Crystal & The Happy Type

If you have caught my current Sunday series, The War on Girls, you know I’m an advocate for raising the girls and women in our life up in encouragement.  Which is why I was beyond thrilled that Crystal from The Happy Type blog chose to be my featured sponsor this month.  Not only is she a creative talent, she is authentic, and has a beautiful spirit.  Plus I love that she also loves to shop vintage shops like me and shares How to Thrift like a Pro.  As she is taking over my blog today I will close this introduction out by saying another great big thank you to Crystal for being a huge light in my life and motivator for why we deserve to live the Happy Type of life.

Hello everyone! My name is Crystal and I blog over at The Happy Type, where I focus on encouraging and empowering women to live a life they want and deserve. I’ve never done a blog take over, so getting to take the reins of A Compass Rose is beyond rad. For my first blog takeover, I wanted to bring the issue of self-love up for discussion, because I know that it’s an issue that far too many women struggle with.

Myself, included.

When I was younger, I used to look at the beautiful glossy images of supermodels inside of the fashion magazines at the supermarket. The women inside the magazines were beautiful, perfect, flawless and they all seemed to be living absolutely fantastic lives. I used to stand there and dream about the future, because I was certain that one day I would be one of them. I wouldn’t be a supermodel, but I was positive that I was going to turn into a beautiful woman, foot-loose and fancy free in the world. My belief that I would blossom into a beauty was absolute, or at least it was until the world had something to say about it.



I once spoke up in class that I was going to explore the world and go on adventures like the beautiful women in Vogue when a teacher asked what we were going to become when we grew up. I remember the look on my 3rd grade teacher’s face as they tried to make sense of what I was saying. “Like a model?” they asked gently. I laughed and meant to clear it up telling them, No, not a model. I didn’t want to be a model, just a woman. A beautiful woman. I never got my chance to reply, because my classmates all started to laugh at the idea that I could follow through on what I had shared. I wasn’t pretty and models were beautiful, what was I thinking? I was too fat, too short, too plain looking to be a model. My teacher silenced the students, but the damage had already been done, and I started to look at myself differently.

My 3rd grade experience was just the first of many events that started to chip away at the self-love I had once embraced so readily. Little-by-little the absolute believe in my beauty was damaged and ripped away from me by callous and casual comments by family, friends, enemies, the media, and those beauty magazines started to become painful reminders of my imperfections. I started to shy away from cameras, because I didn’t think I was pretty enough to have pictures taken of me. If a camera came out, I ran the other way and I was content to be BEHIND the camera, not in front of it. But something happened that began to change my relationship not only with photography, but myself.


About a year ago, I opened up a little vintage clothing shop, but I needed a model. I had recently moved to a new city and didn’t really know anyone to ask to model for my project, and that only left one option: I had to be the model. I can’t even begin to describe the apprehensive nature I approached my camera with. I knew what to do BEHIND IT, but what was I going to in FRONT of it? At first it was incredibly rough going, I used to take a whole mess of shots and delete them in frustration. I even cropped out my face in those first photos because it made them easier to put out there for the public.

il_570xN.342170630Me as the headless model.

But without my even noticing it, I started to see a beautiful woman. All those hours staring at photo after photo started to reveal things I loved about myself. I stopped seeing all the things that were wrong with me and started to see myself through new eyes, through a photographer’s eyes. My confidence grew not only in front of the camera, but in life. I stopped being so self-conscious because the camera had revealed what I had known all those years ago. I had become the beautiful woman I had anticipated as a child, and nothing would ever again shake my belief in my own beauty.


The reason that I share this is because I know that I’m not the only one to have struggled with self-love. I hope that sharing my own thoughts on self-love will help another woman think about how she sees herself and why. Every woman is beautiful and while outside influences can sometimes overtake us and change how we see ourselves, it doesn’t change the fact that you ARE beautiful You just have to remember to take the time to see it. Embrace yourself in all your imperfections, because that is precisely what makes you a beauty.

How do remember to see your own beauty? Has there ever been an instance in which you forgot your own beauty or was there a moment of clarity when you finally realized it? I know my own moment of came while I was sitting in front of my computer screen really looking at myself, and I’ll never forget the feeling of freedom that came when I truly saw myself.


M A K E   F R I E N D S   &   F O L L O W   C R Y S T A L !
  • Chantal

    Thank you for sharing this, I sometimes have a hard time seeing my own beauty and embracing myself as a beauty woman, yet there are a lot of times I can say to myself “you’re a strong beautiful woman” and not only believe it, but feel it too.

    We compare ourselves to others all the time and we break other women down a lot. Instead of bonding together and telling each other how beautiful and wonderful we are as women we bring out the claws and go at it.

    So to all women reading this, you’re beautiful, you’re wonderful and you need to start loving yourself. You deserve no less!

    • Crystal Turpin

      AMEN! I am all about lifting up other women and community, because I’ve seen the jealous and destructive nature you are talking about tear apart friendships. I love what you said about FEELING like a strong and beautiful woman, because if you don’t believe AND feel it then what does it matter what other people think?

      You are a total beauty, Chantal. Thanks for your input.

  • Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    This is a brilliant post. There is still too much emphasis on youth and beauty pushed on girls. More focus on kindness to others, self-belief, confidence and knowledge is needed. I grew up looking at glossy mags (as a teen), thinking if I was beautiful and looked like these girls then I would be happy and people would love me. It’s just sad really.

    • Crystal Turpin

      You’re exactly right when you talk about a focus on kindness, self-belief, confidence and knowledge are needed. Rather than telling girls how they should look, but REMINDING them they can’t look that way, we should be showing them how to love themselves.

  • Susanne V.

    This is an amazing post. I really love how Crystal writes and the things she shares in her posts, the encouragement. It’s amazing, lots of women, but also girls, could learn from her.
    Thank you for sharing this!

    • Crystal Turpin

      Aw, Susanne! As always you flatter me beyond belief. You’re amazing and your encouragement keeps me writing.

  • Caitlin

    Ah Crystal you are GORGEOUS! I love what you said in school – you don’t have to be a model to tour the world!

    • Crystal Turpin

      Thank you so much for the vote of confidence. :) Exactly! It was odd to me how the getting out into the world seemed so tied to being a model.

  • Mrs Chasing the Donkey

    Thanks goodness you don’t have to be a model to tour the world – as I’d never never the house he he he Great read!

    • Crystal Turpin

      Thank you for kind words, and don’t down play yourself!

  • Crystal Turpin

    Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to take over your blog!!! I’ve got to say that making the decision to sponsor you has pretty much been one of the most solid blogging choices I’ve made!