Most photos in this post by Tessa Flannery, an actor and photographer in New York, and a lovely human.
First of all, y’all, my immediate reaction when I think about the fact that Sweet Nothings has been around for five years is to say “holy shit!” That’s not entirely true, the other thing to say is “thank you”, but I’m going to say that a lot more in a minute, so consider this a dainty, preliminary, amuse-bouche sort of thank you before we get to the main course. Oh, wait, the third thing to say is “Happy Birthday to The Rock”, because Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Sweet Nothings share a birthday, which never fails to bring joy to my heart.
But y’all! Five years! I have loved almost every minute of writing this blog, meeting my readers and other writers, and talking about lingerie with people who are as interested in it as I am, and in how what we choose to wear shapes how we think about and talk and feel about ourselves. I’ve been going back through some of my early posts, and it’s been cool looking back to see what lingerie styles I liked then versus now (I was obsessed with polka dots, and now I’m super into silk, my brand is drama), how my writing has changed (I honestly feel like I used to be funnier, but I also think (hope!) that my writing has gotten more sensitive and inclusive), and how the kinds of posts I like to write have evolved (I wrote for a year and a half without ever showing a picture of myself, and now I’m gallivanting around Instagram in my underwear). The impetus for Sweet Nothings grew out of talks with my therapist, honestly, and I couldn’t in a million years have foreseen that it would also give me the opportunity to meet and work with so many other artists, designers, and writers in this industry. I’ve been privileged to live in New York City and have a “real” job that lets me save up to fund special projects and photoshoots, but I genuinely, honestly believe that I would not have had these opportunities without the incredible people who’ve read this blog over the last five years. You all are funny and smart and curious and passionate, and it’s really just been a delight having you here.
You may have noticed that my posting frequency has gone down in the last two years, from twice a week to once a week (if I’m lucky). Some of it is because my posts with photography cost me money (every review costs me around $40-50, even if the lingerie is a review sample), and I have to budget for them, and some of it is because in January of 2016 I moved to a new department and a new position at my firm, and my available blogging time sharply plummeted. I’m on my feet more and have more responsibilities during the day, and it makes it hard to tackle even simple administrative tasks for the blog, let alone compile trend reports or plan photoshoots, let alone get enough sleep and exercise and socialize and clean my apartment and cook and…you feel me.
Depending on whether or not you follow me on social media, you may or may not also have noticed that I am, to put it bluntly, struggling with the absolute shitshow that is the state of my country right now. Not only is my Twitter feed a series of alarmist retweets interspersed with Gus and Ruby, but my depression and anxiety, which I thought I’d successfully recovered from three years ago, are creeping steadily back onto the scene. My sleep patterns, energy levels, moods, and ability to focus have all been affected, and I’m struggling to balance the need to let my mind and body rest and the need to get my mind and body moving to stay healthy, the need to avoid socializing or stimulation so I can heal and the need to seek out company and to connect with other people.
I originally moved to New York in 2007 to be an actor, and in 2010 (or thereabouts) I walked out of a production the day before tech rehearsals started because both my physical safety and mental health were in danger. I thought for a long time that that was it, I’d quit because I couldn’t hack it, I was done, I wouldn’t act again. I was invited to audition for a friend’s production of Macbeth in July of 2016, and I performed for four weeks in September-October 2016. I’m quite certain I didn’t give an amazing performance, but having the opportunity to do that kind of work again, engaging with real, actual people who weren’t behind a computer screen, was deeply fulfilling, and made me aware that while I’m very happy with (and proud of!) the independent life I’ve built for myself in New York, there’s a very real likelihood that I’m keeping myself removed from the kinds of human connections and relationships that will ultimately make me happier, and will probably make me a better citizen and, you know, person.
The long and short of it is that I have a few more reviews queued up and a few more posts left to write, but around the end of June I plan to stop updating Sweet Nothings regularly. The site will stay live, I will continue to monitor and respond to comments on the blog, and I’ll most likely stay active on social media, but I will be suspending my regular posting schedule (such as it is) of original content. I want to keep my toes in the lingerie industry, so I hope folks will continue to send me lookbooks, questions, and requests, and I really hope to be able to work on special projects and styled shoots like brand/retailer collaborations and the holiday editorials (I’m kicking around an idea for this year that I really, really love), but regular reviews and posts have become too costly, in terms of my time management, my budget, and my health. I’ve also hit a point where I feel like what I have to offer in terms of lingerie education has already been covered, and I never really wanted the blog to turn into a review-a-palooza, like “here is a thing, go buy it!”, which I’ve worried about lately. There are folks writing about body image and body positivity who, frankly, are more qualified than I am, and I’m not convinced of the long-term value of my contributions, as an able-bodied white lady who’s only slightly-bigger-than-average.
To recap: regular posting will stop, I will still be around, there will be occasional special posts and projects, I’m available for collaborations, I still think bras are spectacular, I just gotta get out from behind the computer screen for a while.
I’m really excited about the remaining reviews and posts I have in my queue; it is a great privilege that I get to wrap things up with coverage of some truly exceptional pieces from some outstanding brands. I may also put together a “best of” kind of round-up of my absolute favorite lingerie I’ve tried over the last five years. Is there anything in particular anyone would like to see? I know I haven’t done a recipe in a while (hello, my three readers who read me for the recipes, sorry about all the boobs), but if there’s interest I’d consider putting one last baking post together, maybe? Or a final roundup of bra fitting tips? Reading recommendations? More pictures of Gus & Ruby? As I’m winding things down, I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you so much for giving me the gift of writing Sweet Nothings for these last five years. I treasure them, and you, more than you can possibly know.