This is Part two of our Kuvit Konversation with Vanessa Crawford, a family friend, and owner of Unicorn Tears XD. In this installment, we begin to discuss more personal topics, that I am sure we can all relate to while taking a journey through Vanessa's different style obsessions. Again I want to place a TRIGGER WARNING here, just to let everyone know that we get into some topics that might be sensitive to some. So without any further distractions, let's get into the second part of our Kuvit Conversation with Vanessa!
(Makeover time! I used Kuvit Beauty's loose pigment in "Crush", shimmer eyeshadow in "Trick Please", and glitter in "Lova Boi")
Vanessa Part Two:
Madison: Soooo, how did your relationship with yourself translate into your style?
Vanessa: It totally has taken different forms, now we are talking teenage-hood, and childhood, ya know? When I was a really little kid, my authentic sense of style was really apparent. When I was 3-4-5 my parents let me dress however I wanted; they were really different than other parents because they let me wear stuff that other parents would be, like, go change (laughs). I would wear one shoe that would be my Ariel light up shoe, and the other shoe wouldn’t even be the same type of shoe, it would be, a completely different princess shoe. So I was always a little bit out there and on top of that, my parents were struggling when I was younger financially because they were just starting their business. They were able to cover tuition at private school, which I recognize is a huge privilege in itself , don’t get me wrong, but there wasn’t much more money to go around other than that. So, we just went to a lot of garage sales, meaning I just had a lot of random clothes. When I went to school kids would have full-on outfits, like, matching outfits from head to toe. Everyone was wearing very “matchy, matchy” things in the late ’90s and early 2000s. And I didn’t really have any of that; and at the age of two, my parents would be like, “Okay, get dressed” and just let me pick out whatever, and I always just went for it. But as I got a bit older, I started to hate clothing a little bit, around age 6 or 7 is when I knew that I was “chubby”. I would feel really bad that the number, ya know how kids’ clothes are sized by age?
Madison: Which is damaging.
Vanessa: Exactly, it was, like, if you are an 8 you should be wearing a size 8, but I was wearing a size 14 kids when I was, like, seven or whatever. Which, has gotten better now as kids have gotten bigger, I can fit into a size 16 kids now when back then it would be impossible. But still, it was traumatizing because my parents were really nuts about it, so it became more of a negative thing for me. But I went through phases, I went through a time when I would only want dresses because I didn’t want to show my stomach. My parents don’t even know to this day that was the reason why I wanted dresses. But then I went through this tomboy phase when I was 10 where I only wore boy’s polo shorts from Target and those hideous long cargo shorts.
Madison: (Laughs) Been there!
Sophia: We all had that phase!
Vanessa: It wasn’t even that long honestly, like, not even a full year when I was in that phase…
Madison: I was definitely in that phase for, like, a year, or two, or three….
Vanessa: It was really bad, it was totally not me! And I look back at it and realize that the fashion sense that was me was when I wasn’t inhibited by my size when I was super young. But I realized my style changed when I saw that how you look determines how people treat you, which is horrible. But right before 7th grade is when everything changed, I went to summer camp and basically starved myself and lost a ton of weight and came back to so many compliments and stuff. And at summer camp I had this, girlfriend who I used to hook up with, and everyone thought I was lesbian, but I said I was bisexual and everyone found it really interesting (laughs), Waverly was so fake progressive. I basically went from looking like a six-year-old chubby kid still, to almost maybe 15, and then I chopped off all my hair because I watched “The L Word” and I was obsessed with being like Shane. So during that time, I wasn’t femme for a little bit, I was wearing black skinny jeans, like a band tee and a vest from H&M. And that lasted honestly not even a full year because when I went to 8th grade which was just the next semester, I was starting to borrow my sister’s skirts and shit….but that was honestly a really fucked up time for me. I was, like, just so…..like I was depressed and there was just a bunch of shit going on so it wasn’t great for me in that way. And then I went into high school and I started to dress even more feminine and started to really hone into my style that I wear today. It’s so funny because back then I used to be made fun of for my high waisted shorts and Docs, but the same people that were making fun of me that next year went to Urban Outfitters and got those same shorts for, 80 bucks. The way that I used to dress and the way that I dress now is more popular than it has ever been. But fashion took on a super negative meaning for me when it came down to size, and having to be a certain size to fit this, or that. I would be hurting myself to maintain a weight so that I could wear my size 28 jeans, and people don’t realize that. They think you have to be literally 60lbs to be struggling with that shit, but that's not true I was struggling so hard with that shit and I looked about the same size I am now. I was suffering so much I thought that I didn’t have a valid eating disorder because I wasn't stick thin, but it is also reinforced by society, culture, and even doctors. Like, you go to the doctor’s office and they are like “congratulations” and you’re, like, “but, but, but” and they are like “well whatever you’re doing is working because your BMI is great”, like, they don’t give a shit. But when I went to college I was just, like, I’m going to dress however the fuck I want, and it was the first time I got to experiment with winter fashion and layers so that was a lot of fun. And the thrifting in rural Massachusetts was so good because there wasn’t a huge thrifting culture so you could find such amazing gems. A huge part of my collection was from that time in college, and I collected so many different things partly because I was just so many sizes and weights during that period of time. How I was dressing at the time was based on how I personally felt about my body, ya know?..........
We have reached the end of part two, but no stress part three, the final installment, drops in a week! Vanessa couldn't have answered these questions more perfectly, she was completely open and brave about her experiences and I love her for that. She connected how her relationship with her body informed how she chose to express herself through fashion, and how she had to unlearn a lot of societies ideas regarding how specific body types should dress. In our last installment, we will discuss what inspired her to start her business, the difficulties of making your own path, and what it is like to own a business in the age of social media. I hope you stay tuned!
Thank you for all of the support!