Bloggers & Body Image: Are We Helping Or Hurting Ourselves?
By: Taylor Davies

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Update: 8/14/12 Taylor Davies has issued an apology.

*This post has been edited and updated as of Saturday, August 11th, to clarify the intentions of both IFB and the author.

I can almost guarantee that just by reading the above headline, some of you are bristling. Give it a minute to marinate, though. Discussing women’s issues, especially body image isn’t something we often take on over here at IFB – but as an office full of women (and a hugely female community of bloggers) it’s something that comes up in discussion almost daily.

We touched on the “thinspiration” problem back in April, but it seems to be an issue that persists more in social image sharing hubs like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram than it does on traditional fashion and personal style blogs. (We’re talking about images and content that promote unhealthy diet habits, eating disorders and self-harm.)

From where we sit, the blogosphere appears to be just about as vast and diverse as the communities the blogs come from. Members of IFB come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life and represent a myriad of cultures, ethnicities, languages and backgrounds.

On the flip side though, it feels like not enough of these blogs take center stage in “popular blog” culture (if that’s a thing). The majority of very visible, successful style bloggers are thin and beautiful – which isn’t their fault of course, nor should they be chastised for it. They’re “real women” too.

It is frustrating that while blogging first emerged as this great, democratic platform for all people to explore fashion and style – it’s gone the way of the greater fashion industry in it’s lifting-up of traditional beauty ideals. Why is that?

The larger fashion media community has embraced style bloggers for their ability to relate to their audiences as well as translate that appreciation into monetization. From blogger networks to editorial features, magazines and brands are scrambling to capitalize on bloggers’ success – but within their standards.

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, as well as a more committed approach to fostering their growth from brands and larger publications. At the moment, there aren’t enough blogs run by these types of women that get the notoriety they deserve.

This is an extremely loaded issue, and one that is too important to too many of us to conclude in such a short post. This is only the beginning of a larger conversation and a more in-depth analysis of our blogging culture. With the help of your thoughtful feedback (and deeper research on our end), we will begin to tackle this topic further.

Do you think personal style blogging has helped or hindered women’s self esteem when it comes to body image? Is there enough representation of the many ideas of beauty, health and style that make up our everyday lives? What needs to happen to shine more light on these bloggers?

 

Comments

  1. Avatar of Emiko Vaughn
    Emiko Vaughn says:

    Great article! You bring up a great point about higher-quality content – I think that’s definitely an issue. If content is good and the photos are something people want to look at, the blog is a success. I, personally, would love to see more fuller figured women in the “top tier” of bloggers and I think it’s totally possible if the quality of content we’re all looking for as readers is there. And besides, my whole philosophy is that confidence creates style. If you feel good, you look good – no matter what size you are.

    • So if I write a blog with great, professional quality, photographs, a clean and organized layout, well written content and a consistent posting schedule I will have a successful blog? Well I do have that kind of blog, but I haven’t found overnight success.

  2. I think at the end of the day people look to blogs for inspiration on what they want to be, not what’s “normal” in the world. We want to see pretty pictures and pretty people…period. I see enough “normal” in my regular life, I look to beautiful bloggers to see something better.

    xoxo
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    http://poorlittleitgirl.com

    • Avatar of Emily
      Emily says:

      I have to agree with this. For better or worse, many believe in fashion blogs for their qualities of “attainable fantasy”. And it relates back to the topic here on IFB regarding the nature of a blog’s fantasy versus its reality.

      Many – and I can’t speak for the collective in saying “all”, of course, because it’s certainly not the case 100% of the time – respond to the images of modelesque bloggers with high quality content in that same wonder they do professional editorials, campaigns, etc.. And in those cases, bloggers are seen as stepping stones between the fashion world and the natural world. Girls want to believe in “the beauty from Iowa with the inspirational looks and the fashion-forward creativity”. They want to believe the fashion industry isn’t some otherworldly phenomenon, that it is tangible and attainable to the individual person. And many times, they want to believe that individual person can be just as lovely, thin, intelligent, and confident as the fashion industry portrays them in magazines.

      I can’t say it’s right or wrong, it’s all personal preference.

      • justine says:

        This is so true – I remember when I realised that Garance Dore and the Sartorialist (for example – sorry, why do I keep beating up on the Sartorialist?!) were going too ‘fashion party mainstream’ for my tastes, and I stopped reading. It’s because my idea of them being the ‘alternative yet beautiful fashion world’ was totally shattered when they started posting more about their ‘celebrity lifestyles’ and who they saw, where. They no longer conformed to my fantasy that there are cool, beautiful people out there who are NOT going to Karl Lagerfeld parties… You know what I mean? It has a reverse effect, too.

    • Andi says:

      Then buy a fashion magazine. I like seeing high quality bloggers of all sizes, races, and shapes–not just stick thin clotheshangers who echo conventional “beauty” standards–to see what the clothing and trends look like on real, everyday bodies.

      • Lolabird says:

        Exactly? Wasn’t the whole point of fashion blogging to democratize fashion? Or did the message change while I was on my bathroom break?

      • debi c says:

        http://shamepuff.com/ifb-says-not-enough-thin-beautiful-women-have-high-quality-blogs/
        i saw this and found this article on IFB..i was about to get myself out of the IFB membership..I never expected this from you guys..at least you changed points in the article.
        and thank you Andi for sounding like a sane person and not another one of those who are hung up on mainstream fashion industry beauty ideals.
        I love blogs and bloggers who have a unique voice, are friendly and have rad styles irrespective of body,gender,race,religion..that is the very reason I have a blog.many people blog for various reasons.I follow several fatshionistas who are hugely succesful in the blogosphere and some are even fashion insiders. Think Gabi Gregg.
        I really don’t know what else to say apart from that I was hurt that you guys at IFB could put up something like this.

      • Tali says:

        Isn’t it satisfying to call thin women clotheshangers and all others “women in all shapes and forms”? it’s just plain rediculous.

        • Boudicca says:

          Agreed. This whole notion that it’s PC and even ACCEPTABLE to bash thin people on a blogvthat purports to espouse women of every shape and size is a double standard that my slender (and every bit as female) friends are getting sick of dealing with every time we turn our backs.
          If it’s not okay to call an overweight girl a heifer, then what the hell makes you think it’s okay to call a thin woman a “bag of bones”, or as the OP stated, assumptions of eating disorders. As soon as you stop this bullshit double standard, THEN maybe you’ll have an ounce of credibility instead of coming across as a bunch of whiny bitches.

    • Jame says:

      I follow style bloggers who look more like me and are shaped more like me with style I enjoy. I can’t be bothered with fashion bloggers that look just like the mainstream models. I am sure the content is great, but frankly fashion has been pretending I don’t exist (and aren’t attractive) for a while, and I don’t need to support that.

  3. erin says:

    I think it’s def. hindered it. Unfortunately, the “perfect body” is pushed a LOT in the blogging world, pinning, tumblr, etc. Grit and Glamour did an absolutely EXCELLENT piece touching on this: http://www.gritandglamour.com/2010/10/26/why-im-not-on-weardrobe/

    As it’s noted there, the most “successful” bloggers are normally of a certain “type”. The reality has left the building, and an ideal is being pushed to the forefront. x

    http://www.thesparkle.net

  4. Avatar of Sarah's Real Life

    Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one: I think there are more thin style/fashion bloggers out there because (a) it’s easier – most of the time for most people I think – to feel confident in clothes when they are thin/fit, and (b) you’re probably not going to put modelish photos of yourself for the world to see unless you are confident! Hence the majority of bloggers being on the thin side. As for why all the “top tier” girls are skinny minis, it may just be a matter of statistics. There are only a small percent of non-skinny (whatever that means) bloggers, and only a TINY percent of all bloggers rise to the top. I say give it time, and we’ll see more minorities of all kinds in the IFB headlines (I hope).

    **Just to be clear, I DON’T mean that plus-size ladies cannot or should not feel confident. I’ve seen some fantastic plus-size women bloggers and they rock!

    • debi c says:

      you know what sarah if they were going to do this sort of post they should have adopted the tone you did.what you said makes sense and without any real data that seems like the reality to us all.but the way IFB did this was downright insulting and inconsiderate..not to mention incorrect also.

  5. Ruth Crean says:

    This is the exact reason that I started doing outfit posts on my blog. I mostly use my blog to give people a window into my crafting business and my life, and my sense of style is a part of that. For years I was reading style blog, mostly my thin( blessed/disciplined) women. I enjoy reading them and take lots of inspiration from them, but I felt like there was a bit of a divide between their looks and mine-there are just some things I can’t wear since I have EE boobs!

    I love clothes and thrifting, so it seemed logical to show this passion in a weekly blog post. At first I was a little terrified since I’m not thin, but over the weeks my confidence has grown, and now I find myself putting together more inventive outfits and dressing a bit braver. It has really helped my self confidence and readers have also said that they love the posts that it has inspired them to be more adventurous with their clothes too(which I’m delighted to hear!)

    I just need to get better at taking photos, I find it pretty tough to take self portraits

  6. Alison says:

    I think the problem is not that there aren’t quality blogs of “these types of women” but that sites (like yours) and brands do not promote them. Those of us who are “these types of women” don’t create a fantasy, a pretty Pin-able picture, something to aspire to. But what sites and retailers are failing to realizing is that women of all shapes and sizes have wallets and they like to buy clothes that make them feel fabulous. Seeing a beautiful woman that one can actual relate to is refreshing, and I can tell you by my ad revenue that they are inspired by it. So instead of getting angry, I’m just going to leave this list of “these types of women” who have high-quality blogs, great photos, fabulous style, and deserve to get some (or additional) recognition:
    http://thecurvyblogger.com/
    http://closetconfections.com/
    http://www.hemsforher.com/
    http://girlwithcurves.tumblr.com/
    http://www.franticdreams.com/
    http://fashionforestry.blogspot.com/
    http://emmieloves.com/
    http://www.curvygirlchic.com/
    http://frocksandfroufrou.blogspot.com/
    http://skorchmagazine.com/
    http://www.leblogdebigbeauty.com/
    http://www.gabifresh.com/
    http://www.saksinthecity.blogspot.com/
    http://www.nicolettemason.com/
    http://www.fashionhayley.com/
    http://www.nadiaaboulhosn.com/
    http://jaymiranda.com/

    • Eli says:

      Ding ding ding! IFB only recently did the up and coming Chinese bloggers post, but it typically is a collection of white, American, and skinny girls that are liked. It appears as if the one with the narrow view is the one that wrote the post (no offense). And I’m glad you’re pointing out all of these bloggers that don’t fit the IFB mold!

      • erin says:

        not to get scrappy, but ifb (our own community) definitely pushes the ideal. if you’re on twitter, you’ll see how obvious it is – it’s like the cool clique joins the convo, and us “lower tier bloggers” are left in the dust. you can’t call it a community if you don’t value all it’s members; based on anything i’ve seen, there’s plenty of preferential treatment going on within the “community”, too. it’s all very reminiscent of high-school, not business.

        this article is half baked and full of contradictory opinion.

        • Lolabird says:

          Couldn’t have put it better myself. I actually stopped following IFB on twitter for that exact reason. It’s all full of twee, and lovely, and glitter, and that’s not what life is about. I want to know about building a better blog, growing an audience etc. Not about how a blog can be your boyfriend…

        • Thank you Erin for saying what I feel. I am not a fan of controversy so although these very things frustrate me, I try to give a blind eye, take the information that I need from the IFB site and go back to my neck of the woods. But I think I would be doing myself and many others who probably feel the same way a disservice by not raising my hand and speaking up. IFB even in the lists that you make about bloggers “i.e. the x-factor” all look the same. The women in your memes all look the same. What, are there are no curvy, women of color, women with curly hair, OLDER women and non “aspirational” bloggers that you have in your stock photos or who have consistent blogging schedules and quality images that can make your lists? I love the helpful information that you present its a very valuable tool, but there is a part of me that wanted to hold up a mirror to this site when you posted a few weeks ago about selling out!

    • Avatar of
      BELLA Q says:

      I agree with Alison, and thank you for giving me a great big list of more quality blogs to discover.

      I completely disagree with the straw logic that the top-tier are blonde/skinny because no one else is generating “really good” content.

      I call bull shit on this post.

      I do love the fact that the discussion will lead to people sharing their own favorite “diverse” and quality blogs. Girl With Curves comes to mind, as well as the Fashionista Next Door. I am positive there are a lot of bloggers out there who are “discilplined” and not the cookie cutter size zero vanilla blond-shell, and they get consistantly overlooked by mainstream media, and apparently, IFB.

    • debi c says:

      thank you for making this list!!!!!!i love so many of them here..but i am nor a skinny/thin hater nor myopic enough to think that i love bloggers like Madeline Pendleton of Jean Greige and Leanne of Man Repeller because they are thin…and to implicate that fatshion bloggers are all somehow inadequate by saying this “…not equipped with camera-ready looks, but their blogs are also really good. They have high-quality images, consistent posting schedules, spot-on design and unique style.” is just wrong.again didn’t expect this from IFB

    • Emmie says:

      Thank you Alison for including me in this list. I think that you and Marie Denee and others have represented my opinions well so I won’t repeat the comments, however I have felt quite alienated from IFB – I’ve applied to be a member of IFB 3 times over the past year, and even sent emails after I never heard anything back, so I just assumed I didn’t fit in whatever intangible criteria they have after evaluating my blog. It could totally be an oversight, but between that and seeing similar blogs, aesthetics, and styles that seem to be represented here the majority of the time, plus this post, it makes me wonder why I wanted to be here in the first place.

  7. Tishiannae says:

    I think anyone who has high quality pictures, an amazing sense of style, and total commitment to their blog can become a top tier blogger. Being a size 8/10 blogger can become discouraging when all the top tier bloggers are thin, tall, and drop dead gorgeous. It’s hard to compete. But this is where it’s wrong to compare because it isn’t a competition. I know if I give my blog total commitment and work harder on my photos, I can get there too! Confidence and commitment is key, no matter what size.

    http://www.tishiannae.blogspot.com

  8. Amy says:

    Wow. How about the fact that these blogs do exist, but don’t get enough attention because the same handful of big name blogs just keep getting featured over and over again. I can’t believe I’m reading this article on IFB. You have the voice to help change who gets attention, but instead of writing a proactive article and pledging to add diversity to who you choose to feature, you just act bewildered about why this has happened.

    • Avatar of taylordavies
      taylordavies says:

      Hi Amy – thanks for your thoughtful comment. Truthfully, we can’t control which bloggers are featured in high-gloss magazines or by brands anymore than we can control who gets popular and who doesn’t. We do our best to feature all kinds of bloggers, and provide all the support, tools, inspiration and motivation to elevate every kind of blogger. Whether it’s bloggers like Nicolette Mason or Gabi Gregg, Muslim style bloggers, menswear bloggers, Chinese bloggers, we mix up the ones we feature and interview all the time. With this article we were hoping to open up a discussion within the community where everyone could share their point of view – so thank you for contributing yours! – Taylor

      • Amy says:

        Really? Because your article read like you thought there weren’t a lot of plus sized bloggers running high quality blogs. That is false and insulting, and you would know that if you spent more time researching that blogging niche before writing this article.

        It’s sad that you could only list two names to defend IFBs diversity. Compare that to the number of bloggers you’ve featured that are, “thin and beautiful.” And it’s not just about the bloggers you feature. Think about the stock photos you choose to use.

      • Christine says:

        Something about the wording of “a whole slew of Chinese bloggers” is very off-putting. Are these bloggers in China? Are they American Chinese, Australian, Canadian, British? I’d love to see bloggers in mainland China highlighted. Most of the “bigger” Bloggers of Asian heritage I’ve seen more across are often mixed/hapa, Asian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, or of Korean heritage. But I’ve yet to come across a blogger that’s super well known that blogs from China. Please share this slew of Chinese bloggers you are hiding. (this request goes out to everyone…anyone? Slew of Chinese bloggers, please…) and on another note, who else is considered a top tier blogger? It would be nice to name names if you’re going to offend so many people.

        This isn’t about shaming a writer but expressing a need for better editors or more education when hitting publish and send.

        • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

          We just published a post highlighting Chinese bloggers (in China, and HK) yesterday
          http://heartifb.com/2012/08/09/the-asian-influence-15-chinese-fashion-blogs-were-excited-about/

          • Me again says:

            Hi Jeannine I’m not a regular here, obviously. But none of the slew of Chinese bloggers are part of your regular content. Or anyones regular content. What about the SLEW OF asian American bloggers? Australian bloggers that are Asian, bloggers that are Hapa and pretty damn famous? Black bloggers, mexican, mormon, etc. Have you ever thought of the fact that you (ifb) separating the Chinese bloggers from others is an issue in itself? I think we’ve already highlighted the problem, the people highlighting have tunnel vision.

            Or are you just so busy patting yourself of the back for actually featuring color and culture in one feature that this half step forward turns into a movement ten steps back? It would also be nice to hear a response from Taylor.

          • Lolabird says:

            Because that’s not at all tokenism.

            You and Taylor are missing the point that we commenters are trying to make. Featuring more diverse bloggers every now and again is not diversity. Not in the slightest. It is tokenism. And when you hold it up as a shining example of how inclusive you are it become the absolute worst kind.

  9. Brieanna says:

    I know I am definitely drawn to blogs where the girls are skinny and gorgeous but that’s not the only reason. As said above the blogs I like have amazing photos and have well written, interesting content. I don’t think it matters what size you are if those things are in the blog you can gain a loyal readership.
    On the note of if style blogging has helped or hindered body image, I think it gives women more confidence to try different styles no matter what size you are.

  10. Marie Denee says:

    Taylor. Taylor.

    This post saddens me, as clearly you have missed a great opportunity to address body image from an open place. Within the IFB, there are mounds of bloggers who represent different types of niches here. Such a missed opportunity.

    What gets me is that you have failed to delve into the fabulous blogs that offer fashion from a plus perspective, outside of NY, outside of what you may or may not know.

    As a plus size blogger, The Curvy Fashionista, who has been featured on here before, it puzzles me what you would insinuate that these bloggers “have more discipline” for their size? And then to suggest that the reason other blogs do not have the “popularity” is because their blog looks bad… Ma’am.

    While I understand that content is key and that presentation frames that content, please do not equate blogs that are not popular to them having crappy presentation… just as society pushes its ideal of beauty, as bloggers evolve, so does it mimic the fashion industry’s ideal of beauty. Just as you have supermodels, so you have super bloggers… SMH…

    I am going to step away now, as this really concerns me, there is sooo much wrong with this post. SOOO MUCH.

    • Alison says:

      I fully agree, and I provided a comment a while ago but I think it got caught in moderation? Might have since I offered over a dozen bloggers I could think of off-hand who are as you say, “these types of women” and have polished, professional blogs with high-quality images and content. They aren’t that hard to find, I just think retailers and advertisers have yet to realize that bloggers are powerful because they are relatable, not cheap models. Sites like IFB can make a difference by more regularly showing “these types of women” and their blogs, letting retailers realize that we bloggers are just as powerful and popular.

      • Kelly B. says:

        Agreed, agreed, agreed. I know PLENTY of non-skinny girls who are gorgeous, beautiful, NORMAL women with wonderful photography, great looking sites, and delicious style. This is really a shame.

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      Marie, I think you missed the main point of the article that “not enough” diversity is represented amongst the blogging elite. She didn’t say there are no top tier bloggers.

      I agree with her, there isn’t enough diversity in the mainstream and there should be more.

      As for the “disciplined” thing it might be coming from the fact she sits right next to me as I’ve been on Weight Watchers for two months, and for me, my size and level of discipline with my diet is directly related. Nothing to do with the amount of discipline it takes to have a successful blog.

      • Marie Denee says:

        Hey Jennine!

        I agree with you in that yes, there isn’t enough diversity as it has started to mimic main stream fashion…

        But what more concerned me was the final conclusion… there are fabulous bloggers out here in the world, and we are all evolving…

        I just wish that it came out a bit differently?

      • Lolabird says:

        “As for the “disciplined” thing it might be coming from the fact she sits right next to me as I’ve been on Weight Watchers for two months, and for me, my size and level of discipline with my diet is directly related. Nothing to do with the amount of discipline it takes to have a successful blog.”

        If it wasn’t meant as fat-shaming then why include it in a discussion about plus-size bloggers? It’s this kid of insensitivity and narrow-mindedness that makes IFB so problematic.

      • Susana says:

        Hi, Jennine,

        First, I think the whole article was unfortunate. Although the topic is relevant and, as evidenced, of interest to a lot of people, it failed to give its premise a balanced, objective, and constructive development. Precisely because the premise was that there is not enough diversity among top bloggers, I feel this article would have been a great platform to educate readers, advertisers, and brands about other quality bloggers that don’t fall within the popular norm.

        Second, I can accept the defense you’re making of her unfortunate comment regarding “discipline”, but if this platform is supposed to be serious and professional, editors and proofreaders should have caught this before it was given the go-ahead. Nevertheless, what you say, or better yet, what she wrote (even if influenced by what you said) makes no sense. I have a blog. I’m a professional over 40. I’m not blonde. AND I’m naturally thin. There’s no discipline in my being thin. It’s not needed. I find that particular comment insensitive, as there are many, many wonderfully stylish and beautiful people inside and out that cannot get thin due to many reasons, none of which have ANYTHING to do with lack of discipline on their part.

        I’m sorry for the length of this reply, but taking into consideration the fragile state of many women’s self-image issues, this bothered me greatly.

  11. Elann Zelie says:

    I just want to quickly say as a plus size blogger I also totally disagree and I cant say it any better than the / Blogger/Great Content/ Amazing Pictures / Plus Size/ inspirational Miss Marie Denee

    • Elann Zelie says:

      Oh yea and one more thing! I’snt blogging suppose to be your own little diary that you share with everyone? SO why are we caught up in the industry making the choices again!

  12. C says:

    “To break away from these traditional molds of beauty, it’s not an argument of sheer numbers. The numbers, we got. The truth is, these “top tier” bloggers are not only equipped with camera-ready looks, but their blogs are also really good. They have high-quality images, consistent posting schedules, spot-on design and unique style.”

    I mean, this is just a symptom of a MUCH larger problem and that you wrote this undermines the whole article. Anyone can grow to be “top tier” when companies throw money and free things at you all the time because you’re being rewarded for being thinner/blonder/whiter (mix & match these as you please) than your counterparts.

    And let’s not pretend that “top tier” bloggers are so original and/or interesting. Many of them are just clones of the next blog. The real issue is that many of these women aren’t being forthright about their businesses. Do you think Cupcakes & Cashmere just sits around her house all day in a leather miniskirt and stilettos? It’s done for revenue and revenue only – let’s be honest.

    This whole thing is really dismaying and really discouraging because it only serves to undermine the women who really try to show you their day to day lives and who don’t look like the images we’re constantly bombarded with in magazines. Shame on you.

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      Hi there,

      First off, I don’t think it’s productive to ‘shame’ the writer. But anyway, I believe the point was that most of the bloggers who are featured in magazines, and are tapped by mainstream brands are more and more looking like the models we see in magazines.

      When I first started blogging five years ago there was a lot more ‘diversity’ amongst style bloggers back then than there is today in body shape, race, economic status etc. Today the ones who are getting the most attention from brands could be traditional models, but the thing is, they’re marketed as being ‘real girls’ so where does it leave our body image? Is the blogosphere better or worse than traditional print media in serving the needs of women’s self-image.

      • Amy says:

        “I believe the point was that most of the bloggers who are featured in magazines, and are tapped by mainstream brands are more and more looking like the models we see in magazines.”

        Pot, meet Kettle.

      • C says:

        “First off, I don’t think it’s productive to ‘shame’ the writer.”
        You might not think it’s productive to do so, just like I don’t think it’s productive for her to validate the fact that so few people get recognition in this vast world of blogging by proxy of being thin or being able to own an slr camera.

        “But anyway, I believe the point was that most of the bloggers who are featured in magazines, and are tapped by mainstream brands are more and more looking like the models we see in magazines.”
        And this helps who and how?

        “When I first started blogging five years ago there was a lot more ‘diversity’ amongst style bloggers back then than there is today in body shape, race, economic status etc. ”
        Really? I think it’s always been mostly the same but the people who were popular then now have sponsors and more revenue to invest in their “brands”.

        “Today the ones who are getting the most attention from brands could be traditional models, but the thing is, they’re marketed as being ‘real girls’ so where does it leave our body image?”
        Again, who/how does this benefit anyone? Young girls need to see that bodies exist outside of the proverbial box. THAT is the point I’m trying to make. “Real girls” come in all shapes, sizes, colors and socioeconomic statuses. Why is blogger A less important/valuable than blogger B because B has a fancy camera and a job that allows her to take great pics in great light?

  13. Karen Ward says:

    This article is completely outrageous. It appears that you have not completed adequate research before publishing it. There are a whole slew of plus size fashion bloggers who put love, dedication, care, style and fashion into their blogs, but it seems you just haven’t bothered to find them.

    It REALLY bothers me that this article is coming from IFB, an organization whose mandate is to bring the fashion blogging community together, not to single out one (growing) segment of it and ostracize them for a perceived (though certainly not present) lack of quality. As in any blogging community, we have a diverse range of different types of blogs and bloggers, some people putting more effort in than others. That doesn’t mean that the entire community is devoid of value. I’ve seen several blogs by skinny girls that were crap; does that mean that I should make the assumption that all “skinny girl” blogs are crap? No. It’s a sweeping generalization just as bad as other forms of discrimination.

    We might come to expect this from the rest of society, but as blogging is (as you say) a democratized space where everyone can have their voice heard, and your organization’s principles are based on that, I am shocked and appalled. And to bring “discipline” into the picture? It reeks of fat-hate. Perhaps you should address your own body image issues before attempting to write an article such as this one.

    If you so desire, I can provide you with a list of incredibly amazing plus size fashion bloggers who don’t fit into the “top-tier” category you mention. I assure you they are more than “camera-ready.” I imagine a retraction/apology/feature on plus size bloggers will follow this travesty to ensure your public relations department is happy. When you write it, I would be more than happy to be a consult to you, as you so clearly need one.

    Please be more careful in the future. Many of us put our hearts and our souls into our blogs, and this is a real kick in the teeth to us.

    All the very best,

    Karen Ward
    Curvy Canadian
    http://curvycanadian.blogspot.com

  14. There are so many good quality blogs being written by all kinds of women. Blogs with amazing photos, great writing and an all around professional look and quality. Yet only a few blogs are “top tier”. There are many reasons why the top slots are taken by a few slim, pretty, young women, and the fact that their blogs feature professional quality photos is just one reason. To assume that curvy bloggers aren’t on top is because their blogs are sub par is a strange leap of logic.

  15. Karen Ward says:

    This article is completely outrageous. It appears that you have not completed adequate research before publishing it. There are a whole slew of plus size fashion bloggers who put love, dedication, care, style and fashion into their blogs, but it seems you just haven’t bothered to find them.

    It REALLY bothers me that this article is coming from IFB, an organization whose mandate is to bring the fashion blogging community together, not to single out one (growing) segment of it and ostracize them for a perceived (though certainly not present) lack of quality. As in any blogging community, we have a diverse range of different types of blogs and bloggers, some people putting more effort in than others. That doesn’t mean that the entire community is devoid of value. I’ve seen several blogs by skinny girls that were terrible; does that mean that I should make the assumption that all “skinny girl” blogs are terrible? No. It’s a sweeping generalization just as bad as other forms of discrimination.

    We might come to expect this from the rest of society, but as blogging is (as you say) a democratized space where everyone can have their voice heard, and your organization’s principles are based on that, I am shocked and appalled. And to bring “discipline” into the picture? It reeks of fat-hate. This is supposed to be an article about how blogging has not helped introduce beauty diversity into the fashion community – but I promise you that a) it has, and b) your article is not helping.

    If you like, I can provide you with a list of incredibly amazing plus size fashion bloggers who don’t fit into the “top-tier” category you mention. I assure you they are more than “camera-ready.” I imagine a retraction/apology/feature on plus size bloggers will follow. Your PR department can’t be happy about something as offensive and inflammatory as this. When you write it, I would be more than happy to be a consult to you, as IFB clearly needs one.

    Please be more careful in the future. Many of us put our hearts and our souls into our blogs, and this is a real kick in the teeth to us.

    All the very best,

    Karen Ward
    Curvy Canadian
    http://curvycanadian.blogspot.com

  16. Shin says:

    I think that when fashion is becoming democratic and more accessible, it’s great! I love that more and more regular girls are getting attention for their hard work on their fashion blogs and that’s amazing to see. Before I started my blog, my idols and inspirations are Tavi, Rumi, Susie Bubble, The Satorialist and Bryan Boy. They are all very different blogs with unique perspectives but they have really big audiences.

    However, a lot of people miss the point when they have to WONDER why fashion rewards people who looks thin, pretty and looks great in clothes. I don’t think we need to ask this question at all. Just like in any industry where excellence and talent is rewarded, Fashion rewards excellence in LOOKS. If you’re a very pretty girl with a great figure who dresses well, your fashion blog has a greater chance of being more popular than a girl who doesn’t. There are top bloggers who fits this description and you all know who they are.

    Let’s say that you don’t fit this description and you want to have a popular blog? You better have a lot of disposable money (to invest in a DSLR camera for streetstyle or buy photoshop) or a lot of time on your hands to create great content. Curvy girls can have the best looking blogs in the world but the core audience for fashion bloggers are always going to find someone like Blonesalad or someone who looks like Alexa Chung. That’s the fact that no one wants to say out loud.

  17. Shin says:

    Sorry, I meant to say “Blondesalad”.

  18. Amanda says:

    Personally I read blogs to get a different perspective then what I would from reading Vogue, or Fashion. This is why I find most “top tier” blogs normally pretty dull. It’s not that I can about their size, or color of their skin, I just want to see a fresh perspective. To me, that’s top tier.

    I agree with many of the comments regarding the availability of fashion, and the fact that perhaps “plus sized” girls don’t have as much to choose from, etc. This is changing, there are great up and coming designers that are going to KILL IT. This topic needs to be revisted even a year from now, I think you’ll see a difference.

    On a side note, I do wish people (especially woman) would stop bashing each other. The size 0 blogger is just as much a “real” woman as the size 24, and both can be beautiful.

  19. I don’t believe that personal style blogging has hindered women’s self esteems of their own accord because it is a magnification of current social trends and not a force that necessarily sets new trends. Women who don’t have the perfect image are most likely self-censoring, even if they are good bloggers they may decide to not actively portray themselves in their blogs and since these are such visual mediums they are automatically passed over by some of their more confident peers. In order to change this trend I believe that we need to keep fighting the current ‘ideal’, the stick thin model. This won’t be easy and it will take time but I believe it is a shift in our mentalities that is possible. Even if discussions are the first step the real change will come through creating a plethora of alternative beauty images which will stick in our collective consciousness.

  20. Eli says:

    I think this article is connected to this one http://heartifb.com/2012/08/06/is-the-fashion-blogging-industry-a-small-town/

    I’m sad to admit that the IFB circle is becoming smaller and smaller. To say this “At the moment, there aren’t enough blogs run by these types of women that get the notoriety they deserve.” is kind of strange, there are lots. Some already pointed out by other commenters. Why not end this article with a list of blogs that are breaking that mold, that’s what starts a conversation.

    You can’t pull facts and figures out of your head or from what you think is going on. When I’m writing a paper for Grad school without citing my facts, I can get in big trouble. Please take that into consideration before making your own observations as if they were real statistics!

  21. Helle says:

    I just read and then reread the article. I think she’s somewhat right, but she’s too specific. There are a lot of bad blogs outthere, but since most fashionsblogs are only for thin women, the bad blogs that “we” write, stands out and are more visible. Also, as a Plus Size blogger, you can’t just get sponsored whenever you like. I think, thant Plus Size blogs are way more personal and with less thoughts to design.
    Lastly, it IS a common fact that Plus Size clothing has always been the black sheep. 99% of ALL popular brands would never consider a Plus Size line and if they do, they just take all their clothes and make it 2 sizes bigger, not caring for the fact that clothes that look good on a thin girl, don’t always look good on a Plus Size girl.Therefore, we have so much more limited opportunities to show off clothes on our blogs.

  22. Curvy fashion bloggers (plus-size, petite, or non-model types) walk a thin line of trying to be authentic and profitable. We will never please the fashion industry, which has proven to be an enemy of diversity. We are advised to be true to ourselves, but will not likely be rewarded for it with swelling numbers of fans, retail partnerships, or even mention on IFB.

    For us, blogging is a catch 22. We don’t want to hear crickets every time we post, but most of us started blogging to celebrate our unstandard beauty/style/talent. Those of us who truly love fashion (but not the industry) are basically sleeping with the enemy of positive body image.

    The industry doesn’t show any signs of changing and let’s not hold our breath. It’s important for us to support each other in our artistic endeavours by commenting and sharing our favorite blogs in our own communities.

    Sound of Chic – Classic style set to an indie soundtrack
    http://www.soundofchic.com

  23. Vivian says:

    The reason why beautiful bloggers become more famous is that people not only want to relate with the figure of a blogger, but they want to be her/him. So the more she’s beautiful, the more the reader wants to be her! I think this is the most common feeling, the one I had when I first started reading style blogs (the outfit-like ones) and I still think “ah what could I do if I was X, Y or Z!” Of course, not all of the famous bloggers are beautiful, but they’re cute or “types” for sure. That’s why people find “inspiration” in them: not only the style, but the beauty as well is very important!
    I’m Italian and I’m gonna take the most famous Italian blogger as an example: Chiara Ferragni. She’s got no style but she’s barbie-beautiful: that’s why she’s so followed now. She has all the clothes a “common girl” could wish for, she’s blonde, blue eyes, thin, beautiful and therefore lots of people want to be her and follow her. I’ve spent time thinking about it so many times and that’s the only reason I could find, cause she’s not a great journalist and writer, nor so smart, and she isn’t even a great stylist for herself.
    I agree with Shin on this one!

    • Avatar of Nadya Helena
      Nadya says:

      Wow, I just checked out Ferragni’s blog and you are dead on right. The style is pretty mundane (common pretty girl), writing is mundane, and I can mention 10 bloggers here at IFB who have more style, better skill, and definitely more unique than this girl. I honestly don’t understand what common readers think, I think we as fashion bloggers are thinking about how to show off our taste, be unique to our personal style, collaborate with brands, and still we don’t know what the reader really wants.
      Honestly, Vivian, you can’t be more true…

    • Wow — I try not to get involved in heated conversations like this, specially when related to size and beauty standards. However, I’ve met Chiara and let me tell you she’s much more than just a pretty face. The girl has style and she has been blogging for a really long time. That’s why she’s so successful. She takes her blog and business very seriously. I don’t think we should be attacking individual bloggers in the IFB community. It’s not helpful.

      Also, when I originally read this blog post I didn’t think that they were glorifying popular or “perfect” bloggers. I thought the author was trying to bring attention to the diversity that bloggers offer, while simultaneously trying not to offend anyone. Perhaps that came off incorrectly.

  24. Pearl says:

    The thing is that the magazines only feature the ‘model-essq’ bloggers because they fit within their own ideas. The magazines felt threatened by the onset of bloggers and so they embrace the ones they feel fit within their own ideals, they present these to their ‘public’ and in effect they take back control of the blogosphere. It is only those who seek past the magazines and delve into the reality of blogs who find a wide and diverse nature.

    What gets me too is that I dont fit into either group, Im not a model size and Im not plus size, so what about me? I try not to make my blog about looks or size but an appreciation of fashion. There are so many blogs which go past the ‘posting model / editorial style photos (not that there is anything wrong with that), but they dont get the press because they are not what Vogue wants to promote. It is up to us as a community to push and promote each other.

    I write about how your looks can change when dealing with a chronic illness, warts and all, there is no way Vogue would want to sully its pages with that kind of reality, yet there are thousands of women world wide suffering who can relate to that.

    Stating that these ‘top-tier’ bloggers are somehow more committed and more professional I cannot agree with, there are many, many blogs which fit that criteria however they, for other reasons, are left out of the mainstream top-tier for the simple reason that they dont fit with the Vogue / glossy magazine ideal.

    • erin says:

      wow – what an insightful post… the first para especially! i hadn’t ever thought of it that way and you are completely correct. magazines celebrate blogs that push the “ideal lifestyle” of these bloggers because it sells products and it keeps us all nice and controlled, or, “aspirational” if you were being politically correct.

      THANK YOU!

  25. Miss Bad says:

    I don’t think you can blame the lack of more curvier bloggers…believe, there are plenty of them !
    I think the most sucessfull fashion bloggers represent an attainable goal for us, so I believe that’s the reason why they have so many followers. I never had many body issues (at least most days) but blogging and pinterest have actually helped me accepting my body better and eating healthier. I mean, those cute messages about eating fruit most be use to purpose : )
    I usually don’t identify with curvier bloggers because I’m normal to thin (I also think it really depends on your country- In Portugal I can remember one or two bloggers that are really sucessfull, with good content) and I most say some of them seem like the most courageous people ever: I would feel awful if I were their size and I wouldn’t dare in exposing me that way !
    (Nothing wrong if they like how they are: I have been chubby and gained weight from being hospitalized and didn’t felt any good about myself :)
    I think blogosphere lacks diversity, actually. Or at least that diversity isn’t much publicized since it doesn’t generate a lot of money – which actually the top tier bloggers do !

    Sorry if my English isn’t pitch perfect, but it’s my second language : )

    http://www.thediariesofmissbad.pt/

  26. Avatar of Ashley Robison

    Oy. What a loaded cannon.

    When I read this article, towards the end of it, I thought, “And…” which makes me feel that perhaps what everyone is reacting to is a post that is a bit anti-climactic. I wanted more resolution.

    As a plus-size blogger, it’s hard. It’s hard to write in an industry that has such a narrow definition of beauty. It’s hard to find readers: do I remain plus-size and focus on those women? Do I talk about fashion for the mainstream? Or do I try to write about fashion for all? No matter which option I pick, I’m excluding someone.

    I appreciate the early commenters who were honest: they look for blogs that give them something to aspire to. They look for the people they are not. I can’t begrudge them that, and I appreciate their honesty.

    But that attitude helps keep minority and niche blogs down. Few women are going to aspire to look the way I do. The best I can hope is to appeal to something in “every woman” who wants to feel and look her best with her honest body. That’s not a truth everyone wants.

    As for the comment about quality content within niche blogs– you can make that same damned comment about ALL blogs. But so long as the media is pushing the young, thin, beautiful agenda, the great content on many sites goes ignored.

    It’s a disservice to all of us, perhaps akin to what’s going on culturally and economically, to believe that by producing quality content, beautiful pictures, and working hard, that we will be successful. It’s why thousands of students are graduating college and working at McDonald’s– a myth, growing up, we were told wasn’t going to happen. The fact is, that hard work and quality content can get us all so far. But that luck, the right connections, the right ounce of exposure, or knowing that

    • Eli says:

      I miss your IFB articles!

      • Avatar of Ashley Robison

        Thank you, Eli! It’s super sweet to hear. I miss writing for IFB, but unfortunately life just became too much. I feel very fortunate that Miss Jennine and the ladies have kept the door open if/when life calms down that I can return– god knows I miss being a more active member of the IFB community!

    • Avatar of KOOS
      KOOS says:

      “But that attitude helps keep minority and niche blogs down. Few women are going to aspire to look the way I do. The best I can hope is to appeal to something in “every woman” who wants to feel and look her best with her honest body. That’s not a truth everyone wants.”

      Your post literally brought me to tears. As a Black blogger, I sometimes feel the same way–that few women are going to aspire to look the way I do. One day I would love to blog full-time and use my blog as a platform to change the way we characterize single, Black women, but it’s so hard not to get discouraged! I just hope that IFB really takes all these responses to heart and strives to be more sensitive and more inclusive in future articles.

  27. Avatar of Ashley Robison

    Crap– posted before I was finished:

    The fact is, that hard work and quality content can get us all so far. But that luck, the right connections, the right ounce of exposure, being in the right place at the right time, or knowing that one right person are what matter to get you from “comfortable” to top tier. Just like real life.

    This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t work hard and produce our best– maybe all over though, we need to also redefine what are realistic expectations in blogging and in life. I’d love to see more women becoming top tier who break those molds (like Nicolette and Gabi, who are two that I can think of who fall in to a niche and are top tier– but even then, not nearly so much as Rumi or Jane).

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison

      And because my best ideas happen AFTER I’ve spewed confused pre-coffee thoughts:

      Maybe this would be an incredible panel for the Spring IFB Con?
      Diversity in Fashion Blogging: Blogging Beyond Thin, Young, & White

      A panel of plus-sized, minority, transgendered, male, etc. panelists, talking about how to successfully blog, find a market, grow your readership, when people are typically following bloggers that are someone they can aspire to be.

  28. Avatar of taylordavies
    taylordavies says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Taylor here. Let me first start by thanking you all for your passionate and thought-provoking responses to this post. While it seems that my intention has reached some of you, the overall message is that I have made some errors in the way I hoped to approach this topic with our community. For this, I owe you an apology.

    I hoped to point out that IFB feels there’s a lack of discussion about how popular fashion media embraces mainly the bloggers who fit into their pre-established standards of beauty. I didn’t choose my words carefully in this. It was never my intention it insinuate that success in blogging cannot be achieved if you do not fit into this mold. There are examples to the contrary, but not enough. I didn’t call out specific bloggers or types of bloggers in this post because I didn’t want to limit the discussion.

    Upon re-reading the post, I have chosen to re-write certain portions to try and clarify my point and take much of your feedback into consideration. I sincerely apologize for my lack of tact in attempting to speak on this topic on behalf of IFB. Thank you all again for bringing my missteps to light, and encouraging a more thorough approach in the future. I hope you can forgive me, and allow me to continue to grow and learn as I hold the honor of speaking to you on this platform.

    • Taylor, thank you for the clarification. I think most of us agree that IFB is a valuable blogging resource. This is an important topic to discuss in the community and I’ve actually learned a lot from the comments.

      Sincerely,
      Jessica

      Sound of Chic – Classic style set to an indie soundtrack
      http://soundofchic.com

  29. Avatar of Cinja
    Cinjasblog says:

    interesting topic! i think blogging has helped women get a healthier image of themselves, it’s about everyday girls and women wearing fashion rather than just models. though i have to say, there’s a tendency towards bloggers who could really likely be models themselves. whilst i’m sure those ladies don’t struggle to be that thin (or tall) – they just are that way – i think it’s kind of sad how the blogging world seems to drift into the same direction as the print world does/did. i recently read a post that asked the blog’s readers what in their opinion makes the perfect blogger. when someone answered “they have to look like a model” it made me really angry. i’d like to be my blog a place that inspires the everyday woman or girl to wear whatever they like (and i certainly do not have model measurements by any means!)

    • Avatar of shortystoriesgal

      There is a decent sized petite blogging community, but as I said in my reply to the original blog post, everyone looks very similar. I have yet to find a petite blogger who is larger than a size 4! Even older petite bloggers (e.g. Vicky) are smaller-framed. You know what I’d like to see? A petite blogger who is 4’10″ and size 12 or 14.

  30. I had hoped that this article would be well written, articulate and a good starting point for a debate on the issue of body image and the fashion industry, but unfortunately it seems the writer a) hasn’t done enough research, I can think of several very well written blogs (many of them have already been mentioned in the comments) by people who don’t fit the normal ‘skinny blogger’ mold, when is this industry going to realise that not everyone is 5″ 10 and size 8! It doesn’t represent the majority of women that read and consume fashion media and b) it’s seems that the writer is a bit bewildered as to why these blogs/bloggers aren’t more successful. If the guys at IFB took a second to widen their blogging perspective they would discover some hidden gems that already exist in their blogging community.

    Everyone’s perception of what is beautiful varies greatly and I think that is what makes blogging so appealing, but saddens me a little that the successful blogs are more or less clones of one another, frankly it’s getting boring and unfortunately I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I agree with what a lot of the comments are saying and I think IFB need to make a concerted effort to include more diversity in their content and not just pay lip service to those blogs/bloggers.

  31. Avatar of shortystoriesgal

    I’ve noticed that even in the niche/specialty size blogging community, you have to look a certain way. Petite bloggers who are open about being petite are almost all very similar-looking. Most are East Asian and even more are under 5’2″ and no bigger than a size 2 (actually, I think the typical petite blogger is East Asian, 5’1 and 95 lb). I fit that bill, but ever since I started blogging, I’ve been looking for the not-so-small framed petite blogger. Where are they, anyway? How come there aren’t that many (if at all), 5′NOTHING bloggers who wear size 14? And how come other Alterations Needed (and maybe a few others, but the ones I’m thinking of haven’t updated in a while), there are so few non Asian petite bloggers? There are petite women of every race.

  32. Alissa says:

    Dear IFB,
    I am completely shocked and appauled at this article. I will push it a step further and say that I am angry at this article. The sentence that disappoints me the most is “The majority of very visible, successful style bloggers are thin and beautiful – which isn’t their fault of course, nor should they be chastised for it. They’re “real women” too.”

    Well let me tell you that curvy and plus isze bloggers are real women too and we have just as good content, high quality photos, and consistent posting as any of the sol called thin and beautiful bloggers. You really should have taken the time to research the non thin blogger community and you would have seen for yourself that we are out here. It pains me and saddens me that the blogging community chooses to ignore the majority of us and promote maybe 1 or 2 non thin bloggers.

    As the blogger of Stylish Curves I make sure that I am producing great content, using quality photos, and being consistent by posting on a daily basis. As a leader in the blogging community you could have taken the opportunity to shine light on overlooked non thin bloggers. You could have taken the time out to do the research. You coould have even done an article about curvy and plus size bloggers who are just as good as the Atlantic -Pacifics.

    The curvy and plus size blogging community is filled with blogs who have amazing layouts, content, and pictures. So to imply that these blogs are not as popular because they’re just not as good as the “thin and beautiful” bloggers is just ridiculous.

    We as curvy and plus size bloggers work hard to produce the same type of wuality blogs as the so called top tier blogs. We are out her griinding and doing our best to show the fashion world that we are just as good whether it be through style, photography, or writing. It’s article like this that puts us down and makes other bloggers who trying to be top tier bloggers feel as if they are not and will never be good enough.

    I thought IFB wanted to create unity between bloggers this article implies different.

  33. Alissa says:

    Dear IFB,
    I am completely shocked and appauled at this article. I will push it a step further and say that I am angry at this article. The sentence that disappoints me the most is “The majority of very visible, successful style bloggers are thin and beautiful – which isn’t their fault of course, nor should they be chastised for it. They’re “real women” too.”

    Well let me tell you that curvy and plus size bloggers are real women too and we have just as good content, high quality photos, and consistent posting as any of the so called thin and beautiful bloggers. You really should have taken the time to research the non thin blogger community and you would have seen for yourself that we are out here. It pains me and saddens me that the blogging community chooses to ignore the majority of us and promote maybe 1 or 2 non thin bloggers.

    As the blogger of Stylish Curves I make sure that I am producing great content, using quality photos, and being consistent by posting on a daily basis. As a leader in the blogging community you could have taken the opportunity to shine light on overlooked non thin bloggers. You could have taken the time out to do the research. You coould have even done an article about curvy and plus size bloggers who are just as good as the Atlantic -Pacifics.

    The curvy and plus size blogging community is filled with blogs who have amazing layouts, content, and pictures. So to imply that these blogs are not as popular because they’re just not as good as the “thin and beautiful” bloggers is just ridiculous.

    We as curvy and plus size bloggers work hard to produce the same type of quality blogs as the so called top tier blogs. We are out her grinding and doing our best to show the fashion world that we are just as good whether it be through style, photography, or writing. It’s articles like this that puts us down and makes other bloggers who are trying to be top tier bloggers feel as if they are not and will never be good enough.

    I thought IFB wanted to create unity between bloggers this article implies different.

  34. Avatar of Style ninfa
    Style ninfa says:

    Dear bloggers:

    Why does blogging have had such a big success?
    Because we show the world that fashion is for everyone and that any body shape is capable of looking good, that anorexic models aren’t the standar and that having curves is normal and healthy.
    We need to be united and don’t let an industry tell us what is beautiful and what is not.

    http://styleninfa.blogspot.mx/

    Angie

  35. Shin says:

    Can I be brutally honest here for a second? People may hate me but I just wanted to share my opinion. Everyone has a freedom to do as they please whether in a print/magazine world or in the internet world. That’s a good thing. If you’re not happy with what Vogue is doing or what the current beauty ideals are, now you have the internet and the power to change it. So go do it! But you are definitely NOT going to tell Vogue how to do their business. That’s my problem with a lot of these bloggers who are complaining or whining about the lack of diversity. If someone is telling you how to run their blog, would you be happy about it? I don’t think so. You can’t force a fashion industry to change based on your low self-esteem. You don’t need to look at fashion blogs or fashion magazines to feel included because when you look around, you see women of all color, all sizes and all shapes. Isn’t that enough? If a fashion magazine is filled with normal women that I see everyday, what’s the point of it? I would lose all my interest.

    There is an audience for all kinds of bloggers. But the thing is that you have to remember some people will always have the advantage whether it’s the looks, money, privilege or status. Or all of it. They’re lucky and they have every right to use it for their blogs. Is it unfair that they get more popular than you? Sure but life is unfair. If the two girls who are qualified in everything but one is prettier than the other, she has a slight edge over the not-so-pretty girl and will get the job, the boyfriend and the corner office. The other not-so-pretty girl have to work a little harder in everything. That applies to fashion blogging as well even if we don’t want to admit it.

    Fashion upsets a lot of people because it exposes your personal insecurities just like in real life. Better-looking people in real life are more likely to get jobs and thinner women are more likely to make more money. You can get upset about it or you can move on.

    • DMC says:

      I agree with what you are saying about certain people in life having advantages. I would hope most people acknowledge this as simply a fact of life. However, I think that the egregious part of this article is IFB pretending they do not understand why certain people are getting more traffic. Then further, intimating that it’s because of harder work on the part of the top tier bloggers. That simply is not true.

      That would be like Vogue having an article questioning why the majority of their models are skinny. And then going to on to write, it’s because skinny models are working harder at becoming a model. We would all know that’s completely ridiculous.

      The problem with the article is that its asking a relevant question and drawing all the wrong conclusions.

      The reason these sites are getting more traffic/top tier is for the reason you mentioned because this country has a specific version of beauty and these girls fit the mold. The article should have highlighted this and the fact that even though there are bloggers that don’t fit the mold/they are still beautiful/generating great content. That would have been an article worth reading. I am sorry, but this is not an article worth reading.

  36. Shin says:

    Correction: I meant to say ‘If someone is telling you how to run your blog, would you be happy about it?”

  37. Avatar of CynthiaCM
    Cynthia says:

    So body diversity = more curves? What about very short people? What about very tall people? What about that 5’5″ girl who wears a size 8 (slim but not skinny)? Why is it that people equate “size diversity” with just throwing in a few women who are say, size 12?

  38. Avatar of Nadya Helena
    Nadya says:

    Aside from all the controversy that arise regarding “shape” and “normality”, I want to point out something that IFB continually misses (on purpose or not). It’s how those “top tier bloggers” get to the top itself. Who they were before they started blogging, how they market their blogs, the roads that they had to take to gain such vast readership, I think these are the missing links that separate the top-tiers and the regulars. Popular blogs make us think it’s easy to be famous in the blogging world if we have unique style, writing skill, nice clothes, etc. But we’re missing the link here, we don’t know the amount of work those bloggers have to spend on their work, and I think above all this is more important than any shape issues.

    Surely I agree with Shin that your look really matters. It’s hypocritical to say otherwise. But it’s really how much time you spent thinking about it that matters. If you think too much about it, blame the world, continuously whining, surely nothing good will happen to you either. But if you choose to take a deep breath, let it go, and move on doing something better, I think you’re helping yourself a lot.

    Again, just my opinion :)

  39. Avatar of emilyjenny
    emilyjenny says:

    I thought that I put my two cents in on this article but I guess I was just too dumbfounded to write anything the first time around. Here is my thoughts on plus size/curvy/not your average size 0 5’9 blogger:

    I have been blogging consistently for almost 3 years now…having introduced outfit posts this year.

    I have submitted NUMEROUS posts with AMAZING photos, QUIRKY one of a kind writing with little to no recognition.

    Why?
    I am certain it is because I happen to have thick thighs and a butt…but at the same time I wear a size 2/4. I’ve shared this concern with friends and family and they all look at me as if I am crazy…but if everything I am doing from the photos, to the quality of writing, to sharing on all social media outlets is not working I know it’s because I’m curvier than the average blogger.

    Not everyone can be a Top Tier Blogger…I am CERTAINLY not trying to be one…all I want is some blog love, dedicated followers who appreciate my love of fashion and overall recognition on sites like IFB!

    xo
    Emily Jenny

    http://www.stilettobeats.com

    • Emily,

      Girlfriend, please! I just looked at your blog and there is nothing thick about you. I don’t think your shape is holding you back. Your photography is high-quality and you’re beautiful. What is it that you think is “not working” with your blog?

      Your new fan,
      Jessica

      Sound of Chic – Classic style set to an indie soundtrack
      http://soundofchic.com

  40. Avatar of Veshoevius
    Veshoevius says:

    I’ve not read the original article that caused so much outrage on this thread as it has since been changed (anyone got a copy of the original?) but everything here including the comments has made very interesting reading.
    I’m very glad IFB has come out and highlighted this issue of the lack of diversity at “the top” but I’m surprised it’s taken this long for it to be pointed out as I think many bloggers have been aware of it for some time.

    I’ve only been blogging for two years but even when I started it was blindingly obvious that the machine had already won. If you look at any of the bloggers featured by brands or mainstream fashion press you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only people blogging are very young girls who could easily be models with seemingly unlimited budgets for clothing.

    I think many of us who read and write personal style or fashion blogs had a grand hope that this would be an alternative voice and point of view to an industry which chooses to regards large swathes of women who love fashion as being invisible.

    As Pearl above has pointed out – the fashion industry has effectively exerted control over this voice by selecting which ones will be heard over the crowd – i.e. the very young, very thin and very beautiful – and very effectively filtering out everything else that doesn’t fit.

    Could I just add age to this discussion too? Only Ashe seems to have alluded to it so far here, but age is an important part of the diversity debate and applies to a large demographical group that is often dismissed by the fashion industry and blogging community. Older women are also affected by body image issues and despite the success of blogs like Ari Seth Cohen’s I’ve yet to see the semi-celebrity status attained by some of the very stylish older bloggers he features that is so freely attributed to their younger counterparts. In fact I could take out “curvy” and “plus size” out of every comment on this thread and replace it with “older” and it would be relevant to a large number of bloggers and their readers out there.

  41. Jules says:

    I’m sick of seeing thin, 20 something blogs. I want to follow blogs by fat birds (like myself) who are 30+. This is my kind of normal.
    I have no empathy with bloggers who write well and post pretty pictures but look like the stereotypical fashion PR girl. I’m a woman who lives in a world where i want to see what clothes look like on people my own size and read opinions from woman who have a similar life situation as me.
    But sadly many woman like me lack the time to spend time fussing over posing so they might be spotted by some model agency random or have the spare money to buy items to post interesting blog content about. I know that most, if not all of my spare money preferably gets spent on my family, not the latest pair of fugly but fashionable shoes or nail polish shade. A lot if not all of the popular fashion and beauty blogs i hear about, the blog writers are in their first proper job since leaving uni and have money to spend on themselves and nothing else, or they are helped out by their family wealth. This is very unreal for many readers, but people like peeping into the ‘other’ world, so i understand why they are very popular.
    Jules.

  42. MJ says:

    As a curvy, African American blogger I really wish there were more diversity among the top tier bloggers. I think part of the reason why there isn’t is that brands go after those bloggers who have always fit their criteria of who they want to represent them – causcasian and thin which has been the industry standard for who knows how long. I think another reason is that we as a community need help promote those blogs who don’t fit within these standards. IFB is the perfect place for that and instead of highlighting them in a special feature, they should be more in the regular rotation. The blogging space is full of diversity and sites like this should reflect that all the time.

    With that said, just because you may be a plus size, African American, or even a petite blogger does not automatically mean you should be in the same light as the other top tier bloggers. Creating great content and photos, having a uniqe point of view, networking and working with brands, and develping the business side of your blog do not go by the wayside. You always have to put out your best, there’s no doubt about it and unfortunately at this stage of the game we do have to work a little bit harder than the rest. It sucks I know, but the only way we can get the diversity that we want is to push for it and work for it. The same way bloggers in general had to work to be recognized as the awesome force that we are in the industry is the same we bloggers who don’t fit the current mold have to work so that a few years from now, there’s no need to have this discussion.

  43. Meg says:

    This is one of those kooky posts I see now and then that seem to have the best of intentions, but lack self-awareness and insight to a significant enough degree that they end up being polarizing and insulting to more of their audience than they intend.

    It sounds like you wanted to figure out a way to elevate more bloggers to the “top tier” or front lines of fashion blogging, but in the end, you basically said, “listen, fatties and shorties and tallies and people who aren’t white and people who have their own style that isn’t ripped from the pages of Marie Claire, can you DO A BETTER JOB OF BLOGGING?! OMG.”

    Because, you know, that’s how you’d change the universe. You’d push off the responsibility on someone else. If you guys would only do BETTER, we could make you FAMOUS.

    If IFB wants more bloggers to have the spotlight, give more bloggers the spotlight. If you want to elevate people who are not thin and white and “beautiful”, then elevate them. If you want to start a conversation about why the classic fashion magazine standards are trickling down into what was supposed to be a more level playing field, start that conversation. If you want to change things, YOU CHANGE THINGS.

    Have you noticed that every visible female on the front of your site is thinner? Have you noticed that your self-created ad lobs all feature thinner women? Have you noticed the front pages of all your Pinterest boards — save for ONE — feature thinner women? I had to scan through three boards to even find a woman who wasn’t thin. Have you noticed the vast majority of your editorial blog images feature thinner women, too?

    I don’t expect Vogue to change things up because there’s little value for them in changing things up. They aim for aspirational, not real. And aspirational is rarely healthy and attainable.

    But IFB isn’t Vogue, and your mandate is clearly not Vogue’s. Why are you trying to be Vogue, then?

    Conversations are valuable things, and can evolve communities if they are waged with sensitivity, knowledge, and wisdom. But they can’t start on such shaky, vague notions as this “beginning”, especially when those launching the conversation have done little with their own space to advance the notion that size 6 and under isn’t essential to the definition of “beautiful.”

    • aspirational keeps us nice and hungry for perfection… and continuously buying things! ;)

    • Avatar of
      BELLA Q says:

      What a thoughtful and articulate reply. I’m a little too miffed to say anything productive. All I heard was that we shouldn’t begrudge the pretty white skinny her top tiered success, and if there were “disciplined” quality plus size bloggers out there, they’d be famous too! No logic, no reason, just prejudice. So I’m a bit too startled to take it all in. Thank you for replying in a manner and reason I can relate to.

  44. Lolabird says:

    Other people have said it already, but I’m annoyed enough by this, yet another of IFB’s poorly researched and offensively written articles to say this myself.

    If IFB is so concerned that there are no non-white/skinny/model-esque bloggers in the “top tier” (is that even a thing? I mean really…) then why don’t you FEATURE MORE OF THEM? Your blogger spotlights all feature the same type of woman. Your ads and promo images for IFB Con, and for articles are all slim, young, white women. You are actively contributing to the problem that you claim to be so concerned about.

    And to insinuate that minority bloggers are not featured because their blogs are not up to par? Really? That’s what you’re going to go with?

    It is convenient that you’ve neglected to acknowledge the social-political factors that contribute to things like this. Model-esque bloggers get more sponsorships because they reinforce the already established hierarchy within fashion. It’s not rocket-science. Bloggers who don’t fit that image will ALWAYS be at a disadvantage. That’s how privilege works ladies.

    You’ve also only touched on one aspect of the situation. “Real women” are just women who wear a size 14. We come in all shapes and sizes, all race and ethnicities, all different cultures and beliefs, but you know, let’s not be mean to the popular, successful and yes, skinny bloggers them because they’re more disciplined than us. That would mean we’re just jealous.

    IFB loves to posit itself as this all-inclusive venue where bloggers can come for a sense of community, but over the last year especially, you have actively been alienating the base that built you. You have the power to FIX THIS PROBLEM. Instead, you ride the coattails of those who are already established. Nothing is going to change unless you change it. We’ve been doing our part by creating our blogs and sharing out experiences. If even places like IFB shut us out, where do we go? There is a reason I don’t read any of those blogs anymore. They reflect nothing of myself or my life or my experience. But there are blogs that do. Why not feature those blogs? Why not direct the community at large to bloggers who are doing great things and deserve to be recognized instead of reinforcing the same old tropes?

    All in all, this was a poor excuse for an article. You want to be taken seriously as journalists too? Then you need to do the work that journalists do. Research, fact, references. You can’t just pull shit out of midair.

  45. Avatar of CynthiaCM
    Cynthia says:

    Sometimes, the issue comes from the readers themselves. If you know where to look, you’re going to find bloggers who look like you and are “top tier” in that specific niche. I’m a small framed, short Asian female and I follow A LOT of bloggers who “look like” me – in fact, it’s to the point that I wonder where all the other petite bloggers are – seriously, why is everyone East Asian (almost always Chinese, Vietnamese or maybe Filipina if you want to get specific on ethnicity), around 5′ and ~90 lb?. Some have even been profiled by national and international magazines. You just have to search. That’s what Google and its competition are there for. I can’t believe how often I see other petite women look at me funny when I say that there are many petite bloggers out there who’re around our size and ones who talk about petite lines. As a short gal, you SHOULD be familiar with petite and petite-friendly brands, no? Especially one who is interested in clothes? I *HAVE* to admit that I am jealous of some of these bloggers who have connections to good photographers (i.e. friends or significant others – usually, anyway) while I’m stuck with a tripod and remote.

  46. While the post relevant, it seems to me that it’s not just the “larger fashion media community” who have embraced traditional molds of beauty pertaining to bloggers. Instead of promoting, showcasing, and mentioning the “popular kids” of the blogging community, IFB could do a much better job of giving lesser known bloggers a platform and of embracing a broader definition of beauty. My black is beautiful, my natural hair is beautiful and can appeal to many. But unless I fit a certain mold, IFB seems disinterested. I say physician (IFB) heal thyself! Be a trailblazer and embrace diversity of size, color, style, ethnicity in a proactive way. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon after someone else says a blogger is a force to be reckoned with.

  47. Vanessa says:

    Shame on you. This really is the worst. I’m shocked that you don’t recognize IFB as part of this problem. If you want to see more top-tier fashion blogs created by non-skinnies, why don’t you try looking for them? There are plenty!

    Also, skinny women as “blessed”? What does that make everyone else? (yes, I did read the GOMI post.)

    Wake up, Taylor/IFB.

  48. I’ve been silent for a few days, even though I read this post when it went up and had so much to say but I had to let it marinate for a while. I totally and utterly respect the opinions of the author, though I don’t agree with them all. But I think this article points to a much larger issue about the industry as a whole, not just bloggers/blogging. As someone who has worked in all different facets of the fashion industry from the editorial world to retail to PR, the problem really isn’t just digital. And as much as the internet serves as a great democratizer, progress is moving at a much slower pace for people who have always been traditionally different or unaccepted by the masses.

    Wrote a post about it here: http://www.lovebrownsugar.com/2012/08/response-IFB-bloggers-body-image.html

  49. Dekishea says:

    I have seen a lot that goes down in the blogging community, and yes certain publications and brands are drawn to certain bloggers. I have come across many different bloggers who I believe are successful, but most don’t show up on the front of many online publications. All I can say is…Be your biggest advocate and PR person. I love my blog. I love what it represents and it is growing. There is NO such thing as a glass ceiling for me and I make my own opportunities. IFB is a great site with a wealth of info. I am sure they are still growing and learning, hopefully. I hope to see more diversity in their featured bloggers in the future. If not their are other sites that showcase diverse bloggers and beauties.

  50. Marie says:

    Boooooooo! Yes. I am booing. Where do you guys get off? How dare you insult the minority community?! That the reason there is no diversity in top blogs is bc there are few good minority blogs? Booooooooo! Where is the factual evidence supporting this? Show me some stastics, show me the truth in this statement. Such ignorance and backward thinking. I will never support this website.

  51. Kasey says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head in the early on in this post “The majority of very visible, successful style bloggers are thin and beautiful – which isn’t their fault of course, nor should they be chastised for it. They’re “real women” too.” people can only write from their point of view, and want to photograph style they want to/they can wear. I would look silly posting about “plus sized” clothing because I’m not what clothing stores consider plus size, that doesn’t mean that a blogger of any size doesn’t have anything of value to contribute to one another. I see things on blogs which aren’t “geared towards me” i.e. not about black girls, not about a girl who’s into fitness, has big boobs etc. the internet as with life is about choice.

  52. annebeth says:

    All of this is largely about perception. Put a skinny, long haired, conventionally pretty chick the EXACT same picture, outfit, pose as a full figured, dark skinned girl, and our brain will just not pick it up as equally beautiful when scrolling Lookbook. Racism is embedded in our brain, sadly. You have to consciously train your brain to get used to seeing bigger girls in “unflattering” outfits the way we are used to seeing rail thin models in garbage bags. The latter, we call “fashion” or “edgy”, the former… We usually just call amateur. It’s very sad and depressing, but I do believe that this is the problem that lies at the base of the idea that made this article so controversial. We’ll sooner call a pretty blogger promising than a bigger blogger, just because they fit the mold better and our brain perceives them as more “fashion appropriate”. This can only change if a-typical girls keep fightinf for the place they deserve. The more we see women (and men!) of all sizes and colors doing whatever the hell they want to do, the more we’ll accept it when mindlessly scrolling through lookbook.

  53. IFB stands for Independent Fashion Bloggers, right? So instead of insulting the majority of your readership for not being “top-tier” (that is a horrible term) bloggers, how about celebrating the talent out there?

    Use your position and influence to promote the awesome style out there.

    Just because a Blogger isn’t picked up by a big brand doesn’t mean they are not “top-tier”.

    Maybe by promoting the awesome talent out there you can help Bloggers on their journey to “top-tier” status.

    Your perspective is very skewed on this, and indicates that you don’t read widely enough.

    Every time I read one of your lists of “top Bloggers” it is always the same ones. It’s boring.

    How about a weekly “Our favourite Style Bloggers” that don’t include the mega stars of the Blogging industry?

    We have all been there, at the start. Remember how hard it was? Remember how you could really do with a leg up? Remember when you were first retweeted or someone shared your blog post? – DO THAT! Use your position and influence to actually help a diverse range of Style Bloggers to get the recognition they deserve.

  54. Gigi Natasha says:

    I think there are a couple of points that have been over looked though. I want to say right off the bat that if it is true that the majority of top tier blogs conform to runway and magazine looks only, and I agree that they probably do, then that isn’t a great use of the varied possibilities and wide accesibility of blogging and it saddens me. However, I don’t think that we should forget that it is readers who make them top tier and we have to take responsibility. Nor should we forget that while body shape and sizewise fashion is still disgustingly exclusive, there are lots of famous models who are not ‘white and blonde’. I’m a plus-size blogger – I have to be because that is my reality and what I have to offer, but I am also proud to be – I cannot afford, and even if I could there would simply NOT BE AVAILABLE TO ME the kind of ‘fashion’ clothes that make those high fashion top tier pictures, which is not a problem with blogging but with retailers. Of course, my blog is about how you can still be stylish and have fun with your clothes on a high-street budget and with the limited options available to a plus size, but I don’t think of that as in the same league as beautifully crafted pictures or conceptual fashion which is often why I visit other blogs.I visit my favourite blogs for a whole bunch of reasons, as I’m sure everybody does – because they inspire me, because they are informative, because they are beautiful to look at, because they are cleverly styled … and not because of the shape or ethnicity of the blogger.

  55. Hey Taylor & the IFB team,

    I wanted to stop by and just say a quick thank you for reading my response post to this. I think what is more important than anything is that we NOT point fingers at who’s wrong or right on this topic. But rather ask the question of how IFB can help in creating a more diverse group of popular bloggers. Bloggers that are sought out by major brands, magazines, etc.

    I read a previous comment about not being able to control who’s featured in what glossy and to some degree this is true. But as a site that represents a community of bloggers, I feel it is your responsibility to create diversity on your site. Mainstream bloggers are created by word of mouth. In addition to great consistent content and a fabulous site design of course.

    A reader of GorgeousInGrey.com left this comment:

    Part of the reason people have opinions that are narrow minded is because their experiences are narrow in scope. In most industries those with the most power and influence focus on pleasing those within their same circle. Unfortunately our society has many tiers that never intersect so we need to identify more ways to have true collaboration because people all over are missing out on the opportunity to grow.

    I only hope that you will continue to have this conversation. As it is the only way for a true diverse community of bloggers to grow.

    XOXO
    Ty Alexander
    gorgeousingrey.com

  56. Avatar of GirlsBestFriendandCoBlog.com

    I am truly confused by this post. Blogging hurting self-image? Fashion Blogging is about style and fashion. My core business is to encourage women to take pride in their appearance and express their themselves through their wardrobe. Being well dressed promotes a healthy self-image and improves a women’s quality of life. This is regardless of their size and shape. In todays fashion world there are so many ways to create a stylish look with shoes and accessories, color and proportion. This is the beauty of fashion. This is why so many of us are smitten with the idea of fashion. You can transform yourself to whomever you choose to be. Regarding body image, while the media and culture has influence on what we find appealing, I strongly believe a women’s self-image stems from her immediate environment and upbringing. If a great style blogger is influencing you to improve your appearance I don’t see why that is an issue. If the style blogger is encouraging others to be their best self how is that harmful? I really am feeling a funny kind a way about this article. I have a group of bloggers I network with, one of the blogger quit blogging and she tweeted this article and said this is one of the reason I quit blogging. Wow! It blew me away. Blogging is about self-expressing sharing and networking. There are always negative aspects of a situation. I think it is important to focus on the positives. Again, this really saddens me because this particular blogger appeared to be having fun experimenting with her fashion choices. I know that many of the issues we see manifesting stems from other personal issues.

  57. Marie says:

    I agree 100% with what “Jame” said: (see post below that I copied and pasted)

    Hey IFB — If I want to look at glossy photos of model thin women wearing clothes I can’t afford, I will buy Vogue Magazine. I read fashion blogs that I can relate to, who buys and wears clothes that I can afford myself and who’s body type is similar to mine and gives me new ideas of how to put outfits together. Even more kudos if she includes a blurb about a crappy day she’s had!!! What I can NOT relate to a (random example here) is some “work from home fashion blogger” who posts pictures of their $700 purse, with their $400 leather pants, or $300 ripped jeans….I’m not that kind of woman (and I’m sure I’m not alone!) But hey, I wish I had YOUR job, money and freedom! Goodie for you – you’re rich, thin, and fabulous!

    I might glance at their blog once in a great while because they might be wearing the latest nail polish that I can afford. LOL – but that’s where it ends.

    And special thanks to Allie for posting links to all those blogs! They’ll all be on my “Favorites” list.

    ———————————-
    Jame

    August 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm · Reply

    I follow style bloggers who look more like me and are shaped more like me with style I enjoy. I can’t be bothered with fashion bloggers that look just like the mainstream models. I am sure the content is great, but frankly fashion has been pretending I don’t exist (and aren’t attractive) for a while, and I don’t need to support that.

  58. Joanne M says:

    Unfortunately I agree with a lot of the comments left on this post. While I do think the IFB community does try to speak to the community as an unbiased perspective of the fashion/personal style blogging community, you kind of suck at it. All I see is the same ‘top tier’ blogs being represented as the best in style, content, visuals, etc. While I do seek these blogs as inspiration, a lot of them aren’t realistic of what the world really looks like. The fashion industry already shoves their ‘ideal’ via the web and print and it’s communities like IFB that need to shatters those ideals.

    While I was impressed with the Chinese bloggers feature, it makes me wonder what about the rest of the minorities? Hispanics, Middle Eastern’s, African American’s – to name a few? Or even open it up to featuring bloggers who thrift, new comers to the blogging/IFB scene? The best of different cities or states? Maybe that will change things up from the usual thin, Caucasian blonds. Just sayin’.

  59. Avatar of Donna
    Donna says:

    All of this talk has made me feel more confident about posting photos of myself that show me looking bigger than I’d like. If I look good, I’ll post them. I know why I read blogs – because I can relate to the person publishing them. There has to be some commonality, and the more the better. After reading how many other plus-size, not-wealthy women are out there, I feel less alone in the blogging world. And I have some new blogs to read!
    As to Taylor’s original question, initially all that I saw was the blogs of the young, thin, and cute who had $400 to spend on a handbag. That did make me feel like I wasn’t good enough to become a successful blogger. But after reading all of the comments, I no longer feel that way. I never was much of one for fitting in to the mainstream.
    http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

  60. What’s even more apalling than this post is the fact that my comments/observation were removed. I see you!

  61. Wow, after raeding the article and all the comments I do not know should I blog more or to give up totally. I just started my blog two months ago, I am 35 and size 16 (the worst combination) so what in hell should I expect from the blogging community????

    http://www.apfaboulous30s.blogspot.com

  62. Maria says:

    So what about those of us who aren’t thin, blonde, 20 or American? There are plenty of IFB followers in the UK but few get mentioned. I work hard on my blog without outfit posts – because I’m dark haired, US size 12 and in my forties. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a valid opinion or personal style but because I don’t fit the mold I don’t take photos of myself. Many of the ‘top tier’ blogs are just pretty photos, what about those of us who actually write, give advice and don’t assume our readers all fit the mold?
    I agree that IFB have the ability to change this – feature blogs other than the ‘top tier’ and look further afield than the US.

  63. Avatar of Z
    Z says:

    All over the fashion industry, efforts are being made to eliminate the stigmas about body image. Or are they? There are brands for “plus size” clothing, and brands that refuse to have size zero models. By labelling clothes as “plus size” they are reenforcing a stigma on people that don’t deserve it – size 14 is not “plus size” it is the average UK dress size.
    People aren’t trying enough to fight it, and as a result, young girls are still trying to be as skinny as they can.

    I love reading high quality blogs by all types of people – to ME it doesn’t matter what their size is. But it seems to matter to everyone else.
    It can be no coincidence that all the ‘top tier’ or the best known bloggers are the ones with perfect skin, perfect hair and legs up to here. At least even if they are not tall, they are all one thing – skinny. They fulfil everything a reader wants from a fashion blog: they wear beautiful clothes, they take beautiful pictures, they (most of them) spend beautiful amounts of money on clothes. We aren’t going to stop looking at these blogs, because now they are up there, they’re up there to stay. Right at the top of the fashion ladder.
    As much as I want to be the next ‘top tier’ fashion blogger, how am I supposed to do that if I’m not stunningly beautiful, skinny and aesthetically perfect?

  64. Not all top-tier bloggers are modelesque! Have we forgotten about Nicolette Mason and Gabifresh?

  65. Can’t we all just get along? IFB is a great source and if it wasn’t, then they’d have no readers to leave all these comments. We all come to IFB w/ a common goal, to better our blogging skills. So, we’re all on the same team. I get it, we all come to this site for info and maybe not every article suits our taste or needs. That doesn’t mean type a mean comment. Have a voice, but be constructive, not mean. It only makes YOU look bad.

    Also, be secure with you and your site and you won’t feel the need to compare yourself. GabiFresh is a success because she embraces who she is, especially her killer curves! Do you, be you!

  66. Avatar of Jeannette Arrowood

    Personal fashion blogging is just that – personal. It’s all navel-gazing to some extent, and since we can all only speak from our own experiences and understanding of the world, it’s nice to know that conversations like this one are happening. Even though it exposes everyone’s internalized “-isms,” it’s very healthy for us to all talk about this subject, as broad as it is, because we can then begin to maybe understand others experiences within the world. And then we can move towards being more inclusive.

    I’ve found the world of fashion blogging to be polarizing across size, race, and monetary lines. There are inside crowds in not only straight size fashion blogging but in plus size fashion blogging, there is racism and sizeism in both worlds. I wanted blogging to be about inclusiveness and love, positivity, laughter, and caring about one another. But it’s not, and that’s okay. We’re all bumping along learning from each other.

    We all choose to read whatever blogs we choose to read, but if IFB doesn’t take the time to explore what else is out there, even beyond the “niche” bloggers they already regularly highlight, of course the same bloggers are going to take center stage over and over again. That happens even within those niche communities, and it happens overwhelmingly so in the fashion community and industry.

    I’ve always stayed away from joining groups like IFB because I’ve never felt like I was a part of the in crowd (and have never thought I would be). Even though I’ve met and made friends with many of the wonderful women who have commented on this post and written responses and who are IFB members. It’s a part of my own, very personal self-esteem issues that I have continued to feel that way over the years. But I think that is also why so many of us get into fashion blogging – I have felt a lot more accepting of myself and my personal issues through fashion blogging because of the support that I’m finding from these women for my dreams. And I get letters and emails from girls on a regular basis thanking me for being so open.

    I do everything I can to support the efforts of other bloggers who are highlighting the changing world of fashion, feature those efforts in my videos and in my blog posts, actively tell these bloggers on a regular basis that I think the work they do is important and amazing. That is the real power of communicating through a medium like the internet that is so openly accessible to all of us. We are able to make connections with each other.

    At the end of the day, fashion blogging has become less about fashion for me and more about that sense of community who has been there for me through several different sizes, boyfriends, jobs, lay offs, crappy family members and friends, and dying pets.

    If we’re going to continue to allow “fashion” to control what we aspire to look like and forget that this is can all be about making ourselves and others feel better, then I think we’re failing as bloggers. But perhaps that is because I write to express all the things I know someone else must be feeling. I just happen to do it by talking about trying to find a bra that fits me and boots that will zip up all the way.

    Summary: I’m glad we’re talking about this. We should all be nicer and more understanding of each other. Lots of different kinds of people and women and men and transgender individuals of different sizes, colors, shapes, backgrounds, and abilities have something to offer and are creating quality content. And IFB and other groups who are supposed to teach us how to be better at blogging about fashion should do a better job of uplifting all of that diversity and all of those voices on a regular basis. Not just in one-off “look we talked to some fat bloggers, brown bloggers, bloggers in another country, etc.” articles.

    And to everyone I offer a hug and a smile because this truly wouldn’t be an xoxo nettaP post/comment without one. ;)

  67. Julia Slinkhart says:

    Reading this makes me ashamed to be part of this community, a community that I once devoted so much of my time online to.

    Taylor, if you want to see all the beautiful, wonderful women who run high-quality plus-size fashion blogs, check out this list:

    http://feminspire.com/response-to-ifb-there-are-loads-of-great-plus-size-fashion-blogs/

    That article basically sums up all my thoughts on the matter. I think I’ll be hanging up my IFB Fendi hat now.

  68. Avatar of StyleDestino
    StyleDestino says:

    Great article!! I think women should embrace their body and themselves as they are. Blogging is about real world and its sad to these that most popular bloggers are the ones who’re tall, skinny and pretty. They strut the same sense of style, do not bring a versatile element to their style and yet earn the popularity because of their looks.

  69. Bethany says:

    The premise of this article is the first problem. The writer says that high quality posts are lacking among the blog community as a whole. Well, how does one create “top tier” blogger quality posts? Answer: with time, money and a lot of free stuff.

    Let’s be honest, the top tier of bloggers are running full-on businesses. They receive free designer clothing by the box-ful and can afford expensive cameras and willing photo-takers. The same set of women are featured everywhere and invited to everything.

    Most bloggers out there hold down full-time jobs, buy their own clothing, and still have to find time to create lovely, compelling, and well-composed posts. So, one would assume that to have a top-tier blog you need to quit your day job and get sponsored. How does one get sponsored?

    You generally have to be thin and gorgeous and tall and flawless helps, too.

    I have nothing against the top-tier. They are stunning, talented, and work hard to inspire with their posts. But, the fact of the matter is the fashion industry — through sponsors, free clothing, invites to events — begets this kind of only the hottest survive environment. The beauty standard is very narrow and will continue to be until readers get behind non-sample size women in droves and until fashion power players decide to sponsor those women who aren’t sample size or model height or getting all their clothes for free.

    It’s sad how polarizing the blogger world has become. It seems that — like the fashion industry before it — it’s turned into another ultra competitive, me-first, who-can-get-into-the-most-events type space.

    It’s enough to make me consider giving up on the blogger thing.

  70. Bethany says:

    Also, as a professional journalist I have to say it is incredibly unethical as a media outlet to alter an article because you receive negative response. Shame on IFB.

  71. I love that this blog takes on ‘thinsperation’ and the evolution of the blogosphere in fashion in such an objective way. Thank you for sharing!

  72. Thank you for these explanations. Good job

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