When we were in LA last week, Hairy met up with a buddy in Santa Monica, and while waiting for him, I shopped around H&M and grabbed a few cute pieces. While shopping, a gal asked if I modeled for ShanaLogic. She was like, “Your face is all over her online ads!” I apologized for invading her internet! 😛

I have a very tough time associating the word “model” with myself. I do not consider myself one at all. I am in fact a TERRIBLE model. If someone else points a camera at me, I am pretty much useless, and as a result, I feel like the photos are 100% uglytown. I much prefer taking my own photos cuz nobody sees the weird outtakes, and nobody sees that it takes like 200 bad shots for me to come up with 1 usable one! I photoshop my eyebags out. I photoshop a dark spot out of the whites of one of my eyes. Zits, of course, gotta go. When Amy‘s bf did me a big favor and photoshopped some of my photos for Yummy You posters, he asked if I wanted him to fix my armpit fat. YES. YES OF COURSE FIX THE ARMPIT FAT!!! I am pretty average-sized, not tiny as some people may think, and my bell-bell is starting to show through in my tshirt pictures. It’s all going down hill! 😛 On a side note, I ordered a bunch of clothing recently from a website in Asia, and none of it fits me cuz my arms or my torso are too big. AWESOME!

I vent about this mostly for people who never fancied themselves pretty. I was definitely the smart one growing up, NOT the pretty or cute one. I carry this mindset to this day. I’m often surprised that some people out there think I look ok, ok enough to ask me to take photos in their cute products. I’m a late bloomer. There are a lot of us out there! My face is plastered all over a lot of the Twinkie Chan and Yummy You stuff, since it’s now just part of my branding. But when I first launched my website in 2005, I hadn’t even planned to model my own scarves. I wanted to be in control of the photography, so I asked my bestie to be my model. Well, I woke up on the day of our shoot, and she had already left the apartment, TO GO TO THE BEACH WITH HER BOYFRIEND!! AHHHH!!!!! The rest is accidental history!

I guess my point is that if you ever felt like a big weirdo, or ugly, or awkward, or un-stylish, you are not alone. We’ve all been there and are still there! Just keep doing things your way, dress to make yourself feel awesome, do things that are fun to you. It all works itself out in the end. Do you refuse to leave the house or answer the door without eyeliner? Me, too. *high five!* But I also don’t want my point to be that the end-all be-all of life is for other people to find us cute. Don’t get me wrong. That’s nice. Let’s be real. I guess I want my point to be to never close your own doors because you see yourself a certain way, or because you’ve already put your own self into a certain box. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone A LOT these past few years, and I think it’s really good for us to try new things. We’ll probably revert back to our old ways in the end, but sometimes, you end up crocheting for a living like you’d always dreamed. You know, stuff like that!

You know what triggered this post?

A friend called me tonight to ask if I would take photos for her new company. She has modeled for me, and payback’s a bitch, bitch! Just kidding. I support all my buddies in their adventures! I was also going to post an outtake from one of my ShanaLogic shoots. I’m holding out an empty hand. I thought it would be funny to post it as an “InstaModel” photo, where people can photoshop their products into it! Then it felt really ego-maniacal, even though it was just a dumb joke. Then I felt like I had to make it clear that I don’t consider myself a model. Then everything you just read just occurred. Now I’m going to post the photo anyway. I expect some a-hole out there to photoshop a penis into my hand. In advance, I say to you, “You’re a big idiot.”

86 Comments on “InstaModel”

  • Poe


    You brightened my whole morning! Thanks for your honesty.
    You take beautiful pictures.

    • 🙂 xoxo

      Sometimes it’s hard to share when your personal turmoil is wrapped up in secret business dealings!! Which I think was most of my 2010 😛

  • Cassie


    Thanks so much for your wonderful and honest words and thoughts :)! What a nice post to read :)!
    Anthough I have to say that your pictures are always beautiful-I love how much of your personality shines through :)!

    • Thank you!!!!
      Sometimes I can’t believe how awful all the candid photos of me are!! EEK!

  • Kayleigh


    God I’m with you there. I was always the ugly kid at high school, never got a hint of attention. Then at college, where the guys are so much more grown up, I realised that actually I wasn’t all that bad. Not beautiful by any means, but not deserving of the kind of abuse about my looks I received at high school. At the end of the day I think it’s much better to be smart or funny or talented than to be pretty. Because your looks fade as you get old anyway.

    Btw so tempted to Photoshop a Pokemon onto your hand 😀 Yeah I’m a geek.

    • Yeah nobody knows who I was in highschool! That’s ok, though. i was very focused on studying and got great grades, so I am proud of that for sure.

      I think the rise of the internet really helped my personal confidence, though. Before it was so easy to post pictures of ourselves, all the communication was based on humor and wit. It was fun in chat rooms!

  • lisa.


    Aww, you made me cry D:

    Thanks for this post, it made my day.

  • Great post!! I’ve always thought you were such a cutie face LOL (btw I’ve been following you a VERY long time, just under other identities bwahahaha). I’ll never forget when I worked for an event producer, he had professional hair and makeup people do my face. There was ONE incident in particular where, when all was said and done, people kept freaking out when they saw me. Finally I went to a bathroom to see what the heck the fuss was about and freaked out “Holy hell I’m HOT!” LOL Makeup and hair by people who know what they’re doing is the best thing ever. Photoshop is even better.

    • OMG. THe few times I’ve had professional make up done….it has always looked REALLY REALLY BAD!! AHHHHHH!!!

  • poohknit


    I totally understand!!! It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin! As you saw from my picture on facebook modeling my Candy Button scarf, I’ve gotten there!!!!

    • You’re so cute! 🙂 Yeah, I think as we get older, we are the only ones holding ourselves back and we are our own worst critics!

      • poohknit


        So very true!!!

  • Catherine


    Love your hair, great pic! same here for ugly duckling! although I still look dorky now, I’ve learned to like it! just finished photoshopping all my wedding pics, there was a lot of work, but hey, oily skin, spots, armpit fat!! we’re only human, let them deal with it! 🙂

    • Dorky has become cool now! 😉

  • chinamommy


    love this post! totally was UGLY in HS! Had Magnum PI moustache’s for eyebrows (thanks MOM for not taking me for a waxin’). I really think my 30’s is when I came into my own. I remember being on FB & this guy (that was the ultimate stud in HS), was all “hey, hottie”… yeah, he had no time for me in HS but now that he’s BALD i’m looking pretty dang good! 🙂
    gotta send you a pic of my kiddo wearing the cupcake scarf i made her!!

    • Kinda reminds me of when my mom said, “By the time you get your boobs, all your friends’ boobs will be saggy.” Well, I never really got the boobs, but the sentiment remains 😛

  • Lucy is like "RAWR"


    Thank you so much for such an inspiring and upliftin’ post! I think you are just amazing, and I aspire to have such an amazingly cute sense of style. I have been following you for a while now (I know, it’s possibly an obsession) and you have introduced me to so many things that have changed my whole self! Thanks so much for being so awesome.

    • Thanks so much for reading along with me on my adventures!!! I have a lot of amazing friends and I feel like I’m the nerdiest boringest dorkiest one, but I will keep sharing everything just in case it’s new to other people! 🙂

  • Sophie


    your pictures are always so sweet

    ps – the glasses are A-mazing!

    • Thank you, Sophie! I keep trying different frames to see if I want to put lenses in any of them…but I can never commit!

  • Anastacia


    This was a really nice start to my day 🙂

    I can sort of understand this because im experiencing a bit of hesitation/anxiety posting me modeling the stuff im selling+stuff i make online. I do a lot of taking my own pictures without photoshop, so there can be a bit of sucking things in, and doing them in different angles. Of course, im lucky to have the friends I have so after 20 or so pictures for 1 thing i send it and i usually get “you are so cute!” So im a bit more motivated to restart my blog again, but its good to know im not always the only one.

    • I think learning about lighting and finding your own flattering angles and poses helps A LOT!!!! Good luck with your shop! 🙂

  • totally hit home. i’m venturing out into a “lovely aka plus size line for my etsy store and considering being my own model. I totally needed to hear that I’m not the only one that freaks out about every little thing i look like in a photo and need to blow up my digital camera with crap before something that only needs a little editing can do. Oye!!! the stress and work of photography is a pie in it’s self in owning ones own store.
    thanks for letting your guard down and sharing.

    • GOSH YES> the photography and editing and posting take FOREVER!!!!!!!!

  • ahahah this post is AWESOME!
    you are such a cute and fun girl!
    that’s what I like about you!
    you are so so funny ^_^
    love you!

  • Shantay


    just wanted to say i love your blog, and i really loved this post. thanx so much :).

    • Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

  • Lindsay


    i love your honesty. and i love that photo of you!

    • I’m not honest enough to post a closeup shot of my morning face, though 😛 HAhahha

  • Great post! It’s great to be reminded that we’re all human and we all have or have had insecurities about one thing or another. My boyfriend would never understand the eyeliner thing. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

    • I KNOW! Hairy is great, but he also doesn’t understand why I need to put my face on to go to the grocery store.

  • Claudieboo


    WOW! You have brightened up my day (as usual) and I reckon you will have given a lot of people a lot more confidence too 🙂

    I personally believe that you can tell what people are like by how they look ~ there are a lot of girls out there that should be “pretty” but you can tell that they’re spiteful and that makes them ugly! Yet those who have a most beautiful personality (like yourself) let it shine through and that make there looks even more gorgeous!

    Anyway ~ rambled enough I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

    • Thank you so much! I have my ugly thoughts as well…nobody is perfect … but I read once that if it takes the same amount of energy to be hateful/sad as it does to be happy, might as well pick happy!

  • Lindz


    This post brought tears to my eyes! I can so relate to everything you’ve written. I grew up Japanese-American in a predominately Caucasian, small community. Never felt like I fit in anywhere and worshipped the skinny, tall, blonde and blue-eyed girls. I knew I would never be the ideal like they were. I felt like a fat awkward, chinky nothing for so long! Thank you for speaking up. You are an inspiration to women everywhere.

    • I feel you!!!!! It can take a long time to accept that there are so many different kinds of beauty, when you’ve grown up a minority, especially a nerdy dorky plain looking one 😛

  • Laura


    Really awesome post, Twinkie-chan~ I agree with everything you’ve said. I also never thought of myself as being cute or whatnot, so when people say I am (which occasionally occurs) I’m not sure how to take it. BUT I think everyone has their own qualities and sometimes it takes a while to figure out how to present them to the world.

    • It really can take some of us a while to grow into ourselves and figure it all out!

  • Harpy


    Thanks for this. 🙂 You really spoke to a lot of people.

  • Livichu


    You are AMAZING! =)
    That is all. ♥

  • Concertina


    What an awesome post! I’m a late bloomer too…good lord, if I could show you the comparison pictures. It’s frightening.

    I agree with you 100% about just doing, dressing, thinking whatever makes you happy! Because, honestly, that’s all there is. <3

    • It’s kind of weird because I do think we should accept what we are given and not be overly obsessed with what we wear and stuff, but for whatever reason, it does matter sometimes, and if putting on something pretty makes you feel good and gives you a brighter outlook, then how bad could that be?

      • Concertina


        Not bad at all. =)

        The tricky thing to make people understand is that they have to do it for themselves…and not for other people. That’s tough because we ALL care what other people think…it’s just how it is. But it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only person out there that doesn’t leave the house without makeup. I just feel better when I look better.

  • Love it when we just get real. Yes. And I find you adorable and a total marketable girl. Your look is what grabs people – your heart is what keeps them coming back. I adore ya!

    • Aw, sweetest comment ever! Thanks, Erin!

  • you know i think you’re adorable and awesome but i have to say that i think it’s sad that you have to justify that insta-model photo! there’s such a big push for self-esteem and being confident but then posting pretty pictures will always somehow make you feel egomaniacal. so lame!

    oh and don’t worry about editing your pics! everyone does it! PLUS women have been “editing” themselves for ages with makeup! 😀

    *hugs* xoxoxo

    • I think it’s just paranoia and oversensitivity to that balance between “here’s a cute pic” and “look how much I love myself, suckers!” Kinda like how a strong woman is considered a bitch. It’s all very sad!!!

  • I used to be really self-conscious about photos that other people took and I am getting over that too.

    P.S. I remember seeing you on years ago, when I downloaded cute wallpaper LOL! I like the real un-photoshopped Twinkiechan too!

  • Jules Chan


    Well said girl, I enjoyed the read, and yes a penis in the hand is a must!!

    • HAHHHA I have received no penises yet!

  • Rachel


    I cannot tell you how much I agree with this post!! Especially the “the 200 bad shots to the usable 1” LOL.

    I pulled great grades in high school and college and never owned any makeup until after I graduated! I was always the ‘odd’ person in school. I hated having my photo taken, avoided it at all costs!

    Now I am slowly starting to model, but I prefer to be the goofy one because when I am being goofy people laugh rather than ‘judge’ the photos where I try to be serious. Does that make any sense? I now work as a make-up artist and I love to help make other girls feel more self-confident and beautiful!

    It is great to find that someone who appears as confident as you also struggles with the same things.

    Great read! Thank you!

    • Oh for candids it’s definitely easier to pull a funny face. Then it’s intentional. You don’t want to look lame when you’re trying to look good! 😛

  • Jenny Whoo


    erin collins (above) said it all 🙂

    i know i’ve been following your various online presences for years now (does that make me a stalker?! haha). i originally found you via the pinkhair community on livejournal, so, yes, your style was what drew me to you….but your unwaivering spunk and honesty was what kept me wanting more 🙂

  • Rita


    This was a lovely posty post 🙂

  • Elysse


    I’m sorry! Now I feel horrible!

    • What! I hope you are not serious!

      • Elysse


        Yea dude, I didn’t mean to make you feel awkward! You’re one of my cutest friends!

        • No, no worries!!!! IT was more a combo of modeling and “hey i have this photo people can photoshop their shit onto! so funny!” and “i think im so great that people are dying for this photo of me”

  • jamieson


    Wow what an interesting post! I have been totally inspired by you and your blog, since I am starting to have to model for myself, too, and I look so underwhelming and constipated. You are inspiring to me because your photos always look so colorful, happy, cute, and FUN. Interesting to find out you have insecurities…but you are doing something right, that’s for sure!

    • Yes! Depending on what “look” you are going for, you sometimes have to ham it up for the photo to look ok. I look really dumb if I try to do “serious model face” so I have to remember to pop the eyes open and give it a smile! It’s not very natural feeling, but then it reads ok on the camera!

  • Kaesi


    I just stumbled upon your blog after admiring all your crochet creations. I LOVE to crochet and one day hope to live the dream…of making a living off of doing something I love. Your charisma and charm is awesome, I have read through your entire blog!! Style is rad you and so are you! Keep up the awesome work! I am a huge Twinkie fan now, never stop being awesome!

    • You are so so so sweet!! Thanks so much for reading through my silly adventures :). I hope to share more with you in the future!

  • Tara T


    Great post! Thanks for sharing. I’m trying to feel better about photos of myself, but sometimes I can’t believe how un-photogenic I am!

    • I FEEL YOU. Especially I feel like I’m looking older and fatter. 😛 Trying to go to the gym more now!

  • Michelle


    Wonderful post. I’m really in shock that you don’t see yourself as model material. I think you are so cute and every time I come to your blog I wish I could be cute like you. I hide my looks from the net because I was so picked on in high school that I just know the internet will have a field day with me. I mean I guess I’m not “ugly” but I don’t feel pretty. I want to start posting my picture on my blog especially since I want to start getting into crafting and maybe making a brand for what I want to try to do. Also I want to show the world I’m here and I’m awesome damnit! You have inspired me to do up the hair and dab on some make up and just go for it and ignore the haters and trolls. Thank you for this post. And I so love your look in that last picture and I think the concept is funny and cool. I’m just trying to think of what I could pop in your hand. No worries, I won’t be the a-hole that pops a penis in it. I’m not that kind of girl. 😉

    • 🙂

      I was picked on in school as well. It gives us character!!! 😛 And humility!!!

  • Maggi


    I love love love this post! Thank you so much for writing it and sharing something like this with us!

    • Thanks so much for reading and sharing this weird journey with me!

  • June


    I love this post, and I love your spirit! I’m sharin’ it with all my awkward weirdo friends! xoxo

  • caz


    That was a nice post 🙂 and im dying to photoshop something in there but I can’t think of anything funny or cool :- 😛

    • My friend photoshopped two small men dressed as unicorns on there hehhe

  • Dawn


    I know this is a little late, but I was moved by this post and wanted to let you know. I actually learned about you on the internet three different ways around the same time – as the super adorable Shana Logic model, creator of cute food items (which I go a bit crazy for), and when I was browsing pictures for inspiration for the kawaii sleeve tattoo I’m planning. It was pretty funny and you seemed like such a cute character, I wanted to check out your blog.

    Anyways, finally got a chance to check it out, and came across this post. I was so surprised to hear you feel this way because you are so cute, and always seem so happy in the pictures. A lot of what you said really hit home for me, especially in the last couple of years since I hit late 20s/ early 30s. People say I’m cute, but for the first time in my life I’ve started gaining weight in new places, and I know what you mean about the tum tum. And where does that armpit fat come from?!? I outgrew a lot of my clothes, my skin seems to be plotting a revolt against me, and I recently went back to school where I am surrounded by super thin 20 year olds. That does wonders for the self-esteem…

    This post brought a few tears to my eyes, but a smile to my face as well. I think we all have those feelings at times, no matter what we look like. And I just wanted to let you know how much it cheered me up and made me feel better. Thank you, I will definitely be following your blog from now on! <3

    • Hi, Dawn!
      Thank you so much for reading along and for your very thoughtful comment!
      Nature is always keeping us on our toes. You finally accept/embrace the way you look, and then, it all starts falling down in some places and getting plumper in weirder places AHHHH!!!! Partly aging is a good wake-up call, though. I’ve had a desk job, and now I work at home, and tend to live a very sedentary life. Trying to exercise a bit more….but that lifestyle change is rough. I ain’t gonna lie 🙂 . Good luck to us both!! hehhe 🙂 xoxo

      • Dawn


        Thanks for your response. 🙂

        I definitely hear you about the sedentary lifestyle, went from waiting tables to sitting in class and doing homework every night. Add in a boyfriend who loves to bring treats home for me – I certainly can’t complain (or refuse!) but I secretly think he’s trying to plump me up sometimes! And it’s working… lol. Wish I had more time/energy/interest for working out, gotta work on that part (>.<;;;) We can do it though! Perhaps it would be more fun in a rompicorn!

  • Vickie


    Hi Twinkie,

    I recently bought your book on Amazon, and was so in love with everything in it I decided to look more into your internet existence which led me to this blog! I just wanted to say that as a half-Korean woman that is generally regarded as too tall and too big (I personally do not think I am either of those things, btw) to wear any of the products my mother brings back for me from Korea, your post really hit home and made me feel so much better! Your candid honesty and humor in this post is so refreshing and uplifting. Even though I am already in love with your crochet book, I think this post will make me regular follower of your blog as well.

    Thanks for all of your creativity, honesty, and contributions to the world! I thoroughly enjoy all of it.

    • Thanks so much for picking up the book and for your thoughtful response! OMG don’t get me started on clothes from ASIA!!!!! I don’t even TRY to put on pants from there. I just ordered this big box from and not even the cardigans fit me!!!! 😛

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