Thursday, September 15, 2011

in which i blog about blogging

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Another rainy day...

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(dress: old navy; trench: h&m; scarf: thrifted; boots: seychelles)

When it rains I always reach for more classic pieces--trench coat, breton stripes, scarves, furs... let's face it, probably because of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Today I'm definitely feeling the 1960s London vibe, with my teased hair and trench coat.

Speaking of London, I stumbled upon this post over at Louder than Silence yesterday afternoon, which references this relatively tame article and a monumentally more offensive response (because on the internet, every planted seed spirals immediately and exponentially out of control at a disturbing rate of speed). Normally I don't bother to give lip service to this sort of thing because it happens so frequently that there really is no point in trying to keep up (and I frankly don't think it warrants comment, most of the time), but I just felt compelled to say something in this instance.

First of all, I am constantly amazed at the degree of rabid hatred that lifestyle/fashion bloggers inspire throughout the online community. And, although I get a little annoyed when certain popular bloggers chalk everything up to jealousy, I have to admit that I cannot understand how people could be so nasty if they weren't also overcome with envy (I do see how one could be vaguely irritated that "undeserving" bloggers get so much attention from the masses, but that is subjective and this is different). The article here is one thing--I am sure they are going for shock value because it will generate hits and make them feel cool and better-than and whatnot. The really disturbing thing is what goes on in the comments. It makes me extremely afraid for humankind. First of all, I don't believe that anybody who is spending their valuable time randomly being an asshole on the internet has any right to be an asshole on the internet. Find a new outlet to unload your inexplicable hostility (maybe put down your smartphone and go for a jog). If these blogs offend you so much, why are you reading them?? Everyone asks this question, but nobody seems to have a response. It just blows my mind a little bit. My favorite comment on the Guardian piece: "It's terrible, the way we're all forced to read the internet, and see things on it we don't like."

My opinion of lifestyle/couple/baby/fashion blogging, as someone who is sort of on the periphery of the scene, is that it is simple escapism. Hipster lifestyle blogs are, in my mind, akin to chick flicks or glossy magazines, and the most popular bloggers are basically minor celebrities. Naomi : Rockstar Diaries what Natalie Portman : No Strings Attached (or something equally light and candycoated). Sometimes people make the argument that these blogs don't accurately depict "real life" and that anyone who has a lifestyle blog is a superficial hipster liar. I admit that sometimes the seemingly staged perfection of these people's lives can get to me, not because I think they're doing anything wrong by not exposing their "true" colors--the dirty dishes, the petty arguments, the bad hair days--but because they do sometimes make me want things (like a glamorous job or a baby or a certain pair of shoes/sunglasses/[fill in the blank] that I don't/can't own). I don't care that they purposefully crop ugly parts of the city out of their photos... who doesn't? If you're not physically cropping in post-production, you're framing what you want in the shot with your lens. Isn't that what photography is? When an acquaintance asks you how you're doing and you're feeling really miserable, you probably say "fine." It is common practice to put your best face forward, because there is a time and a place for griping and a public forum is not it (once and a while, yes, sure--I know I do it!). The fact is, their lives aren't perfect. At best they are just keeping a diary of their lives that other people happen to read, and at worst they are marketing themselves as a new sort of brand. And so what if they are? That is their right as citizens of the world (freedom of speech/expression, anyone?). I guarantee that if any of the nasty commenters over at The Guardian or Vice could make a living just by posting pictures online of what they happened to do each day, they wouldn't hesitate to drop everything and jump onboard. If you're not interested in fashion, you don't read Vogue. If you're not interested in lifestyle blogging or vintage/retro fashion, don't read Louder than Silence. It's quite simple.

Live and let live, I say. There are much worse things going on in the world that a couple of trendy twentysomethings writing about the goings-on in their lives (even Facebook is worse, in my opinion, and I have railed about the way that it is destroying our lives on more than one occasion [see also: cell phones, fast food], which is why I am not on it [see also: easy ways to avoid anger and frustration re: modern society]). And if that is what gets you all riled up and makes you call complete strangers vicious names on the internet, you need to find some goings-on for your own life.

The worst part about all of this was that I was momentarily affected by it. I thought to myself: Should I stop blogging? Am I an idiot because I am entertained by these blogs? Are people going to think that I'm just superficial and narcissistic and obnoxious? And then that passed, and I reminded myself that I am so much more than my blog, and so is everyone else.

16 comments:

  1. First, totally love the hair and trench and general '60s London vibe!

    Secondly, AMEN! So well put! I'll never quite get it and luckily I am not too popular so I don't get many mean comments on my blog (only maybe 2? ever) but really, what is the point? Why would you read something you claim to hate? Go live your own lives.

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  2. I love this "london" look, the trench and striped dress are so perfect together and so perfect for a rainy day!!

    I couldn't agree more with what you wrote, I don't understand why people who hate these things so much, read and then comment on them. Isn't it better to just ignore something that pisses you off? I get annoyed by how perfect these peoples lives seem now and then, then I remind myself that it's just someone presenting themselves in a certain way. I don't post pictures of myself post-workout when I'm all sweaty, makeupless, and gross for reasons I'm assuming is similar to everyone elses. It's good to sit back and think about these things though. I will stop blogging when I stop living life and start living to blog.
    xJennaD

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  3. love that dress, i've been lookin for something like it all summer. I especially like the trench over it and the head scarf!

    Miranda
    www.indcfashion.com

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  4. Well said. Clearly the people who are hating on the bloggers are taking the time to read said blogs, study them, and formulate rude comments...maybe those people should just stop reading blogs...just saying ;)

    Loving the scarf! Wish I could pull it off without looking bald!

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  5. I don't understand rudeness at all...if you don't like a blog, just don't read it! What's the big deal?
    Anyway, you look lovely! The dress is very cute!

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  6. 1) you look adorable!

    2) It's interesting but I do read the odd blog that I hate (or at least I am pretty damn irritated by the personality of the blogger). I often wonder why I continue reading, and I'm often tempted to leave somewhat passive-aggressive comments (but don't, because I am a blogger). I think people get riled by Ross and Sally because they really do show this perfect hipster image of London, and there is a major hipster backlash going on there these days. I actually like their blog, but I remember thinking several times last year "I live in London... why does none of this stuff ever happen to me? Why don't I have boozy picnics with multiple well-dressed friends in London Fields, etc. etc. Ultimately I think they tread a nice line between hipster and self-deprecating in a real way, but then their type maybe annoys me less than some other types to begin with.

    Anyway, I certainly agree that everyone leaving nasty comments should go and get a hobby. I find that on the Guardian, the fashion/lifestyle articles always get those vitriolic comments... I guess it's just an evil we have to put up with.

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  7. I thought the whole point of Vice was dickishness for the sake of dickishness? So... I guess I don't find it shocking at all.

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  8. First I love the striped shirt dress. It looks great on you.
    I have to admit I've come across a couple really irritating blog posts about something I disagree with so I've sat down and composed a really (witty & scathing) retort. But then I never have the guts to publish them. The internet is sort of known for being full of people with mean opinions about everything. But if it is a personal blog then I think people should be able to write whatever they want. If you don't like it just close the browser.
    A couple times I've felt that same 'ugh how vain and superficial do I have to be to enjoy reading and creating this type of blog'. And then I remember the immortal words of Cartman 'Whateva I do what I want!'

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  9. Ahhh perfect boots! I love the color, and it went perfect with the trench coat!

    Your beautiful thought is certainly well-written and it enlightened me. I'm not a big fan of the world's hits-blogger so I don't exactly know what's going on with them.. I mostly spent my time in smaller blogs and seeing life that somehow feel humble and 'real'. But as you said, it's okay for people to bring out their best in public because that's what human naturally do... And as long as we don't feel like enjoy reading some particular blogs, we could just simply stop reading them!

    Don't we all just tired of dramas sometimes?
    Thank you for writing this post :)

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  10. I really enjoyed reading this post, and I feel like it speaks to exactly why fashion/style blogs are so much more than just that: reading this post and the other articles just now, it made me think about blogging in a new way and stimulated my mind rather than just "look at me wearing pretty clothes!," which I feel like is a common misconception about style blogs. I love reading blogs to "get to know" the authors, and see how they think about things. Thanks for such an interesting read!

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  11. I never understand articles/conversations like that. People like to make fun of things, fine, I get it. But what the heck with the Vice mag people? They've never heard of fashion/lifestyle blogging? Have they been living under a rock?

    Also, everyday life is typically dreary enough. I blog in order o help me focus on the good, pretty, lovely bits of it. People should start focusing more on lovely happy things and stop being so condescending and rude.

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  12. I am so feeling your content here! I was watching the Anthro disaster unfold on GOMI, and I just had to quit because of the poisonous language. For me, it's one thing if you don't like the way someone dresses or think they spend too much on clothes or are frivolous and "don't deserve" the fame they have--but when the comments start cutting bloggers down for things like their body or features, that's when it really makes me want to cry. Why say that? What is the point of that? If you can't stand their face, GTFO their blog! Yuck. It's just such a hateful environment.

    Re: something other than hate blogs, you look marvelous! I'm rather envious of your rain, although once it gets going here I'm sure I'll get sick of going out in it.

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  13. I don't even think about what people think of my blog. I do it for fun and because I enjoy reading other blogs and interacting with the people who enjoy it too. It's just a hobby. People will make fun of all types of people. I'm sure there's something on the internet making fun of practically every person's favorite thing. These people obviously have nothing better to do so I ignore them.

    In other news, I really enjoy your striped dress with that coat. A great rainy day outfit.

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  14. There's a tendency of social competitiveness ingrained in all people, and it is only exacerbated by social culture and the ubiquity of the Internet and social networking. People have and always will attempt to "bring down" people in higher positions than theirselves, be it because they're prettier, more intelligent, or simply more successful. It allows the critic a certain sense of comfort to try to unconsciously draw everyone toward the center of the bell curve; it's a perfectly natural reaction, considering Darwin's "war of nature", in this case it's merely manifesting as a self-preservational defense tactic to attempt to manipulate someone or make them feel guilty for being in a higher position, thus asserting yourself above them. I always try to remember Eleanor Roosevelt when I feel this way--"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

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