This platform is all about sharing the story behind a pretty picture. Through the interviews in BACKSTAGE we expose what passion, confession, depression or misconception may hide behind the beauty we see on the outside, or the "finished product" if you will. This is how we like to focus on true, inner beauty.
We speak to anyone from friends, to artists and entrepreneurs from around the world to give a human face to the beautiful struggles of life.
Today: The beautiful Vivien Tang opens up about her depression, and talks to us about misconceptions in the world of a fashion blogger.
Vivien’s blog posts on her website August Reigntend to take you away into a fairytale. Lost in dreamy shots, you get to read about her moods, which she describes just as beautifully.
You can sense something mysterious in her writing, as if she wants to tell us something she can’t fully express. Today we find out what message she's hiding behind her melancholic, yet empowering articles.
Let's get to know the truly beautiful Vivien.
What does August Reign mean?
August is the season where we slowly change from summer sweetness to winter blues. We say goodbye to beautiful summer nights and head into the reality of life. As Reign means ‘empowering’; to always stand above your difficulties and to rule them. A clear message I wanted to convey to myself – to encourage – and to stay strong, as I have been struggling with depression in the past. Hence the empowering messages for young women to stay strong and to overcome difficult situations.
How do you express this message throughout your blog, without actually addressing depression?
It depends, sometimes I cover the gloominess with flourishing words or poetic writing. Often when I am facing a difficult period, I write articles that are actually encouraging and motivating. By doing this, I get more insights on the topic itself, and it's also some sort of therapy for me. What I love doing most, is to write for my young readers and tell them it’s completely cool to be their truest selves, flawed and imperfect, because to me that’s unique and beautiful.
Writing empowering stories when you’re feeling down..how does that work?
I tend to think about life in a different light when I am feeling blue. I'm not sure if I can call it analytic, because it has a deeper meaning. But because of this, I write my articles as a reminder to myself, of how to stay strong, and how to be me – as we sometimes lose control of our own minds when things get too heavy. It really works! You should try it.
Forcing yourself to escape from being trapped in your own mind and putting it all on paper seems like you have gained such control over your depression, would you say it’s your remedy?
By writing about my feelings on my blog I have definitely gained insight and it has been a true relief. But the true remedy, is to accept yourself and to love yourself. Understand your flaws and be sympathetic. Life itself - an immense irrational rollercoaster – which I believe will continuously challenge you. But believe me when I say that it was a journey: to fall, to learn, and to improve.
Truth is, you'll end up very disappointed if you grow up thinking everyone has the same heart as you. Especially in big cities, where individualism is a hype and people are becoming increasingly egocentric. Our lives are noisy — We all have so much going on. I'm surprised we can manage not to lose our minds.
Can you explain what your depressions feel like?
“Depression is my Saturday mornings turning into Mondays, and Mondays evolving into impossible. It is the ringing of an alarm, every hour of the day. It is the sun rising, while darkness sets in the stomach. It feels like my body is awake but my mind is tired with heaviness. It's like having too much to carry, even when my arms appear empty. Depression is not a beautiful sadness, tied together with a whisky filled mind and a mouth hollow from too many cigarettes. It’s not a bed of roses. It’s not romantic nor kind. It’s the snake in the bush that is watching you build yourself up again, piece-by-piece, for him to then attack you again.”
This is a piece I wrote a few years ago when I was feeling at my lowest.
How do you feel about the future?
I am actually extremely excited for the future! Becoming older is one of the greatest gifts. I understand myself better now, than ever before. My flaws but also my strengths – I accept myself more than I did 5 years ago. I used to set the bar sky high and I always expected a lot from myself. I now stopped having expectations and just appreciate all I encounter. The key is to let each situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be. I believe we fall down sometimes because there is something down there we are supposed to find.
What is the biggest misconception people have of you?
There is this quote that goes: ‘may your life be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook’. Social media can be misleading; it’s all about branding yourself – it’s filtered, and in some ways not realistic. Promoting my blog on social media, I feel like a lot of people think I'm quite superficial and supercilious. Those who know me well, know that I am the complete opposite. I am quirky, I love making man jokes, I have an affinity for vintage and old songs. I basically love everything that is unique and has character.
Lastly, dear Vivien, please share with us your definition of beauty.
Beauty isn’t just from the appearance, it’s the reflection of someone's soul. One thing I have learned in life, is that the most beautiful people we know are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. To me, these people have an appreciation, sensitivity and understanding for life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people don’t just happen.
My Beauty Tip for you guys, is to always be yourself. If you feel like wearing all the colors of the rainbow, do it! Be confident in who you are and stay close to it!