A while back at work we were pitching a fashion brand. As research, I had to look at a bijillion fashion blogs.
One day while scrolling through a majorly famous one, I found this post about eyebrow filling. I though, wait a sec…I have to fill my eyebrows? Before this moment, I genuinely didn’t know they had holes! I scanned through the post until I got to the before and after pictures. I studied them closely, and for the life of me could not tell the difference.
The eyebrow holes were just the beginning. As I continued clicking through blog after blog, I started to feel strangely. All these emotions welled up inside me that were familiar in a sickening sort of way. It wasn’t until Kim looked over my shoulder at the wavy-haired, perfectly styled twig on my screen and said, “Ugh. Hate her.” that I realized…
I think I hate this girl.
Wait what? Why in the world would I hate this girl?
I laughingly shared the experience with another friend, one who I consider low-maintenance and level-headed, in hopes of catharsis. But my confession only led to us looking at the same blog together, and five minutes later we were in up to our elbows, “reading” some post in which the blogger had taken a six-week European vacation for no other apparent purpose than to have someone take pictures of her looking perfect, but in a Europey kind of way. We said things like,
“Okay, but she has to have an eating disorder.”
“I mean, where can she be going in all these outfits?”
and (I’m the worst)
“I want to cut off her hair while she’s sleeping and glue it onto my head.”
You probably think we were just jealous. And you’re dead right.
A fashion blog made me feel jealous rage.
I mean, I seriously lost my mind! All I wanted was to figure out how I could become her. I wanted her twiggy legs and her dad’s credit card. I wanted to make a bunch of money off of my blog (why didn’t anyone tell me blogging about Mormonism doesn’t pay?!)
But I didn’t want any of that before I looked at her blog.
A lot has been said about the evils of advertising–how it makes people dissatisfied with their lives because it urges them to seek happiness in places they’ll never find it. And as someone who works in it, I have struggled at times with the ethics of what I do. But to me, fashion blogging takes it to a whole new level. Because she’s supposedly a REAL girl! And if she can take a walk through her neighborhood looking like she does, what I am I doing walking anywhere?
Fashion blogs, with all their appearance of reality, have set a standard that is completely unrealistic. And yet they’re so fun to look at, and the outfits are so lovely. So we all keep looking, spending hours every week setting our minds on a bar that can never be met.
Talk about life dissatisfaction.
My reaction to severe fashion blog exposure was frustrating. Because I am a girl who likes girls. I am not jealous or catty, and while I know you won’t believe me when I tell you this, I like seriously hate drama. In fact, over my many years of singlehood, I have made a weird habit of going to parties and coming home more often with a girl’s phone number than a guy’s. (Not a productive dating technique, it turns out)
Anyway, all this is to say that I am not accustomed to feeling the way I did while spending weeks looking at fashion blogs. I felt dislike, contempt, jealousy, and bitterness. They are ugly ways to feel.
Please don’t think I’m saying that I hate fashion bloggers themselves. I don’t know anything about them personally, and let’s be honest if I met one at a party I’d probably go home with her phone number. But when I look at their blogs I feel hate, whether it’s hating her for having clothes I can’t afford or hating myself for not looking like her.
Fashion is fun, and I think we’re all allotted a healthy dose of materialism (I certainly am not immune to Zara.) Perhaps I am alone in my fashion-blog-induced jealousy, but I’ve recognized what it does to me personally, and for my own happiness I have to stay away from it.
The fact of the matter is, I’m just a normal girl. My outfits are sometimes stylish but mostly t shirts and jeans. I hope it can always be okay to look like a normal girl. A real girl.
A normal, real girl who now fills in her eyebrows.