Don’t get me wrong, I love a good blog. However sometimes when I’m updating my own blog, there are certain aspects that make me feel a little uncomfortable.
1. Aspirational viewing: The typical lifestyle/fashion blog or even Instagram feed wants to present an aspirational vision of loveliness to the world. That’s understandable; no-one would bother posting anything at all if they thought it would only make them appear unattractive, stupid and worthy of nothing but pity. However no-one’s life is that perfect. Objectivity isn’t a strong suit of most blogs, but just so you know, my life isn’t perfect! I love clothes as a form of self-expression but I’m never going to be a perfectly groomed, coiffed individual with expertly-applied make-up and that’s ok!
2. Privacy is a beautiful thing: Sometimes people assume that if you blog or post something about an event on social media, that you must have enjoyed that more than times/memories that were never mentioned online. This is so obviously not true, but it’s probably easy enough to forget in a world where everything increasingly seems to end up online!
3. Constructed reality: A lot of fashion blogs are filled with professional looking photos of bloggers wearing an outfit from a multitude of different angles. Now that’s fine; in fact, that’s obviously the point of most fashion blogs. However, if you’ve gone to the specific effort of asking a professional (or a friend who knows their way around a camera) to photograph you, it’s not exactly the average stroll down the street that such shoots sometimes purport to be!
4. Potential breeding ground for narcissism: From my student journalist days, I remember one lecturer telling us to watch out for what she dubbed ‘I-Strain’. Namely, using ‘I’ too much in articles. Her reasoning was that “no-one cares about you!” Once in a first-person column, I mentioned a comment my mother had made. I was promptly told: “No-one cares what your mother thinks!” Naturally, my mother was mortally offended when this news was relayed back to her.
All jokes aside, obviously blogs are written from a first-person perspective. In fact, the ‘What I wore today’ posts are often the ones that I enjoy most. However, in my humble opinion though, the blogs are those that realise it isn’t all about ‘me, me, me’ and try to reference wider trends/ experiences etc. Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious when blogging (again related to point one) but maybe that is no bad thing!
5. Assumption makes an ass out of you and me: To attract a following, blogs often have to focus on one particular area, often fashion or a love of good food and drink! Obviously bloggers are ‘whole people’ though with a variety of interests so just because a blogger chooses to focus on one particular area, doesn’t mean they should be pigeon-holed. I presume the poetry bloggers don’t go around talking in haikus all day!
Regarding another assumption, I’m not sure I’m completely comfortable with the convention of ending posts with ‘Gillian x’ Perhaps, my readers don’t want me to kiss them? They may not be a fan of mine and regard the practice as most forward! 😉
Do you agree with me on the above points? If I come across as overly critical of blogging I don’t mean to be. There are many considerable advantages to the medium, not least its immediacy and democracy. I personally often find blogging easier to write than ‘journalism’ in fact, as it is more of a stream of consciousness. Naturally though I’ll still attend to all the niggly details for you, my dear reader, such as fact-checking and the like.
Gillian x (That kiss was ironic)