Nova Scotia native Mary Kolashki is one of many young style bloggers currently taking over the fashion world. Her blog, Hail Mary, is proof that it is possible to be aware of global issues while retaining a sense of style. Alongside her regular outfit pictures and musings on industry news, she uses her large readership to spread the words on important topics, from the crisis in Darfur to accepting a healthy body image.
How big of a role does fashion play in your everyday life?
I try not to let clothing itself exert a stronghold on my life, but I am a huge fan of aesthetics, so I do like to decorate everything I can as well as I can, from what I put on my body to what I put in my room. A public relations student and volunteer are roles I put before ‘clothes horse’, but I don’t understand people who don’t think I can embrace all three. I will save the world in a pencil skirt!
Who are your style icons?
I’d kill to be able to channel the perfection of the minimalist yet badass Jane Birkin and mix her with the prim and poised Jackie Kennedy. In a perfect world, this would be possible. In the meantime, I just end up looking a little confused and random, but I think that’s just great for the time being. There’s no point in pegging yourself down!
What are your favourite pieces of clothing?
I have three black high waisted pencil skirts; I honestly wear them so much. I’m also infatuated with organization, so huge structured bags with lots of pockets and places to put things makes me so happy; I’m a bit of an addict in the sense that I’m always tucking money aside for a new one!
I’m also a huge fan of wearing headscarves in the rain. Some people make fun of me for this, but with all the tech that I have to hold on to all the time, who has hands for an umbrella anymore?!
You blog a lot about body image issues. How did you first get interested in this topic and why do you feel it’s an important issue to draw attention to?
The first time I wrote about body image on the blog was A Love Letter, which was the unedited result of a very sad night that I began to question my shape, my values — [basically] the way I lived my life. I’ve had plenty of issues with body image myself, but what brought this letter forward was the moment I spoke to my friend and realized I wasn’t so alone.
Although many people acknowledge that there was a crisis with the way young girls perceived themselves, when you hate your body, it’s very easy to feel alone, especially with the double standards that exist. Basically we are told that smart girls are too clever to be swayed by the media, and everyone who diets is superficial and lacking common sense. Even worse is when they blame it on someone like Paris Hilton. It’s pretty insulting to me that people assume I’m foolish enough to make her a role model. Society’s expectancies and standards are not created by one person!
Do you find that blogs written by normal girls are changing the way people view body image in relation to the fashion industry?
I don’t know if blogging has changed the fashion industry yet, but it has highlighted some of the flaws and problems with it. It’s like we’ve come to this great realization but no one’s quite sure what to do yet. I don’t think it is appropriate to start any anti-thin campaigns or anything of the sort, but we’re finally acknowledging that we are at a point where models actually CANNOT get any thinner, and this isn’t great for anyone’s self image!
I do know from stats on my blog that a bunch of people have returned to re-read ‘A Love Letter’, so it’s an issue one their minds. The fact that my ramblings can be just one piece of reasonable, tough talking that asks a girl “really?” in a time of self doubt makes me happier than any body weight ban.
What have been the biggest benefits of blogging so far?
Companies have offered me free stuff and I’ve been featured in some pretty awesome publications (this one included!) but I think the best is seeing people all over the world who are reading my blog and relate to me, even though they’re in Indonesia, Russia, Japan, Australia… It’s so flattering, ridiculous, and makes me feel like part of this big community of completely fantastic individuals who care about clothing, Darfur, music, whatever! Having an outlet is the greatest feeling in the world, and it’s fantastic to know that people sometimes agree with me!
Mary’s Favourite Clothing Stores in Halifax
– Anna Fitz