16 January 2012

you need to know the rules before you can break them.






I am uncomfortable with the big elephant of privilege in the blogosphere. So I am trying to think of ways to acknowledge and subvert it in my own blog without being a hater to the girls that I support and love who also blog but who also perpetuate the bubble of privilege that makes reading fashion blogs not very enjoyable anymore. I mean I acknowledge I have that privilege, too -- I am white-appearing, cisgendered, don't read particularly "QUEER" if people are stupid enough to judge by appearance, 'straight sized', I am in an area where I am afforded every opportunity to shop where I choose because there are plenty of places I like to shop near me that I can afford and that have things I want and I can fit into most everything I try, and I get sent things that otherwise I may not be able to afford, by very generous friends, followers, and stores. And I work as a writer and 'blogger' and get paid for it occasionally by sponsors and editors so I can afford things if I save up. I know I have privilege myself when it comes to being a blogger.

But then again, I am not a rich person, I don't get as many opportunities as some other bloggers because I'm not quite as marketable (also I'm terrible with answering emails at a reasonable time) and I've turned down things many times, for many reasons, and I'm okay with all that. I think and hope you all trust me and my opinion and why I blog. I am just contemplating what it means to have integrity but also individual freedom to market myself. You can't make bank on pride, you know? I don't know if what I am writing is making sense. I hope so. I've been in this hard place for awhile. I just don't like the feeling that I have this power to affect change and help people and make people less lonely while also making them feel like they're only going to have a good blog, only get where they want in the world if they do x things, look x way, buy x things, take pictures x ways, x times a week, write x way. I think I am doing a disservice to you now by saying you can only be a successful fashion blogger by being 'yourself'. I think we all know that is kind of bullshit, now. Successful fashion bloggers, they/we have this unwritten glossy standard now, and it's tiring. I am tired. I have realized I am not tired of blogging, but by the rules of fashion blogging that have silently creeped up on us, the rules we have kind of invented for ourselves. I wonder how and when it happened, really, and how can we actively change it without making everyone change if they don't have to. I wonder if enough people care.

What I'm saying is that I am, as I've said before, tired of playing by the rules. I have played by them, I have gotten this far by them and by making them accommodate me and my personality and my style, but meh. Enough is enough. I don't think fashion blogging is enjoyable enough a pursuit for me to keep blogging if I'm gonna keep trying to accommodate a certain style of blogging I'm not into, anyway. I dunno what my resistance will be, in what form it will take on this blog, other than this long winded declaration. I guess I'm gonna do whatever I want and I hope you're gonna go along for the ride. I'd like to know if you feel the same about where the blogosphere is going. Do you like where fashion blogging is at the moment? Does it alienate you too? I wanna know your thoughts.

Talk to you soon.

32 comments:

Isabel said...

This is IMPORTANT. Do whatever you want, whatever feels right and good will come from it.

A said...

This was an elightning read. I agree. Blogging has become saturated- its harder to be yourself. In a way blogging has become an ad opputunity and so most bloggers are constantly wearing new things- which most girls just cant afford to do. Anyways, I strive to just remain true to myself and post what I like and what I think and whatever comes into random light- whatever comes of that, comes. And I hope you know that your blog is one of the most original I've envountered. Finding originality can be hard, expecially when we have so many options- but it seems to me you've mastered it.

Fen said...

thanks so much for writing this post, I feel like this all of the time and it's so frustrating. good to know that others feel the same way.

x

Emelie Jensen said...

I follow a few fashion blogs and I love fashion myself. I started a fashion blog, but to be honest I still haven't made one single post. I don't know why this is but I guess that I just tried doing something so many people have done already and it just isn't in me. Instead I made a blog to promote my range of plushies and iphone/ipod cases. This gives me so much more joy than fashion blogging and I find myself (when I read fashion blogs) that I sit there and look up all these clothes and especially shoes that I know that I can never afford and I just browse, feeding my brain. It is a bit scary really. Although I hope you will continue blogging because your blog is one out of few I am really looking forward to reading and you always make me feel good about being me for some reason. I don't know why that is, it just makes me happy seeing your quirky pictures and read your words. You are one of a kind and I don't think you should compare yourself with others since you are nothing like them. You are better than that in so many ways. I really do hope that you stay... It will be empty without you... :'(

Joanne said...

I definitely agree. I want to blog, but I have this feeling that I have to do it by certain standards or else people won't read it. All the fashion blogs nowadays are all the same and I don't enjoy reading fashion blogs as much as I did. The most of them even dress the same. :/

finntje said...

Yes, I do feel alienated by mainstream fashion blogging, but at the same time there are still many individuals out there who write about what they want to write about, who they really are. Unsurprisingly those are the blogs I love the most, because I can relate to them, whereas many of the most popular fashion blogs are illustrating a lifestyle that is totally alien from my own. For the moment I still enjoy blogging, even though my blog is going nowhere in terms of followers. But I do it because I love to write and create things. If I was trying to make a living out of blogging, I'd certainly feel more constrained by these 'rules', but as long as staying true to myself is more important than popularity, I think I'll enjoy writing.
Pretty similar to school, to be honest.

Astrea said...

You are so fucking aware. Awesome. You'd be a great social scientist.

alix said...

this is true, I feel the same way. I sometimes look at my own blog and feel like my outfits aren't quirky enough, my photos aren't good enough quality, I blog too irregularly and then I think "well hey this is my blog, I can do whatever I want on it, I don't have to live up to the standards of others", so thanks I will be comeing along for the ride if you don't mind :)

Renee Revolution said...

Blogging definitely makes me feel alienated. I look at the bloggers I admire and wonder if I'm doing something wrong. I think it's just become another way for me to wonder if I'm inferior, which is stupid, because I should know better than to compare myself to others. But I always see myself as on the outside looking in. Like you said, there does seem to be a set of rules and regulations that many bloggers follow in hopes of gaining success. Is that really what blogging is about, though? Should it be so focused on the so-called success element that one loses one's original message?

For me, the important thing about blogging is just to write about what piques my interests. Even if no one wants to read it, if it makes me happy, that is what is important. Still, it's easy to get caught up in the desire to develop a following or be seen as successful.

Emma said...

Agreed with Isabel and co, taking advertising opportunities just because they come to you, may increase your popularity but it makes you loose a sense of integrity if you take every offer that comes your way. I admire you for sharing in this sentiment and setting a standard for yourself. For myself, I never use any images that I or one of my close friends didnt take with me. Sometimes that means sacrificing a really high-quality online photo and instead using the ones I've taken, but I'm willing to do it. I'd say do whatever makes you feel comfortable, but you seem really headstrong and intelligent so, you'll probably always end up doing that anyways :)

bobb said...

Some great ideas .. really looking forward to seeing where your blog will go from here.

Kate SomethingDutch said...

Blogging, I feel, has become elitist- at least fashion blogging. Your comments are right on the mark, and I do feel that these days there's this want for sleek, certain ideas that we can't all conform to. It frustrates me.

You have done a marvelous job blogging- even if it's sporadically- because you have played by the rules but retained what I think to be a distinct, amazing identity. No matter what you end up doing, I have no doubt that you will leave your mark on it.

Thanks for another spot on post!

Marcia said...

I wrote a similar post a while ago. Everyone try so hard to be perfect they all become the same, and at the end fashion blogging kind of lost its purpose. These days, some bloggers have no sparks of creativity instead of being the people who breaks the rule.

No matter how your blog is going to change, I still love you anyway because you're awesome ♥

Marcia said...

I did not realize how much of a pedophile I sound like until now. Oops.

Gabi said...

Blogging and reading blogs, for me, used to be kind of the anti-magazine. It was people dressing how they wanted to dress, allowing their styles to be seen through something separate to the mainstream business of fashion that tells us what we should be wearing. Magazines soon caught on to how marketable blogs could be and the large audiences they reach.

More and more bloggers are do sponsored posts and more staged, strategic looks that are only a shadow of their earlier low budget snaps of really incredible outfits. I don't think that the bloggers who have done this are bad people, most would love the opportunities that blogging has opened for them. I just think blogging is very different now to what it was a few years ago and it's alot harder for really talented people to just really do their own look, unaffected

That being said, there are still really great blogs out there, like Fashion Pirate, that do really present a unique look at fashion, quite separate to the fashion business. So, thanks! =]

Anonymous said...

She's not a fashion blogger, but much like you she doesn't play by the rules. Who knows, maybe you'll find some inspiration or maybe you'll just close the tab upon opening the site :)

http://thebloggess.com/

Magnet said...

Blogging has turned into high school. There are the popular girls who make up about 5% of the population and the other 95% who anyone barely knows. I never want to be like any other fashion blog, which is why I try to make my images look different to everybody else's. When people tell me that the images on my blog are different to any other blog they've seen it makes me happy. Even if I don't have hundreds of followers.

Eline said...

Yeah like many others I feel the same, so much so that I've even largely stopped reading 'fashion blogs' and solely go for 'personal (style) blogs' regardless if the aesthetic is something that attracts me or not. Because of this fashion blog trend I've become more interested in the way people dress relates to their personality. So yes! Do what you want, ever since I followed your blog I feel YOU coming through it regardless of what you wear, and that's beautiful.

Soo said...

I've always felt alienated by fashion blogging, so I never really read up on people. I never know who's popular or cool at a given time. I guess I never really understood it to begin with? I don't know couture fashion, I don't know the names of models, what's considered in or out, whether or not the outfit I'm wearing today is considered stylish or ugly. I follow and actually read very few fashion blogs, and I like it that way. I don't feel connected to them.

I like a certain aesthetic though, or a writing style I relate to or can appreciate, which will keep me reading. I trust your judgment regarding various things because they feel honest, even if I don't personally agree with them. I think that's hard to find these days though. someone who genuinely blogs out of wanting to blog while maintaining their integrity.

Mai said...

I said this on twitter but I feel like this post so readily resonates with other forms of blogging. It can be hard to live up to what you think is the mainstream of that type of blogging, be it fashion, beauty, etc.

Sonia said...

I feel that mainstream fashion blogging is indeed alienating. There are so many things about certain lifestyle aspects that are just unsustainable, unattainable, and definitely limited to a privileged few. I’m glad you posted about this because you are not the only one that feels this way because I recently read a blog that also went along the same lines:

http://hipstermusings.blogspot.com/2011/12/hello-i-love-you-or-why-fashion.html

I’m glad you posted this though. This realization and awareness is an acknowledgment that there is a standard of alienation. Just follow your heart. I’m sorry, you are in a hard place - but I don’t think you should give up fashion blogging. I love your blog. :)

Meagan Cignoli said...

I think you are simply divine. I love the writings and I love the article.

Colleen said...

To he honest, I don't follow your blogs for the sole reason of fashion. I think you are a wonderful, opinonated, inspiring individual. You challenge people to be who they are, and do what they want. You are a terrific writer as well, and an interesting person. To me, all of that is worth ten times more respect than any clothes people wear. (Although, your fashion sense is amazing.) I, personally, will follow your blogs until the day you stop blogging.

Vanessa said...

Thank god! I feel this issue with rules and "mainstream" ways of blogging is something that no one has addressed as well said as this yet.

I try to tell myself to "be myself" but I can so easily feel left out. Reading blog upon blog about vintage clothes, charity shops and tea /: I don't shop in vintage stores often but I don't shop in Topshop often either lol

I'm rambling, anyway it's nice to read an honest opinion on the topic

x

Anonymous said...

What you've written is so true, I think about it often. And what defines a successful blogger, you know. Success means different things to different people/bloggers. And as a "different" blogger myself, it's easy to get disillusioned when I'm faced with so many other popular blogs.. It almost seems like the most popular ones are the ones who are already relatively wealthy, and who might already work in the fashion industry anyway!

Ria said...

I'm definitely not as into reading blogs as when I first started and I do feel alienated by the blogsphere especially being black. I know like two "big" bloggers and one barely blogs anymore. I definitely recognize that I have privilege though so it's hard to really complain. I'll never be that "first tier" blogger (an advertiser actually referred to my blog vs the big blogs with the phrase "tiers" smh.

Anonymous said...

We will support you, whichever direction you take. We have stuck with you for this long, and we will continue to follow you, read and discuss our ever changing world with you.

keep being you. we love you for it.

taja said...

Fashion blogging has changed tremendously... its become a way for people to get free clothes, show off what they have, who they know and how they can continue to get there, but all at the cost of NOT helping other people. Yes, some bloggers do giveaways (if they follow them on twitter and have 5 friends like them too) and dont spend enough time addressing the feelings of why they started their blogs. This is an outlet, a chance to be yourself, say what you like, where what you like and be accepted for everything you are because this is your world. Its just so oversaturated with people looking for recognition (yet, im guilty bc i love blogs soooo much) and less about the outlet or way of expressing who YOU are- not the companies that sponsor you.

Anonymous said...

shut up.you're so stupid and annoying.

The Fluorescence of Adolescence said...

So true, before I was really into blogging and would update my old blog twice a week. Now my blogging has gone down to like once a month. I sometimes feel the pressure that to be an "accomplished" blogger I have to blog like a mofo to get somewhere. At the present my new way of blogging is to blog when I feel like I need to express myself, rather than blog just for the sake of it!

Akosua said...

I like what you are saying. There are somedays where I really feel like everybodys doing the same thing, though they are allowed to distinguish themselves. Even the fact that you should be yourself, has it's own standards. I've felt like tjis so much it's nice to know other people think it too. And i don't think it really matters now, what fashion means for othr people. It's just personal approach to it

Andrea said...

This is so true!!! I am following some blogs and I've noticed that they dress up almost the same. I mean yeah, maybe it's because they can afford everything but isn't it you can purchase these things in other brands with a cheaper price nowadays? So, what's the point in buying expensive ones?

Your post just made me feel better and more aware that I'm not alone! :)

http://andreaminoza.blogspot.com/