16.5.14

She Found Her Courage In A Change Of Scene

There goes another year.

I've been thinking about making another post like this on my blog. Recently, I was interviewed for The Wake magazine which you can see here. We talked about Youtube, having an online persona, and what happens when you're given an opportunity that just doesn't sit quite right with you. 

Apart from awkwardly dodging stray copies lying face up on dining hall tables (....I didn't know I'd be on the front cover) this whole process has been pretty enlightening. For a while I was in a lull about Youtube and how it has affected me. It is crazy how saturated my life has been with the internet these past few years, and now that I finally have some perspective everything is coming a bit full circle. 


Firstly, I want to give a shout to this past academic school year: it's been real. It sounds sort of shitty to say, but I felt like I totally regressed freshmen year of college. I guess that happens when your whole life changes. All of those anxieties I stomped out by senior year of high school came festering back. I mean, I'm not going to throw myself under the bus. I had some good friendships, good experiences. But MAN, does it get better. Way better. 

This year I found my voice again. I remember when I first starting getting into feminism it was all so frustrating. Every advertisement I saw, song I heard, and interaction on the street I had felt like a personal attack on my presence. Our presence. I kept on wishing that I could take it all back and be  blind to all the shit that was happening in the world, but it doesn't work that way.

I was frustrated that my Youtube hobby seemed shallow to some people. I was frustrated that my friends were angry with me when I didn't show interest in their miso. douchebag friends (sorry mom if you're reading this). I was frustrated that one of my closest friendships turned out to be hollower than I thought, and I was frustrated for not being able to articulate how I felt.


This year I sunk myself into activism. I gotta let you all know: internet activism is valid, but you gotta try out the real world scene too. This spring we hosted Take Back The Night which is a march/vigil surrounding the awareness of sexual violence.  I go to college in a city and it's not uncommon for crime to happen, but I was livid this past year when multiple girls were sexually assaulted/raped near the street corners that I walk past everyday. I was disgusted how these atrocious acts were being lumped with other email crime reports of bougie kids getting their iPhones stolen while in a drunken stupor at 3 am. 

But it wasn't just that. I felt sick about how many people I knew, including myself, that suffered from unreported sexual violence/attempted sexual assault from people in their lives. 
It was fucked up. It was scary.

Take Back The Night was incredible. We had slam poets, performance artists, and an amazing MC that provided inclusivity and connectivity for the crowd.  We had a huge march into Dinkytown, right after the White House released a statement about sexual assault on college campuses. I guess the part that got me was the end of the night when we came back for our candle light vigil. One by one people went to the microphone and told their stories of sexual violence. Seeing my friends bravely tell their stories literally made me weep. There were so many times in my life when I felt powerless and frozen, and to see these people break that barrier was intense.


Then there was film. I finally got around to building up my confidence to start creating art again. I had a dry spell and missed the type of thinking you were allowed to do in art classes. I met some great teachers that let me dive into my interests without judgement, while still teaching me new ways to approach my material and utilize new tools. Smoke breaks were probably the best part of class - talking about Trash Humpers. I even liked the pretentious film kids, they had spunk.

So I started taking my tape camcorder to parties and other places, filming anything and everything. It was very American Beauty (if you ever see me filming a plastic bag - STOP ME). I also ended up doing some outside work for my friend's label (see here). We did a show at First Ave in downtown Minneapolis,where I got to do live projections/mix some of my own footage to an awesome electronic  set. Stay tuned for more of that. 


Then there were my friends. Dear lord, please bless my crew. They have become family. They got me up and out, trying new things, and helped me overcome some of my old stuff. Long nights turned into sleepovers and Brueggers Bagels in the morning. Disco Naps were a norm.

It all was so easy. I wouldn't have thought it'd just happen the way it did, to be honest. For once I felt like I got into the motion of living and the right people just fell into my path. That isn't to say that I didn't mess up here and there (cough-boys). I had my share of heartbreak, jealously, and bad decisions. But I made it out all right, and I still have the ones I'm closest to with me. We're good. 



I guess I just got caught up with living. I was thinking about The Wake interview - hoping I didn't sound off-putting. Before I was approached for the interview I was seriously considering not posting another video on Youtube.  This year was the first time that I felt like I was just another regular person. When I used to be overweight (and even when I lost it) I carried it around with me as if it was my total identity. I never was just someone - I was a girl who had lost weight. Even looking back at it now, I made such a huge deal about losing weight when in reality I was pretty much just growing into my body. But now I'm a weight loss guru.

 I think Youtube is wonderful and impactful, but at some point my curated narrative became a little too important and stressful. I am not a Youtuber 100% of the time, so why market myself to be one?
I was getting anxious about where I'd take my channel - if I could ever have the confidence to do what some of my favorite gurus/friends do on here. Sometimes I would have to take breaks while filming because I hated seeing myself model in front of the camera. I couldn't help but feel like I was selling my body, my smile - even pretending to look and act a certain way so it'd appeal to everyone.

 I've been on the internet my whole life trying to create a online persona that not only satisfies me (as my own worst critic), but also 50,000+ people. The bigger challenge these days is that now everyone wants their own web brand and everyone wants to be known (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr). That isn't a knock either, it's just a fact. I don't have to make Youtube videos anymore to have a voice. I don't think it was as easy to do that a few years ago. I don't need instant gratification (nothing wrong with that either). I just need to find out who I am instead of trying to capitalize on what I could be.  


So what does that mean? I don't know. What am I going to do? I don't know. 
What I do know is that I want to relish my life right now for what it is with my newfound happiness. I want to maintain all of the friendships I've created on the internet (hey - YOU!) and share our good vibes. I want to spend time with one of my best friends before she leaves for New York City.  I want to make more short films. I want to work my butt off this summer so I can rent a place with my friend next year. I want to take more film pictures. I want to get to know the Minneapolis scene before I leave it. I want to get lost in weird cult films. I want to make a zine. I want you all to know that I adore you so much and I am thankful that you even care enough to read this sentence. 

You are all so super rad and are going to grow up to be ultimate babes and kick ass in this (sometimes) shitty world - and I want to hear about it. 


So with that all I have to say is: stick with me. 
Whether it's keeping up with this blog or showing me something cool on Twitter - I want to keep in touch with all of you. This is not a goodbye. I will post a video when it feels right, but know that this isn't the end. It's just the scenic route. 

I'll leave you with this photo that I took of a Palo Alto handout and a playlist dedicated to transitions and changes of scenes. Love you all.


Lauren Rose
Curbside Fashion

8 comments:

  1. Hello Lauren, that bit on being your own person instead of capitalising on who you could be spoke to me. I'm guilty of overdoing the latter sometimes when I'm making all these big plans that are supposed to take me closer to this constantly changing "ideal life outcome" that I want to eventually attain. I feel that sometimes the two "feed" each other, in a way. Being your own person is influenced by thinking about this potential person you could be. And at the same time, the person you could be is always in flux as you try to figure out who you are.

    All the same, I wish you the very best in everything that you are doing + want to do. We might not be personal friends but I've always felt like I could relate to what you're saying. Anyway, thank you for being a doll and of course, for keeping it real (:: Keep at it with that activism!

    P.S. Walk on the Wild Side was the perfect "soundtrack" to reading this blog post, in my opinion! It sounded all wistful and nostalgic...all those vibes xxx

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  2. Great to hear from you! Reading this post had me inspired and I REALLY actually reflected on my own. Its crazy how we go through these feelings or vibes in order to figure out who we are. I've went through ups and downs - mostly downs. But I'm still trying to just figure out what they all mean for me in the future - if they do at all.

    Such a awesome post - keep doing these whether its on YT or tumblr or just on here. It means a whole lot more to people then you might think. Thank you! & Love the playlist!

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  3. What type of camcorder do you have i love film and wanted to know. Also what film camera you have. So happy you have film as a hobby hope you have a wonderful day <3

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  4. I know exactly what you are talking about with the videos, and I completely respect your choice :) I made a channel a few years back and got some decent views (at least to me) but I deleted it all because I felt like I was putting on a show and I hated looking at my fake persona. You feel so real to me and i relate on so many things with you. To be honest, you have guts and I love that you are getting out there in your activism. For the moment my feminist views are trapped in a nutshell (a.k.a high school) and I cannot wait to graduate so I can finally make a real difference, not hatin' on the the wonderful web cuz it definitely is helping. I also understand what is feels like to feel in artistic (and mental) limbo. I would love to see a quick web-cam video of you sharing your experience/advice on creative confusion and how you found yourself again cuz I feel lost alot of the time.
    lol this is going nowhere but just thought I would say hi :) been a viewer sense your start and I truly love your posts :) thanks for being literally one of the only people in this vortex of technological mind-washing, who has a sense of the real world and has the best outlook on life :)

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  5. *sobs inside* AHHH Lauren you rule! I know you are going to keep being awesome online and irl. Wish you all the best!

    sxx Amelia

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  6. I loved this so much - thanks Lauren for inspiring me always

    Alissa x

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  7. You rule.. so hard !

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  8. Hey Lauren, I just wanted to ask you a quick question do you have an instagram?

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