They also prove that you can be fashionable at any size, in any shape, etc. I feel my self-esteem rises more from looking at their blogs (and seeing all differents kinds of men and women represented) than it ever could by looking at the advertising in magazines, on television, or on billboards. I am proud to call myself a member of this extremely diverse group of people (size, shape, age, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, etcetera). If anything, I feel a bit guilty at times for not participating enough. Perhaps that is why I feel I would be remiss if I did not state my utter dismay at an article from Washington Post Express that was shared with our group. I may not be a fashion blogger, but I do support the fabulous fashionistas who brave the blogging world every day, in DC and elsewhere.
Mary and I have had quite a few conversations about haters. We are often disappointed (and mystified) to find women hating on other women. We just can't get used to the idea that anyone would find it necessary, but some women seem to consider their entire sex competition and do their best to keep other women from succeeding. And though this article states that both men and women write fashion blogs, women are clearly targeted (see all of the examples the author lists throughout the post) - men appear to be just an aside here to cover the author's ass.
Jennifer Barger's My Blog, My Self post from August 24th 2012 is a remarkably negative and catty view of fashion bloggers in general. She seems to typecast all fashion bloggers as insecure ninnies who need regular validation of their fashion sense. Or "mostly 20-somethings...fishing for compliments...without much useful advice." Both petty and inaccurate.
I have no doubt that some fashion bloggers fit the bill here, but to throw the entire group into that pigeon hole shows a serious lack of research and some misplaced vitriol. What self-righteousness! Criticizing these people for not allowing modeling agencies or fashion magazines to dictate who gets to have their picture taken and shown to the public. Oh, the humanity! Thou dost protest too much, my dear. Your insecurities are showing.
When I shared this with Mary, she said, "The article itself is pretty shallow. While there are narcissists who blog about their style, there are many (perhaps more) who are creative, artistic and entrepreneurial. And why not? Women are getting their names out to the public - it's a form of networking, of developing business contacts, a career, or just sharing something fun. To look down one's nose at these people shows a lack of insight into the whole blogging phenomenon."
But don't take it from us, since we don't even blog about fashion. Instead, read the eloquent and well-researched response that Rachel posted on Fair Vanity. It is far kinder to the author than I'm feeling right now, but I appreciate that Rachel took the high road. Don't forget to scroll down - a couple of the bloggers that Barger wrote about left comments under the Fair Vanity post.
One thing I can attest to, though I haven't had the experience on this blog, is that weeding out negative comments isn't a way to make ourselves look good. It's a way to eliminate trolling. I have seen some pretty vicious trolling on other blogs and I am fully aware that whether or not my blog is successful, I could easily fall victim to the same thing. Internet trolls have only one purpose - to harass other people. You can disagree with me all you like, you can comment in a negative way on one of my posts and I will keep it, as long as it's appropriate (constructive, not offensive). But if someone leaves a comment that is only meant to harm one of the LostGirls contributors or another reader, of course I'm going to delete it. I'd also like to note that it's easy to criticize how other people moderate comments when you don't have to. If you'd like to let the editor know how you felt about this article, contact the Washington Post Express at firstname.lastname@example.org.