Karla Reed - Insta Blogger @karlareed

Insightful, engaging, genuine, classy, beautiful.

What made you want to start blogging?

I initially started as a way to hold myself accountable to not shop. I committed to shop my closet for a month and posted new outfit combinations as a creative exercise. By the end of the month I was hooked! It became a much needed creative outlet for me...especially as a stay at home mom. I needed motivation to get out of leggings and oversized sweaters everyday. Haha. And once I started planning outfits and posting about them and getting feed back I was obsessed!

When do you feel most beautiful?

When I’m with someone who loves me in spite of my imperfections. My husband:) His unconditional love makes me think I’m capable of moving mountains.

Has becoming a successful blogger affected the amount you think about your appearance? If yes, how so?

Absolutely. It’s actually quite dangerous how self consumed you can become when you’re aware of how many people are looking at you! But I will say at the same time I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin. When you’re constantly putting yourself out there you’re forced to see yourself through other people’s eyes. It’s easier for me to accept some of my flaws that way.

How much do you think your success as a blogger is tied to your physical appearance?

I think the way I look got me attention...but I’ve found that what I have to say and what I choose to communicate is what makes people stay and become true followers.

Have you ever struggled with a lack of confidence? If so, how did you get through it?

Yes, of course! Especially when I was younger...and it has a way a flaring up even now. The thing that shifted for me was when I realized that everybody is insecure to an extent and nobody really has it all together. I have a choice to exploit that in people to make myself feel better or I can come along side people and encourage them and tell them they’re not alone. In doing that it uplifts us both.

What are 5 things you love about yourself?

-I read people well and know how to make them happy (although this can also be a curse. Aka people pleaser)

-My height. I’m 5’9 and love that I feel comfortable in flats and tower over people in heels:)

-My hair. It’s a bit of a security blanket for me!

-I’m naturally thin (thank you mom and dad!)

-I am quick to love. Though I often get hurt... I have come to find this is a gift.

What made you want to be a part of The Stripped Project?

I think it’s an important message about inner beauty that’s not talked about enough especially on social media. The trouble with outward beauty is it never ends. There’s always something more you can do to be more perfect. And the essence of inner beauty is coming to the realization that “I am enough”...and resting in that. There’s not enough pictures on social media of true rest and contentment. Also, I have a lot of pictures of myself all done up...I wanted pictures of how my kids see me and will remember me. The way I look when I greet them in the morning or when I’m kissing them for the millionth time before bed. These pictures are for my kids.

How did you feel being in front of the camera with no make-up on?

I felt surprisingly well at first! I spent the morning without make up as I ran my errands and in some way forgot I didn’t have it on. It was freeing! But half way through our shoot I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and I felt my confidence shatter. “I look so tired!! What was I doing?? These pictures are going to be terrible!” These negative thoughts flooded my mind and it changed my demeanor. But then it hit me...how I feel about myself on the inside directly effects what I project on the outside. And no amount of make-up can cover a negative spirit. When I think about the beautiful people I know it’s not about an outward perfection but about a spirit of generosity, vulnerability and love. Those characteristics mold them into something truly beautiful. And that comes from a place of contentment within.

How do you maintain positive self-esteem while being involved in social media?

It’s a daily battle and a discipline. Having a grateful heart is the only way to fight off an discontented spirit. I thank God every day for my blessings. He is the one in whom I seek my worth and approval. I also try to surround myself with people who are uplifting and are also seeking true beauty...who encourage me to be myself and love me for who I am.

How do you feel social media can be used to empower women?

By connecting them with each other and us telling each other, “You’re not alone”. There is power in community.