologize....I just thought it was important to say: it really is easy to quit. I know - belIEVE me, I know - how stupid that sounds to anyone who smokes, but it is the truth. If I could quit, ANYone can!
Love your blog Jill, LOVE the bluebells! (I'm in New Zealand, so we are just heading into winter...your spring shots bring joy to my day!)


adrielleroyale said...

Well what can I say that has not already been said by your followers already? I can only repeat like a parrot what they have already said - I love the bluebells, the thrill seeking behind it, the dress you're wearing, how fantastic you look in it, agree with the readers' comments on the gym and your response...and of course your blog in general, it is so far one of the only ones to keep my interest enough to be a daily read. :) <3 xoxo

Style Odyssey said...

You look incredible in this dress! Love the tights too- unusual color.

Posting pics of ourselves for all the world to see is a brave venture. I believe it can help increase confidence, though, as it opens us up to public criticism.

You look pretty in shape to me, but it's more about how you feel on the inside, which I totally understand. I haven't exercised regularly in so long (due to hectic life at the moment, moving between two countries, and then only to discover my beloved Pilates studio here has closed.)

I'm glad you kept the post up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you've started my day with a smile because:
a - you're photos are so summery and beautiful with all the colours
b - you look stunning and have inspired me with my look for the day
c - I can actually BUY the dress you are wearing.....American Apparel here I come!!

Have a fantastic day xxx

Platform P said...

You look AMAZING!


the nyanzi report said...

jill, you are barking! great post. poor mr.dot.
he must love it. that AA dress looks good on you and the pictures are stunning!

Anonymous said...

Love this post - and the dress too!