It wasn’t until I hit my mid-teens that I really started loving clothes. When I was younger, you had to shove me into a dressing room and force a dress over my head. I hated shopping. Loathed it, really. Why would I ever want to set foot in a mall when I could be at home on the couch watching television?
At 22, I’d still probably rather sit at home and watch TV then shop (There are 10 shows on my fall TV schedule; the only way I’m able to justify this habit is the fact that I’m studying to be a TV writer), but my outlook on clothes and image has come a long way from that awkward twelve year-old with frizzy hair and bird legs. In fact, don’t be surprised if you find me drooling over the glossy pages of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar.
I furthered my fashion journey after I came to Los Angeles at the end of August to take a couple of classes and get my feet wet in the industry to see if relocating here permanently after graduation was something I truly wanted. I spent hours hunched over my Macbook, biting my nails in a frantic search to find the perfect internship. We were given weeks to find one, but that hardly mattered. I needed one NOW. I had to snag my dream job before it slipped through my eager fingers and into the waiting hands of one of my classmates.
When I received an email about an internship listing with Luke Reichle, I was pretty stoked. While I’ve certainly developed an avid interest in fashion over the years, it wasn’t an area I necessarily considered pursuing. But as a ridiculously huge fan of Castle, I was already familiar with Luke as an incredible costume designer and host/writer of his own web series, Secrets of the Red Carpet. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to work with a huge company where I wouldn’t really be able to get to know those that I worked with, so I went for it. And it was probably the best decision I could’ve made for myself.
I’ve been more hands-on creatively than I really thought possible. I work closely with everyone on the Secrets of the Red Carpet team and, most importantly, not once have they ever made me feel like an intern.
While I was prepared to learn a ton about running a show and promoting a series, I never thought I’d learn so much about myself in the process. As I spent more time working on the show, I got a real sense of what it was truly about. It’s so much more than finding a great jacket for fall or rocking a trendy dress that some Hollywood starlet had on last week. I began to understand that the show is just as much about discovering the person inside the clothes, if not more, than the clothes themselves.
Luke taught me that you can dress yourself up as much as you want and still continue to seek self-satisfaction. Your hair can look fabulous; your face can be perfectly painted; and that dress could be a damn knockout. But none of those things matter if you don’t feel just as good about yourself off the red carpet.
The first time I ever watched the Inside Job (for those SRC virgins, it’s Luke’s segment on self-esteem and image transformation), I was caught off-guard. A little stunned, actually. I felt like Luke had a window into my head, that he was talking to me. Because I was that girl he was talking about. I always have been, just like thousands, millions of other women and men.
I couldn’t remember the last time I looked in the mirror where I didn’t have something negative to say to myself. Either my hair was too big (Hello 1985!) or my eyebrows were too bushy or my stomach was too pudgy. My inner dialogue with myself was a constant battle I could never seem to win. As an educated 20-something who was aware of how unfair I was being to myself and how unhealthy my words were, I tried countless times to reason with myself. But old habits die hard. And my old habits date back to elementary school.
Admittedly, I haven’t started taping post-its everywhere with body-empowering messages, but I’ll get there one day. If I’ve learned anything over the last two months, it’s that even one step can make a huge difference. As an entertainment enthusiast, my favorite move is to “Cut! Rewind.” my way through the self-hate to the self-acceptance on the other side that’s not as far out of my reach as I’d always thought.