One of my favorite perks as a blogger is getting to meet honest people who push you to see things in a different way. I met a fashion industry star at a media breakfast this summer, and our first encounter went something like this:
“Hi, I'm Jess Estrada.”
“Lovely to meet you, Jess. What do you do?”
“I'm a blogger.”
The conversation took a small, unexpected turn after that. He paused for a brief moment and then said, “It's okay to call you a blogger, right? Because sometimes I've met bloggers who get offended if we don't call them ‘writers' or ‘journalists.'” I told him it was totally okay, yet in that moment I felt a mix of emotions.
Why shouldn't we feel proud to consider ourselves bloggers?
At no point during that exchange did I feel ashamed or embarrassed identifying myself with the term ‘blogger.' I said it proudly, with confidence. But it also left thinking about how bloggers might react otherwise, or use a different term altogether. From the outside looking into the fashion blogging world, there might be some misconceptions around all that we do or don’t do. Although it might seem like blogging’s been around forever, in the big scheme of things it’s a fairly new, arguably growing industry.
In my opinion, it takes an incredibly passionate, organized and motivated individual to persist as a fashion blogger. Even those of us who do it as a hobby still need to make time for blogging in a busy life full of work, family, friends and other priorities. The list of ‘hats’ we wear knows no end: writer, photographer, photo editor, copy editor, publicist, marketer, salesperson, contract negotiator, networker, social media junkie professional, web designer, etc. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!
I asked a few of my fellow IFB contributors the question “What makes you proud to be a fashion blogger?” Here are their responses, followed by my own:
I'm proud to call myself a fashion blogger because I'm doing something I love and sharing my passion with the world everyday. The internet, and the world of blogging in particular, has made it so much easier to find like-minded souls. I'm proud of the community that TLA has become, and that wouldn't be possible if I wasn't a fashion blogger.
– Cora Harrington, The Lingerie Addict
The fact I can be another voice for an underrepresented group in fashion (plus-size women) makes me proud to be a fashion blogger. That I can show that women can be intelligent and savvy and still.love.fashion. makes me proud to be a fashion blogger. The idea that women can't be intelligent and enjoy fashion or devote their time to it – well, it baffles and angers me! So I'm proud to be part of a community that continues to break apart preconceived notions and misconceptions about women.
– Ashley Robison, Dramatis Personae
You know, one thing that's so great about being a fashion blogger is that I'm the boss! I set the expectations, and control my destiny! As a fashion blogger my start up costs, and continual costs of doing business are so incredibly low, compared to other businesses I own and am a part of — I mean, there are barely any “have-tos” when it comes to expenses, I could probably get away with not self-hosting, paying for a social media platform, newsletter service, a new camera, etc. Overall, my time is my most valuable asset, and I do my best to spend it wisely; at least I know all of the hours are going toward something that is 100% mine!
– Julia DiNardo, Fashion Pulse Daily
I’ve been able to create my own professional path through blogging, and for that reason alone I am most proud to call myself a blogger. Never in my life did I imagine I’d be working for myself, and yet here I am, creating a career around my blog. My blog has become a platform for me to show various skills (social media, networking, personal branding for example) while also allowing me to help others, whether that’s sharing ideas, amplifying the reach of non-profits I support, and featuring all that I love and my insatiable curiosity for culture and life.
Just like a favorite sport or a traditional career, blogging is all about working hard and devoting a ton of time to do the best you can. As blogging evolves, I expect there to be less of a potential ‘stigma’ and lots more pride in ownership of what we do.
So now I turn the question over to you. What makes you proud to be a fashion blogger?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]