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Lila O'Brien

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I'm wearing black.

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

All the time. I notice women who put effort into how they look and clearly have their own sense of style.

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?

I feel like I have that moment every few months. I start observing how other people are dressed, new trends, and I see what I like. What would make me feel like the best version of myself. It changes all the time.

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

Go shopping in the morning. You'll feel refreshed and you won't be bloated yet. I wouldn't recommend it to others because I wouldn't want to push my issues on them.

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

I have different types of black tank tops. Other people probably wouldn't be able to distinguish them or see why I need to have so many, but I love the color and I use different ones for different occasions.

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

Wearing bindis. It's disrespectful and you look like an ignorant idiot if you're not wearing it authentically.

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

I've already talked about the color black a few times, but she definitely passed that down to me. She always said "Blondes in black."

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

When I went away to college for the first time. I started caring much more about how I looked. I stopped wearing yoga pants to places other than the gym.

16. Please describe your body.

Pale and sparsely freckled. Everything is bigger than I want it to be but that's okay. I fluctuate between a size two and four. My ribcage is small so under the right circumstances it looks like I have a good hip to waist ratio. I have a slight stomach and my thighs rub together when I wear shorts. I have a beautiful face.

17. Please describe your mind.

I'm always in it. I'm very smart but I don't always feel like it. I'm not a genius or anything but I unintentionally act dumb sometimes so people won't be uncomfortable or think I'm stuck up. I'm creative and I'm not sure how or why but I have a very unique perspective on the world. My imagination is very active which is good for entertaining myself but it also keeps me locked in my head sometimes.

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

Cover up for zits, black mascara on my top lashes, and eyebrow makeup to make them darker. I have a blonde hair tie on my right hand and a snake ring on my left hand. I'm wearing a choker necklace with three roses on it. I have on high waisted jeans and a white tank top. Bare feet.

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

The way I dress is very important to me. It helps me express myself. If I feel like I'm wearing something that isn't really "me" it can really ruin my day.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

No one really.

27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

I do this whenever I feel fat, so a few times a week. Sometimes it involves covering up and sometimes it doesn't.

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

Absolutely. My discernment comes from my desire for control which is a side effect of my eating disorder (no, it's not the cause of it).

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

Straighten my hair.

31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?

Confidence can be faked!

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

Not being afraid to do exactly whatever the fuck you want.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

A poorly executed preppy style.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?


36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?

I don't often think of my clothes through the eyes of other people.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

I usually choose the night before. I check the weather several times and plan accordingly.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing up probably involves more accessories.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I'm white, I'm from California. I'm very pale so that has a huge impact on my life and how I dress. The summer is really hard for clothes. It's hot but if I have too much skin out I'll get sunburned.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?


48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?

I went to a private school for one year in high school and I liked the uniform, mostly because it made me feel cute. I have some variety in it so that helped. I don't like work uniforms though, that would be constraining for me.

49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

T-shirt and jeans. The type of shirt and the type of jeans have changed, but I like it because it's comfortable and casual.

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

Not at all. I have literally never had that thought. I think sometimes it would be a lot easier to be a man but I love having a woman's body.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Hell no.

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

I try not to be photographed. I usually criticize myself when I see pictures of myself.

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?

I don't remember.

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

East-coast rich.

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

I don't know how much my overall style would change, but I would just feel more comfortable in general.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

It depends on the day.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

I like it, but I don't wear it. It's just too much to think about.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

I need to put on cover up for acne and mascara because I have blonde eyelashes.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

It's a source of stress. I don't wear much of it. I've only recently started coloring my eyebrows and it has helped.

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

My jewelry is almost all silver because I don't think gold looks particularly good on me. I have no idea how to describe my clothes, there's a lot of variety.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

I love my Birkenstocks.

66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?

Probably an old t-shirt that I think I might sleep in some day but I always choose a different shirt instead.

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

I was born in California (Bay Area) in 1995. I go to college in Boston but I'm going to move back after.

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

I'm extremely lucky and privileged to have been born into a family without money problems. I'm Irish and Norwegian, which also makes me very privileged.

What kind of work do you do?

I go to school.

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


How do you feel after filling out this survey?

Pretty good. Sorry I didn't fill out more.

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