LIVE LIVE IN STYLE SPEAKS: Bloggers & Body Image Response

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you...MY OPINION

I've been inspired to write a blog post in response to all of the controversy surrounding this articled posted by Taylor Davies of IFB last week: Bloggers & Body Image: Are we helping or hurting ourselves? Truth be told that anytime someone talks about sensitive topics...body image, politics, religion there is going to be controversy.  Some will agree and some will not agree.  I've been talking to a few bloggers about this article over my social media outlets, and reading IFB's response to the backlash and outrage, including Jennine Jacob's open letter to the IFB Community.

One of my favorite things about blogging, and following other fashion bloggers is the plethora of diversity in the bloggers.   The whole reason I choose to read blogs over print materials sometimes is because I love the fact that I may actually see a person that looks like me, has my style, can't afford Valentino, and has amazing style.  Bloggers are also more accessible to the general public and to their fans, with bloggers replying to inquiries and comments and doing appearance.  There are so many bloggers out there, that it'd be a shame for someone to label all of us as all the same. Having that said, even though there's a diverse pool of bloggers out there, not all of the diversity reaches to the limelight aka mainstream fashion media.  I sort of think Taylor's article got so much backlash, because the truth hurts.  I admit that the original version of her article needed some fine-tuning. The one I've shared above has been edited, but the bottom-line is the top 20 even 50 bloggers that you hear about all the time do not represent the blogging community well as far as diversity. Yes they are thin, gorgeous, have deals with high-end brands, and at the same time post amazing content.

I resent the fact that Taylor said the reason these bloggers are on top is because they post quality images, have amazing content and consisting posting schedules:

To break away from these traditional molds of beauty, it’s not an argument of sheer numbers. The numbers, we got. The double-hitter is these “top tier” bloggers’ blogs are also really good. They have high-quality images, consistent posting schedules, spot-on design and unique style. There are many brilliant and well-done blogs whose authors and content provide a fresh and unique voice that’s also inclusive of more well-rounded audience...


In order for a more holistic image of fashionable women to permeate the top tier of blogging as well as traditional fashion media, there needs to be a serious commitment to higher-quality content, 

There are tons of bloggers out there with amazing content and consisting posting schedules, and not to toot my own horn, but I average 5-7 posts a week. I take the time to edit my photos and provide writing that's my voice and my thoughts. I feel like the above statements just slammed all the work I've been doing and bloggers around the world who have amazing content.  Just because we aren't featured in top 50 bloggers to follow, doesn't mean our blogs aren't good. 

Honestly, Taylor speaks the truth about the "fitting the mold" bloggers making it to the top.  Yes they are good, but so are a lot of bloggers. Yes they have high numbers, but so do other bloggers, yet the same ones are always featured.  In fact IFB themselves seem to feature the same bloggers over and over.   And they aren't the only ones.  Sites like Chictopia, Lookbook.nu, Weardrobe, seem to always have the same bloggers featured on their homepages and any newsletters that are sent out.  When I first started blogging I read this interesting article by Grit and Glamour called, Why I'm not on Weardrobe.This article really made me think, and though I chose to still be on these sites, I'm not as active as I used to be. I love sites like those because if you spend your own time searching them you'll find tons of style inspiration from people without a huge amount of hearts, likes, followers, etc.  Just great style. At the end of the day I love seeing personal style bloggers whether famous or not, because I enjoy seeing how other people interpret their clothes.

But in all reality the fashion industry is ruthless, I know this & you know this.  From depictions of magazine editors firing assistance to designers making samples for 0-2 sizes.  Designers pick models to represent their clothes based on an aesthetic they are trying to portray on the runway and in ads.  As an African-American I recognize the void of my ethnicity represented in the industry.  I will keep pushing everyday and not be discouraged by the numbers. My overall goal with my blog is to provide great content that makes my readers want to come back and engage with me. If I become some famous blogger because of it, cool, but if not oh well, but I would prefer for my success with my blog not to be hindered by my skin color, shopping budgets, weight, or anything else seen on the outside.  Of course that is not my decision to make.  Mainstream media has to make the conscious decision to feature diversity in their stats. It took awhile for blogging to catch on in general as something that wasn't going to go away.  The voice of bloggers are more important than ever right now.  The tide is turning. The Business of Fashion did a feature on Leanne Medrine of the Man Repeller based on her ranking of being the most powerful woman in fashion, over Anna Wintour. 

So one hurdle at a time everyone.  Body image, and diversifying fashion is a controversial topic as old as day, and it will take more than attacking people who voice their opinion. 

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2 comments

I love reading your comments, however please do not leave comments asking for following swaps. I would prefer that you follow my blog because you love the content and not because you want me to follow your blog back.

Shasie

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