“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.” - John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Happy Fourth of July! I know for a lot of us, this year, it may be incredibly difficult to celebrate "Independence Day" due to the current state of affairs. Whether we personally feel affected by all of it or not, there are whole groups of people who continue to be oppressed, who live their lives in fear, and who are not guaranteed the same rights and freedoms that we believe we have. The "American Dream" is in fact an illusion for many people because, sometimes, no matter how hard you work, there may be external factors outside of your control preventing you from reaching your potential, such as implicit biases causing an employer not to hire you, society's views on your gender or chosen gender. The list goes on and frustrations are exacerbated by the current leadership (or lack thereof) in our country that reinforces these systems that do not promote freedom for all, but rather only success for some, at the expense of many who have already been historically disadvantaged: people of color, women, those in poverty. In addition, if you practice a certain religion, identify as a specific gender, or even dress a certain way - you may face discrimination. We are often told that there are "equal opportunities" but equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome, and furthermore equal opportunity is often not truly equal, either. There may be barriers to even obtaining opportunities and, once obtained, there may be barriers to success. Also, if you don't feel personally affected, that simply means you are in a much better place to advocate for those who are affected. It is easy to get discouraged and to think, even if I try my hardest and march and go out and protest, nothing will change. But we still must try, we still must do everything we can to protect our own rights, and to fight for the rights of others, and for social justice.
I will continue to stand tall, advocate for myself and others, stay positive while also being aware, and continue to educate myself on current affairs. I included the quote above from one of my favorite American authors, John Steinbeck, because a huge part of freedom is the individual's right to think and choose, as well as the importance of protecting these rights.
The gingham skirt is from one of my favorite sellers, Vintage Katherine on Instagram. The beautiful corset is by Honey Cooler Handmade (now known as Evgenia Lingerie) and is a one-of-a-kind handmade piece.
These Marciano gingham heels are super unique and I got them from my friend's closet sale!
I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family.
Thank you so much for reading.