I hate to admit it, but I've had this thought more than once: “If I lost 10 pounds, my blog would be way more popular.” You could also swap in 10 years younger for pounds. I immediately give myself a pep talk when these thoughts creep in, and remind myself of all the amazing fashion bloggers who don't look like models who are killing it with their sites.
Accepting ourselves as we are is important for our own mental health, obviously, but I never thought enough about what that acceptance does for the greater good until I read this Fashionista article. Plus-sized bloggers like Nadia Aboulhosn, who launched her own capsule collection yesterday, minority bloggers like Chriselle Lim, and Karen Blanchard (in a category I didn't even realize existed) modest bloggers including Fabologie and Chandler Robertson (see above), are forcing the fashion industry to notice previously unrecognized groups, and make changes that weren't happening despite the best intentions of journalists and a smattering of non-traditional models.
True, some fashion bloggers are wanna-be models, and are perpetuating certain stereotypes. But plenty are operating outside traditional parameters, and are forcing real change in the industry. Fohr card founder James Nord explains to Fashionista why he thinks these bloggers are thriving:
I think the reason [minority] influencers do so well is that traditional fashion outlets ignored them for years… Brands are finally waking up to the importance of speaking to that side of their consumer base. Oftentimes, the best way to do that is by working with an influencer.
Indeed, for an upcoming collaboration with TJ Maxx, the brand asked bloggers for natural photos, preferably with other family members, unposed. “Avoid over-styling,” we were instructed. “I can do that!” I thought. And I realized that there is a place for my laid-back aesthetic and non-model approach to blogging.
And, let's face it: Aspiration has it's place, but being inclusive is better for fashion brands' bottom lines. Fashionista writes:
Mass and luxury labels are making an effort to diversify because of the clear financial upside. The buying power of Hispanic Americans equalled $1.3 trillion in 2014. African Americans: $1.1 trillion. Asian Americans: $770 billion.
The article notes that the industry still has a long way to go. Minorities are still scarce on the runway and on magazine covers. But, thanks to bloggers, change is afoot and shows no signs of slowing down.
[Photo via Days of Chandler]