Finding Mr. Self

tapping my sense of self in a social media-driven swamp.

Hey Dappers, 
I’m currently cringing while sifting through early photos of myself. Crooked teeth, pimple scars, poor posture, and questionable hair to name a few honorable mentions. 

Growing up as an asian kid who obsessed over fashion, in a small traditional country town was a recipe for rejection. Life consisted of bullies, always tearing me down for being unconventionally weird, and belittlers, who disregard the power of passion and possible monetary success within the creative industry.

Fast forward to now. Same old narrative, different crowd.

I share my life online (blog & instagram) as a place for creativity and inspiration. I find it strange (yet plausible) how a deplorable-looking guy like me (according to societal vanity standards), mustered up the courage to start a blog/instagram back in 2014. I wasn’t your cool guy with well-defined jawline, greek physique, oozing with confidence.

Over the past few years of blogging, I learned a lot about myself. It gave me the chance to see through the superficial nonsense infiltrating social media.

I love the community i’ve built here, but as expected, mean people never hesitate to share their negative comments about my appearance.

My confidence tumbled here and there, slightly confused with the way people perceived me. Eventually I looked in the mirror and realized the hard truth: conventional beauty (the likes of James Dean, Paul Newman, Ryan Gosling, etc.) still rule the social landscape.

Societal standards for “handsome” includes a certain personality and look that I simply can’t acquire. It’s a stupid move, chasing and validating my self-worth by chasing standards that don’t make me happy.


You’re probably wondering how I ended up where I am today. Confident and carefree.

It’s a mixture of life’s ebb and flow. I think we all get to a point in life when we hit rock bottom, leaving no choice but to better ourselves.

That moment happened earlier this year when I scrolled through instagram, when all of a sudden I was bombarded with one influencer guy after another and realized none of this aspirational content gave me joy. I felt extremely crappy compared to the male bloggers with huge biceps, wearing Bruno Magli, exploring Bora Bora post after post.

Not to mention that 1. it wasn’t giving me any value and 2. I was craving real, authentic people on social media. 

And that’s when the bubble broke. I stopped caring about people’s perceptions. I began weeding out toxic friendships. I took a social media detox and spent quality time alone, finding out what on earth my likes and dislikes are, without media mentality butting in.

I finally let go of what I thought I needed to be (conventionally “hot” with cool trendy clothes, doing luxurious things) and honing in on what truly makes me happy. 
Now that my friends, is the key to finding your full, blissful self. 
I’m not a model, not a jock, not an alpha guy, not a savvy sartorial suit guy, and definitely not someone who strives to look like those influencers on the instagram explore page. 
I’m just a twenty-something lad who reads rom-com novels, twirls to the beat of Roo Panes, watches Hallmark movies a lot, loves God, and clearly has a giant forehead not suitable for most hats. Someone who shares his life online in hopes of inspiring other men to live outside societal standards.
“When you call someone ugly, you’re implying God’s creation is flawed. He created man in His own image.”
Here are some notes i’d like to share:

  •  Confidence comes from within, flowing out… not the other way around. 
  • My oddball moments and romantic quirks aren’t flaws; rather, a superpower. That’s what sets me apart, and what makes me  I A N.
  • It’s a state of mind. That mental mantra we say both in private/public. 
  • D N A beats outward appearance any day. It’s great to look the part, but the only way to find personal satisfaction is by embracing your blissful self (personality, character, quirks, looks). 
“Don’t base your confidence on other people. Base it on the belief that people are made to stand out.”
Ask yourself: Is social media really the problem, or the effect it has on our innermost insecurities?
Finding my sense of self caused conflict within friendship circles, and received rejection from various acquaintances. But through it all, the closest people stuck around.
Going through this process of discovery and vulnerability has given me countless opportunities to find genuine friendships, be extremely transparent online, and feel more in tune with my surroundings.
all the brotherly love, 


I'm Ian, the writer behind CharlesTucket (a mix between Charleston & Nantucket, two of my favorite places). My hope is to inspire every man to live a wholesome & whimsical life, one quirk at a time.


"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." | 1 Corinthians 16:13-14


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