Author: Shira Mizel

What I Learned When I Lost My Hair

For most of my freshman year of college, I wore a wig. My mom’s stylist had cut and dyed it to blend seamlessly with my own thinning hair. It looked natural, but I was always afraid that someone might find out. Maybe someone would knock it off-center at a party. Maybe a professor would notice the fake hairline behind my real hairline. After a few days of clipping the wig on behind closet doors or inside bathroom stalls, I realized I had to come clean to my roommate. The possibility that she’d spill my secret filled me with terror. People would find out that I was ugly, resent my fakeness, and leave me alone in a new and daunting place. All I could do was communicate how immensely important it was that she not tell a soul. I wanted to scare her into silence and she kept quiet like I’d asked. I didn’t consider the possibility that another person valued me enough to respect my wishes. I didn’t feel valuable, only afraid; anxiety is super …

6 Cool, Handmade Gifts For Your Bestie

This past week we’ve been celebrating our very best buds — the people who will lend a hand, an ear, or that long-coveted halter top. If you want to surprise your gal pals with unique gift options, our BFF collection on GREAT.LY is just the ticket. We’ve gathered handmade goods by artists dedicated to finding the beauty in the everyday.     Simple Dot Necklace Peggy Li is a San Francisco-based artist whose jewelry line is both feminine and whimsical. We love this simple, tasteful dot necklace. Surprise your pal with this elegant, everyday bauble (and buy yourself a matching one while you’re at it).   Hello Friend Tote Bag Why, hello friend. Here’s an easy, breezy tote bag your bestie can lug anywhere. Reasonably priced and adorable, these bags and other printed goodies are made by New Zealand’s Liora Saad and her company Toodles Noodles. She describes her items as “colorful and cheeky” and we’re inclined to nod our heads.   March — Original Mixed Media LA-based artist and illustrator Shelley Kommers describes her artwork as “collage-based, textured, and …

Real-Time BFF: A Blissful, 20-Something Bond

I met Emma during a pop raid at a Wisconsin girls camp. Camouflaged in black, we crept stealthily toward the vending machines. I don’t remember what movie line I whispered, but it prompted Emma to ask shyly, “Isn’t that from Garden State?” Instant connection. We talked for hours that night on a tiny twin bed. I admired her bottomless cheer, compassion, artistic skills, cheekbones, and spot-on impressions. We were attached at the hip for the next three summers. The staff referred to us as “Shira n’ Emma.” They commissioned our antics to write songs and emcee talent shows and didn’t question our schedules when we attended every activity together. Emma played with the worms as I fished. She laid on the tennis court as I practiced my backhand and whenever a ball hit her, she said, “thank you, may I have another” to no one in particular. In the arts and crafts building, I haphazardly slid beads onto string as Emma made intricate lanyards and stunning paintings. Saying goodbye after each eight-week session was painful. …