“Fake it till you make it.”
I’ve heard this term frequently in my journey to self-love. Often times when I breakdown and tell a friend or loved one that I’m just not feeling beautiful that day they will tell me to pretend that I do and eventually I will. While affirmations can absolutely be a great source of positivity and a good way to learn to love the skin you are in, sometimes you need a little push out of your comfort zone to get there. A great place to push yourself while still having fun is music festivals.
Festival Season for 2017 is underway after being opened by a three-stage House and Techno festival on the San Diego waterfront known as CRSSD fest. Every music festival should have a location as gorgeous as San Diego’s Waterfront Park. With the crystal clear waters of San Diego Bay on the left and the County Administration Center building on the other, there is always an Insta worthy angle.
The spring line-up for the bi-annual festival brought out both old school favorites like Josh Wink, 2manydjs, Skream and Damian Lazarus to satisfy seasoned festival vets, along with the ever popular Flume, Bob Moses and Marion Hill to get the booty shaking of the less techno familiar crowd while introducing them to the incredible vibes of Claude VonStroke, Moon Boots, Mija, Latmun and so many more more. Claude VonStroke, Moon Boots, Skream and Horse Meat Disco, coming soon.
Now that the season has kicked off there is no better time than to look into attending a festival. Whether you are a seasoned vet with a drawer full of flash tattoos or if you haven’t made the leap onto the Coachella train quite yet; festivals are the best place to learn to love yourself. There is no other place in the world where you will see a completely straight guy rocking heart sunglasses, peacock feathers, and a parasol without any hint of worries for his masculinity. Whether it’s the location, the music, or the various rambunctious characters behind the scenes activities involved in music festivals the fact is they are the optimal place to discover who you are without any judgment for the bumps and struggles that come along with those experiments.
If you’ve never been to a festival, it is easy to be intimidated. Often the after videos feature what seem to be an endless stream of fair-haired, golden skin, waif-like creatures that seem to have zero cares in the world. If there is one area of music festivals that has yet to catch up with the reality of the events, it is the mindset of the official photographers who have openly told me they look for the thinnest girls in the smallest clothing. That in itself is such a paradox to the experience that I honestly just push it aside as poor judgment on behalf of the photographer as I also personally know from being in the scene long enough it is not the request of the event organizers. The result, however, is the media meant to promote the festival can easily make new comers incredibly intimidated and create anxiety over what to where and how to look that might prevent them from attending events that will honestly change their lives. If there is any fear that you won’t fit in or look right and it’s something that is holding you back I have some tips to help you fake it until the scene takes over and makes it real.
Surround yourself with positive people
When I first started going to music festivals, I would go completely solo. This was probably one of the hardest and scariest things I have done. I would be surrounded by people who seemed to be having the time of their lives together and feel incredibly lost. As someone who used to be incredibly shy, this pushed me to be more open and soon I found a family of friends that I wouldn’t give up for anything. Music is a great way to meet new people as it gives you a common ground to talk with and dance. Music festivals, in particular, have an ability to connect people that in other circumstance might have never had the chance to meet. I definitely recommend going by yourself at least once. It is a completely different experience than going with a large group of friends but it never hurts to have a festie bestie by your side to keep you grounded.
If there is ever a place for you to experiment with your style and look where you can freely wear the flower crown or unicorn onesie you’ve been pinning on Pinterest: it is at a music festival. There is no judgment and often time the crowd of people around you will be going through the same things and having the same insecurities. I have met so many friends just by seeing an outfit or look that I love and going up to them and letting them know how much I love what they are wearing. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing those short shorts, crop top, or bralette I guarantee there will be at least one kind soul (maybe even me) who will come up to you and tell you how incredible you look.
Don’t be afraid to get lost
I’m only five feet tall, have a pretty short attention span, and hate having to push my way through crowds. This all together means I get separated from my friends more easily than a kid in a mall. I’ll be walking through a crowd to get to another stage and stop to tell someone how much I love their outfit and suddenly my group of 15 plus friends is gone! It’s gotten to the point where my friends have often taken to holding my hand in a crowd. However, sometimes you just need to have a moment to yourself.
Whether attending the next CRSSD Fest in the fall, Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, or any other festival this season: be yourself. There is no better place to fall in love with yourself than a music festival.