15.6.10

What's it all worth? Part 2

It's been a difficult whirlwind of a day in my overlarge redhead (no joke, I have a massive head). There's been a lot of shit going down on the internet with regards to the Sister Wolf post below. Sister, in the midst of grief, fully, brutally and truthfully verbalised her hatred of Sea of Shoes, a blogger who has joined the growing list of blogebrities, or blogging celebrities. They're an elite bunch of rich teenagers who go to parties, never pay for anything they can get free from the designer (who, of course, they are on a first name basis with) and revel in their status by posting gratuitous shots of themselves posing in beautiful locations in the clothes they 'snagged'. Sea got Sister's goat a long while ago by disabling the comments option on her blog, therefore shooting down the opinions and adoration of the fans who made her such a success in the first place and deciding that since she'd used their leg-up enough, she'd cast them out, to wander the internets crying for her to love them like they loved her. The angry ones found Sister, and then the ranting began.
The argument surrounding Sea is based on the fact that she seems to consider herself above the blogging community by rejecting the imput of anyone she doesn't meet at some black tie ball or exclusive blogging get-together. This is her right; she created the site, and comments or no comments, we probably still check it in the same adoration, become her fans on Facebook, and tweet our love to her day in, day out. The angry ones of us who have got sick of her soul-less materialism rant on Godammit. Sea oversees this all with a lopsided smile on her face, smirking with her adoring mummy that she's famous enough to generate this much hate. But she is now so untouchable that she is afraid to enter the fray herself, aside from a couple of bitchy asides on Twitter (and Sea, I saw them. The woman's just lost her son. Shame on you). The trouble is, the Internet has done a few bad things to Sea, and to all bloggers of her ilk. It's made us all equal. The fashion dialogue has opened up, like a real discussion, with offshoots all over the world. Where one conversation is cut short by a comment moderator, another will spring up. There is no control any more. The waves of communication have never been more open, and the playing field has never been more level. For every BryanBoy (and FHI, I've just read his little rant about lost luggage, GET A GRIP and pack lighter), or Sea, there are a thousand bit bloggers (like myself) willing to band together in our hate, in our disinterest, or in our pity.
The irony is, once a blogger like Sea becomes as successful as she has, she doesn't seem to feel the need to try anymore. Her blog, once containing quality, well-written (well, she still can't differentiate between its and it's, but neither can most 40-year-olds) articles amid the lurid designer gear, is now little more than a photo diary of her excesses. Her carbon footprint is horrendous, her credit card bill insulting, and her blog is suffering from her success.
It does seem to be tough for the young blogstars. They either get verbal abuse from us bitter lowlives or, like Tavi, they get it on a grand scale from the editors, along with rumours of mental disorders and blights on their parents. Yet still Tavi constantly delivers well-thought-out, interesting posts splattered with her liberal humour and good writing skills. The vast majority of the big, older teenblogstars seem to think that a few arty photos (black and white is good), close-ups of their soy lattes, links to other peoples' images and shots of their designer togs are enough now. It's very Sex and the City 2. They had us at 'hello', then they thought they could keep us with 'Yo! Look at mah sexy shoes! Cost $600 but sooooo worth it! Laterz I'm off to Paris'.
If the future of fashion is purely about image and nothing to do with thought and word, then it would seem that these guys are on the money. Except, and I'm well equipped to comment on this, I'm unsure how much can be contributed to the fashion conversation by an 'arty' photo taken in your back garden of your latest gift or Ebay find. While that's what I have mastered, I don't have much respect for my style of blogging in its most basic form, of a glorified wardrobe tour. Sure, it's great for a few months. And for people with interesting style and good dress sense it's far more enduring (such as Karla, Delmy and Dylana, who are still humble and nice people, as far as I can tell). But I'm still trying to work it out. People like The Satorialist, Garance Dore and Jack+Jil are the best example of the fashion conversation; while we have it, they document it and present it to us. They provide the real inspiration in the world - the everyman and everywoman, be they in designer clothes, grandma's old dress or a $5 pair of shoes. They celebrate fashion for all, in all forms, as do any bloggers who demonstrate adoration for the rest of the community (such as newbie bloggers like me, writing adoring messages to Sea and receiving no response. I have respect for those who do, such as my dearly loved HalCoHolic, who wrote back shyly to my gushing message proclaiming awesomeness). The ones who shut us out and declare themselves above it had better be prepared for the backlash. The internet has made us equals now. There are no 'haters'. There are just those who get angry, and those who don't agree. We are just human beings. And some of us like shoes.
So as a result of today's massive anger explosion in the blogosphere, I've spent a larger portion of time than is necessary standing around in my Topshop top and thinking 'god, I'm vacuous, I could be donating my wages to kids in Africa' and 'god these people are horrendous, do I really want to be a slave to this my whole life?' It's made me consider my life to be a bit of a silly joke, and thus made me kick myself for being so self-absorbed. It's been exhausting.
I suppose the only answer to this one is that you can't make everyone happy, so making yourself happy with whatever you do is the best option. Sea is happy to buy lots of shoes, Daddy is happy to pay, and Sister is trying to make herself feel a little better by lashing out, as we all do. And me? I will make myself happy by continuing to show off what I wear each day, because I like clothes, and I like seeing what other people wear. I dislike needlessly excessive materialism and I don't own anything more expensive that I could afford or so expensive it seemed garish. I still love fashion because out of all the creative industries and means of expression (poetry, film, art, etc) it's generated more variety over the centuries than the others combined. One woman's maxi-dress is another man's cape. I like telling a story, I like playing a character. And today, I'm not going to play mindless designer hag or self-absorbed tween. I'm going to play me.

3 comments:

  1. good head on your shoulders, RedHead xoxo

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  2. Hi - thank you for your comment and I enjoyed reading your piece. The problem is the hierarchy but if we all ignore that and stay creative then blogging keeps its spirit (now I'm panicking about its and it's - my first instinct was to go it's because it belong to blogging but then I thought no, do advice, I'm pretty good normally but am a bit dyslexic so don't understand the rules just learn them by rout)

    It is the spirit of blogging the idea that publishing is your own. I agree that some such as The Satorialist are oringinals, as is Susie of Style Bubble. Lots of us are original but we don't do the fashion thing in a way that is hitting the spot with certain markets. Food blogging is enormous more so than Fashion.

    I think at first these fashion blogs are visually pleasing but they don't foster community and once you lose that you'd better watch your back.

    SW is refreshing and hilarious - she says things in a way I could only dream about but i do come on form sometimes!! xxx

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  3. This was incredibly well written. Great thoughts here.

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