Why I hate your fashion blog

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.

Ugh.

14 thoughts on “Why I hate your fashion blog

  1. Taylor Preston says:

    I followed several beauties on Instagram…and unfollowed them weeks later when I realized I was spiraling into a jealous pit of rage. It was terrible for me soul.

  2. Sam says:

    You know what is funny, I’m a dude and fashion blogs and fashion instagram accounts do the same thing to me. It is not a great way to feel.

  3. Laura says:

    As someone who works in PR in the fashion industry, bloggers are people I work with regularly. You just summed up perfectly how I feel about them. Such a love/hate relationship.

  4. Cami says:

    I have felt this exact way for a long time! I HATE fashion blogs because I don’t want to purposely make myself feel inferior to these people- that’s why I refuse to ever look at them now. My best friend even has a fashion blog and I have never once looked at it. I am surrounded by enough CRAP that basically screams that I need to be this way or I’m not good enough because of that, I don’t need to willingly add to that!

  5. Charlotte says:

    Totally get this. I don’t really follow fashion blogs/bloggers, but I follow several “famous” Mormons on Instagram who post about how they “MARRIED MY BFF!” or can throw perfect dinner parties, or wedding receptions, or are always on vacation and laughing with their family and beautiful friends over dinners…it totally ruins your expectations so that when REAL things happen to YOU, you think it’s not good enough or not supposed to be this way because so-and-so in New York said that you have to do it like this or else you’re just not living right. I wish there were internet police.

  6. Brissa says:

    THIS!!!!! This is why I can’t be trusted to look at fashion blogger’s instagram accounts. Because of the jealous rage! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! All the “look at me I’m perfect and I can wear heels all day without wincing while I chase my kid around town” accounts were, quite literally, hurting my heart. I had to delete/unfollow them because I found myself comparing myself to them and it was NOT good. Because, yeah, I spend most days with my unwashed hair piled atop my head wearing this week’s leggings and one of MY shirts instead of my husbands if I’m feeling frisky. And looking at all these “perfect” lives made me feel like mine wasn’t good enough. Breaking myself off from that branch of social media did wonders for my soul. And, like, I wash my hair if I’m being social, so it’s not like I’m a total weirdo.

  7. Chandler says:

    I believe that your intentions are good writing this. However, some of the things you have written are extremely hurtful! Even calling this woman a “perfectly styled TWIG” isn’t okay. I am positive I know the blogger you are referring to, and I know for sure that she is kind and loving. Whether or not your intentions were to be hurtful, that’s a bit how it comes across. Fashion/style bloggers actually EARN a lot of money. It’s not “daddy’s credit card”. They can make well over a million dollars per year. A fashion blog is hard work. A passion for style. How anyone feels (inferior or jealous) is in no way a blogger’s fault, but the person who allows themselves to feel such a way. I don’t think you’re a mean person but definitely not a super kind post!

  8. Chelsea says:

    I feel the exact same way about home-design blogs. I went through a phase during the first few years of my marriage where I followed a TON of home improvement/DIY blogs. I would get so caught up in how our small apartment didn’t measure up to the beautiful photos on the blogs, how our bookcases were never perfectly styled, how I wasn’t allowed to paint our walls trendy colors, etc. It was definitely a slow poison to my self-image. I consider finally removing all of those blogs from my feed one of the best decisions I ever made and have noticed a HUGE difference in my ability to recognize the everyday blessings in my life since then. I think we all need to constantly remind ourselves that blogs (and other social media feeds) are just an outer shell of a person’s life and usually they work very hard to make it appear just so.

  9. I can completely understand where you are coming from on this! There are some things I disagree on, but I’m clearly biased because I have a fashion blog. That being said, I think the best bloggers out there are successful because they are genuine, real, and honest. It’s much easier to connect if you speak about your imperfections. I agree that sometimes bloggers only portray the perfect moments, which can be extremely deceiving. Let’s be honest .. I was in my pajamas until 1:00 yesterday! The purpose of my fashion blog is to share my love of fashion and provide outfit inspiration for my readers (not to make them jealous or rub it in their face that I have too many clothes), and I think you will find that the majority of the bloggers would say the same!

    Outfitsandoutings.com

  10. Lauren says:

    What does being a “real” girl even mean? Dressing in jeans and t-shirts makes you down to earth? What kind of moralistic nose in the air snobbery is this? Fashion blogs are by and large unattainable by most of the masses and yet many people still enjoy reading them and, shockingly, enjoy reading them without walking away feeling like a failure or without comparing their own lives to them. Why? Because they are content and comfortable in their lives. This sounds like you’re hella insecure about your life if you can be so dramatically swayed by one girls’ eyebrows. Are fashion bloggers conceited? Yes, most of them are! Does this post reek of a higher moral ground? Yes! Hardly anyone looks that good walking around in neighborhoods from day to day but some people like to aspire to that lifestyle. A lot of times people go to those websites looking for fashion/ beauty/ lifestyle inspiration. You guys need to stop comparing yourselves to other women and feeling incomplete and embrace who you are. Accept that a “real” woman can be someone in jeans and a t-shirt just as much as a woman in a YSL vintage pant suit for heaven’s sake.

  11. Just yes to everything you said here. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels like a failure whenever I see those posts. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Charlotte says:

    PS – I went on a “social media fast” for the month of October…no Instagram, FB, Twitter, etc. and it’s amazing how much happier and at peace I am. There is so much power in being in the moment and living your life on your own terms rather than feeling pressure to do it another way.

  13. “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”

    Seriously the best quote of the article. I’m that girl!! I love girls. I love having new girlfriends.

    As a nutritionist and also specializing in autoimmune disorders I found that I could really help my clients through blogging. They could get ideas for recipes and I’d highlight their stories. Well needless to say I kept getting requests for “what are you wearing” and she’s 100% right about fashion blogging being where the money is at. When you spend time and money on the camera, photos, blog url purchasing, hours spent writing, editing and cooking you want to have a little something something to make the time worth it.

    I love getting dressed up. I love lounge wear. I love/hate high heels but even though I love fashion I decided no to photoshop! (Insert Gasp here) I’ll fix the coloring of the photo if the exposure isn’t right but I don’t make myself thinner or fix my scar on my chin or the weird mark on my ankle (still can’t figure out what that is!) I never want someone to look at me and hate me. I don’t want anyone to hate their life because of my blog.

    I want to inspire, uplift and help educate. As I’ve been criticized for being too chubby to talk about fitness I’ve realized that blogging kind of sucks but then I get emails from people who my story about endometriosis helped them to eat better and try to kick that autoimmune disorder in the pants. Women who write me saying my post on chocolate cake helped them to find a healthier way of dating. (That won’t make sense unless you read it) I guess I have a love/hate relationship with it all.

    I hate that I read a post the other day and actually thought about permanent makeup as an option. I don’t even wear eyeliner but in that moment I thought I needed to permanently put it on my eyelids. Where’s the balance of it all?

    ps If you’ve made it this far kudos. I’m sorry for such a long vent session it’s just been on my mind!

    Love the girl who loves fashion blogs, bloggers, food and writing excessively long comments.

    Chanelle

    delicioustothetaste.com
    @chanellejepson

  14. Jane says:

    In all sincerity, I cannot think of a more narcissistic hobby or profession than fashion blogging (which a lot of the time is just “look at all the cool things I do ALL THE TIME” blogging). Kudos to the girls who can run a fashion blog and keep their heads on straight. But I can’t help but think they are the exception rather than the rule. That being said, I agree that it’s a personal problem to allow yourself to walk away from a fashion blog feeling insufficient. And the right thing to do is to do just that, walk away. I know this is a crusty-old-lady post but I just had to say it.

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