The BeautiFILES: Gutless and Glamorous Beauty on Her Style Savvy & Life with Crohn’s Disease!

25 Feb
Meet Gaylyn :-)

Meet Gaylyn 🙂 Are we living for this coat or what!?!?

Every freshman girl comes in on the first day of high school nervous but excited. You feel like you’re stepping into adulthood (though a few years later you’ll laugh and discover you weren’t), as you now pass kids in the hallways who are moments away from college. Still, in the midst of all your new-found “maturity,” you’re a little lost and impressionable. Everything seems that much bigger now. In this place of transition from big dog at middle school to not-so-cool fresh meat in high school, you have to start all over and rebuild yourself. You study hard because college is sooner than later, you sign up for extracurricular activities to show you’re balanced, and most importantly, you observe the vets and subconsciously identify who you’ll mirror in a few years.

I was never that “books over looks” girl; I wanted both. My social life, the way I dressed and everything else superficial was just as important to me as academics. That’s why as I took notice of the Evans High School social ranks, I naturally looked up to the juniors and seniors who seemed to have it all. Smart, pretty, stylish, popular–but still nice. There were many: Natassia, who was a naturally stunning beauty and athlete; Adasha, who was goofy (in the funny, not lame way) and came to school dressed to kill as if she’d read Vogue each night before; and then there was Gaylyn. If I had to describe her in a word, it’d be sunny! Every time I saw Gaylyn, she was smiling, cutely dressed and a true sweetheart whose light came from a genuine place.

Thanks to social media, we live in a day and age where you can stay somewhat connected to peers even when you’ve graduated and officially entered adult world. I go on social media often, but typically just to update a status or post a pic. It wasn’t until last year on Instagram I happened to see that Gaylyn had Crohn’s Disease, “a chronic inflammatory condition in which inflammation can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus,” according to her blog.

A few months later my friend Courtney, who also went to high school with us, and I were on the phone and she happened to mention Gaylyn had a blog, Gutless and Glamorous, and that it was really good. She urged me to read it and informed me it was about Gaylyn’s personal experiences on life with Crohn’s. I asked her when she was diagnosed and she said she remembered Gaylyn being really sick when they were much younger. This was all a shock to me because from my recollection,  she never “looked sick” to me in high school. Perhaps my observation just lacked because we didn’t have any classes together and weren’t in the same grade, but whatever the reason, I know I still saw her more times than not radiating her sunny disposition. Before even reading the blog, I was already inspired in that moment of discovering she had the disease for as long as I’d known her. Crohn’s is no easy battle, so much is to be said about the girl who makes up in her mind that she won’t live her life as a victim. Much is really to be said about the girl who does so while maintaining her academics and in style!

After my convo with Courtney, I went to a hair appointment and read the entire blog, post by post, as I got my box braids. Little did I know, that once 9th grade girl who admired the stylish and pretty 12th grader would look up to her all over again. Gutless and Glamorous is so real, much like the author. Gaylyn dishes on it all, everything from having her colon removed (hence the blog name) to dating with an inflammatory bowel disease and other details of this life she’s been gracefully living since 14 years old.

After reading Gaylyn’s blog, I knew I wanted to highlight her on mine. I reached out to her and she accepted. I didn’t want to ask the typical because she has her own blog where you can get all that. I simply wanted a girl convo, some touches on Crohn’s and others on whatever randomness I thought of. Soooooo, here it is…

Love her outfit! Actually reminds me of a trick for my fellow skinny girls. If you want that tall boot look but having trouble finding a pair that don't swallow your legs, wear a pair of long socks with booties like Gaylyn and it'll give a similar effect!

Love her outfit! Actually reminds me of a trick for my fellow skinny girls. If you want that tall boot look but having trouble finding a pair that don’t swallow your legs, wear a pair of long socks with booties or ankle boots, like Gaylyn, and it’ll give a similar effect!

You’re quite the fashionable one and you always look so put together! If you’re anything like me though, you’ve had a moment where you thought you were super cute only to later look back and laugh. What was your worst fashion moment? Haha! I would have to say every summer from 2006-2011! Due to medicine, I developed stretch marks and scars on my legs, and for a very long time I would not wear shorts and skirts that showed my legs during brutal, scorching weather. However, I have learned to embrace my body; after all, it is the most amazing thing I will ever own.

If you could take any three guys and combine different things about them to formulate your perfect boo, who would you pick and why? Hmm… that is tough. I have no clue. Someone who is smart because their intelligence needs to match my own (wink, wink). I love Owen Wilson because he is hilarious. I need someone that has a great sense of humor because shit will happen. Lol! Oh, and Brad Pitt! Not because of his looks (which does not hurt AT ALL), but because of his amazing letter/article that he recently published about his wife.

We all have dreams as little girls. Have your dreams changed at all and are you currently living your dreams? Although cliché, I strongly believe I was given this life because I am strong enough to live it. My dreams have shifted for the better. My experiences, my stories are not in vain and they are meant to help others in similar or trying situations. I am living my dream, which is to help others experiencing similar situations to accept and live their best life.

Various religions and academic disciplines teach us that our thoughts and words have power to manifest in reality. What thoughts and words do you put out in hopes that they eventually manifest? I am a Christian. I credit everything to God. I believe that everything works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Even when things do not appear as if they are, I take comfort in knowing that they are. I am able to look back at the things that I have gone through and realize that only through His grace and mercy have I been able to not only survive, but survive with a smile on my face.

With any hardship, we encounter a time or two where we’re so fed up that we find humor in it and laugh to keep from crying. As frustrating as Crohn’s has been for you, has there been a funny moment in it at all? I would not be able to survive if I didn’t learn to find humor in my life; after all, I have bowel disease. Laughter really is the best medicine and it is up to you to find humor and happiness in tough situations. One time in the hospital after surgery, while waiting for my intestines to “wake up” after anesthesia, my intestines “woke up” sooner rather than later. The doctor said, “Man, you have a good colon!” Meanwhile, I had just had it taken out. Lol! He didn’t even realize what he said.

What’s “the essence of” your experience as a woman and as a woman with Crohn’s? I am thankful for my ups and downs, my good days and bad. I am thankful for my difficult times because without them I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strengths.

Where do you see yourself in 7 years? I see myself in complete and total health.

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Check out her blog @ GutlessAndGlamorous.com!

Keep up with Gaylyn on her Blog, Instagram @GUTLESSANDGLAMOROUS and @Gaylyn14, and Twitter @GutlessGlamour!

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3 Responses to “The BeautiFILES: Gutless and Glamorous Beauty on Her Style Savvy & Life with Crohn’s Disease!”

  1. Christi February 25, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Gaylyn is such an inspiration! I remember her just as you did…always a positive and fun-loving attitude! I would have never guessed that she had Crohn’s even after I learned of it our senior year during the Miss EHS pageant (which she effortlessly and most deservingly won the title), because she has never wallowed in pain or misery. Her blog and this article perfectly highlight how amazing she really is!

    Like

    • Essence February 25, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      I agree! She’s such a light!

      Like

  2. gutlessandglamorous March 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Reblogged this on Gutless and Glamorous™.

    Like

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