LLL: WHAT DOES THE INDUSTRY HAVE TO DO WITH IT? NAME YOUR SUCCESS
I may be too late to rally in my opinion at this point, regarding the recent IFB controversy that's been happening across the blogsophere but I think that's okay with you, readers, if I'm a little late. You don't read my blog to necessarily learn news- you come for my honest opinion. I'm here to give it to you.
If you haven't got a clue as to what I'm talking about, there wouldn't necessarily be a point in directing you towards the articles as they been edited the original content. And in fact, I wasn't aware myself until Christina posted her opinion and I voiced in. Unfortunately, I did so without reading the original article posted on IFB- only Christina's post on body image and the edited IFB article. But for factual purposes, here are the links to the "original" article, The Open Letter, Taylor's apology and Jennine's apology.
I debated all week and through the weekend on whether or not I wanted to weigh in, voice my opinion or even tweet directly about my stance on what happened. The main reason? I have a personal connection to both IFB and the people employed- in fact, some are friends. When I originally tweeted, I purposely did not include IFB's twitter handle, as I didn't want to stir anything up nor did I want to point fingers. My error in voicing my opinion though, was I should of read the article Taylor originally posted and formulated my own opinion of it. Instead, I based my opinion off Christina's article, of which I still agree with. After speaking personally to Taylor, I felt horrible because after reading everyone's comments and digs on her personally, I realized I should of just came to her about my issues with Independent Fashion Bloggers. It was my duty, as a friend, to give her at least that, so as I told Taylor already, I'm sorry girl. Nothing of what I've said or am about to say is directed towards you personally, in any way.
Now that I've updated you cupcake faces, let me begin.
I've personally had issues with IFB, dating far beyond the runway walk I did with them, as some may mention is contradictory. Originally, I thought it was a step in a new, good direction with this community so I hoped for the best. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I was so happy that the girls picked to walk came from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and expressions, that I got caught up in that aura. I thought "Great, IFB is finally getting it. Incorporate different blogger backgrounds! Change fashion perspective! Be the voice! Be the change!" Well, that didn't happen. And nope, IFB does not need to tend to my happiness or provide some sort of emotional stability and I was wrong to think this could change things. I did think that somehow this would pave the way for bloggers like myself who, as YOU readers know so well, that I am far from what other fashion/lifestyle bloggers are like. I was happy that I was chosen to be a part of that opportunity. But the reality was, it didn't change things. In fact, it merely opened my eyes to REALITY. I am not what an everyday reader wants to see. I'm nothing to aspire to- I'm not thin or full Caucasian, I'm not quiet or meek, I'm not gentle and hardly sweet and I SPEAK MY MIND. And from what I understood, that it what the COMMENTERS were referring to. No, not the article, but the commenters. You see, the article wasn't written with great research but the commenters really were who really struck a chord with me. Many commenters had said they read blogs that inspire them, make them want to "be" them, ASPIRE. ASPIRE. ASPIRE. But "who" wants to be the strange, weird, dorky girl who likes to make fun of herself and not worry about her size or her looks or her facial expressions? Apparently, not IFB commenters. This all blends in with the article too. The writer came from a perspective that wasn't necessarily naive- it really came from a place of voice. Even if that's what she really felt, as we read, she wasn't alone. If you're immersed in a culture/community, sometimes it's hard to see outside of it.
The runway, however, wasn't the only issue. There have been many times where I've been on the IFB site and thought, "DAMN. I could of had a great response to that, or written a great article about that, or should of been a part of this." But instead, I get asked this and this. That, of which, has NOTHING to do with my blog or what I stand for. But I figure, a quote is a quote. RIGHT? What's even funnier is I tried my damn hardest to give them the best quote I could, even if it had literally, NOTHING to do with my blog. I wanted them to see I had a great voice. Someone to listen to. But, I wasn't heard. And I suppose it ties into my closeness to the community- they know me, we know each other. Why wasn't my blog ever acknowledged for what I'm KNOWN for, rather than what I am not?
Now, goodness gracious. I don't want to sound like a "why me, why me" post so let me explain as to why that was necessary for the entirety of the rest of the read. Follow along.
The original post was about body image and why us non "top-tier" bloggers aren't successful [or didn't seem as though or acknowledged by mainstream media]. What's strange is I don't find how these two tie together? Truly. Let me explain.
What classifies a successful TOP-TIER blogger? To me, I have no fucking idea. Bloggers like Gabi, Arabelle, Nicolette & Gala are successful writers for multiple magazines and online zines. I call this:SUCCESSFUL. I consider Aimee, Kristina, Liz, Laura & Delmy TOP-TIER bloggers but they ALL work full-time gigs elsewhere. I call this:SUCCESSFUL. I consider Tosha, Coury, Audrey & Danika TOP-TIER bloggers because they individually capture a unique audience. I call this:SUCCESSFUL. I consider myself a TOP-TIER blogger because I have the freedom to do what I want, how I want for who I want when I want because I worked hard to do so, WITHOUT SIGNING WITH AN AGENT. I call this: SUCCESSFUL. And do you want to know the CRAZIEST part about it? They are all DIFFERENT.
So is it really about being thin, being white, being quiet or meek, having no personality? No. It's about capturing your audience. The bloggers many speak of whom deem them successful is because they are doing campaigns and truthfully, that doesn't signify SUCCESS. It's a
chance so good luck finding "that" success.
It was strange how this article from IFB came about. Before, I had so many doubts about my content. Thoughts like:
-Why am I posting outfit after outfit post when my style isn't what the readers care for? -Why am I investing in wardrobe? When did I all of a sudden care what's current? -Do my readers even care about my style? Or is it personality they want to see? -I'm not a model. I need to stop pretending to be. I'm no professional, that's for damn sure.
And after the article and articulating my words for this post, I've realized something. You guys come back, time and time again, for REALNESS. You come back to a woman who's a size 10, sometimes an 8 on a good day, with saggy tits and gray hairs, indecisive-non-commital ways, ever-growing thighs and ass, large feet, big toes, crooked teeth and mega-large nostrils, a laugh you can hear for miles and jokes for days and days because I stay true, all the time, 100%. I'm happy posting my outfits, even when they aren't mega fashion-forward or high-end. You guys don't buy that shit. Neither do I. I'm happy posting videos where I make a fool of myself because that's me. Day in, day out. And for a lot of you, that's you too.
My hope for IFB was that they would find a way to utilize my unique voice to reach people I would NEVER be able to reach because my traffic will NEVER be as high as my counterparts. But you know, I've realized it's okay. Before, I wanted to speak on the panels but I realize that my voice is just fine, right here, on MY BLOG- where the people who want to hear, will come. I don't need a community to elevate that. The people I reach are enough for me. Like I said a while back, all I wanted to do was change one person's life. Lucky for me, I change thousands.
This isn't a post about not supporting Independent Fashion Bloggers, because as I've known from day one, the company's intentions were always to represent ALL BLOGGERS and show support in a desolated, impassive industry. My hope is that now that we've spoken our words, things will change back to the original dream.
I love you readers to death. Day in, day out. Thank you for your support in my silly antics. You provide my motivation and stability. If you haven't been lucky enough to view strength in the community, please check out some of my favorites: V, Erika, Kendall, Christina, Elle, Rocquelle [my favorite Decades Past shopper!] & Marie Denee. And anyone in my Internet Posse is a great blog to check out as well as any of the above mentioned.
I know this was way too long but I hope you know it comes from a strong-willed place, an unstoppable, motivated, persevering place.
Like Honey Boo Boo says,
Header photo by: Lydia Hudgens
P.S. If you wrote about this, link below in the comments. I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts.