Photo credits: Kim F.
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of “My Ten Cents.” (Whoooot!) I cannot believe time went by so fast. Although this blog is all about my take on self-expression through re-purposing fashion and creative DIYs, its roots lie deep in my personal past. This positive medium was inspired by a negative past. Like many people, I grew up with a low self-esteem and confidence. I was made fun of for the way I look. Compliments were unheard of for me. Like I mentioned before, I have suffered from acne for almost half of my life. Before then, I had a ridiculous overbite and even with braces, signs of it still linger. Growing up, I spent most of my summers helping my family outdoors, so my skin was several shades darker. Being Vietnamese, I have been mistaken as being Cambodian, Laos and Filipino. There is nothing wrong with those ethnicities, but I never fully felt accepted by my culture to the point where I felt like a disgrace. Harsh as it may sound, but I never felt comfortable in my own skin. 
Photo credits: Kim F.
During middle and high school, I started to play with make-up. Many of my friends used it and I thought it can be my holy grail to look somewhat presentable.  Not only was I bad at it, but it became a torture. With my acne, the make-up sometimes made me look even worst, and I thought that wasn’t possible.
Photo credits: Kim F.

 After calling it quits with make-up for awhile, I swapped it with clothes. Being my introverted-self, I did not have the courage to make a radical change. I slowly did it by switching my old flare jeans to some skinnies. I still remember my very first pair of skinny jeans and being a no-name pair, I managed to wear them out for 3+ years. It sounds lame now that I put it into words. By the time I got into college and with the glorious Forever 21 in walking distance from my campus, I became a little more creative. I thought to myself, “New school=new start.” Nobody knows me here, so I thought I might as well make the change that I always wanted to do, and that is when my wardrobe evolved. Although I lived on campus during my first year of college, I frequently went home on the weekends to go garage-sale-shopping with my mother. Furthermore, now that I am mobile, I went on adventures to the thrift stores more often.

Photo credits: Kim F.

In the midst of things, my brother also started to dress better and we ended up shopping together a lot. My family is quite artistic and creative, so I love shopping with my brothers because I get really good feedback about colors and fit. From there, we would show off our outfits to each other and of course, my outfits were always cheaper. We would break down our PPWs and that was when the idea of “My Ten Cents” started.

Photo credits: Kim F.

If you look back at my early posts, then you would notice that my poses were minimalistic. I was not comfortable with showing my face. I lack awkward poses and facial expressions. I would secretly take pictures of my outfits at 3 AM when my whole family is asleep. 

I had no idea that I would receive so much positive feedback about my blog. I still find it weird when I get compliments. From family, friends to strangers, I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for opening the link and reading my childish thoughts. Thank you for supporting me and inspiring me with new ideas. Thank you for helping me realize how much I love my culture. Thank you for helping me realize how much I love my skin. THANK YOU!

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