I hate to break it to all my followers waiting for my outfit suggestions and makeup tutorials. I fear that kind of content may never be published here, as much as I love following accounts who do post that kind of content.
You see, I got into blogging and social media connection for different reasons.
I wear the same outfits over and over (often for years) and the whole structure of fashion bloggers is based on a type of consumerism I intentionally avoid.
I think it’s unnecessary to keep up with all trends on a consumeristic level. I do make an effort to stay knowledgeable on “what’s hot and what’s not”, but I’ve disconnected from the need to buy into all of it, especially fast fashion.
Fast fashion is not only wasteful for financial reasons, but it’s destroying the planet. And we really don’t need more things destroying the planet right now.
I think buying more than you need should be considered a sin. I mean, if we’re going to be condemning people for their actions I think one of the biggest ones should be overconsumption. I am guilty of this sin, of course, but I’m becoming aware and making an effort to change myself and my life for the better.
“Content” has become a buzzword for “creators” who believe they are sharing something unique with the world when they use the same lucrative business model that other influencers have used. Selling things no one needs, using their audience to make money from uninformed purchases, only publishing content with a dollar sign attached to it, the list goes on.
Content is not being shared for the sake of sharing what’s right or true. It’s being shared in order to gain more followers, more money, more “opportunities”, more whatever.
But they aren’t really offering more… not when you look closely. They are all pushing out the same thing. A seemingly more personalized version of capitalistic advertising of a life we should all aspire to have.
And sure, maybe I’m saying all these things from a jealous place, wishing I had more followers and money coming in from my own creative endeavors. I won’t deny that for a moment.
But I want my big numbers in the “followers” category to be because I’m genuinely connecting with my audience and the people who are consuming the content I’m creating. Again, this is why I have a hard time utilizing Instagram for my blog. And of course, I made the “mistake” of linking my blog to my personal social media account instead of making one exclusively for my blog.
I just can’t follow all the rules for success of a typical influencer or brand or creator or whatever they’re calling themselves now. I can’t keep up. And I get this continuing feeling that I shouldn’t even be trying. If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’m a better actor when I write the script, not when I follow one written by other people.
If I’m going to be using my image and myself as a tool for personal gain, I want it to reflect my authentic self. My authentic self has yet to be found in following the exact footsteps of those who came before me. Those footsteps are my guide, not my exact blueprint. I stand alone if I do not admit that I stand upon the shoulders of the giants who came before me, however I also know that my strength comes from the individual journey I create while atop those shoulders.
Living in an authentic light, for me, does not look like sponsored content for companies I don’t believe in. That’s why all my blog posts that promote products or businesses are written based off actual personal experience and interest instead of monetary gain. I don’t wait for something to prove to be lucrative before I dive in. I just go for it and figure that, eventually, if I work hard enough and stay true enough, the rewards will find their way to me.
See, I’m all for having a hustle. I totally support people going in on what they believe in. Which is why I have to create some separation for myself. I’m pretty sure that, though I aspire to be a big time influencer who one day lands a book deal, I have completely different motivations than the instagram bloggers I often find myself in the company of.
I don’t view myself as a brand, as a money making machine with amazing pictures and inspo. I see myself as a person, with strengths and flaws, and a message to share. I see myself as a writer, as someone who’s best message comes through the written word, not through short captions and quick images that flash before your eyes as you scroll mindlessly down a timeline that never ends.
I know I have a lot to improve upon if I ever aspire to gain followers or any type of financial gain from my creations. But I also refuse to sell myself out and play into a system that’s superficial at best.