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be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation.

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I’ve had a difficult time writing this, of figuring out exactly how I want to address this.

It’s not that I’m fearful of backlash, of unfollows, of the inevitable negative reactions I will receive from those with different opinions. If you’re looking for someone who will post their outfits and makeup and stay away from anything deeper than that, you’re really already in the wrong place. There have been and will be plenty of days with light, fluffy posts to supplement this and any future posts of this nature, but this is not that day. If I didn’t use my platform to speak my mind and spread awareness, what a waste that would be. It’s not the potential backlash that made me uncertain. It’s that I needed to regain my composure, take a breath, and approach this in a way that wouldn’t alienate anyone who has an open heart. Because that’s one of our big issues that we’re currently facing — that feeling of being a stranger in a strange land. Our country is divided, and we need to stand together.

I expected and hoped for a very different outcome, but here we are. Trump is the President-elect. Some of you are celebrating, whether silently or with gusto. Some of you are mourning, confused, or angry (or all three). Some fear for what the next four years will bring, not just in legislature, but in the day to day interactions with neighbors who now feel like strangers. And some of you — a lot of you — didn’t even bother to vote. You didn’t vote.

Out of approximately 231.5 million eligible voters, about half didn’t exercise their right to vote in this election. Within that vast percentage, there are undoubtedly legitimate excuses, voter suppression, and confusion with voter ID laws, etc. But with a percentage that large, I have to believe they’re the exception, not the rule. So this is what I’m choosing to address, one lonely malady in a never-ending sea of concerns: apathy, and why it is unacceptable.

Maybe you felt your vote wouldn’t count. Maybe you hated both candidates. Maybe you didn’t want to wait in a long line. Maybe you thought you knew which way your state would go, and you felt safe in staying home. Whatever your reasoning, I’m calling nonsense. There was more at stake than just the presidency, and this election proved that the electoral map is much more unpredictable than we thought. But I’m not just here to lecture and ask you to vote in four years. I’m not just here to ask you to vote in the midterms (which are also so important) in two years. You should do both of those, absolutely. What I ask of you is to care. Let me clarify, because I don’t think the problem is true apathy, but more of a shrug of the shoulders, hands thrown in the air, what-difference-will-it-make way of thinking. I want you to care enough to want to do actually do something, to make a change, big or small…and then actually do that something.

I’m asking all of you — not just those who didn’t vote, but everyone reading this, because it can span all parties and outliers — please care more. Do more. Love more. Open up a meaningful dialogue with someone who is completely different from you. Be an active, vocal ally to people of color, to the LGBTQ community, to women, to those with a different faith. Get out of your comfort zone. Volunteer. Create a movement. Use your voice. At this point, casting a ballot is simply not enough. 

If you’re sad/confused/angry/resentful right now, that doesn’t make you a sore loser. It makes you passionate about what you believe in! Don’t lose that passion. Let it give you the momentum you need to start making a change. We can’t wait until the next election; the days between our votes are just as important. It’s not time to get over it, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. If you want change, you make change. Nothing ever changed because the discontent gave up and got over it. We need champions, and I want those champions to be all of us. If you want to see what a direct impact can look like, volunteer at a local shelter or charity you believe in. Donate your time, talents, knowledge, and voice to those who need you. 

Volunteering is available in many forms: mentoring students, serving meals, donating your professional services (graphic or web design, clerical work, marketing, etc.), fundraising, cleanup, helping the homeless get back on their feet, teaching classes, helping women enter the workplace (polishing their resumés, mock interviews). My little sister, a firefighter with a background in ballet, would serve hot meals in a cafeteria one day, teach a dance class for children in need the next. Volunteering is not just one role, it can be many. Bringing joy to someone’s life can be incredibly impactful. The next step is to find your role and fill it. And if it doesn’t exist, create it. DoSomething.org is full of ideas to get you started, even from the comfort of your home). Gather your friends and make a pact to volunteer, start a fundraiser, spread awareness. There are volunteer networks that make it so easy to search for opportunities.

For national volunteer opportunities, Volunteer Match is a great resource, searchable by location and interest. It’s also a great place to seek out volunteers for your own nonprofit, school, hospice or hospital. A basic account is free — you can sign up, post your listing, and hear back from interested volunteers.

For NYC volunteer opportunities, I like New York Cares. You just attend a quick orientation (they even have digital orientations, though they fill up quickly) and then you can search volunteer opportunities. Most of these are drop in, which means you don’t have to commit to more than that session, so it is great for people who have hectic schedules but want to squeeze in their volunteer time whenever possible. You can filter the volunteer opportunities by your interests, location, and when you are free. It even tells you if it’s group or family friendly, or fitting for new volunteers. To give you an idea of some current volunteer opportunities, click here

Your dollar can also make a difference, especially when your voice is attached to it. Utilize your social media platforms to support the causes you’re passionate about, and encourage others to do the same. Here are a few organizations I’d like to highlight, which I actively support:

American Civil Liberties Union: There are individuals who think it’s okay to treat people as lesser beings because of their skin color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The ACLU has been a defender of civil rights for almost a century. 

Planned Parenthood: I’m proudly pro-choice, and I realize that many of you are not. Defunding and demonizing Planned Parenthood because of a stance on a woman’s right to choose will affect millions of Americans. A mere 3% of their services in 2014 were abortion-related (you can access their annual report here), and as reader Joy pointed out, federal funding is not used for those services. Planned Parenthood provides contraception, sexual education and counseling, vasectomies, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings and prevention, general women’s health services, prenatal services, and adoption referrals. When I was a young college student with barely enough income to pay my bills and buy my books, Planned Parenthood provided me with my annual exam and birth control pills, not just for pregnancy prevention but for endometriosis, free of charge. They often work on a sliding scale, and won’t turn away someone because they can’t afford care. If you’re staunchly anti-choice, I’m not asking you to support them, but I am asking you to consider all that they do for women and men who so greatly need them, and stop demonizing their practices.

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention: Less than a year ago, we unexpectedly lost our friend Charlene. She dedicated her life to science and research, to curing illness and saving lives, and the world lost one of its most brilliant minds when she left us. Election day was her and her twin’s (my dear friend Holly) birthday, and it would mean so much to me if you would donate in her name, Charlene W. Even if it’s just $1. If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and share that number with anyone you suspect may need it.

Sanctuary For FamiliesSanctuary For Families provides shelter, counseling, crisis intervention, economic empowerment, and other services to victims of domestic violence, gender violence, and sex trafficking. As someone who grew up in an abusive household, I can tell you firsthand how complicated and terrifying it can be to get out of such a horrible situation, and how difficult it can be to get back on your feet, mentally, emotionally, and financially. 


Please feel free to share your favorite organizations, local volunteer network, stories of your own volunteer efforts, and pledges in the comments. Take care, and remember:

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” -Susan B. Anthony

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39 comments

  1. Thank you so much for speaking your mind and spreading awareness. It’s so upsetting to me when people with a large platform don’t use it for good. In addition to donating and volunteering, some people are also wearing a single safety pin on their shirts and jackets to show solidarity with anyone who might be afraid right now as a symbol that they are a “safe” with you. Here is an article with more info if you’re interested: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/safety-pin-trump-brexit_us_58251b53e4b0c4b63b0c11a9

  2. Great points, and very much needed for those who are feeling helpless right now & separated from their community. This is the time to overcome the fear & band together to make our nation stronger.

    Just a quick point, though, re: Planned Parenthood — yes, only 3% of their services are abortion-related. BUT federal funds already CANNOT be used for abortion services. Meaning that any money Planned Parenthood receives goes to all their other live-saving services, NOT abortion. So there really is no reason for pro-life people to be against federal funds being used for PP, as those funds either go to providing contraception that prevents unplanned pregnancies in the first place, or providing desperately needed medical care, including cancer screenings.

  3. I appreciate this article and the suggestions to volunteer and give to the community and various groups. I am a Democrat myself and I thought Trump was the worst thing that could happen to this country, but after seeing the results of the election, I believe he was voted because that is what our country wanted. While liberals focus on taking care of minorities and the underdogs, I believe the majority of the country has felt left behind or abandoned for the past eight years. What we see living in cities is not reality for the majority of Americans. They elected a Republican candidate, because they thought there was more potential for him to provide the change they wished to see. There have been several protests and riots throughout our country, none of which are going to change anything. They are not peaceful. They are disrespectful to all of the Americans who did not feel a Democratic president would serve them well. We need to keep in mind that someone could vote for Trump because of aspects of what he wanted to do–maybe someone voted for him for veteran care, infrastructure, and because they thought he might be able to use his experience to improve our economic situation. Not everyone who voted for him voted specifically for his extremist views, which I don’t believe will ever take form.

    The presidency is short term. If he’s the frightening demigod some liberals fear he will be, he will either be impeached or will not be elected for a second term. What is not short term and what can cause irreparable damage to this country is if the Hillary supporters hate and bash and disrespect everyone who did not choose her as their candidate. There is no cure for a country where citizens hate other citizens, chanting “Not my president” (he’s not yet but he will be), bashing in windows, starting fires, and driving wrecklessly. There is such a thing as being a sore loser and it’s the biggest danger to this country right now. So while I appreciate this article, I have a hard time reading your posts like this one when you were protesting at Trump Tower only nights ago. You’re preaching helping others, while disrespecting all of the Americans who voted the president-elect into office. And that’s coming from a liberal/Democrat. We can’t call ourselves open minded if we reject what our country has asked for.

    • I was absolutely at the rally. And from where I stood, it was a peaceful protest, save for one man who dove into the crowd and attacked someone (completely unexpectedly). Instead of fighting back, the crowd chanted “Peaceful protest.” I did not throw rocks. I did not attack anyone. The police were helping guide protesters toward the site. Voicing dissent is not disrespect. For me, it’s not about preventing him from taking office. It’s about standing in solidarity and supporting those in need.

      You fail to acknowledge the heinous, sexist, racist attacks from many Trump supporters. I will not lump them all into one solitary group, but unfortunately, this election has unleashed something incredibly ugly from within a lot of very loud people. There are many, many people who are rightfully fearing for their safety and their rights – not just because of Trump and the Republican majority, but because of the racist, homophobic, xenophobic attacks they’ve been enduring. As a mostly white woman, I’m aware of my privilege. I do worry about minorities. I worry about women, the poverty-stricken, the underrepresented. I don’t view that as a weakness. I do think that it’s very easy to turn a blind eye to something that may not directly affect you, and that is how he won.

  4. Thank you SO much for posting this! I didn’t expect to feel this way, but I’ve found that I have actually lost respect for bloggers who have gone on posting like nothing has happened. I appreciate you having the guts to stand up for your beliefs, and sharing these important resources!

  5. Keiko -Sam and I were so proud to see how you have bravely spoken up and to see you and Bobby PEACEFULLY protesting. Saying he is not my president means his ugly racist and misogynistic words do not represent your heart or the majority of this country. The world is watching us – and have watched him and heard these words and then he was elected (by the electoral college not the majority of us ) to the highest and most respected position we have. At least you have shown that this doesn’t represent us. To the girl who is supposedly liberal and offended by peaceful protest – there was a Muslim man beaten in Washington yesterday – a gay man beaten in California – middle schoolers were chanting build the wall while their Latino peers cried – to sit back passively and accept this would be grossly irresponsible and inhumane-Keiko don’t ever doubt those things you are inspired to do from the purity of your heart ❤️ You have always and will always speak your mind and your voice matters

    • I don’t condone violence on either side — it’s awful and it’s disturbing. I will never understand it. And I want to let it be known, I didn’t join in on the chant of “Not My President” because like it or not, that’s what he is / will be. What I did chant? Full transparency: “My body, my choice” “Don’t give in to racist fear, immigrants are welcome here” and “the people united will never be defeated.” <3

  6. I agree with you totally and thank you for taking the time to use your platform to encourage action. I think the protests are a positive thing.

    As a Brit I haven’t yet got over the devastation of the Brexit vote so I can kind of imagine how you all must feel. I’m gutted about Trump and the Republicans taking power and worried for the world.

    Reading various pieces over the last few weeks I’m also astounded at the opposition to abortion in the US. I understand that it offends certain religions but IMO there’s no room for religion in politics. As you say, ‘my body my choice’. How can it be anything else? Can you imagine this dialogue even existing if men were able to get pregnant and have abortions? It’s just another way to control and oppress women.

  7. I think using your platform to encourage others in what they can do is great!
    I run donation drives for local domestic violence refuges. Toiletries, canned food, sanitary towels are all very welcome.
    As this is also a fashion/design blog, how about Dress for Success (Smartworks in the U.K.). They take donations of clothes suitable for interviews and provide an outfit and interview advice to low income women or those in shelters or refuges to help them get a job. It’s a great incentive to KonMari, knowing that all those clothes you feel guilty about in the back of the wardrobe can actively help another women.

  8. Thank you for taking such a strong stand and activating people to make a personal difference.

    Although I believe Trump will be a better person as a president than he was as a candidate (or at least the people around him will make him seem so), his election, the Brexit and the extreme discourses in many other countries (including mine) are the representations of how our western society is craving for regaining a sense of safety. With terrorism and technological developments at the speed of light, we are all starting to be afraid of each other: on the one side there is a conservative reaction that turns against people who are perceived as different, which denies that the world and demography will change anyhow. On the other side there is the apprehensive and even hostile attitude towards this first group, which if anything will make them more convinced of their beliefs.

    That is why I so much agree with this post: people need to feel part again of a community by doing good for others. They need to get away from behind their smartphones and dare to open up, be vulnerable so they can find real connections. People should meet all kinds of other people and show empathy: we are all searching for the same safety.

  9. Wow. Thank you for using your platform to speak up for what’s right. I mean, that’s BOLD, and really admirable. I completely agree with all of your points. My stomach just churns when people talk about protesting, and I’m furious that most of my friends are more interested in pointing fingers at who’s “to blame” for Trump. I donated to Planned Parenthood already, but I’m unemployed at the moment and living off my savings, so it was just a small token to encourage others to follow the example. My mom always said, “You either have too much money or too much time,” and I have time and am looking for ways to use it. I volunteered to work the polls on Tuesday (and voted on my lunch break) so I would encourage anyone on the fence about spending long hours working in the service of a worthy cause to JUST DO IT.

  10. Thank you for this. So many of us are feeling the exact same way and it gives me hope to see that on a platform like this one. I have so much respect for social media personalities who I admire coming forth to stand up for what they believe in regardless of the backlash. It’s more important than ever and is hopefully the kind of thing that will inspire people to do more next time around.

  11. Thank you. I loved your article. As a mother of five daughters I took this election rather hard. I appreciate your links to places to volunteer and donate. My college aged daughters would be lost without planned parenthood. Also, another daughter that suffers from depression and anxiety has used the suicide hotline. both of these causes are dear to my heart, as well as the others.

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE. So happy to see so many of the bloggers and artists I follow speak up, talk to their audience about how they feel, what they believe in. If you lose a follower because of this, they aren’t your market anyway. Regardless of political views, an open mind is something we all should have!

  13. Keiko, I’ve been reading your blog for years and years (8 maybe?), and I’ve never commented, but I felt the need this time to say thank you. I’m not even American but thank you for speaking up and for using your voice and your platform in such a positive, inspiring, and meaningful way. While I love the outfits and the make-up, I’m so glad your blog is also more than that 🙂

  14. Thank you for sharing this post. I consider myself a conservative Libertarian, so while we may not be on the same page politically, you are so right about people needing to care more. I spent the last several months feeling disgusted and confused towards both parties, but I still voted. I spent most of election day just wishing more has shown up to the primaries. I believe that there were several solid individuals that we would have been much better off with – but this is what we got.

  15. I’ve read your blog for a while and love your style & attitude but have never been compelled to write until now. Thank you for this post and for using your voice! This week has left me crushed but I have seen a lot of positivity and hope come from friends, family members and on the Internet as a whole. However, I for one do not have a problem saying that Trump “is not my president,” and it basically has to do with your response to Amanda. Yes middle America may have felt slighted these past 8 years (true or not) but I cannot and will not stand behind and respect someone who has said the things that Trump has said, and I cannot respect anyone who voted for him even if they do not share all his extremist views. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!

  16. I’ve respected you from day one, Keiko (day one being, I believe, 5 years ago?) and this post has only served to affirm that.

    I too do not speak about politics and religion in general because I find both topics far too personal and subjective to dissect and debate. I will, however, say that I do not know which was scarier – the end results themselves or the fact that there are people living amongst my midst who actually condone the idea of a racist, sexist, misogynist as head of nation. I walk around very cautiously these days in Texas, as an Asian immigrant who also happens to be female. Ignorance leads to fear and fear, in turn, breeds paranoia. That middle school movement, “Build that wall” in Michigan? That petrifies me, the thought of a future generation that is prejudiced against race, creed and faith, is beyond my comprehension. And the realisation that we are now led by someone who, clearly, does not understand that words have consequences.

    I pray that emotions will calm down in the days to come as, hopefully, actions become clearer, opportunities more apparent, and we can move forward with purpose.

    Thank you for sharing this, Keiko.

    #iamstillwithher

  17. Keiko, thank you for this and also thank you for adding Sanctuary to your list. I’ve worked at Sanctuary for almost two years and love the work we do. Thank you for bringing all these issues to readers’ attention and opening up. I love your blog, and your spirit to keep going. Keep love alive! Best, Mia ❤️

  18. Thank you for this post, I agree with you 100%

    I especially appreciate the links to volunteer and help. My boyfriend and I don’t have a lot of free time but we have been looking for different ways we can help out, especially here in New York. I don’t know what the next 4 years will bring, I’m admittedly scared, but I think if we support our communities and our diversity we can be stronger.

  19. Start writing here. Thank you Keiko Lynn. Your beautiful blog is made more lovely by your expression of your opinion about who governs. This freedom of opinion is a sacred right of all Americans and a beacon of light to those living in oppression. We can only hope and pray that all peoples will one day have the right to express their wishes for their own future.
    Yes. Vote your conscience.
    Local elections in your city have immediate consequences in your life. Keep informed about your community. React civilly when discussing issues, as Kieko set an example here. . School boards have consequences. Zoning boards have consequences.
    Politeness goes beyond the manners at your own dinner table. I am a more traditional person in my own life. I try to meet others where they are and give them room to live their lives in freedom. Laws traditionally are to keep us safe in our person and property. Beyond that it is up to each of us to uphold civilized culture.
    Love one another. Again, thank you, Mimi