What is Mermaid Waves: A (Self) Love Story | Mermaid Waves | Chicago Fashion Destination

July 5, 2017

What is Mermaid Waves: A (Self) Love Story

Hey Merbabes!  I am back home from LA and am feeling completely refreshed and renewed.  To be honest if I didn't have to leave LA I never would have, it was two and a half weeks of pure inspiration and joy.  While I was away I had a lot of time to think and reflect on what Mermaid Waves really means to me.  Why it matters, where I see it going and how it is going to get there.  I love sharing (and oversharing) with you babes, so I am excited to give you a glimpse of what has been running through my head these past two weeks.

Lets start from the beginning.  I get asked "what the heck is Mermaid Waves" daily.  Mermaid Waves began as my Instagram username about six or seven years ago, @mermaidwaves seemed like the natural choice as I had long, wild, and wavy "mermaid" hair.  Get it? Good.  From that point on most of my friends changed their wacky instagram usernames and switched to simpler handles like their first and last name, but @mermaidwaves became more than just my username.  More people called me Mermaid Waves than they called me Dani so it stuck, and has continued to stick with me.  It has gotten to the point that when I introduce myself to someone my initial reaction is to say my name is "Mermaid Waves".

When I started high school, I posted my outfits on the daily to my Instagram page.  I was lucky enough to go to an arts high school in the city and felt that I could truly indulge myself in my love for fashion.  There were no small-minded suburban kids to make fun of me, just a bunch of weird arts kids that appreciated my form of self-expression.  As my Instagram continued to grow and my #OOTD photos racked up likes and reposts, I decided to expand Mermaid Waves to another medium, a blog (which is where you are now, in case you are lost).

Mermaid Waves truly started as a form of self-expression and self discovery, if you take a look through the archives you will see so many versions of Dani.  Dani who only wore skirts, Dani who thought she wanted to be preppy (that lasted about a week), Dani who wore a lot of eyeliner.  These moments have all accumulated to create the strong sense of style (and self) I have now.  Although I always felt that I was the truest form of myself as @mermaidwaves, I always carried this overwhelming need for perfection.

The need to be the perfect Instagram it-girl.  When people visited my blog or Instagram I wanted to first thing they noticed was that I was skinny and pretty.  I know that sounds awful, but I also know I am not the only person who has felt (or still feels) this way.  There is such a pressure to feel like you have to have the perfect outfit, and the perfect face, and the longest legs; for a while that is how I thought I would make it big.  I wanted girls to visit Mermaid Waves and want to be me, want to look like me, and wear what I was wearing.  That is what you are expected to be as a blogger, a perfect idea of a person that will make other people want to learn, shop, or listen to you.

As I have gotten a little more mature I realize how disturbing that all sounds and how off from my lifestyle that truly is.  I hate nothing more than listening to people, and god forbid anyone compares me to anyone else.  I am my own person in every way and I realized that is far more important to me than being a "perfect" form of a person.  When someone looks at my Instagram I want them to see how confident and fun I am, and if they think I'm hot, that is just a bonus.  I live an insanely cool life, because I have created that lifestyle for myself.  I could have easily gone to college or continued my ballet training and played things safe, but I decided that I have so much more in me than to work in an office or stand in the back row of the corps de ballet.

That is what I want to accomplish with Mermaid Waves, I want you to feel empowered to create your dream life.  I could care less if you ever purchase an item that I wear, or if you try out a new trend.   That ranks so low on my list of things I want to accomplish in this world.  I will always continue to offer up fashion advice and inspiration because that is a part of what makes me who I am, but I would rather you leave Mermaid Waves feeling like you have a gained a new sense of confidence and are inspired to take on the world.

I know I just rambled a whole lot, and things got kind of deep but I think I brought it all back to the surface.  Mermaid Waves has been a story of self discovery and self-love for me, and now I want to reflect that back on to all of you babes.  I want you to learn as much about yourselves from Mermaid Waves as I have learned about myself over the past seven years.  Whether that is as simple as I tried boyfriend jeans and I hate them, or as deep as feeling empowered to change aspiration in life.

With that being said, I am looking to incorporate some new voices on Mermaid Waves.  Whether you want to share about fashion, self-love, fitness, or something else.  If you would like to be a contributor for Mermaid Waves, please send along pitches / pieces that you feel would fit MerWaves voice and mission.  

Reach out with examples of your writing, or your ideas to dani@mcgowan.xyz.  

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