During a phone call with Geri Hirsch of because I'm addicted last week, she said something that piqued my interest, “Right now I think that personal style bloggers have an advantage in selling ads, but I also think they have a shorter shelf life.” Since then, I've been pondering the idea of the personal blogger in general, what makes it so appealing as a career and as a reader, and have come up with some “food for thought” points:
Earlier this month, Fast Company published an article in regard to why Milennials don't have the urge to buy material objects as much as past generations. Instead, they argue that this generation is focused on acquiring “ideas” rather than goods, and it might have a lot to do with the influx of fashion bloggers that now exist.
Readers of fashion blogs are taking a peek into the “real” life of someone — and then there is some kind of catharsis, some kind of release that happens — much akin to the “reality” TV phenomenon.
But what is represented on the screen isn't who that person actually is. It's a portrayal of the blogger in bits and pieces which have been chosen by the blogger as the “best” version to show off of their life.
An example might include a recent post by Sparkling Footsteps in which she points out her day-to-day is actually spent in scrubs at the hospital in which she works. Another example might be how the Man Repeller, a blogger who portrays “man repelling” techniques through fashion, was recently married at an age younger than most.
What you see on the screen is actually a brand, albeit a self made brand from personal experiences, but still a persona.
Escapism and the Fantasy
So if we start thinking about the personal fashion blog as a persona, we are ultimately now thinking of it as a fantasy rather than the reality that it portrays itself to be.
A part of the reason why these sites become so appealing and gain such wide readerships (but aren't actually influencing the way people style themselves) goes back to even the most traditional fashion magazines — the element of escapism. Flipping through the glossy pages is not all that different than scrolling through a blog feed full of photos of outfits. Even the most “real” blogs that don't sport a bevy of Celine bags have an element of escapism; whether the blogger is uploading a photo of her breakfast or her nails, there is a feeling of “I want that experience” urging you to “like” the photo.
Furthermore, the act of reblogging on Tumblr or re-pinning on Pinterest lets you store what appeals to you in your personal space.
And with most of us having a daily “go to” list of bloggers, a connection is developed with them virtually — it's almost like they are your exotic, more fashionable friend.
As a result of a needy tendency to want to inhale this “fantasy living,” the fashion blogs that are able to create a cohesive and attractive persona gain more traffic.
The reality versus the fantasy subject is not so black and white, but what are your thoughts on the fantasy of personal fashion blogging? Or do you believe it is more reality based? Please feel free to elaborate on any of these points in the comments.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]