Today, Ashe of Dramatis Personae asked a thought-provoking question to close her post:
As a blog reader, what do you prefer: a construction and escape, or someone who shares their flaws & imperfections ?
Whether it revolves around simple outfit posts or digs deep into the soul of the writer, blogging can be a unique journey to self-awareness. I remember my first IFB conference during New York Fashion Week and one of the speakers stood out from the rest. Previous panelists had been talking about using old business models to promote our blogs and this man, an executive from G-Star Raw, got up and said (and I paraphrase): “No, no, no! You have to be anti-branding; you have to be the opposite of the traditional business model. Blogging is the antithesis of all that and that’s why it’s so wonderful.”
Authenticity is the key word in blogging and you can learn much about yourself through the process. For instance, I’ve had the opportunity to make some money on this blog through advertising, affiliate marketing and brand collaborations. The reality is I’ve hardly made any money on this blog because I’m uncomfortable with almost every offer that comes my way. Something I’ve learned about myself is that money isn’t as important to me as staying true to myself. Sounds corny, but there it is.
More self-awareness that’s been revealed is that it’s incredibly difficult for me to be vulnerable. When I read entries from other bloggers who are putting their hearts out there and telling us about their struggles and their doubts, I have so much admiration for their courage. I wish I could do that, too, but then again maybe that’s not me. We all have a purpose here and maybe mine looks different.
I do know that blogging has helped me discover what I care about, what I believe in, what I like and don’t like, what I am willing to do in exchange for money, and how little I am influenced by others’ opinions of me. Before I began blogging I thought I cared a lot what people think. The realization that I really don’t came through the process of addressing controversial topics from an unpopular perspective and being criticized for it. Did I wish I never wrote the post? Absolutely not.
To answer Ashe’s question, I much prefer the warts and all approach to blogging because as the fellow from G-Star said at that IFB conference, mainstream fashion and media is in the business of creating escape and unattainable images. Blogging came around and offered something different. Although there are many male bloggers, most fashion bloggers are women. And even though the most “successful” fashion bloggers tend to be young, thin, and hip, I’d like to challenge the meaning of success here.
At another IFB conference, Mattias of Bloglovin defined a successful blog as one that makes money. OK, but if by posting outfit photos of her “perfectly imperfect” self a fashion blogger helps some other woman feel less invisible and even good about herself, isn’t that a success? To provide an antidote to the barrage of cookie cutter images that surround us every day could be seen as revolutionary.
And that brings me to the most important point I’ve learned from blogging: money is not the definition of success. Telling the truth is. (At least that’s what I’m thinking today).
Escape or reality: which do you prefer?