When I was just starting out in my career at the tender age of 22, an older industry veteran told me to milk it while I can, because “the industry LOVES young.” At the time, I smirked because I was young, and couldn't imagine anything changing that much which would skew away from being to my advantage, as long as I kept the enthusiasm, perseverance, and super hard work at a maximum.
I was naive, or disillusioned with “that won't ever happen to me!” in the same way you don't understand why your parents react in certain ways, (mainly acting like “psychos”) until you become a parent yourself, or have empathy for the lengths that certain women go to, in order to slow down the aging process, from a variety of degrees of aesthetic and cosmetic alterations.
This might be a bit of a loaded question, but does the fashion industry expect us to “age-out” of blogging once we hit a certain age? Do we need to simply disappear or rejigger the content that we provide because society doesn't expect us to continue along the same path, one that we had established and potentially even pioneered when we were younger?
Will we feel bad about ourselves, in comparison to the new wave of PYTs (pretty young things) coming onto the fashion blogging scene, and fade out due to a lack of esteem or confidence?
Or, will there be less brand interest for campaigns and advertising causing less money coming in, which as a result could cause a blog to shut down, or have to remake itself in order to monetize content?
Don't get me wrong: it's never a bad idea to continually evaluate and evolve your blog as you change, but there's a difference between wanting to, and feeling like you have to do it.
In speaking with bloggers in their late 30s and 40s recently, several of my colleagues have expressed feeling “pushed out” and looked over already, which seems ridiculous because these are all on-the-pulse, smart, entrepreneurial women who work very hard at what they do and how they look, and it seems very, very off that they should be feeling this way, when in theory, there should be decades of work ahead for them.
The great irony of the fashion industry is that it does project a young image, even for brands that have target demographics of women that are 60+, it doesn't feel “fresh” unless it shows a 20-something model in an active pose in the garments (if this is a subject you're interested in, check out the essay, “‘No One Expects Me Anywhere‘: Invisible Women, Ageing and the Fashion Industry” by Pamela Church Gibson, as part of this book).
IFB draws a great mix of readers to its community from all over the world and at a wide age range, so regardless of being 50 years old and starting a blog, 16 and penning your first post, or have had one for a long time, you may want to think about how you want to evolve your blog besides the point of how your interests may change, but from the perspective of aging. Consider how you would approach conventional standards of aging and expectations from a blogging perspective, and how you may buck the trend or embrace it and make it your own.
It's hard to refute that with aging comes a certain stigma and expectation to recede from the limelight, but I wonder if enough of us don't follow what's traditionally expected, if it's enough to change the cultural opinion on the matter and make fashion blogging the exception to the norm.
Have you considered the topic of fashion blogging and aging? What are your thoughts?
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