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.
Before I pick up the mic, let us all acknowledge that I am Halloween and it feels wonderful. There we go. This is baaaasically my full-time job right now, aside from, y’know, my actual full-time job. Tomorrow I’m getting up at 6:30 to do makeup at a zombie-themed fun run. On Sunday I’m driving two hours to volunteer at a pumpkin festival and then taking Josh to dinner for his 26th birthday. Yes, the latter counts as a Halloween activity. I’m not sure Josh was born so much as sprung, fully formed, into being at Shub-Niggurath’s teat.
So I discovered GOMI today. And no, I’m not going to give them the pageviews, so you can Google it yourself. “Get Off My Internets” is a forum for eviscerating internet personalities. (I realize every other fashion blogger already knew about this, but I am late to the party on nearly everything. I mean, I still have a flip phone.) Some of the stuff on GOMI is actually really funny. I enjoy fashion-girl parodies and lampooning of the more overt tropes. “ModCrap” has a certain ring to it. But a lot of the posts leave a decidedly skeevy taste in my mouth. The thread that made me stop reading was devoted to dragging up a particular blogger’s internet history and posting her “sexy” MySpace photos from ten years ago. There is no universe in which that is a valid critique of a person’s work.
I don’t really have anything career-killing to hide. I don’t exactly keep my nudes a secret, and I’ve never had a Tumblr or LiveJournal or any kind of ~feelings~ blog. But I despise the whole “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” canard. Even if nothing bad would actually come of them, I fear such invasions on principle, and I think most people do. I use half a dozen Reddit accounts because the idea of being doxxed turns my stomach.
Usually when there’s some “scandal” like this, I’m able to reason out why it would never happen to me. I’m mot high-profile or controversial or doing anything illegal. But this one actually hit home. This blogger does more or less the exact same thing I do. She got her teenage mistakes splashed around the internet because someone “didn’t like her stupid face”. Yeah, I don’t have anything to hide. But that is so not the point. The point is that I’m disgusted to have given pageviews to people who have nothing better than this to do. They’re not welcome on my internet.
Look, I’m the biggest fan of free speech and free discourse you’ll ever meet. I’m also a big fan of treating others like humans, not objects for your entertainment. I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. Fashion bloggers, like everyone else, do things worth mocking. We – at least I – can take it. We’re also, y’know, people. Just remember that.