The art of not feeling threatened by the beauty of others

by byanika on 20/05/2011 · 145 comments

in By Anika,dresses,self worth,zebra

Hi Sweethearts!

Have you noticed all of the beautiful women around you?

I love people-watching, but what I love the most is women-watching.

I take such pleasure in the beauty of other women. I love looking at them, and you know, there is something beautiful about each and every woman, so that makes for a lot of gazing in a non stalkerish manner. That said, I do stop women in the street to compliment them. Have you ever done that?

  I was sitting on the tram the other day, thinking about the women I saw around me and about me watching them. Or more to the point, I was thinking about what I am thinking while watching beautiful women.

There was a time when I felt threatened by beautiful women. I would spend my time perfecting an inner dialouge that went something like this:

“Oh, look at her. She is stunning. I am not and will never be that stunning/elegant/ thin/ well dressed. ” In that moment I very efficiently objectified us both, reducing the woman I was comparing my self to too a one dimentional picture of perfection, while reducing myself to a below par human being.  That right there is disrespect done beautifully.

As my selfesteem grew I began challenging my notions of my self and others, questioning my perspective, examining my frame of mind. This negative inner dialouge I had going on about my self and my fellow sisters did not make the cut.

The outfit: Discreet zebra tuniqa by H&M, I added the black hem at the bottom. Bling by H&M. Sandals by Skopunkten.

When I see beautiful women today I feel happy, blessed to be able to enjoy her beauty, and aware that there is always more to a person than what meets the eye.

When I see a beautiful woman today I pray that she sees her own beauty.

Sweethearts, you are all so very beautiful. Thank you for being just who you are. I hope you know how lovely you are. I love you.

 

 

 I would love to connect with you!

 anikack@gmail.com   @AnikaByAnika   Facebook

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

1 AllysonNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm

This is the single most wonderful thing I’ve read on the internet in a long, long time. I’m so glad to know you, Anika.
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byanika 2 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm

And I am glad to know you dear Allyson! I am so glad you enjoyed the post. Sending you warm hugs xx

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3 ConsiderMeLovelyNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm

This is such a beautiful post! I love women watching too…what they wear, how they move, facial expressions. I think it vital to compliment and encourage each other!

My dear you are gorgeous in this dress!!
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byanika 4 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hi sweetheart, thank you so much for your feedback. I agree with you, we need to lift each other up! xxx

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5 kristyNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

what a beautiful post anika! my inner dialogue when seeing other beautiful women wasn’t always healthy either. growing up, growing self-esteem, being more confident in myself and seeing my own beauty really helped me to be able to see, appreciate and not feel threatened by the beauty of others. i can talk about other women objectively and complimentary now. and yes! i have totally stopped women on the street to compliment them. =)
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byanika 6 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi sweetheart Kristy, thank you for your comment. I am so glad that your inner dialogue is one that embraces your self and your fellow women, and that you act on it by sharing compliments. I knew that about you somehow, that you are a kindred soul. Hugs for you my dear. xx

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7 LaCaraNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Oh Anika, this is such a beautiful post! Having felt below par (especially in school around thin girls), I used to mentally beat myself up, because I felt so inadequate. However, stepping back and taking some time for myself, I realised I am beautiful, just like everybody else. I just had to change my perspective and learned to love myself, the way I am. Now I love watching beautiful women, knowing that I am secure within myself, and I am beautiful too.

<3

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byanika 8 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

You are beauiful, indeed. I am so glad that you were able to face your fears head on, and be victorious. The importance of our truth about ourselves is paramount, no? I love you. xx

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9 SACRAMENTONo Gravatar May 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I do watch women. We do get dress for ourselves and for other women or even men with a very especial feminine eye.
You are beautiful, my dear friend.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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byanika 10 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I am so glad to hear that you do too :D . I agree, I dress for my self and for my sisters. You are stunning, Sacramento, inside and out. I am so glad to know you, my friend. Love you so much! Besos xxx

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11 FASHION TALESNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Darling Anika, such a great post! I too have had these thoughts, especially when I used to work at an agency (I did not feel beautiful as the ones I was surrounded by), but later realised that there’s much beauty within & we are all beautiful in our own way. Our differences make us even more! I love women watching & adore it greater when we lift each other up & celebrate just being the lovely women that we are. Thank you for this post, YOU are beautiful my dear friend.xxoo Happy weekend!

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byanika 12 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Sweetheart, thank you for sharing. You are so right, we are all lovely in our own way, diversity is the point! You are wonderful, in every way. Love, Anika xxx

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13 QueenDivaNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Wow… I love this outfit, the post… everything. Also, your beauty is astonishing because not only are you beautiful on the outside, but your inner beauty and like a shining spotlight!! Love you girl!!
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byanika 14 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Honey, I love you too, you know I do. Thank you so much for your kind words, you georgeous thing you. Also, I keep trying to read your blog, but my pc is broke and won`t let me open your site. So, please don`t think I have forgotten about you! Will sneak read your blog at work from now on lol. Hugs xx

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15 OfeliaNo Gravatar May 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

This makes me think of a close college friend; she was tall, blond, blue eyes and had a perfect, perfect figure. But she was so insecure of
herself because everyone related to her by her looks and not her brains or personality.
At times she told me that she felt alone and worthless. She wanted to be perceived as funny and smart not just a beautiful face and body.
We used to go out a lot (most of the other girls did like her because they felt insecure around her) and I always felt very protected of her
because I can see that she was a beautiful soul as well as a beautiful women.
Have a lovely weekend,
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byanika 16 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

There you go my dear, this is exactely what I mean. These thoughts of not being worthy, not being enough is not about how we look or how perfect we may or may not be percieved to be, it comes from within, from our own perception of our selves. I have had the same experiences, and those helped me become aware of how incredibly jugdemental it is to define someone as perfect. You my dear, are one soulful woman. I adore you. xxx

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17 Ashe @ Dramatis PersonaeNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Oh, Anika, this is absolutely so lovely. I can hear my own internal voice in some places here, and it inspires me to want to change it for the better– and to tell more women they’re beautiful!

(Fact– you are STUNNING.)
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byanika 18 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Oh sweetheart, I am so happy to get a comment from you! I have a secret bloggercrush on you. Not so secret anymore lol. Yes, let`s go out there and tell women they are beautiful! You my dear, are stunning. xx

ps, I keep trying to read your blog, but can`t because my pc is broken and won`t let me open your site. But, I will keep trying!

(Feel free to throw hard facts at me anytime lol)

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19 JoyNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm

How brilliant is this post, Anika. I love the way you delve deeply into the issues that we women face. When I was younger I used to feel threatened by pretty women that I thought my partner my feel attracted to (I had to deal with my fear of abandonement and lack of self-worth). But anyway, I can relate to what you have written. Love it!
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byanika 20 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Sweet sweet Joy, thank you so much for your feedback. I do want to go to those places, because I believe it is important. I can relate to what you are sharing, thank you for that. Big hugs for you! xx

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21 KarenNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Anika, my dear, you are so wise and articulate. Before I accepted and began to love my body, his is the sort of thing that would go through my head as well when I saw a beautiful woman. I used to hate going out with my skinny sisters because they would get so much more attention than me. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t because of my curves, but it was because I had a bad attitude about them and was very shy, reserved, and zoned-out during social interactions. I could only think of the flaws of my body, and I was never in the moment. Now when I see a beautiful woman I smile at her to see if that beauty reflects inner beauty as well. If she smiles back, I know it does. I often also share knowing smiles with fashionable women (young and old, skinny, fat, or in-between) and for a brief moment we share a special unspoken connection, like we have a secret no one else knows. It is one of my favorite parts of dressing fashionably. I feel like part of a really awesome club or something. Your blog is definitely something special, Anika. So empowering. Keep it up.

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byanika 22 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Thank you so much my sweet. I completely relate to what you are talking about, thank you for sharing! I am so glad you now get to be in the moment, and let others see you for the beautiful person you are, inside and out. And those moments you describe? I love those. Hugs coming your way!

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23 Bella QNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I love this post- and the sentiment behind it, Anika. I’m coming back to leave a more thoughtful response later.
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byanika 24 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Thank you my friend, I know you get it. Love, Anika

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25 Ann TindallNo Gravatar May 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Anika!! You are so beautiful, inside and out!! Thanks for this post, and for having the courage to admit that you had insecure thoughts in the past. It really is a measure of your high self esteem that you rose above the compare and despair dialogue I have been brought down by too! When I think of how grateful and blessed I am those negative thoughts vanish from my mind!
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byanika 26 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Hi Ann! Thank you for your feedback, and for your kind words. There is no shame in being honest about the good and the bad. I count my blessings many times a day too, and it helps me stay centered and in the moment. Thank you for being you! xxx

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27 AnnaNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

This is a lovely post. I watch women do, but nowadays its the style I admire the most, because I’ve come to terms that each one of us in beautiful in her way, there’s no reason comparing ourselves with other women!
And…this dress is awesome, this style suits you very much!
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byanika 28 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hi sweet Anna, I completely agree. I take such inspiration from watching other women work their fashion sense! So fun. Big hugs coming your way, lovely.

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29 JenmarieNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I love this post! I too enjoy complimenting other women about what they’re wearing, their make-up, hair, or just anything really! I think I began doing it more when I realized females didn’t compliment me on anything very much and how it seemed like they didn’t ever want to approach me just to say “Hi”. Sometimes I thought maybe it was because I looked stuck up or maybe they felt threatened by me? Like they didn’t want to compliment me because they were jealous or thought I was full of myself and so they didn’t need to tell me anything that would make my head bigger. I have dealt with females judging me before they even get to know me ALL MY LIFE and it’s terrible! It makes me cry! Sometimes I’ve found myself being able to relate and talk to guys more than girls because of how they’ve treated me. It was never that I expected females to compliment me or talk to me but I wanted to show them that I wasn’t one of those women. I find that if I approach them myself and give compliments it will show them that I am, in fact, approachable and a nice person who would love to have more girlfriends. The truth is, I don’t have a lot of female friends who I hang out with offline. Does it make me sad? Sometimes. But I am all the more grateful for the girlfriends I do have who know who I am and my heart. I don’t want it to seem like I talk to females and give them compliments only because I want to receive them in return. I am glad I do it more because everyone needs to be complimented and lifted up from time to time. You never know how a simple compliment will brighten their day!

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30 JamillahNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I want to hug you, Jen. I’m emailing you.

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31 Casee MarieNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 6:33 am

Jen, I know I’ve told you this in the past but I feel compelled to say it again: you have so much personality and your kindness truly emanates from you in every way. Remember how I once said the word I would use to describe you is “resplendent”? You glow, you honestly do. I just said in my own comment that I very rarely compliment other women because I just never talk to strangers at all, I’m shy and more than a little insecure and I also grew up in places where talking to people you didn’t know was the most alien thing in the world. Nobody thought to do that. And I also grew up as the uncool one with my friends and the standoffish one with everyone else. I never expected compliments and I never thought to give them. My parents have always told me I’m beautiful, but come on, they’re parents – it’s what they’re supposed to say, right? It wasn’t until blogging introduced me to women secure enough with their own image to truly look at other women that showed me what it means to be complimented.

I think people lead very fast lives and those of us who are sensitive see a lot more of it than the rest. We’re in touch with deeper emotions and moments that are lost on other people hang in wait for us. But not everyone is willing to grab the moment, they’re just not confident enough. You are, and you should be incredibly proud of that because when you extend even the smallest kindness – a simple smile or “hello” – you embolden them, and they might hold that with them and offer kindness to someone else in their day. And as for the women who don’t reach out to you, I know with absolute certainty that it isn’t a fault of your own. They’re just moving too fast. They don’t notice the moment.

Love you, sweetie! xo

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byanika 32 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Darling, I understand what you mean. I second everything Casee so beautifully wrote. You know what I am thinking? You are wonderful. Full stop. I would love to have you as a friend in real life as well as here. As long as you know your intention is true, let the rest of it be. We can not control or even know what others are thinking about us, but we can choose to not let that uncertainty worry us. I know the pain of feeling jugded, or worrying that I am being jugded, and that is exhausting. If people don`t treat you with respect then they are not welcome in your life, not because you are not a good person, but because you ARE. Love, Anika

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33 DanaNo Gravatar May 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Anika, this is lovely! I so agree. Especially with diminishing them to one dimensional perfection and diminishing yourself. I love the idea of telling people they are beautiful. My husband always points out that I could have a conversation with anyone because I frequently compliment people in stores or on the street. People need to know they look good or have an adorable baby or so on and so forth. There is something wonderful about putting positivity into the world :)
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byanika 34 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hi Dana, thank you so much for sharing! I love that you chat people up lol. I can come across as a bit flirtatious I think, for the same reason. Why not put some positivity out there, when it is so easy to do and creates such wonderful ripple effects? Hugs xx

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35 LauraNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm

This is really beautiful, and definitely rings true with the confidence we should be having, especially in our inner dialogue!
Thanks for that!
(I love your kaftan/dress/tunic thing-y, whatever it’s called, it’s so interesting!)
- Laura
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byanika 36 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Hi Laura, thank you so much for your comment! Hope you are having a lovely day xx

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37 AquíNo Gravatar May 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Amazing post! Its so hard to be perfectly confidant sometimes! I too am learning that the beauty of others should never be a threat! As you said, ‘there is beauty in every woman’ Thank you for this uplifting perspective :)
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byanika 38 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Hi sweet Aqui, I know, I certainly don`t manage to stay confident all of the time. I view confidence as a voyage, not a destination, so I don`t mind having to rebalance my self over and over again. Thank you so much for your comment xx

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39 JamillahNo Gravatar
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May 20, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Oh Anika!! You really never fail in providing posts that are so honest and full of the celebration of ourselves. I definitely recognize feeling negative about myself because of the beauty of another woman and I am working on my thoughts and my inner dialogue all the time.

One of my favorite things is to compliment strangers! I love the face they give me, it’s absolute joy at hearing something appreciated and I LOVE women watching maybe more than my BF, lol. But thank you for reminding me that their beauty has really nothing to do with mine and I can admire how beautiful they are without putting myself down.

LOVE YOU

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byanika 40 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hi my sweet Jamillah, thank you so much. I love to do that with strangers too, so fun, and such an easy way of spreading some joy! I am always checking out women too lol. I am so glad you took something away from my post. Big hugs to you! xx

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byanika 41 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I LOVE YOU TOO! xx

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42 YvonnaLiviannaNo Gravatar
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May 21, 2011 at 2:54 am

Love your outfit! Love the message behind this post. I currently am renewing my life and how I view myself. We should all just be content with ourselves while giving praise to other beautiful women!

XX!
YvonnaLivianna
a-toutlemonde.blogspot.com
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byanika 43 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Yes! I hope one day we all get to that place! It is inspiring to hear that you are on a voyage too, towards your self. Sending you big hugs! xx

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44 Kirstin MarieNo Gravatar
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May 21, 2011 at 3:27 am

This is a beautiful post by a gorgeous woman. I love everything that you said, and it was so beautifully written. I love people watching, and I have stopped to compliment people before in the street. It’s nice to make people smile! :)
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byanika 45 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Thank you so much dear Kristin. You make me smile! Love, Anika

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46 AmbujiNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 5:26 am

Only a thoughtful and deep person could write a blog such as this one. You also have the sensitivity to realize that women are threatened by the physical characteristics of other women but with self-worth and confidence can overcome such feelings. I women watch all the time and admire the stylish, unique women with varied characteristics. Only today I saw a somewhat older woman with a short cropped silverhaired do, the coolest reading glasses, armed with a book. I thought it was absolutely hot!! I too at times compare myself with other women, but then tell myself, we are all unique and should appreciate the beauty in each other.
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byanika 47 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Ambu, I feel that you really see me. Thank you for that. That woman you are describing sounds like my fierce grandmother, must check if she is where you live for vacation lol. We are all unique, and we all need to celebrate that. Thank you again for your post about me, was blushing as I read it. <3

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48 Casee MarieNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

Anika, you are truly a treasure. And a beautiful woman. And you write the beautiful things, and you selflessly and effortlessly life the self-esteem of every woman around you and that’s beautiful too. My life is so much more beautiful for having known you, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tell you just how much I appreciate and love you!

I’m very familiar with the inner dialogue that slings arrows at your self-esteem and I’m still working at mastering it. I honestly don’t compliment strangers because I very rarely talk to strangers – I’m terribly shy. I’ve been complimented a few times in the past and I know I have complimented other women but it’s been a long time. Most of the time here I feel like we all go about our days without ever really noticing the women around us. The small town I live in now is much friendlier than anywhere else I’ve known and people will randomly strike up a conversation – something completely unheard of in New York or Chicago. You’d love it here, I’m convinced. One day this winter my sister and I were leaving a store with three coffees for ourselves and our mom and this older gentleman was walking beside me and suddenly said, “Oh, you didn’t have to get one for me too!” as a joke. It took me so by surprise that someone I didn’t know was talking to me, I didn’t know what to do! They’re funny out here, and I have to get used to it but maybe it will be a good thing.

Also, I just have to add that this look is gorgeous. That zebra with the turquoise! Oh goodness, I love love love.

Big hugs, sweets! xo

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byanika 49 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Darling, you are such a talented writer. “…the inner dialogue that slings arrows at your self-esteem”, so beautifully put.

You know, I very rarely get complimented my self, I am always the one giving. I know it is not something people often do. I understand your surprise at strangers being chatty :D . Such a sweet and funny story. I am sure I would love it where you live, if the people are anything like you I know I would feel right at home.

This may surprise you, but I am shy as well. Not so much now as I used to be, but I still have to overcome that sometimes. Being shy is fine, unless you feel it is a hindrance. You are wonderful. And you know what else? It took me a while to realize that you feel that you are shy, because I did not perceive you in that way in our communication. So thank you again for including me in your life. Kisses for you my friend! xx

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50 Casee MarieNo Gravatar May 24, 2011 at 3:41 am

Thank you so much, dear Anika! People are very outgoing here, so I’m not very much like them, but they are very nice! Haha.

A lot of people tell me I don’t seem shy, and I think online I’m much more comfortable because everything is words and words don’t intimidate me the way people looking at me do? Does that make any sense at all? I’m also not as intimidated by writing as I am by talking. I’m very nervous about speaking with people, I always worry I’ll say the wrong thing, but when I’m in a social situation I just sort of…try to let go and be myself? It still makes me nervous, but I’m glad no one seems to notice! ;)

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51 Laura ConnellNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 6:27 am

I like the idea behind this post, too. Envy is never a good thing. It’s very destructive especially to ourselves. You’re right, we are all beautiful and we can let each other know!
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byanika 52 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I am glad you enjoyed my post darling! Envy is such a dark force. Let`s let the light in! xx

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53 meleNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 6:42 am

Anika you should be the leader of this world. If we all loved each other as we should, the world would be an amazing place. I love giving strangers compliments….but if I see or they do something I really like, I just have to smile and tell them….and it really brightens up their day…You never know what a person is growing through and how your kind words might just save them in that moment.

Im so glad I found your blog. You truly are beautiful my friend.

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byanika 54 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Well, I am just so glad that we are friends! I loved your comment so much I wanted to tweet part of it in my #bloggerwisdom series, but couldn`t find your handle? Can I have it pretty please? Mwuah!

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55 Ashley RaeNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

This is a great post, Anika! So many times we forget how unique and beautiful we really are. Thanks for the reminder.
Btw, you look beautiful in these pics! I love that you added the bottom hem.

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byanika 56 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Thank you so much Ashely :) It is something we all need to be reminded of, me included. I am so glad you enjoyed the post my lovely. xx

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57 anitaNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

Thank you for being who YOU are! It’s so refreshing reading your posts. I was having a doubty day and I just came around your blog and felt better! :) I love this top, I’m so buying it! :) you look gorgeous.

xox
A_Riot
http://thickthreads.blogspot.com/
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byanika 58 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Anita, your comment means so much to me, truly! I am so glad to hear it! When ever you have a doubty day you call me! You are wonderful. :) Hugs xx

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59 VeronicaNo Gravatar
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May 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Flott innlegg, Anika! Jeg ble varm inni meg av å lese det:=) Anbefalte det akkurat til ei på Kvinneguiden.
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byanika 60 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Tusen takk Veronica, det betyr mye. Gode klemmer til deg fra meg!

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61 Barbro AndersenNo Gravatar May 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

You inspire me a great deal, Annika. I can absolutely relate to this issue, as I am terrified of beautiful and strong women. I don’t know why, I just feel like they are going to step all over me if I ever try to engage in conversation. I’m actually really scared to compliment anyone, just because it means I have to continue talking to them – and I guess that’s what scares me the most. Not being able to compete with anyone, because I have stupid self-esteem issues. I really wish I was more at peace with myself, and I’m working on it, believe me – so thank you for bringing this up. It was a pleasure reading it, and I’m really honored to “know” you :)
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byanika 62 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I know that feeling, at least one very similar. For me it is the feeling of being so voulnerable that I can`t even stand being looked at, let alone engage in conversation. I have had my inner voice putting me down for most of my life, so I can relate to what you are talking about. For what it is worth, when I first landed on your site I was struck by your beauty, inside and out. And I wondered, would you like ME? I am so glad to get to know you better. I would love to have coffee with you some day. No compliments, just hanging out <3

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63 JTwisdomNo Gravatar
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May 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Anika you are beautiful girl!

You know I still deal with not feeling up to par and not being as beautiful or as thin from time to time. I use to feel imperfect standing next to someone who is smaller than me. I would feel like no matter how much I exercised or worked out it would never be good enough. Well God only made one me and I have to be thankful.
We have to feel good about ourselves because what’s on the inside will project outwardly. We are made of all different shapes and sizes and that what makes all of us special. We were not made to be carbon copies, we are individuals and that what is so cool.
Great post.

JTwisdom
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byanika 64 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Darling, I so know what you are talking about. I would have anxeity attacks because I was so worried I was so ugly because of my weight. Feels terrible, no? And what a waist too. You are right, we are exactely who we are supposed to be; our selves. Gotta love that. Love you honey. xxxxx

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65 Beautifully InvisibleNo Gravatar
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May 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

You are amazing in more ways than I can count. I am always impressed with your honesty when it comes to topics like this. You have a talent for eloquently expressing what so many women feel at some point in their lives. It is inspiring, truly. This especially really resonates with me right now:

“Oh, look at her. She is stunning. I am not and will never be that stunning/elegant/ thin/ well dressed. ” In that moment I very efficiently objectified us both, reducing the woman I was comparing my self to too a one dimentional picture of perfection, while reducing myself to a below par human being. That right there is disrespect done beautifully.”

It’s funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it), but I know that I am a beautiful person on the inside. I know that without a doubt. Sure, I have my faults, as does everyone, but I know I have a good heart and a kind soul. Those are two of my strengths and I am proud of them. I also know that I am a strong person. I have had to overcome a lot in my life, and still face challenges on a daily basis. But I face them head on. Except when it comes to feeling beautiful on the outside. That is where I am failing miserably right now.

The past year my self-esteem has plummeted. I know it’s because I am judging myself due to a break-up, but I can’t seem to get past that feeling that I am just not pretty enough/thin enough/gorgeous enough. Sure, I may be pretty on the inside… but does it really matter when so many can’t get past the outside?

In my head I know I am focusing on the wrong thing, and I know that I am disrespecting myself my doing so. But I can’t seem to get past that right now. Maybe one day.

Reading these beautiful thoughts help. One day I’ll hopefully see myself as beautiful on the inside AND the outside again like I used to :)
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66 THE-LOUDMOUTHNo Gravatar
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May 22, 2011 at 6:50 am

Oh, B — your comment made me want to cry! From the photos I’ve seen of you, you ARE beautiful. You have gorgeous eyes and a brilliant smile! But you know WHY you are beautiful on the outside? It’s because you’re so beautiful on the inside. That inner beauty shines through! Embrace it :)
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byanika 67 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

B, my darling friend. Ljubavi. Hvala. Thank you for your honesty, I am blown away. I guess the thing is, it is what we believe about ourselves that makes the difference. I would never describe you as anything but attractive, and you know how honest I am. But, I know, receiving compliments may not necessarily help when you actually are grieving. I would never disrespect you by telling you to just believe in your self and get over it. I know it doesn`t work that way.

Srce, I hope that you can find it in you to forgive what ever it is you need to, and that you can ease up on your self. I love you so much. In me you have a true friend, blogger family. I am here, and I have unshakable faith in you.

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68 ag.No Gravatar
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May 22, 2011 at 5:53 am

You are so beautiful yourself! It’s often difficult to see other beautiful women when you don’t feel confident about yourself but seeing the beauty in everyone, everywhere can so help us see the beauty in ourself. What an amazing post…and blog too!
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byanika 69 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thank you sweetheart! I am so glad you enjoyed my post, and that you like it here chez moi. Look forward to getting to know you! xx Anika

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70 THE-LOUDMOUTHNo Gravatar
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May 22, 2011 at 6:52 am

Such an AMAZING post, Anika!!! I love you so much and think you’re absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, those eyes? That smile? The voluptuousness??? SWOON!

Working in retail has given me the wonderful opportunity of complimenting random women EACH and EVERY DAY. I love doing it! It makes me so happy to see their face light up. I truly believe that each person is beautiful in some way. But I’ve also complimented women on the street, too.

Let’s keep spreading the love!!!
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byanika 71 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

OMG Steph, your swooning over me! The gods are smiling lol. LOVE it ! Hahahah. I am so glad you compliment on a daily basis. You know, going shopping can be a voulnerable time, and walking into a shop where YOU work must be like coming into a slice of heaven. Nothing less. Let`s spread the love baby, I`m a spreaaaadin !! Love, Anika

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72 LeiaNo Gravatar May 22, 2011 at 8:47 am

You are so right. The key is not to compare yourself to anyone – enjoy their beauty and be confident in your own!
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byanika 73 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Amen my lovely. Leia, I am thinking of you every day. Love, Anika

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74 shevaNo Gravatar May 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

whaouhhh i love the dress, you are beautiful

kiss from France

http://www.plumpydolly.blogspot.com/
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byanika 75 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Merci!! Bisous xxxxxxxxxxxx

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76 MarissaNo Gravatar
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May 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm

My boyfriend always laughs when he notices me noticing other women. So yes, I most definitely appreciate beauty in other women, and I think I’m at a place where it mostly makes me happy and not envious. I tend to notice good style as often as I notice beauty, too.
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byanika 77 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I am so glad to hear that you are in that lovely place my dear! I notice good style too, most assuredly. Today I walked into a guy because I was turning to look at a woman with the most fab scarf lol. Hugs! xx

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78 KristinNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 2:08 am

You are such an amazing role model lady! And that tunic is to die for. RAWR!

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byanika 79 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Rawr indeed! I would really love to go shopping with you lovely! Come to Oslo! xx

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80 DC(k)No Gravatar May 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

You are so beautiful and those colors suit you well!
DC
xx
http://dentelleetchocolat.blogspot.com/
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byanika 81 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Darling! Thank you so much! I missed you! hugs and kisses xxx

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82 DC(k)No Gravatar May 23, 2011 at 4:16 am

It worked!!!!!!!!! I finally can leave you a comment!!!!!!!!
DC
xx
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byanika 83 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Thank God! :D

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84 koriNo Gravatar May 23, 2011 at 6:07 am

Adding the hem with the raw edge is genius! You look beautiful I would be drooling over you if I was out women watching.

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byanika 85 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm

You my dear, have exellent taste in women! :D Hugs xxx

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86 Mode PlusNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I think you might have hit a nerve right there, Anika. In a society where certain (outer-)beauty is celebrated, it is hard not to label your own worth to those standards. Even though I love fashion and I can truly enjoy watching a programme like ANTM, I’m aware that what I see, is not automatically my truth. I have to add that years of life practice made (getting it wrong and still do sometimes), starting to love me for who I am, not for what I can do now or in the future, possible. Loving yourself starts now. When that first step is made, you may appreciate the beauty in others. Thanx for sharing again.
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byanika 87 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Amen my friend. Amen indeed. You and I are kindred spirits. You know that right? :D Love, Anika

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88 GRIT & GLAMOURNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Another thought-provoking post, and have I told you lately how much I LOVE you in an animal print?! I really like this tunic the way you reworked it. I hope you’ll keep it that way!
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byanika 89 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I am not touching it, honey, I promise. :D

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90 FrancaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I so completely agree!
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byanika 91 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I am so glad, darling Franca with the beautiful name to match your beautiful self!

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92 LuAnneNo Gravatar May 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I totally agree, instead of getting competitive and bitter, we should just realize that we can’t compare someone’s outsides with our insides.
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byanika 93 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Yes, and letting go of all that is such a relief my love. It means claiming freedom from whatever power we have given others! You go Lu, you are stunning, and don`t you let no one tell you different! xx

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94 Anne @ The Frump FactorNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Beautiful post. Thank you.

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byanika 95 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm

My pleasure Anne :) Thank you for tweeting my post! x

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96 LouiseNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Anika, thank you for writing this. I wrote something in a similar vein a few months back: http://coffeeandacardigan.blogspot.com/2011/02/hand-in-cookie-jar.html

Let’s just say, I learned this lesson the hard way. Thank you again!
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97 Fajr | Stylish ThoughtNo Gravatar
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May 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Glad to know that I’m not the only one who loves people watching, especially seeing a beautiful woman. I really feel that women are the most beautiful creatures on Earth and it’s such a pleasure to embrace that beauty and not be threatened or jealous. We are all beautiful.

Great post Anika!
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98 The Fashionable ESQNo Gravatar May 24, 2011 at 2:40 am

Wow, really well said. I absolutely love people watching & I love to see how women put themselves together. It’s all a combination of being a really visual person + loving clothes/fashion. I feel like the automatic response from women is to react negatively when another women looks at them but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Thanks for dropping by. Glad V linked to my site :)

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99 NatassjaNo Gravatar May 24, 2011 at 4:15 am

Love, love, LOVE this post!! Such an important message and life lesson that, unfortunately, some will never learn. I’m still working on this myself, and feel so inspired and encouraged after reading your thoughts…thank you for this! PS…you look fabulous in your pics :)
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100 Heather FonsecaNo Gravatar
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May 24, 2011 at 6:20 am

Wonderful post! I think 99 comments certainly suggests we are all sick of jealousy. Go Anika!

Love,
Heather
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101 Miss RockwellNo Gravatar
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May 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

This is beauty at it’s best!!! I look at women EVERYDAY and often wonder if they feel me gawking at them! I always used to wonder if I was in fact beautiful enough for other women to look at me the same way. As I’ve grown older and more comfortable with who I am and what I stand for as a person, a woman, I’ve realized that beauty resides in ALL of us. Its not just about how cute we look in the newest spring trend or how gorgeous our hair and makeup are but moreso the confidence that we carry, the strength that we possess (because women ARE the strongest creatures in the world) and the way we hold our heads up with the pride of being a woman. Beauty comes from within and you, my dear, are beautiful! I love this post…it hits home for so many of us and we need more of this!

http://thriftyandshameless.blogspot.com
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102 Heidi ~ AlpineGypsyNo Gravatar
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May 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Hello, I am new to this blog, but Anika I wanted to say how wonderful your whole blog is. I just think it’s marvelous. Lady, YOU ROCK!

A new fan,

Heidi

(PS: I found this post on FB through Violet Folklore ?)

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103 JanetNo Gravatar May 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Anika, your blog is so awesome! It took until this post for me to really realize that I was doing exactly what you said! I shouldn’t be threatened by another woman’s beauty. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Janet

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104 DuskNo Gravatar May 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

What an amazing post and so SO true. I love woman-watching! And I say to my friends all the time how lucky the world is that women in all their variations of glory, exist!

I don’t know jealousy. I don’t understand it. I have NEVER felt it. I have always thgought it futile to wish I looked like someone else when I am only ever going to look like me. I’d rather spend that time making myself the best possible version of me. I have been surrounded by beautiful women all my life and I feel more beautiful by association!! I am lucky because my friends tell me that I make them feel beautiful… why I believe that makes me lucky is that is the case then they feel confident and with confidence comes security and acceptance and generosity…. and everyone shines on an equal basis.

My apologies if this comes across arrogant and inflated but I know how I have been treated by other females who are insecure and it’s not nice. It is not my nature to cut down the weak but there are times I have to bite my tongue… even though I have been discriminated against simply because the other female is having a bad day.

Women are glorious but so complicated. AND… this need to compete with each other for ridiculous reasons like weight and size and clothing labels! Oh my goodness!! And over men!! OH GOD!!

Anyway… I compliment women all the time and weirdly some are really taken aback at this, it’s so strange watching them take this in. That another woman has paid them a compliment for no motive just reason… because they are beautiful. One thing… I ALWAYS compliment the woman… not [just] what she’s wearing… I don’t believe in impersonal comments. I find them condescending.

Anika you are a special woman. Beautiful and generous of soul. I am happy that you no longer waste your precious time worrying about not adding up and now you project your power and magic through you and towards others.
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105 M @StyleSizzleNo Gravatar
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May 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm

What a truly great post! I always find myself scoping out beautiful women too and have tried (like you) instead of being jealous to soak up their style and find myself inspired by them instead. There really is truth to when people say women are dressing for other women! If a man says something, it’s great and all but if a woman goes out of her way to compliment me or my outfit, it means soooooo much more and always makes my day.
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106 LittleRusNo Gravatar May 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Such a great great great post! I agree with you 100% about everything and still, I know that once in a while I can feel a tiny bit insecure when I see a stunning girl walking down the street. Not that I don’t find myself attractive enough, but I am just being very real and know that there are girls who are a lot more beautiful than me. And yes yes and yes! I do women-watching A LOT. My husband finds it funny. I find it fascinating. I think beautiful people make the world more beautiful and having said all the above, I do think that beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes… It’s just they have IT, in their smile, style, eyes, some call it charisma, I suppose.
Anyway… Enough talking, I guess. Enjoyed reading your post and will be following you now, so I can read more. :)

Have a wonderful day!

x

P.S. You have such a beautiful skin!!! It’s just perfect…
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107 GabrielleNo Gravatar
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May 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm

What an excellent read! I really enjoyed it, great post.
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108 lisaNo Gravatar May 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

A beautiful thought expressed very well.

I adore people-watching and admiring other women’s outfits too.

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109 bestofbklynNo Gravatar May 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm

What a wonderful, uplifting post. This made my morning!

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110 MaraNo Gravatar May 29, 2011 at 5:08 am

This was such a lovely post!

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111 MeghanNo Gravatar May 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

lovely words and lessons, thanks for the reminder to love, even when I’m thinking.

I love the hem you added!

<3

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112 caraNo Gravatar May 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

absolutelt lovely :) i love this and i stop women and compliment them I told someone about this and they told me I was weird but I do it anyways….amazing to hear you do it too much hugs

cara

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113 RachelNo Gravatar
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May 30, 2011 at 12:57 am

I found your blog and this post via another blog and just by reading this post I can tell that you have an amazing outlook at life. It has taken me years to become comfortable in my own skin (although it is always an ongoing process I feel like I’m leaps ahead of where I was 10+ years ago) and now when I see a woman I can appreciate who she is as a fellow woman and human being instead of feeling that pang of jealousy that I don’t have her hair or clothes.

Keep up the great work and I will be following!
Rachel
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byanika 114 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 31, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Thank you so much for sharing my lovely. I really appreciate it. As you say it is an ongoing process, that is so true. Only today I have had to work to center my self and feel the courage to believe in my self. Such is life :) I will be visiting you soon!

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115 WendyBNo Gravatar May 30, 2011 at 10:16 am

Lovely post…

and fabulous earrings!
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byanika 116 byanikaNo Gravatar
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May 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Thank you darling! Have I told you how much I love your designs? I really love your designs! xx

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117 jessicaNo Gravatar June 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Anika, your amazing. I love your attitude towards life and beauty and of course your creative talent is pretty up there! Thank you for being you and writing this lovely post. It really touched me. x
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118 SamNo Gravatar June 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

What a wonderful post! I like that you mentioned stoping to compliment other women. I’ve been meaning to do it more often lately, it’s such a simple way to make a strangers day and even makes the person giving the compliment feel good.

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119 SandraNo Gravatar June 4, 2011 at 8:43 am

This is such an inspirational post! Thank you so much for sharing this.

Love,

Sandra
http://www.diaryofafashiondesigner.wordpress.com
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120 NastasyaNo Gravatar June 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

That is such an amazing post! I could sign under each word! I have a friend who is such a beauty! tall, slim, gentle and a beautiful person inside and outside, who considered herself fat (when in reality she was FAR from that) and almost starved herself to a point when her shoulder was the same as a normal persons wrist.. and the worst thing was that she wouldnt listen to me or anyone else telling her to stop doing that to herself. I am just glad that she eventually came round and that it was not too late. :) Now she is eating healthily and loving herself no matter what. so many times we beat ourselves about not being this or that when in reality all of us are perfect the way we are! and what women need is to learn to love ourselves to bits!!! x

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121 AnetteNo Gravatar August 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Så nydelig sagt. Det gjorde inntrykk på meg, skal prøve å ta det innover meg også! Den kjolen er bare amazing.
Klem A

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122 Sally ThompsonNo Gravatar September 21, 2011 at 4:38 am

I am back again.. I am always surprised with your style.. You always know how to combine your style.. Thanks for sharing! :)
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December 5, 2012 at 9:40 am

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