In Partnership With
There’s No Wrong Way to Say I Love You

Except for, “die, you asshole.”


collaboration with Dodo

Well…me. There’s no wrong way to say I love me.

I have never been particularly partial toward Valentine’s Day–gestures that signal amicability should be common place. I haven’t really anchored much animosity for it either–give me chocolate and I will eat it. But one thing is for certain, Valentine’s Day elicits the distinct brand of loneliness indigenous only to an occasion that excludes an entire arena of impressive people making the proactive choice to seek independence.

I often wonder if the bigwigs behind New York Fashion Week strategically time the events of our latter-season Olympics with the brief, subtle arrival (and consequent banishing) of Valentine’s Day in order to remind the dominant x-chromosomes participating in the week-long rally that should we find ourselves all dressed up with nowhere to go come February 14th, there is always somewhere to go. And it is usually to the Proenza Schouler after-party. Or, you know, at very least an iteration adapted in the comfort of our own bedrooms.

If performed improperly, Valentine’s Day, like a colonoscopy, is afflictive and uncomfortable. It’s corny too, but that has very little to do with anal cleansing. I for one, am tired of fighting though. Why not take this opportunity to turn Valentine’s Day into an all-inclusive Hallmark-day, injecting our own brand of sweeping narcissism, to celebrate our undying love for, here’s the catch: ourselves. Frankly, “true love” should probably be celebrated every day, but if we need a reminder to stop and smell them fresh cut roses than so be it, a reminder and nasal explorations we will embrace.

So, how do we do this? Ah, yes, self-bequeathed gifts. Do you remember Dodo? I do. My best friends bought me a little gold monkey charm for my 16th birthday which I learned meant that I am fun to hang out with. It is, to date, one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. When my first boyfriend broke up with me, I bought myself a little gold Dodo wolf hanging from a black chord. It meant “huff and puff until you’re mine,” which was desperate, really, but I felt great.

I have no idea what happened to him, by the way.

Finally, just three months ago, when one of my closest friends–a woman harboring a rock hard exterior and soft-as-fresh-fecal-matter interior–had her heart broken, she received a Dodo sea turtle in light of their shared qualities. So what am I saying? Indulge yourself. One of the most powerful statements we can make as women reads, “I love me.”

If you’re not there? I am most certain you love at least one of your best friends. But if you don’t? Get new ones! Or, you know, call me. I will ask rhetorical questions until the end of days. And in the event you have a boyfriend? There’s nothing quite like a singular, conspicuous hint. Boyfriend, are you reading this? Get her the whale. It means big love. Or, depending on the nature of your relationship, a rocking horse, which signifies a more convivial ethos. “Let’s play together.” Wink, wink.

I could go on with these 4-eva but I won’t because I’m still wearing the onesie I slept in and my feet are starting to suffocate.

In an effort not to let this message get shuffled in the Fashion Week rush, I just want you to know now, eight days in advance, that there’s no reason Valentine’s Day cannot celebrate love across the entire spectrum of human interaction. Now, to circle back to my narcissism point, if you’re wondering which charm I want, it’s that black diamond bat, which means “the night is young.” Because, baby, so am I.

Photos by Naomi Shon, BG. Shop Dodo here.

Part I of a collaboration with Dodo.

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  • Cute charms, but isn’t this a sponsored post? I don’t see any disclosures, but I’m fairly certain there should be some.

    • Kate Barnett

      Good catch; since fixed. We file all collabs under ‘collaboration nation’ and include a disclaimer at the bottom to ensure we’re as candid as possible with everyone. Thanks!

  • S

    I dig it!

  • july
  • Dayna

    Is it just me, or is the Dodo website really hard to navigate? I can’t find any of the charms posted above. Can someone help a sister out? I just want some panda in my life.


  • Maggie

    looks like the mass produced stuff that mall vendors sell

  • KatWalkSF

    I don’t know about Dodo’s but I am all about loving myself this Valentine’s day…just not with little animal charms!

  • monkeyshines

    amazing pieces!


  • Bribaby

    Absolutely GORGEOUS- I WANT them all. The black diamond bat is super trendy and I love the meaning! Cant wait to check out the new Dodo store on Madison Ave! xx

  • Rachel

    Is there somewhere online we can get the charms shown above? None of them seem to be on the Dodo website!

    • Kate Barnett

      Hey Rachel – You can call Dodo at 1-800-254-6020 for boutique locations if the charms you like aren’t on their ecommerce site.

  • Vicki Archer

    These are gorgeous, I’d love the bat too!…and I am all for loving ourselves this Valentines, important for us all… xv

  • Eyra

    OMG they also have them in precisous stones .. ! Love the frog ” fancy a kiss, love?” !

  • Lauren W

    I feel the same way about the big day. Gorgeous bracelets

  • Amanda

    245 euros for the DODO? While my man may love me, and I love me … for 245 euros … mmm I don’t love myself that much

  • Excellent fun post, so needed before the V day!
    The bat is darling!

  • Lori

    Charms beautiful … Shirt by?

    • Leandra Medine

      The Kooples!

  • marinacasapu

    I think that Vday puts so much pressure on everybody – single or paired. If you are in love you can celebrate it everyday. I’d be happier to get such a charm as a gift on a regular day than on the Valentine’s Day. Maybe i’m a little biased, because I’ve always hated cheesy staff.:)

  • lavieenliz

    such pretty pieces!

  • Jennifer

    Love your denim shirt

    xo Jennifer

  • I used to love DODO when I was a teenager

  • Lauren

    so true! love yourself first! you are such a good& honest writer- love reading your pieces.


  • SylviaETC

    loving your selection of CHARMS … specially the tiger, trop beau !!!

  • PatriciaBrand

    Love Love Love the Dodo jewels, I agree the right choose is the bat!!!Go!!

  • the (un?)social butterfly

    Reading this today is really strange because my grandmother just went through a colonoscopy and I can tell you, anal cleansing is a true shit.

    Having said that, I think VDay is a bore because it’s the day you and everyone else who are in a romantic relationship are supposed to be out celebrating, meaning: everywhere interesting is truly crowded. I like to celebrate my romantic relationships weekly and randomly (eventual gifts welcome) and that includes the one I have with myself. As far as VDay goes, it’s a great day for dinner at home; there I’m sure I’ll get reservations.

  • melo

    For our 2nd anniversary my husband gave me the toucan “You are unique” and I gave him the sea turtle, and we didn’t talk about the presents we wanted or we were planning to give… so truly amazing, right? and my BF gave to my son a hippo “I love you so much” for his birth. Conclusion: you really say I love you with a dodo!

  • when we wander

    I’ve never seen or heard of these before, but they’re certainly more unique than those braided friendship bracelets I used to make at camp.

  • Tina Banks

    I must confess I’m not a huge Valentine’s fan.

  • leeloo

    I actually have the whale charm, I received it from my friends!
    I love it so much I can just never take it off! The best gift ever, Dodo is really for everyone!

  • Wow you look so different in that close up. Maybe it’s the hair, but I hardly recognize you (I love how I say that as if I actually know you)! You look stunning, but I really thought it was someone else! Perhaps I need an outfit shot to confirm it’s the real you hint hint:). I love the bat as well. xx

  • NoteBrooke

    I love the black diamond bat haha! You’re the best!


    Don’t enjoy shopping or just don’t have the time…check out

  • Bobsyouman

    Oh Leandra you could make a garbage bag look like diamonds. I’m sure you’d be able to sell it to Eskimos too.

  • ayse

    dear leandra, reading your posts makes me more and more convinced we’re soul sisters from different misters (and moms). i’m weird, turkish, wear footie pajamas, and can’t seem to take pictures without pulling faces. i’m a huge fan =)

  • Namrata

    The onesie! Haha. That trend is really catching up!


  • ankavandervelde

    This post makes me reconsider Valentine’s Day! Maybe not such a bad day after all!

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni
  • happi

    people could petrify crap into charms, and string them on rubberbands and charge $115.00, and some fool will bite. this is junk

  • meg

    I love Dodo!! My friends got me the butterfly for my 16th birthday and I later added the starfish to my collection. Would love to add the black diamond bat to my Dodo party!!!

  • those delicate necklaces are beautiful!!

  • Fashion Dot Com

    Love your hairstyle, it’s so 90’s! Your denim blouse is stuninhg

  • Mouthful of Style

    charms are underrated. hope they make a (big) comeback.

    Style insights and luxury fashion industry learnings:

  • exploringtheglobeonhighheels

    My boyfriend is a pilot,bought the aircraft for his Birthday back in September,but as a necklace!I love Dodo,here in Italy is really known,chic & minimal!Your blog is amazing,you know it already!Love your style…

  • I haven’t been with le boyfriend for over a week as he’s been touring France with his band, but I left him a really tiny figurine of a man in a purple ski suit holding a pair of white skis. He loved it! I have no idea if he’s even going to give me anything, but I don’t really care. I just wanna shove all my lovin’ on his face when I see him!

  • El Mary

    WHERE can I buy those adorable thaaangs?! I cant seem to find an online store!