Every few months or so, I start getting messages on social media from strangers telling me that I'm beautiful. That would probably weird most people out, but to me it just signals that my episode of "What Not to Wear" has aired again on syndication somewhere.

In May 2017, it will be seven years since I taped my appearance (it aired in January 2011). My life has completely changed but, honestly, I haven't overcome all of the issues we addressed on the show.

The question I'm most asked is "Do you still wear sweatpants to work?"

Well, yes. However, I work from home, so stop judging. For the most part -- because I'm not perfect -- I try to dress up whenever I'm going out. I try to be put together.

What was the worst part of being on "What Not to Wear"? That god-awful 360 mirror. I still have nightmares about it. Okay, I don't but couldn't blame me if I did. They had to turn the air conditioning off when we were in there. Between the lights and the fact that you've stuffed three people into a reflective box, I was a sweaty, disgusting mess. I was so hot that it didn't really even bug me that I was staring in a mirror.

Did you really get $5,000? Yep. Here's what I spent it on.

Am I over my body issues? No, of course not. I'm a woman. I'll never be completely happy with my body. That said, what we focused on was my issues with my scars. I'm actually over that. I have scars. Big deal.

I do still struggle with confidence on a daily basis. But, hey, I'm working on it.

Since the show, my body has changed and so has my style. Sometimes I make good choices and sometimes I do not. I've cut my hair, I've grown it out. I've dyed it dark and then lightened it back up. I've changed my appearance with every season of the last seven years.

I didn't walk away from the show and change my personality. I walked away the same person but on a different path. One of the biggest conversations that I had with Stacy and Clinton off camera was how much I needed a change. They encouraged me to quit my job and move to Los Angeles. With their support, I did.

Granted, life brought me back to Nashville a year later, but I made a big leap that I probably would've have without their encouragement.

Since then, I earned my MFA and I got a book deal. Country Music Hair, country music's greatest mullets, bobs, beehives, and bouffants collected together in one entertaining volume, illustrated with dozens of color and black-and-white photographs, was released in 2016.

I am grateful to have had the experience of being on "What Not to Wear." I'm not perfect, but I think the point of the show wasn't to change the person, but to let them see that they have worth.

Sponsored

I can't say I'm super well-versed in all things "Harry Potter" or "Star Wars," I do know that the latter is nothing like "Star Trek." I also know that these things have huge, rabid fan bases. So huge and rabid there's an entire industry of swimwear built around them.

These suits will pair perfectly with your friend's Disney Princess bikini.

7 Geeky Swimsuits You Can Wear This Summer:

1. The R2-D2


2. "Star Trek"


3. One-Piece "Star Trek"


4. The Boba Fett


5. Gryffindor


6. Batman

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It is an irrefutable fact that one day we will all look back and be ashamed of our current style. On that day you will say something like, "I thought I looked so good." That day is coming. A second, and less recognized, fact is that style is cyclical. If you live long enough, all of your clothes will come back into style. Women are wearing high wasted jeans again and looking good doing it. This time last year we would have all called those "mom jeans." So it is only a matter of time before men remember the beauty of keeping business up front and a party in the back. The mullet, that oft ridiculed hairstyle is making a comeback. You heard it here first.

It all started this summer in two separate, yet monumental actions. The first came the mullet mascot himself, Billy Ray Cyrus. This is the man who opined the loss of his back-locks in his 2006 song "I Want My Mullet Back." He has been lying in wait, looking for the perfect time to reenter the cultural zeitgeist. In June 2016, Cyrus emerged from his daughter's shadow to film this video with Mashable. It is funny and may seem like nothing more than viral clickbait, but it marked a tidal shift in our culture.


We do not know if Oklahoma State's head football coach Mike Gundy ever saw the video. We do know that Mike Gundy was in dire need of a haircut at the same time the video was released. We do know that his son, Gage, mocked his father's "mullet." We do know that Gundy decided to keep his hair long to mess with his son. In August, he began to pamper and encourage his baby mullet.

You can see it peeking out behind his cheeks, eager to meet the world. By the middle of the football season, it was accepted as an inextricable part of Gundy's persona. He has even named it, "The Arkansas Waterfall."


At the end of the season, Gundy's mullet had garnered unprecedented praise from his rivals. Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops and Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield both expressed their respect and admiration of the mullet publicly. Gundy's wife likes it. His players like it. This is no stunt. This is not a drill. Gundy threw down the mullet gauntlet and America is responding.

Judging by his tweet on March 17, 2017, the Arkansas Waterfall is in now in control of his body. The old man is gone and the new has come.

Enter Billy Ray Cyrus, stage right. Cyrus, a Florida native (obviously), eagerly threw his support behind Oklahoma State based solely on their coach's hairstyle. It was serendipity, two kindred spirits meeting in a crowded room. The snowball began to roll downhill and is now picking up speed, racing towards cultural acceptance.

Soon, we will see athletes wearing them as jokes. They will be followed by college classmates and frat-star fanboys. Then little brothers and fans across the nation will follow their heroes. Out of nowhere, Justin Bieber or a One Direction guy will show up in Germany looking like a early nineties pop-star, mullet waving in the breeze. Mullets will be "hot" again. Blake Shelton will joke about it, but will remember his mullet and get back on the bandwagon. Luke Bryan will get an artless bland mullet that everyone will love for no reason. Women will inwardly wish their husbands could be cool enough to pull of a mullet. The mullet will rise. You may think that is far-fetched, but mark my words, it will happen and is happening even now. The mullet is back.

Keith Urban

Sure, the ACM Awards are about trophies and performance but we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the beautiful gowns, cowboy hats and blue jeans walking the red carpet. (Spoiler Alert: You won't recognize Dustin Lynch!)

See your favorite stars' looks:

Carrie Underwood

Lady Antebellum

Jason Aldean

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

Brothers Osborne

Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd

Maddie & Tae

Dustin Lynch

Frankie Ballard and wife Christina

Florida Georgia Line

Eric Decker and Jessie James Decker


Michael Ray

Backstreet Boys

Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins

Miranda Lambert and Anderson East

Sam Hunt


Luke Bryan

Reba McEntire

Kelsea Ballerini

Lauren Alaina and RaeLynn

Clay Walker and his pregnant wife Jessica

Little Big Town

Cassadee Pope


Shane McAnally and Kelsea Ballerini

Cam


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

According to the "Rachael Ray Show," we just aren't washing our clothes enough. Or, we aren't washing our closet staples enough. We aren't totally sure we agree with Rachael on some of these, but she does make a few good points.

1. White or Silk

Every single time you wear white or silk you should wash them.

2. Bras

You should wash your bras by hand, every three to four wears.

3. Down or Wool Coats

If you own a down or wool coat, you should wash them two to three times per season because of the oil on your skin.

4. Hats, Gloves, Scarves

Yes, you should be washing your gloves and you should do it three to five times per season.

5. Jeans

In theory, you should wash your jeans every two to three wears. (We prefer two to three times a year.)



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