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How I Learned to Stop Giving a Fck and Start Living

brand marketer Isabel calkins
Written By Isabel Calkins
On 10/13/2021

It’s not every day that a beauty brand encourages you to give less fcks.

In fact, when I first spoke with Wende and Jenna, Caliray’s founders, about this mysterious new company that prides itself on being for women who don’t fit the traditional mold of society, what stood out to me wasn’t the products, the messaging, or the sales pitch. It was the voice. For the first time in my 25-years of life, I saw myself, a bisexual Jewish Gemini with major depression and anxiety, like hello, represented in a brand. What I saw and related to, was a strong, independent, hot chick that gave zero fcks. And yes, I am self-describing myself as a hot chick, because, well, let’s be real, I am.

I wasn’t always a zero fcks kind of gal. In fact, it’s a relatively new mindset for me. I mean, it’s not something they teach you in school, how to preserve your fcks, that is. But it really should be. As the internet once said… “I would rather adjust my life to your absence than adjust my boundaries to accommodate your disrespect.” 

There’s one moment in particular that started my zero fcks lifestyle. I was seventeen and single, living my best teen life bouncing, safely, from dick to dick, both metaphorical and not, in the suburbs of Rochester, NY. While most of these boys do not even deserve to be mentioned, there is one so despicable that I am not even going to change his name. Nick Miller, yes, that really is his name. One day in the middle of a cold January, Nick picked me up at my house to “go for a drive.” It was just one of those days where you had nothing better to do than hang with a fckboy. While we were driving, he turned up the radio and Lorde was on. 

Given my confidence and general lack of shame in my musical ability, I was a theater kid, after all, I was jamming out. Not for his benefit, because I do not walk, or sing, through life attempting to please every meat sack with balls I come across, but because I wanted to. In a swift, gut-punching move, he turned down the volume and said “stop trying so hard, it’s unattractive.” 

The audacity! The guts! The fcking chutzpah, as my mother would say. In that second, I shut my mouth and stopped singing. My blood was boiling. I sat quietly, embarrassed and enraged. The rest of the drive was silent. 

It was later, sitting in my childhood bedroom ridden with a wave of anger I couldn’t quite name, that I regretted my silence. I regretted how I gave enough fcks to stop singing. How I allowed a few measly words to knock me off my throne, something I vowed to never let happen again.

Now, almost 8 years later, I know that it was that exact moment when I decided enough was enough. Thanks to Nick, I learned that I am the only one in control of how I feel. With this power, I am no longer susceptible to immature men with bloated egos who believe they can belittle me. With this power, I know which words are worth my breath and which are not.

This is why Caliray is so special to me. Beauty goes beyond the surface. It is how you carry yourself throughout this world and how you protect your energy. There is something so incredibly special about being encouraged to stand up straight and tall in your feelings and opinions, to not feel weighed down by expectations or perceptions. It’s truly a breath of fresh air.

Stay golden