Friday, April 11, 2014

The Problem with Fashion Blogging (And Our Society in General)

These past 6 (ish) months have been so great for me since I've started my blog. It was always something I wanted to do and I felt like I needed a new hobby last fall. I've learned a ton about design, fashion, coding, blogging, marketing, networking, and about a million other things along the way. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

With that being said, some unexpected negative consequences have arisen as well from blogging.

Reading other fashion blogs is a ton of fun, but it's so easy to get caught up in the idea that because they have *insert cute clothing item* and it looks great on them and they're popular on the internet, I thus need to have that same thing to be popular on my blog. Or even just look cute. THIS IS NOT TRUE. If all fashion bloggers were featuring the exact same items of clothing, what would the point be? Readers want to see YOUR fashion sense and how YOU style what YOU like to wear. Not necessarily what everyone else in the fashion blogging world is wearing.

The same goes for Instagram. There are hundreds of amazing IG Fashion accounts that I follow and I've loved seeing how they style their clothes and even get to know some of them better as people. But you have to be SO so careful to not get in the same aforementioned thought process that because so many different people have a certain clothing item or accessory, that you have to go out and purchase it too. Or in my case, I often just have this impulse to go out and buy stuff so I can post new things on IG and that adds up money-wise very very quickly my friends. I've realized that I do fine with talking myself out of buying expensive things at J. Crew, for example, but put me in an Old Navy or a Target where everything is under $50 and watch me go. I mean, it's gotten out of hand lately. And I realized it was because I was too focused on having successs and I thought that the only way to achieve that was to buy new clothes every week. And that's just not true. I feel like IG has given me a ton of ideas on how to style and put together outfits that I NEVER would have thought up on my own so that's good, but at the same time I sometimes think I need certain things when really, I probably don't.

It's also easy on Instagram to get too caught up in "how many followers did I get today?" or "how many likes will this photo get?" and to compare yourselves to other accounts. It can be frustrating to see other accounts have more success than me, but I have to remind myself that I'm really really new at this. And there are other people who probably devote way more time to IG than I do (which is kind of hard to fathom but I know it's true). And there are people who are just better at posting interesting photos and getting people to follow them. And that's ok. I'm learning what works and what doesn't. Not all my photos can be winners. Not all my posts can be winners either. But I started my blog to learn and to have a creative outlet. Not to become the most read blog in the western world. Because that's ridiculous.

We live in a society that is prone to comparison. People are constantly looking at other people's accomplishments, successes, looks, bodies, etc. and comparing those to their own. This is really a lose-lose situation for those who compare themselves to others. If you find that you don't measure up to other people, you feel bad about yourself, even if you have a lot of success in other areas. If you find that you more than measure up to other people, then pride becomes an issue. And that's not good either. The best thing to do is to realize that we are ALL different. No two people are identical and that's a GOOD thing. It's the best thing, really. It's what makes us human. Recognize that we will never have the same identical successes and someone else and be ok with that. Be happy with what you've been able to accomplish in your own given circumstances. Support and cheer on others when they have successes as well. It's a lot more productive than sitting around comparing yourself and throwing a little pity party everyday, trust me.

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
 (Theodore Roosevelt)
 
It's true, my friends. There have been so many studies done on people who are heavy-media users and let me tell you something, they are WAAAAAY more likely to develop clinical depression. Why? Because people only post on the internet what they want others to see. And so while you're sitting on your couch eating cookies in grungy sweats, you feel bad about yourself when you read someone's blog and their life looks so put together and perfect and they appear to never wear anything but fashionable, well planned-out outfits when in reality, they probably do the same thing you're doing each night too. BUT WE DON'T SEE THAT. People don't want to post that side of them on the internet, even though that's reality. And that's ok. Just remember that you aren't always seeing everything just like your readers aren't seeing everything about you either. When you think what you're seeing is the whole truth, you compare yourself to them, get depressed, and miss out on life. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELVES TO OTHERS. BE HAPPY.  

Love who you are, love what you have, love your style, love your successes, love learning, love growing, love being comfortable with your life. Focus on your "haves", not your "have nots". Support one another and be happy for others successes, don't let them get you down.

And it simply wouldn't be a motivational and inspirational blog post without quoting some T-Swift:

"I dont' compare myself to anyone else; I don't make comments about anyone else because they do what feels right for them, and that's okay by me."  
 
Be happy, everyone. You'll get more out of life.
 
Excited That: It's FRIDAY!!!
Going To: Chicago this evening with my man.
Happy That: I'm almost done writing this stupid paper.
Wishing That: I brought a granola bar with me to class today.
So That Means: I'll go buy a muffin later.
Days Until Christmas: 257
 
Here's another great post on the importance of not comparing yourself to others. She echoes pretty much everything else that I'm feeling, and what most other fashion bloggers feel as well. http://www.simplywhitsequinedlife.com/2014/04/round-round-on-merry-go-round.html
 

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