2014 was a huge year for my blog in so many ways. In addition to reaching a few statistical milestones (100 followers in March and then 200 followers before the year ended – not bad at all!), I started posting more regularly and putting more effort into my content. Best of all, I gained a whole bunch more of you guys – readers! Whether you leave comments on here, Twitter or Instagram, I love every bit of feedback I receive and also learning a little bit more about you guys along the way too.
Whilst I have lots of exciting posts planned for 2015, before I started the blogging year I just wanted to get a few things off my chest first. After reading an article a few weeks ago calling for more honesty from bloggers regarding Photoshopping and of course the recent controversy surrounding Zoella and ghostwriting, a few things have been weighing on my mind.
So before I go back to my usual fashion/beauty posts, here’s 3 things I’d like you guys to know about my blog & I:
- I use filters, edit my photos and meticulously select angles. Whilst I’m not quite advanced enough at Photoshop to give myself a nose job, longer legs and defined cheekbones, I want you to know that everything you see on this blog has been through a process. I’ll adjust lighting so my skin looks better, delete photos that I deem unflattering…technology is awesome. I mean, thanks to it we get to control how we look in at least one area of our lives. Even in spite of all this, I’ll still look back at photos and not be entirely happy with the way I look. But imperfections are something I’m learning to accept and love, and moving forward are something I want to feel confident enough to share, not hide.
- I’m less ‘fabuleuse, toujours’ and more ‘fabuleuse when I have the time’. Anyone who knows me in real life will know that quite a lot of the time – these final-year-essay days especially – I’m mostly rocking the battered old pair of jeans with unwashed hair look. I love dressing up and putting outfits together that make me feel fabuleuse, but unfortunately more often than not real life gets in the way. I’ve debated changing my blog name for this very reason – I sometimes feel like I’m masquerading as something I’m not, but after some consideration I’ve realised my blog is a space for me to create and experiment with style in a way that I want. Maybe fabuleuse, quelquefois (French for fabulous, sometimes) will be a thing someday.
- My hat. You know the one I mean…this one that I’m wearing in almost every outfit post? It looks cool as hell but in reality? Doesn’t stay on my head for more than 2 minutes. Flies off at the slightest gust of wind. Totally impractical.
I wanted to put all this in a post because I feel like commercial media has perpetrated enough false ideas of ‘perfection’ (for women especially), and blogging shouldn’t be reinforcing that too. Not a day goes by where I don’t see an Instagram comment saying “oh she’s so perfect, I wish I looked like her”, and I find myself thinking the same things too. Yet we all use filters, and I can guarantee that girl you just called ‘perfect’ wished she looked like someone else too at some point or another.
At the same time there are so many beautiful blogs out there with such pristine, editorial-spec photography that looks like it should be published by Condé Nast. And there’s nothing wrong with that; honestly it’s an art in itself, and I completely understand that. Fashion/beauty blogging is, and will always be very visual/looks focused, but I think as individuals with a platform and receptive audiences, there’s a lot to be said about how we choose to present ourselves.
At the risk of this turning into a fully-fledged plea for us all to ’embrace our perfections and love ourselves!!!!!’, I’ll wrap this up. Whilst it’s okay to edit your photos and filter the life you post online, be mindful of the fact that others do the same next time you compare yourself to someone else’s posts. Just remember: “Another woman’s beauty is not the absence of your own”.
In my posts for the year ahead, I’m going to try and be more mindful of the photos I use – after all, there’s a fine line between visually appealing and deceptive and concealing.
Photoshopping/editing within the blogosphere is definitely a topic I’d like to revisit, so I’d love to hear your views! Do you feel it’s your right as a creator to produce content how you like, or do you think bloggers should feel more comfortable posting less edited photos?