The answer for most would be “Um, personal style, I think?” This question is a little more complicated than I had anticipated so I’m going to tackle what it means to look good versus being about personal style the best I can.
First of all, there are different types of fashion blogs: those that are image conscious, where the blogger is concerned about looking good and taking good photos, and others that are focused on fashion and design aesthetic, sometimes stimulating intelligent conversation about art and the fashion industry. I also get the sense that there’s the “in between” where bloggers try to focus on both, but the focus on image usually leans more towards one or the other: looking good or being artistic.
There’s nothing wrong with gravitating towards either types— people have their preferences. I guess I have issues with some image conscious fashion blogs— he/she buying into trends, having a brand new outfit (seriously, no repeats?), looking straight out of runway/editorial, etcetera. I remember looking at a blogger’s photo and noticing some very poor photoshopping to her legs to give her thigh gap. Whitney Williams of A La Lady Wolf had the same insights: “…I can definitely tell who’s dressing to look hot versus dressing to show off their latest looks on fashion blogs, and I only frequent the blogs that display what seems like true personal style."
With the power of influence bloggers have now creates this idealization of looking perfect and, usually, very hetero (where are the alt girls on Tumblr and Pinterest?). There are these same issues within the fashion industry, but because fashion blogs are all under the guise of personal style and being real, I feel like it’s good to point out that a lot of images we’re seeing these days are misleading.
“I think it’s dangerous to one’s self-image to make posts strictly based on ‘Hey! Look at me and how great I look (even though my hips, nose, skin and hair are all different than what I actually have.’ It’s easy to get to that point when the fashion side of it is not as important when, like you said, everyone has access to any trend,” says Whitney. “You can put the most unique outfit on, and as soon as you post it, 1000 other girls go out and grab it and wear it that same day. So that can lead to a ‘Well, I can wear this better than you can’ mentality; leading to ‘looking good’ vs. ‘personal style’.”
Amanda Brohman, blogger of The Style Gossiper, sees her blog’s photos as being more artistic as well. “…Any fashion blogger who says that they don’t care what they look like in their photos would be a liar. You sort of want a ‘perfect image’ and that includes you looking good as well. Since you are the one representing your style and your blog, you are the model as well as the stylist and the marketer. That’s also something that can make bloggers very insecure and self-critical whilst editing photos. I know that I find many flaws most of the time whilst looking at photos of myself, yet I know that it’s important to keep it ‘real’, since I am not a model— I am a blogger. And that’s why I decide not to airbrush my flaws away, but I am sure that as bloggers are becoming more and more in demand, and more and more involved in the fashion industry, this will be a real issue and a question to ask yourself: how real and relatable you want to be.”
Fashion’s been feeling insignificant within, ironically, “fashion” blogs, and lately I’ve been needing to weed out the stuff that I don’t really trust. Everyone has access to buying the latest trends. They’re affordable, and looking trendy has never been easier, but seriously: who are you as opposed to this advertorial you put out for the public to see?
Am I looking into things too much? Are you more into personal style or looking good? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!