As per my goodbye post earlier today, I am sad to say this is my last day at The Gloss. I have loved the past three years so much and, as one does at any good job, learned so much from my fellow writers, our wonderful readers, and the ridiculous jungle that is Internet as a whole. Here are the most important things I have stumbled upon while here.

Face masks are the best Halloween costumes.

IMG_1596Seriously, don’t I look terrifying in this Dr. Jart+ mask?

Dressing for your body type is stupid.

Samantha Escobar tattoos romper FashionTruth ModCloth Til Nest Do Us Part RomperI have big hips and big boobs and my stomach is very squishy. If I dressed for my body type, I would spend my life wearing sweatpants because my body type is “bloated.” Or tunics and dresses with belts, because that is essentially what size 12+ women are supposed to wear all the time. And no matter your preferences, you should only aim to look taller, thinner, and more feminine, if antiquated trend guides are to be believed.

Back in January, when I did my #FashionTruth piece with ModCloth, I felt so nervous posting the photos because I kept dwelling on how other people would feel about my body. Then I thought about how much I loved wearing these styles of clothes, and remembered that I was the only one paying for my outfits, and suddenly I felt way better. If you want to wear a bikini, wear a goddamn bikini. If tankinis are your thing, go for it, too, but don’t feel pressured into (or away from) any garment out of fear. You don’t need to love your body, but you do need to treat it like it’s your own.

Models aren’t intimidating.

For the longest time, I assumed working anywhere near fashion models would make me feel really bad about myself because I’m 5’7″ and weigh 160, but instead, it just made me like models a whole lot more. Even though there’s a common misconception that models are somehow not “real women” (BTW, if they’re not real women, what are they?), but they are! Sometimes, they’re real teenagers or children, too. Most of them are really nice, though occasionally you encounter an unpleasant one, just like in every single other job field.

Always eat free food.

IMG_0665I go to a lot of events where the other guests don’t eat the free food. Why? I don’t really know, but it bothers me. I promise, dear friends, that eating adorably mini free hors-d’oeuvres will always be a good idea. Nobody’s ever regretted consuming a tiny brownie atop a spoon full of ice cream, I promise.

A great blowout is a powerful tool.

The first time I found out I was going backstage at a fashion show during NYFW, I was terrified. (I was also wearing high heels that unreasonably painful, so perhaps the bleeding feet had something to do with my terror, as well.) I wound up getting a blowout earlier that day from Glamsquad and, oh my goodness, it changed my attitude all together. I felt more confident and glamorous, which made me feel like I actually fit in a little better despite being totally clueless and anxiety-ridden.

If you ever have a job interview, an important meeting, a big date, or some other significant event that’s causing you a little stress, pamper yourself with a snazzy blowout.

Men who use the phrase “you look better without makeup” are usually really annoying.

Seriously, dudes, stop doing that.

It’s okay to change your mind.

My opinions on certain issues have changed over the past few years. Sometimes, this has happened because I was ignorant about a topic before more information was brought to my attention and then lo and behold, I realized I had originally been mistaken. Sometimes, this occurred simply because I myself had changed. I was probably reluctant to admit this at the time, though, because we writers have a tendency to see our words written down and assume that, upon immortalizing them on the Internet, we will never feel differently. This is silly. So very silly.

The importance of purple shampoo.

Since going platinum blonde back in August, I have learned the magic of purple shampoo. Seriously, blondes out there (and anyone who wishes to rid their hair of brassiness), purple shampoos and conditioners are as close to magical potions as shower products can get.

Staying close with your coworkers is awesome.

tattoos fakeI see at least seven of my former coworkers from The Gloss, Crushable, and Mommyish socially every month, and a few of them at least once per week. I’ve worked on an almost exclusively female team at this company for years and oh man, it’s been really wonderful. People always advise you not to burn bridges with former coworkers, but my best advice is to go beyond that and actually stay friends with the ones you get along with. Like I said in my goodbye post, I feel lucky as hell to have been able to work with these women, and having them as buddies thereafter has been even better.

The significance of investing in a good bed (and making it every day).

IMG_1370You know how you always hear, “you spend one-third of your life in bed”? Well, I spend more than one-third of my life in bed, so getting a great mattress is really important for me. About a year ago, I got a Casper mattress and an Ikea bed frame, plus lots of fancy schmancy organic cotton bedding from West Elm. And it was all so, so worth it.

I have fibromyalgia and insomnia, so my sleep has been awful for years. It’s certainly not perfect now, but it’s absolutely incredible how much better I feel when I get into my nice, smoothly-covered bed at the end of a long day. Everyone makes fun of me for having a queen-sized bed here in New York where everything needs to be as condensed as possible, but every time I stretch all the way out on my squishy-yet-firm bed, I thank Past Sam for ensuring Current Sam gets great rest.

Not everyone will love me or my writing.

When you major in something like Creative Writing (Poetry, in fact), you spend a lot of time trying to make other people like you. In fact, no matter how liberal and cool your college’s writing program is, chances are, your chances of passing or getting referred for jobs or receiving accolades depends on whether or not people like your writing. The Internet is different.

There have only been a few occasions during which an article of mine prompted a somewhat scary reaction from (non-regular) readers, but for the most part, comments have ranged from ultra-positive to simply negative — both of which are totally fine! When I first came here, I felt so devastated when a piece of mine elicited negative responses, but three years later and my goodness, I am so much more comfortable encountering and accepting criticism both on the Internet and in real life. I used to be so afraid of being disliked, but having hundreds of strangers within a 24-hour period email you to tell you they dislike you helps that fear go away.

Oh, and a shout out to all the MRAs out there who still send me hate mail. ILY4ever.

Never underestimate the power of a good GIF.

don't gif#Internet101.

Top 10 lists are annoying.

That’s why I’m making this 13.