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Megan M.

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I look fit / wear "flattering" clothes that are the right balance of modest and showing-a-bit.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

Yes... I like when girls have their own style that is similar to mine LOL. Or different. But I think I tend to think about what I don't like... too prep, too goth, etc. I'm also noticing that in the U.S. we call women girls rather than women, which might seem offensive as we don't call men boys as much.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I like when women are put together but not too much so, and don't seem to notice it. It is obviously way less attractive when women think too highly or lowly of themselves.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

Well I think that going from liking women to liking men, and exploring my femininity, was a time of feeling more pretty. I know this is WRONG as "society" should value hot - androgenous-looking styles, etc. as I previously wore 0 skirts or dresses, etc.

Haha I still don't have my hair "right" though AVEDA does help with that! OMG.

I think it is definitely helpful to have "clicking" type moments as I have had with clothes lately... one of the things I'm trying to do now is wear clothes I feel cute in, and less exercise-wear! Of course a lot of it is really cute, but here in the States you can seriously wear exercise clothes all day, every day. It is too much. I love it but I am trying to change the top half. So for graduate school / going to the library now I am wearing exercise pants on bottom with a cute and colorful sweater on top. This way I look and feel cute while still having a comfortable bottom (which is what impacts your comfort for sitting down). I would NOT start wearing skirts or even jeans to the library. I actually work as a waitress and one of the reasons I haven't gotten a "better" job is that I wear jeans there, and I don't want to have to dress up for some boring office job. OMG I can't believe I said that! But seriously I LOVE seeing girls in those cute clothes from Ann Taylor Loft but I don't know (a) if it would be comfortable enough (b) where I would keep them in my studio apartment and (c) if I would want to pay for them. Wow. I thought I would have nothing to say on this survey but apparently I do. Gracious. I hope no one is reading this but if some poor intern is I'm seriously sorry. (And I'm sorry for saying sorry as women are supposed to say it less!)

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

I keep costs very low, which is not necessary for other people. I also try to only get clothes I am ACTUALLY going to wear, whereas others maybe could afford to get something and then donate it with the tags still on it. (This is something I do recommend to those who can because the person who buys it second hand will be so excited!)

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

I wouldn't think of it as a rule but I like to include some color. I also LOVE pink but some people look good in a different color. As stated above I almost Always wear exercise pants LOL. If you live in Europe you can't get away with this as people might think you are in your pajamas! My DREAM is to marry a European guy (so far in my life I've only dated European men), live in Europe, and then "holiday" or vacation in the U.S. to see friends and family. What does this have to do with clothes?

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

I don't think I've had many conversations regarding this, which is telling in and of itself.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

Yes! I love intentionality. I think my goal has been simplicity and intentionality... actually Thinking about what you are doing and why you are doing it. I've always been someone that values social justice and I also value simplicity, less is more, and efficiency.

I have certainly applied this to relationships in terms of only being friends with like the nicest people ever, keeping in touch with close friends but not worrying about keeping in touch with 100 people (I am not on facebook which I see as very inefficient in terms of time management!), etc.

I have applied this to finances as I am organized, have no debt minus student loans, etc. I am always trying to save money and actually keep a little notebook of all my spending, and then I add it up at the end of each month and say "oh I spent this much here" etc. and re-evaluate for goals for the next month.

I do this in terms of chores by playing music in other languages while cleaning, thus learning and getting things done at the same time.

I basically do not like clutter: be it actual items or crap on my to-do list that I Actually Don't Need To Do. I think a lot of people make stupid to-do lists, which they could simplify or not even do. For example, if your kid is in like 4 sports, tell them to choose one per season. No kid should run around like a maniac without time to spend with friends or just create a science experiment in the bath-tub! Fun.

I think I could improve on taking my own advice by getting rid of some of my to-read list of things that I don't actually need to read, etc. This is hard. Oh mon dieu.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

Yes! I love white shirts, both short and long sleeve. White is actually a very colorful color to me, I think as opposed to black or grey. LOL

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

Yes, I gave my aunt a necklace from England that I could tell she really really liked. She had given me free haircuts basically all my life so it was the least I could do.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

Ugg boots because they are ugly. No offense!

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

Yes my mom is Beautiful and has mostly great style, though sometimes not. She lives in the suburbs and thus they are behind the times... she still wears capris which look awful. But overall I am extremely lucky as they say that girls will age like their mother, so long as you wear SPF which I do. My mom has grace / elegance / charm which I'd like to have, and do have sometimes when I can stay calm and sit still long enough to do it. Gracious.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

Well I've never stolen anything and my sister and I never shared clothing, which is perhaps why we've always gotten along! LOL. I can't think of anything except that I learned from watching my sister to put in hair product while upside down, which has really helped me. LOL!

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

Yes, when I went from liking women to men, and along with it changed my own gender performance. I REALLY resented the loss of power that came with that... if you are a femme feminist it may be seen as less *pronounced* than walking around with short hair and holding hands with your girlfriend. As I'd love to be a stay at home mom / writer I think people could mistake that as been *oppressed* or "oh the poor girl is like that because she's socially conditioned as such and doesn't know how to be liberated" which I feel frustrated by. Most of all I want to look HOT for myself and men I LIKE, not creepy guys I'm not interested in on the train. Gross.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I think it is political to make a statement. I like to not be in a category: I'm a little preppy but not too much so, a little cute and comfortable but also dressed up in a sense / with a flair, I think that it makes a statement to not be in a box and do your own thing. Not that anyone else would really notice or care.

16. Please describe your body.

I like this question! My body is pretty and I'm not sure what to say about it. I think it is very sexy actually though I would like to loose weight. UGH. I'm not supposed to think that but then I'm also supposed to accept myself and my thoughts. UGH UGH.

17. Please describe your mind.

HAHA LOL I like this question! My mind is very active and enjoys everything... I love to day dream and make up little stories, study languages, just be in my mind all the time. The hard part I think is sharing your mind with others... even if you are a very "open" person you might not share much with others really. I like to share A LOT and this has gotten me into trouble. I've also had times when dating when I shared too little and that didn't work out either. UGH.

18. Please describe your emotions.

My emotions are generally very positive, loving, healing, etc. I love myself (literally I give myself a little kiss on the arm sometimes!) and openly am very affirming with friends, co-workers, librarians, etc. I think this is a great way to be! I think my emotions are sometimes frustrated because there is a distance between the world in my head and reality (PROUST RIGHT?). The problem is I'm not sure of how to make myself "work" in reality, especially job and money wise. If I could ever write an actually decent book maybe that would help... gracious we all know where this is going. But really I think that that is probably the hardest thing for my emotions, is that frustration. Other than that, mostly my emotions are very happy and positive.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

Hohoho as usual NO Makeup whatsoever, pajamas as I go to bed early, and my hair is just hanging off my head LOL LOL. Haha I forget sometimes that I am very minamilist as compared to what I could be doing which makes me very HAPPY. Even my number of bathroom supplies is very small.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

Yes, I like this question. Of course in the *philosophical* view of life it doesn't matter. But in finding a husband / how others perceive you / even how you perceive yourself in some ways it does matter. I think for me the biggest change has been learning a healthy balance. I used to think that appearance mattered ZERO minus being clean and smelling decent / showering daily. I wouldn't even wash my face minus water in the shower (i.e. no face wash or soap) and my mom was like "please wash your face!" for years. I've now learned a balance where I actually wash my face and wear clothes I feel cute in without wearing any makeup / jewelry, etc. Really though the balance for me is that because appearance matters to other people / how they perceive me, I should care at least a little bit about it, but not too much. My main goal is to feel Sexy because when I feel sexy others think so too (including a potential mate!). I do feel sexy already and I am trying to resist the urge to say "oh I'll be sexy once I loose weight." BS

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

July 3, 1985. I was born in Hinsdale, IL (U.S.) and now live in Chicago, IL.

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.


What kind of work do you do?

I'm a graduate student / waitress / nanny.

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

Single. UGH.

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I heard about you on NPR and really enjoyed the survey. I didn't think I would have anything to say.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I feel good and positive: I feel very clear about some of my goals. I want to work out more but also love and accept myself as I am.

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