I Wanted To Talk About A&F’s Dad Jeans…But Then These Photos Captured A Moment of Vulnerability

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“Not the blog aesthetic, but I had to send you these photos because they are FIRE,” my photographer wrote to me before sending over the latest gallery from our shoot.

She was right. The pictures were something special. But, there was one picture in particular (edited in black and white) where I’m sitting in my Abercrombie & Fitch Dad Jeans that I think captured something else.

Yes, there's a palpable stress on my face that I'm sure most of us feel, but there's also a realness I couldn't fake, even if I wanted to. She caught me at a moment of naked vulnerability.

Jeans | Sweater | Sneakers

Instead Of Dad Jeans, A Reflection On The Moments In Between

I couldn’t put my finger on why this photo resonated so strongly with me…at first. Maybe it’s the encapsulation of motherhood I could see in my expression, or the state of the world we live in (particularly the past few years), but I think what she snapped was the moment between poses.

She captured me when I wasn’t, “on.”

Yes, there’s a palpable stress on my face that I’m sure most of us feel, but there’s also a realness I couldn’t fake, even if I wanted to. She caught me at a moment of naked vulnerability.

And truthfully, this photo feels more revealing than any swimsuit photos I’ve ever taken.

I can be fierce & confident in high-heeled booties + a leather jacket, I can be fun & whimsical in floral cut-out dresses + bright heels, but I think the "moment between the poses" outfit for me, when I'm not "on" is a perfectly broken-in pair of jeans, comfy top + sneaks.
I can be fierce & confident in high-heeled booties + a leather jacket, I can be fun & whimsical in floral cut-out dresses + bright heels, but I think the "moment between the poses" outfit for me, when I'm not "on" is a perfectly broken-in pair of jeans, comfy top + sneaks.

Jeans | Sweater | Sneakers

I feel like we all have that “best behavior” version of ourselves, but I’ve had to actively work on not performing this version of myself. It’s not inauthenticity as much as a defense mechanism.

Like anyone, I contain multitudes. I can be fierce and confident in my high-heeled booties and a leather jacket, I can be fun and whimsical in my floral cut-out dresses and colorful heels, but I think the “moment between the poses” outfit for me, when I’m not “on” is a perfectly broken-in pair of jeans, comfy top and sneaks. It’s clothing I feel good wearing around the house because I am, at my core, a homebody.

And maybe it’s the one place I can let down my guard. Maybe this is me not “on,” but in my most authentic state.

So here's to the moments in-between. When we're not performing and completely at ease in our skin and our clothing. Real outfits for real moments. That's where I'm at.

Jeans | Sweater | Sneakers

So here’s to the moments in-between. When we’re not performing and completely at ease in our skin and our clothing. Real outfits for real moments. That’s where I’m at.

x, Meredith

Photography by the incredible Bultedaob Photography

10 COMMENTS

  1. I know folx love you on the FB page but I never got to know you but THIS. THIS. Woooo…you are forever friend in my head now. Thank you.

  2. Meredith, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and being so real. Here’s to finding yourself in the moments between, and giving yourself grace to rest there.

  3. Thank you for sharing Meredith. Yes, keeping up the constant “best behavior” version of myself can be unbearable at times. It used to not phase me, but now that I’m trying to be a whole human that lets myself feel all my feelings and I’m no longer numbing with alcohol and pretending that I’m fine all the freaking time… the facade can be hard to keep up.

    Appreciate you being so real and relatable and for sharing this. Makes me (and I’m sure a lot of others) feel less alone.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. I’m not sure when you stopped drinking, but I found the first year were about learning to navigate feelings and feeling comfortable in my own skin and the second year I really started to figure out who I am. It’s a process. You’re doing it and you’re not alone <3

  4. I loved how you articulated the performance of your best-behavior version of yourself: “it’s not inauthenticity as much as a defense mechanism.” That is 100% true for me, and I’ve never heard anyone, including myself, define it so clearly. It’s protection and, yes, a defense mechanism. Thank you for writing this!

    • Thank you Jennifer! It took me a minute to figure out how to phrase that and I’m glad it resonated. You’re doing great <3

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