Picdump incoming: I really liked these photos. This outfit is just “not me” enough to be interesting – it’s slouchy and beige where I am usually fitted and bright. My cousin gave me this newsboy cap when I was about sixteen and he was cleaning out his basement. (He also offered me a bag of ancient, crumbly weed, found in the same crate as the hat. My cousin’s an odd duck.) This coat is for sale in my Etsy shop; these boots are the first decent winter pair I’ve had in a few years. Together, it all feels so prim and somehow reporter-ly, like I’m about to whip a Moleskine from my pocket and get to work taking your words out of context.
I have been ambivalent about blogging culture lately. Make no mistake: blogging does have a culture, full of its own cliches and foibles. Some of it I enjoy, some of it I enjoy ironically, and some of it I reject. But it seems to be harder and harder to evolve as a blogger without necessarily evolving into tropes and away from yourself. I’m proud of how my photography has improved over the years. My shots look far more polished than they used to. But “polished”, in this context, too often means “identical”. I can’t help but find the charm of an earnest-but-shitty post more compelling than a magazine-quality spread. There’s more variety in spottiness. I want to be good at what I do. I want to make great sartorial art and tell epic stories with it. I also don’t want to become so Good(TM) that I lose any individual luster.
Think about what the Good(TM) bloggers do. The kinds of shots they take, the kinds of lives they lead. Individually, each one is talented and ambitious and I wish her all the best. Collectively, they represent a world that desperately needs some fresh blood. I am sick of mason jars and manicures and pseudo-pensive close-ups. I am sick of lattes and wedding pictures and studio apartments. I don’t want any sweatshop-made c/o crap, and I will not refer to Josh as “hubby” or “the boy”. I started blogging to feed my helpless, hapless love of clothes. That’s it. I didn’t sign on for these bizarre cultural accretions. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to call myself a fashion blogger, and that makes me want to completely, totally revamp what “fashion blogger” means.
Bloggers once threatened the status quo. Magazines were no longer the sole arbiter of taste; ordinary women (and men) could democratize the art of getting dressed and make fashion truly their own. Today, bloggers are the status quo. I’m disgusted by corporate shilling disguised as “gift guides”. By bloggers dressed in head to toe c/o. By the fact that the highest-profile bunch are still thin, white, and couture-clad, despite lip service to “diversity”. When did my beloved medium turn into this?
It’s easy to be lazy. I know exactly the urbane, overbright tone to slip into when I need to seem relatable. I know a particularly well-foamed latte can net me a hundred hits. Sometimes it’s nicer to feel part of a community (no matter how grating I find that community) than sit alone in radio silence with my bloodstained nudes. But I started out in blogging as one of the capital-Q Weirdos. I intend to hold onto that mantle. No matter how twee I verge, I promise I’ll always be the blogger with the zillion hats and zombie makeup. I promise to always filter fashion blogging through the lens of being me, not the other way around.
Maybe I’m pretentious. In fact, I probably am. But at least I have something to say.