surprisingly easy being green

IX III

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.

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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.

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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.

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may 2

I started fashion blogging when I needed a new creative outlet after scrapping my novels. Writing used to be What I Did. I was an anxious, mostly friendless child, so I made up stories to chug through each day. Writing was what everyone knew me for, but as I grew more comfortable with the rudiments of human society, I started leaving it behind. Flanked, as I’d become, by real friends, I could no longer summon the imaginary with such ease. But I have always harbored an overabundance of creative energy, and I needed somewhere to deposit it.

And hey, I liked clothes. I’d always liked clothes. My high-school dream was to own a costume shop and write in a garret above. I was also a theater kid coming to terms with how much harder university-level auditions were. I wasn’t good enough for the collegiate stage, but I needed somewhere to ham it up. So taking pictures of my wacky outfits became my new Thing.

Today, May second, it’s been two years. I remember considering the final papers I had yet to write, the books I had yet to crack, and deciding: I think I’ll start a fashion blog. I stayed up much of the night choosing a layout and writing introductory posts. That’s Skye for you, and a big part of the reason I dropped out of school: assignments, no matter how interesting, never seduce me as thoroughly as my own projects.

I remember being thrilled the first time a post broke 50 views. When I counted 435 total my first month. I get occasional urges to go back and delete everything from before I got my Canon – I cringe a little at having those shitty webcam shots attached to my name, you know? But I’d regret it. Gotta see where I came from. If I’m Jenny, those old posts are my metaphorical Block.

This blog has been an excuse to outdress myself every day. A conversation starter with cute guys at parties. What I expected to be a blowing-off-steam hobby has catalyzed many major victories in my life. When I applied for costume directorship at the Haunted Forest, I had a portfolio to show off with just one click. I’ve met and collaborated with other bloggers – Rachel, Marlen, and soon Polly. I’ve practiced modeling and photography and learned everything inherent in putting together a fashion editorial. It’s so much more than the clothes. It’s a whole world, and it thrills me. And it looks like my scrap of it is thrilling someone, because I got almost 5k views last month.

And? Being in the practice of writing every day has gotten me submitting to magazines again. I’ve been a columnist for the Prague Revue since September; in December I was published in elephant journal. My creative life is wonderfully syncretic. Look at me, wearing clothes ‘n’ stuff! And even writing about them sometimes.

You were probably expecting one of those “through the years” retrospectives, full of embarrassing old photos I’m brave enough to post only after a few drinks. Well, you’re not getting that – mostly because I’m out of drinks. But I thought I’d exhibit some of the photos that haven’t made the blog over the past year.

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