#NoHashtag: 30 Days To Self Discovery?

Published on June 17, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

Well, my desire to create my own viral hashtag didn’t catch on.

hashtag  01With little to no fanfare (except when I posted pics of scantily clad muscle men), I spent 30 days not buying any beauty poducts, not contributing to the cosmetic industry, and basically stress-testing Sephora’s ability to cope with declining sales figures.  Each day (well, almost…more on that later) I posted a picture of something that I found truly beautiful or that made me feel beautiful with the caveat that it couldn’t be a product or anything you had to buy.  On each post, I included my very own made up hashtag: #30Days.  I called the project 30 Days of Real Beauty, and it’s pretty clear that it was an homage (the fancy way of saying rip-off) of other viral hashtags like #100HappyDays (which I also failed at…more on THAT later too!).  For the original blog post where I proposed the idea, click HERE.

At first it was difficult to stay away; as they wanted me to fail, TooFaced Cosmetics launched their spring eyeshadow collection AND their Melted Metal liquid lipsticks within days of my self-imposed moratorium.  I rationed out my Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner like it was liquid gold, knowing that if I ran out before the calendar flipped to the next page I would have to do without; while I gave myself an out to by necessities like deodorant or body wash (I still had to live in the world, yo!), I didn’t consider balancing my pH levels with organic produce to fall under the necessity category.  About 10 days into the project, I found a seller on Ebay who was not only selling the “gel look” fake nails I use for every show, but was doing so at insanely reasonable prices, with free shipping!  It was painful.

hashtag 02But as I marked each new day off the calendar, I found myself missing it less and less.  Sure, it was fun to get the little bonus goodies in every order, but it got to the point where I would place an order, spending the minimum $25 and sometimes $35 (those were the really good ones!) in order to get whatever the promo item was!  And as the happy boxes with the elegant S-logo stopped arriving with regularity, I found that I was alright.  It was a lovely experiment…

Well, except for the experiment itself.  The not buying thing was going just fine, but as with all of my other failed hashtag experiments, I found myself so tied to the “rules” of the thing that I lost some of the enjoyment.  I see beauty in the world all the time, but having to find one specific thing every day and posting it, and remembering to include my stupid little hashtag, became a chore.  I was so worried about finding just the right image, something that would be beautiful and provocative and get me those cherished “likes” and “shares” and “retweets,” that I missed some of the beauty that was presenting itself to me.  I could just post a beautiful thing, it had to be THE beautiful thing.  Something that showed I was deep and inspiration and a thinker.  Someone who was trying to create real change in the world through social media.  Yep, I bought into all of that shit.  I thought I was saving the world, one hashtag at a time.  I blame the beauty withdrawls for my slightly skewed thinking.

hashtag 05I had equally bad luck with my #100HappyDays experience.  I got so caught up in the process that I missed the point.  I found it ironic that on more than one occasion during both projects I actually got so caught up in enjoying the thing that made me feel happy or beautiful that I forgot to post and had to do double the next day.  Those days were a mixture of guilt at having lost my discipline and satisfaction at having thoroughly enjoyed something meaningful.

I figured out that while some people might have truly transformative experiences with their hashtag projects, they just aren’t for me.  And that’s just fine.  Because if posting your #100HappyDays really does make you happy, then you’ve tapped into the point of doing that project in the first place!  For me, I wasn’t feeling happier and I wasn’t enjoying it.  It felt like pressure and work and the yucky stuff I wanted to escape.  So instead I decided to find other ways to embrace joy in my life: more “me time,” writing and journaling, and crafting.

I also did a pretty good job of cracking my Sephora addiction…or at least getting it under control.  I mean, I’m a drag queen the size of a parade float – I’m never NOT going to need makeup.  But I made it 30 days without buying any beauty products.  In fact, I didn’t buy anything in Sephora for nearly two months.  At the end of May, I finally broke down and added some of those TooFaced goodies into my stash.  I felt like I had earned them, but I knew that I didn’t need them.  And I enjoyed them that much more because of it.

#RealTalk

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