So I haven’t stopped reading GOMI. I know I said I didn’t want to give them pageviews, but the more I think about it, the less I want to judge any forum by its lowest common denominator. Not that the lowest common denominator isn’t fucking awful, but y’know. There are literal Neo-Nazi blogs on tumblr; that doesn’t make the whole platform responsible. And a lot of the GOMI stuff really does make me think.
For one thing, it keeps me on my toes. A lot of the commenters are actually pretty sharp fashion-blog connoisseurs. They know what works. Some of the writing/photography advice is bang-on. And some of it affirms petty hatreds I already harbored. If I’d had any desire to sign my posts “love, Skye”, it would have been well and truly quashed by now. That can only be a good thing.
For another, it raises questions that have interesting implications outside fashion blogging. I’ve read a couple of debate threads re: what bloggers “owe” their readers. There’s a lot of criticism of bloggers who choose to curate their lives and not share anything that isn’t tidily presented. The argument seems to be that if blogging is your livelihood, you owe your readers the kind of content they want.
And I’m sorry, but no.
First of all, does anyone actually think blogs aren’t curated? While you’re clutching your pearls, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you. Artists want to present their best work. That’s to be expected, and it doesn’t make them “fake”. Are you also outraged that novelists edit? That painters don’t sell their rough drafts? If you don’t like the way I present myself, you are free to stop reading and to withdraw your financial support. I despise the whole “I pay your salary, now give me what I want” entitlement. Bloggers aren’t government-subsidized. If you don’t want to support a particular blogger, then don’t. Withdraw your money and stop demanding that her work fit your specifications.
Second of all, this kind of hunger for personal information ruins lives. Maybe that’s hyperbole. I haven’t heard of any bloggers driven to suicide by the ravenous public. But it certainly happens to celebrities of other stripes. Whether macro- or micro-, it’s the mentality that keeps tabloids in business. I’ve written before on the confusion of objectification and sexualization, and this is a perfect example. How is ragging on bloggers for not laying their lives on the table anything but objectifying? Far more so than a naked photo.
I am a fashion blogger, not a feels blogger. If I share anything beyond that, mazel tov. But I don’t owe it to you.