Anatomy of this Outfit: Shirt – Weekday | Bomber – H&M | Skirt – Thrifted

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

Now I don’t know about you guys, but although it is almost unfathomable to imagine my life (especially as a blogger and photographer) without my iphone in my hands at all time, I do remember a time before everything went digital. With risk of showing my age here (oh who am I kidding, I could care less about how old I am – 29 by the anyway for anyone who didn’t already know), I am part of the generation who carried around 25 cents to make a call from a payphone, still knows what a and b side mean (two words: tape cassette).

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

As we slowly moved from analogue to digital we started with computers with dos commands, and then progressed to dial-up. Somewhere along the way, cellphones entered the picture, but back then it was all about the t9 keyboard and having to press 3 million times to type one full word. Fast forward to today and the little devices we call phones are actually computers a million times smaller than the original computer.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

Sometimes I wonder what the world we live in today would look like were technology to have not advanced the way that it did. What would our lives be like without the internet, instagram, twitter, and all the other apps that will undoubtedly be developed and become the next big thing.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

Clearly as a blogger and photographer, the internet plays a huge role in my life and I am so happy for what the internet has to offer. But part of me cannot help but think about the downsides to this brave new world: the obliteration of traditional office hours, having to be on call at all times, an inability to shut off, growing impatience when things don’t happen at break neck speed, the rise in egotistical behaviors and self-inflated egos, the growing loss of human to human connections, the list goes on.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

I get really worried when I think about how self-aware humans in the age of the selfie have become. And while I know that in essence taking a photo of yourself is all in good fun, when pushed to the extremes, it’s downright terrifying when a two year old knows how to work an iphone and starts “duck-facing” into the back camera with her friend on an iphone (true story!)

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

Before the internet there was no such thing as “special snowflake syndrome.” And while I know that there have always been people on this planet since the beginning of the time who have thought very highly of themselves, having thousands of followers constantly fawning at a jerky gif of some girl blinking is kind of absurd. I can’t help but worry that our next generation of women are the current tweens and teenagers who consider a good role model an insta-famous girl with perfectly curated brows and a perfectly contoured face.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

And while I have no problem with beautiful women or those who know how to make a business out of what they have been born with, I do worry that when these are the ONLY kind of role models young girls have, we are breeding a generation who places looks above intelligence, kindness, philanthropy, and creativity.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

Which is why I feel that having a social media presence that promotes thought, questioning, change, and equality is more important than ever. The aspect of blogging that I appreciate the most is that it is a space in which anyone can put their ideas into the world and have them consumed by others. While this can be a negative thing, and has been the cause of the negative aspects of the internet that I briefly highlighted above, the more of us out there who blog from our hearts and try to create a positive community of free-thinking women (and men), the better off we all will be.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

I can proudly say that I know so many incredible bloggers either via the internet or in person who work so hard at sharing incredible content and write incredibly insightful and thought-provoking posts. This needs to be celebrated in a world which seems to focus on all the wrong things all too often.

Kaffee Bar Outfit - - photos by Leni of paperboats

And so to you dear reader, for those of you who may be readers and not bloggers, thank you for sticking by me here on Love from Berlin and I hope that I am creating content that is insightful and more than just surface deep. And to all of you dear readers who are also bloggers, I want to thank you for taking the time to put your own positivity and hard work out into the world.

*I want to just put a small disclaimer out there and be clear that there is nothing wrong with beauty in and of itself. Nor do we always need to be thoughtful beings every moment of the day. But I do think that the world in which we currently find ourselves in is oftentimes too driven by superficiality and looks. And I just want to say that I think we need to do our best to put balanced content out into the world and praise thought and kindness above all.

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Photography: Leni

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Stay conscious, Rae

Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Elizabeth Hisle

    As usual, I agree 1000%. Social media can be a wonderful thing to promote positive social change, but it can also be a black hole. As much as I love photography, I almost wish we didn’t try to document every. freaking. thing. I mean, I post lots of pictures too, so I guess I don’t really have room to talk, but I feel like selfie culture can really be… stressful? Seeing everyone else look “perfect” and feeling like you also constantly have to look picture perfect. It’s part of why I chose to remove outfits as my primary emphasis. Constantly trying to look perfectly photogenic several days a week became a nightmare.

    But back to my original point: social media can be great! I love blogs and Instagram accounts that promote positivity, social change, and inner wellness! I don’t follow a lot of Instafamous accounts because many of them don’t do this (though admittedly I understand their business model – it’s just not for me). When your whole feed is beautiful pictures of people promoting art, love, social change, poetry, and even just gorgeous photography, it’s almost healing to gaze at every day. :)

    Sorry for the ramble.. your posts are always so good for discussion!

    • rae

      Thank you so much Elizabeth for your thoughtful comment. It is a constant struggle, and sometimes we find ourselves indulging in documentation a lot more than living in the moment and other times we forget to take our phones out at all and live in the moment. i would say as long as we keep swinging back and forth between these two states we are in okay shape. But I do wish the balance was easier to strike. I really think there is a place for all kinds of shared content, and I even like to indulge in looking at pretty #goals worthy girls on intsta not going to lie, but I am just as moved and motivated by deep content. So glad you found this post to be a great one for discussion! At the end of the day, I guess as with everything it’s all about reaching some kind of balance.

  • This post made me nostalgic for my childhood and teenage days when all we had was Nokia’s and AsianAvenue/Friendster to connect with friends! I’m really glad and grateful I grew up with little technology, my rips to the local video store to rent a film, calling my friends on the landline for long chats and taking photos to remember a good night out.

    I don’t envy kids obsessing over their phones and social media accounts, when I go out with my hubby’s nieces and nephew they’re all glued to their iPads. It’s not surprising I’m torn with technology/social media. I love it as it makes me more productive and run my blog/business as well as connecting with other bloggers in a easy and genuine way but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. It’s important for me to have balance and real interaction like you mentioned.

    When I had kids, I want to them to be kind, smart and inquisitive of the world and not so much pressure to take the perfect selfie or have the perfect outfit!

    I agree with you on blogging from your heart, I love gorgeous imagery but I always try and use my channels to promote a positive platform, real life experiences and not too heavy on outer beauty (nothing wrong with that either!) That’s why I enjoy your blog so much, it’s though provoking, relatable – a total open book! You’re also a babe in front and behind the camera <3

    Hanh | Hanhabelle

    • omg Hanh you know about Friendster hahaha! I thought it was an Asia-continent exclusive. THOSE WERE THE DAYS MAN.

    • rae

      Hahaahahah oh man I wish I could look up my old AA account. I swear every Asian-American/Canadian used that website back in the day. That and Xanga. I have to say that I am grateful for it as well. While we are lucky to have access to modern technology today, it is good that we also know the opposite so we are able to appreciate the positives from both and also be aware of the drawbacks of both. And yes, it’s honestly really sad that kids are glued to their iPads and cellphones at such a young age. I really hope when I have kids to do things differently, but I am not sure if it will even be possible as I do not want to deprive them of what their friends may have but I don’t want my kids to be glued to devices. Thank you so much as well it means so much to me that you find my blog to be a place that is thought provoking and (very important to me!) relatable.

  • You definitely are creating content that is insightful and more than just surface deep, and I love it <3 When I see a new post from you on my Bloglovin' feed, I know to get myself comfortable to really take in the depth of what you have to say. There's beauty inside and out <3 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • rae

      Thank you so much Audrey! It really means so much to me that you think so! Thank-you’s always feel a bit impersonal online but I honestly mean it from the bottom of my heart!

  • Beautiful post! I think of how strange it must be for young girls to literally only have the “instagram model” to look up to. Those models are just living their life and that’s fine, but when all the little girls of the world see is Kylie Jenner looking perfect and buying yet another fur coat, I worry about what they will come to value. And I’ve seen Kylie post things about charities or “causes” but it seems to be done in such a flippant, calculated way so that “no one can say she doesn’t care!” I really hope this trend ends soon. I am all for self-love and making yourself feel beautiful. But when your entire image to the rest of the world is that you are beautiful and have money, I think some changes need to be made.

    I am always trying to make my blog a more thoughtful spot. I think I was swayed by what the blogging community had become (I started blogging about 8 years ago when I was 15 and the blogsphere was veeeeery different.) I am now always trying to inject more ideas and perspectives into my posts that I hope will encourage other people to post their real opinions, not just their styling tips. Could you recommend any blogs that do the same? I am always on the hunt for blogs I can connect to like yours!


    • rae

      Thank you so much Jenna, I am so glad that this post spoke to you. I could not agree with you more about how sad it makes me that physical appearance seems to be valued now more than ever as the most important goal for young women these days. While I do not follow Kylie Jenner enough to know if her attempts at promoting charities is done in a flippant way, I could very well imagine this to be the case for celebrities who seem to be more interested in consumption and status above all.

      How do you feel the blogging community has changed since you started blogging? I think it is so lovely that you are working hard to create such an inviting and thoughtful space on your blog! I would definitely check out the blogs of my guest posters, as well as the blogs of most of the LFB readers who leave comments here as they are all such strong intelligent women!

      • Oh man, I mean I started when I was so young so I think I was in more of circle with young girls and our blogs were so angsty and honest. There were a few “heavy hitter” bloggers at the time, that wore very nice clothes and were active in the fashion world. But for most of us, our blogs felt like a place to be creative through our clothing and photography. There were no sponsorships and I couldn’t have even come up with a definition of “branding yourself”. Blogging often feels so commercial these days, and it’s very odd.

        Anyways, thank you for the conversation and for the recommendations!

  • Well said! I have three younger sisters and two of them have instagram and snapchat and whatever else is currently trending right now. I think about it at times who they are following and what posts they are liking etc. As the oldest one I hope that I am putting out a good example for them of someone who doesn’t try to be this perfect social media icon but someone who is having fun sharing her travels, food obsessions and thoughts with others.

    • rae

      I am sure that you are putting out a good example for them especially if you are cognizant of it!

  • Totally agree. Honestly I miss film photography a lot. It’s not dead just yet but it can be hard trying to find somewhere to develop. They even got rid of wet labs in cvs, Walgreens, Walmart etc. it’s so sad

    • rae

      Oh very true – I thought most places have that 1 hour photo kind of deal but it’s not a good developing option if you want to really work with negatives in the dark room. But if even that is gone that’s really sad :(

      Rae | Love from Berlin

  • Have you ever seen the show Black Mirror? It’s a series that tells stories with the darker side of technology as a theme. If you haven’t, I recommend it because a lot of the thoughts you’ve touched on here made me think of it. I 100% agree with you on the ONLY role models young girls have or, rather, how it becomes so because they are the most accessible examples via social media. That’s how Kylie Jenner was created and it frightens me how much young girls look up to and emulate her. I do my best to use social media as a platform to connect to people, to readers, and communicate instead of engaging in it for egotism. Our culture/generation created the monster of social media, but we can certainly take the steps to move it into a positive direction.

    Alyse (J.X.L.) ▲ Lumière & Lens

  • your makeup looks very natural here *-* the whole outfit is just so cute. i love everything T_T <3

    i totally agree with everything you wrote. and i think it's sad that technology that supposed to help us connect to the world is also the one that cut our ties with the world around us, the real life. focusing on what the internet offer and forgetting our surrounding in the process. the thing that people also forget is that everything in internet was polished to look the best. it's highly toxic to only look up to such that doesn't really reveal everything. it's kind of rare to see real thing in the internet today, but i'm glad you and this blog will always be one.


  • Definitely got me nostalgic on this one! I remember vividly when I was 12, getting a second-hand (or third who knows) Nokia brick phone and waking up early so I could play Snake. TRUE STORY. It was definitely a luxury back then, and dial-up was like magic and I had restricted times where I could go online and use MSN messenger… now I feel a bit cheated, especially when everyone keeps saying how the Internet should be a ‘human right’ – don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason behind this, and how it should be an important factor in a lot of what we do now but to equate that access to a right to freedom from persecution (for example) seems a bit laughable, in a sad-reality sort of way.

    And 10/10 hitting the spot when you mention that the ONLY kind of role models these days are the packaged perfect long legged beachy hair girls… which makes me sad. Because here I am, struggling with things like back acne (tmi? nah) and life is not that. I’m glad that a small piece of the internet where you (and many others) can still strive to be genuine enough! Plus you’re super cool.

    Also agree with Alyse on Black Mirror, definitely one you’d appreciate!

    Cherie | sinonym

  • That skirt!
    I can relate to so much, and I too worry about who we’re all looking to for not just #goals but role models and inspiration. I’m so over tired I can’t think of the eloquence to give your post the justice it deserves in this comment, but I do believe that not only should be remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but also that it only goes skin deep. That although we can post where we look and come across as beautiful people, in reality we might be dicks.
    That although it’s nice to take things at face value, it’s also important to see beyond what we presented with, to question and think and see social media as a curated view.

    erin | art & inspiration

  • It’s definitely kind of scary how quickly the internet and social media has evolved to be such a big part of our lives. It’s like we’re already living in a dystopia. Like Alyse, I was going to ask if you’ve watched Black Mirror – especially season 3 ep 1 which hit pretty close to home!

    Jane / deluminators

  • What can I say it’s sad to see how young girls living in a make believe world thru filters, enhancing everything to look good on photos and hating their real self, parental guidance these days is like a style that went out of style, which shouldn’t be the case.
    P.S. awesome look, so brave and bold, love your photography as well, xx Bing.

  • i think the debate about whether or not internet is a good or bad thing will forever be an open discussion. i mean, i can see how internet makes people communicate less because we’re too engrossed in social media updates and knowing about the latest trends, etc that we don’t really communicate verbally anymore. for me personally, i have no problem with that because as an introvert (who is quite a hermit), i will only put an effort in socializing verbally in real life with people i am comfortable with so i’m someone who votes for the internet, for the digital era. you know how some people blame the internet and technology if something ugly happens? like how some adults think the internet and video games are poison to youngsters? for me, those are stupid opinions because first, those people who antagonize technology might depend on their cell phones too and second, technology simplify our lives and i don’t care about those who think the internet is only an ugly thing because heck no, i ain’t going back into reading pictograms drawn in caves, lol.
    anyway, imo, if people really want to communicate verbally, they’d do that because they want to, regardless of technology. for me, if i really want to talk to someone, i will put an effort into communicating them and acknowledging their presence instead of stalk their instagram and see their recent posts. does that make sense?

    …a generation who places looks above intelligence, kindness, philanthropy, and creativity. i agree with you. the ability to think, brainstorm and process things critically are more important than turning vain and take a million of selfies in a matter of minutes just to see which selfie pose will receive the most likes. of course, i respect people who care about how they present themselves (because let’s be honest, i enjoy reading things about style and beauty) but there is a difference between looking-pretty-but-with-empty-brain and looking smart in and out, if that make sense. i do agree that we need to teach more people to be intelligent because trust me, i see A LOT of young generation who take the wrong path because they see their role model acting stupid and find that cool…..which is not.

    to wrap it up, i feel like some people should know who they are and what their position is in a sense that if you are an influencer and you know you are, do consider the examples you are going to set. it’s not that everyone or every blogger should be a fake, goody two shoes kind of role model instead of be themselves but as an influencer, as a well-known and/or famous person, these people should know better. it’s like… there are millions of people who follow you! so i think some “role models” should understand that sometimes.

    woops, sorry for the long comment. i’m not sure if i make my point across or everything just sounds nonsense haha

    P.S: you don’t look 29!!! you look like…you’re 23 or 25!!!


  • Excellently said! I get frustrated by the amount of superficial information and pictures that I see on media, but on the other hand I get super excited when I see thought provoking intelligent information and pictures!


  • I definitely agree that the internet has had some worrying effects on younger generations. I’m 28 so I remember life before the internet and how it’s changed and evolved over the years, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for younger people these days. Especially when it comes to teenagers who for the most part already feel insecure, and now they can’t even escape from the people they go to school with because they can be harassed online or can look through someone’s instagram of their seemingly perfect life and feel horrible about theirs as a result, and they can do it any time day or night.

    On the flip side though, like you mentioned, as long as there are people creating content and engaging in open discussions about important topics then there are also places for people go online to find things that are reassuring and that can help them feel better about their lives. They can find so many resources they wouldn’t have access to otherwise and, as we both know very well, it can be a great outlet for someone to grow and express themselves. I suppose it comes down to the individual and how they choose to use their time and what they have available to them. Either they want to read helpful blogs or make friends on forums or they want to leave nasty comments and fuel their own jealousy by focus on other people’s lives. Which I guess people have been doing since well before the internet, it’s just much more heightened and instantly available than ever before.

  • I LOVE this post I completely agree the digital age has pushed aside many a nostalgic item for myself and many others and made way for trout pouts and push up bras. It is horrifying to know that like you said there are 2 year olds out there who know how to use an iPhone let alone pose for a selfie. And once again totally agree that we need more conscious role models in the way of intelligence, philanthropy and other such things that aren’t just based on materialistic superficiality. With the rise of edited and overly contoured selfie there is little room for the natural beauty of the world and people in it.

    Of course as you have mentioned the digital age has given people a place to put up insightful, thoughtful content for others to read and share which is great because what can make the world better right! A little positivity goes a long way!

    This post is just awesome from start to finish and if I were to comment on everything I felt it would be a blog post under yours! I’ll leave it there and just say AMAZING post and I look forward to many more :) xx

  • Rae

    Love this and your blog in general. I have been reading blogs for years and I feel like people are starting to be more authentic and engaging in their posts (again). It reminds of when I first started reading blogs. This was wonderful. Your outfit was amazing and your words kind and insightful. Thank you!

  • Sophie Lee

    Love this outfit of you, style and chic <3

    xoxo, Best Wallets for Men 2016