Guest Post: Real

The lovely Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty has a beautiful and timely message to share with us today on being authentic. (For those of you using screen readers, the complete description of Glenda’s dress and accessories can be found in the alt-text in the accompanying photos).

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

“It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

~Excerpts from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery WilliamsGlenda's maxi dress is a multi colored blue, black, green with touches of pink floral pattern. It has a v-neck, surplice waist and elbow-length kimono sleeves. She is posed standing in front of a circular wall with a floral garden on top.

The story of the Velveteen Rabbit is such a beautifully written, classic children’s tale. My favorite line – ‘But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’  Such a poignant statement. I’m reminded of a Winnie the Pooh doll my mother gave me as a child. I loved it so much it became Real. I held on to the Pooh and even passed it on to my sons. It didn’t matter that one of Pooh’s arms had been stitched back on, or his left eye was missing. They understood how real it was, and not ugly at all. Now the lovable bear is tucked away neatly for future off-spring to love.

Close up on Glenda's matching gold ring and pendant each containing what appears to be mood stones. She is also wearing an additional longer pendant, watch and sunglasses. Here is a close-up of one of Glenda's sleeves and the lovely floral pattern. Up close there are even more colors like a bit of orange and yellow for a water color effect. Glenda is posed sitting on a log with legs outstretched. She is wearing high heeled black boots.

To be Real is such a beautiful quality to possess, but yet, more often than not, it is avoided. This idea of being real often disappears when child-like wonder fades. Then we become what is expected – with sharp edges and all…untouchable and needing to be handled with care. While being real makes one more pliable, cozy, lovable and warm.

Another shot of Glenda standing in front of the circular wall. Glenda is posed standing with one leg on a stump while leaning her elbow on the leg and other hand on her hip.

In honor of the Velveteen Rabbit, today I’m wearing a velvet dress – a soft, cozy velvet which wraps me in love. The cut, design and print of the dress speaks to my bohemian/art-driven side. The beautiful, flutter-styled sleeves make me feel like a fairy in a fantasy.

Outfit Details: Dress Courtesy of eShakti last year (Very similar styled maxi dress by Tallulah at Nasty Gal); Vintage 70s Jeweled ‘mood’ set: Belonged to my mother; Crystal Pendant Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft (beautiful selection of pendant necklaces at Nordstrom); Cross-body bag: Perlina via TJ Maxx; Boots by Tahari via TJ Maxx (found Tahari boots on eBay)

In a day when there’s so much hurt, suffering and the notion of being unbreakable is reverenced, I much prefer to be lovable, soft…Real like the Velveteen Rabbit. Which do you prefer?{wink}


  1. Wise is the Skin Horse. I rather be the Velveteen Rabbit, being unbreakable is hard work:-). Happy Holidays Steph!

  2. This is lovely. I love this story and the message of being real.
    Also love velvet.
    Sharing. Happy Holidays everyone.

  3. Phew, what a relief, thank you. Yes, my aunt was a real character.

    I’ve learned so much about other people since I began blogging two years ago and it’s really expanded my world. Though I still get lonely from time to time I’m content with where I’m at in my life.

  4. Oh, there was absolutely no offense taken I am almost sure that I would have liked your aunt. She sounds like she would have been my kind of gal.
    You’re right. Meeting new people and getting to peek into their lives through other posts is most rewarding. It has helped temper my loneliness more than I can say.

  5. You are very welcome and please understand that I wasn’t referring to you being “rough around the edges” rather it was just a general statement. The thing I like about brutal honesty (even though it may sometimes hurt) is that you always know where you stand. And like a post I did this past summer on my aunt who passed away, she may not have met societal expectations but she never “put on airs” and this was what most people liked about her. Not everyone liked her but she didn’t care and I loved that about her. Because truth be told, I don’t know too many people who can claim that everyone likes them.

    I found your blog through a comment of mine that you liked on another blog. This is one of the things I really enjoy in getting to meet new people through the simplest thing as liking a comment or post.

  6. Thank you for your lovely words. I’m not sure I would describe myself as “rough around the edges” (although I. like you, rather enjoy them) but rather, brutally honest. I can’t and never did “play the social games.”
    I’m glad you found my blog, therefore allowing me to find yours. I believe by reading your positive comments, it will give me much needed pleasure.

  7. Thank you for your comment. To some degree as Glenda states, as we advance in years society has a way of tainting us which is sad because many of us are afraid that if people see us for who we are then we won’t be accepted. I much prefer the company of someone who is rough around the edges but authentic than someone who has a pretty exterior but has no substance.

    I’m sorry for your pain however being able to remain true to yourself in spite of heartache is admirable and I’d like to believe that as you move through this season that on the other side is peace. Were it not for hope when I went through a tumultuous episode in my life, I honestly don’t know where I would be today but it certainly changed me for the better even if I couldn’t see it at the time. ~Steph

  8. Ah….If i had become what society expected, my life might have turned out differently…certainly my marriage would have…but aside from being damaged, broken and unbelievably sorrow-filled….one thing I am is TRUE TO MYSELF.

  9. I agree. And….part of my metaphysical beliefs and understandings is that we are getting ready for a real and full shift into the light on this planet and part of that will be rejuvenation and full healing. So….I will welcome a restored 25 year old body, healthier than I ever was at 25 as I grew up severely ill. But in this transformed world, people will recognize REAL beauty and not be chasing some media directed ideal that keeps people feeling less than and divided.

  10. Your reference is lovely and very much on point with the philosophy of my blog, So What to Twenty! . The fashion industry is obsessed with youth, while neglecting REAL beauty.

  11. Thank you, David. I am Glenda from So What to Twenty! Happy Holidays

  12. Wow love this post! Being real is something so important and rare! I agree we do become what society expects! So sad in many ways! lovely dress!

  13. That’s good to hear that you’re well on your way to completing your Christmas tasks also having a game plan on eats surely can’t hurt although when the food is in place typically my plan goes flying out the window. You have a great weekend and if I don’t talk to you have a very Merry Christmas. <3

  14. Beautiful dress, woman and post! I read the quotes as also referencing how our society is so youth and perfection focused and how we have forgotten how beautiful aging can be….as people’s bodies and faces become softer, their lives written in the wrinkles and spots and how their bodies have adjusted to the various challenges in their lives. And even in younger people that don’t perhaps have that media driven looking face or body…how the real light can shine through, if allowed and if we’d learn to cherish and love it.

  15. I’m still wrapping Christmas gifts but at least I’ve got them all in. It’s just a case now of deciding which micro meal I fancy so I don’t get into trouble for having chips and curry sauce. LOL.
    I hope you have everything planned and ready to execute perfectly.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  16. I much prefer to love and be loved than to be the savage we are become.
    The dress looks amazing. A very pretty lady sets it off nicely.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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