THE MERGING OF BLOGGING AND BUSINESS
One of these things being what I like to call 'The business of blogging.'
After reading a refinery 29 article about fashion week in the 90's, Stefan Siegel commented on what life was like when fashion bloggers first entered the market. He describes how he was "excited" and "hopeful", yet now this industry is a disappointment.
This is the full quote-
“I was excited at first, hoping that fashion blogging came to the industry with the same aspirations as in other industries; I was hoping for honest opinions, transparency and an independent voice. What we received was a new level of narcissism paired with a devotion to corporate branding."
Siegels' words have been so poignant in my mind, that I have even started to question myself in terms of how I post.
If I look back on my Instagram posts, I have to admit my life looks pretty decent- travelling, designer clothing, days out with friends and family. What I don't include is all the emotional rollercoasters- a levels, existential crisis, quarter life crisis, what I am going to do with my life crisis and so on... Why? Because on social media we don't look for people who have problems, we look to those we can aspire to, who have a picture perfect fantasy life in reality, in turn taking away all of our problems. I admit to actually following an Instagram page dedicated to what new Louis Vuitton bag a woman has bought! What I don't consider is how this effects me in terms of narcissism - is it right to be posting pictures of your £1000 bag when there are people in the world who can barely afford one meal? If someone else posts what they bought does that mean I can? I'm not sure....
Now corporate branding is a tricky one, for full time bloggers, most of their wage comes from corporate branding, I feel that this is isn't the issue that Siegel is trying to point out. It's the lying that's the issue.
Throwing it back to 2011 enter Lottie, a 11 year old girl just starting to get blemishes. She starts reading blogs and watches hundreds of vloggers describe how Proactiv is a skin saver- clearing skin within one week to become smooth skinned once again. Thus, she saves her birthday money so she can buy this transforming kit. After 3 days of using it, she sees her skin is red and blotchy, but quickly brushes this thought away because hundreds of people said how amazing it was.
Two weeks in and my skin was worse than ever- more blemishes, redness and duller skin. THIS ISN'T WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.
What young Lottie didn't know was that these posts were advertisements, Google was yet to tighten up on rules, so it wasn't made clear (lol the pun) that this was a paid ad. I realise some people may have had skin transformations with this product, but as time went by more and more people commented how their skin was either the same or worse.
This is what Siegel was critiquing- when paid advertisements become lies, there no longer is honesty within their reviews. Apparently every product is amazing- no. I have makeup products I couldn't live without, but they still have there downsides. In my short time of blogging I have had companies send me products and some of have been great, products I would purchase again, but they aren't flawless. We are so deep in corporate branding, it's now hard to get out of.
What is your view on this?