I have been meeting to write this post for quite some time now, but of course life always seems to happen putting blog on the back burner. I read a blog post a little while back that Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky wrote that really struck a note with me. She raised an awareness in me of where our clothes come from, and how blogging has unfortunately become a "consumption" based world. I would really recommend reading her post, because it is so wonderfully written, and who knows if I will be able to get it across as beautifully as she did.
I have such a hard time blogging anymore. I find myself slowly unfollowing more and more blogs anytime I get around to reading them, and I finally realize it is because blogging has changed. Obviously with time anything is going to change, but it took me a long time to figure out why I was so frustrated with the current blogging world. Then Elizabeth nailed it write on the head. Consumerism. It is actually HARD to go read a blog post that isn't either completely filled top to bottom with ads, or is promoting some new something or other. And I get it, a lot of people make their money through blogging, and that is exactly how you do it! However, somewhere in the consume, consume, consume, mindset I feel like blogging has lost a voice.
Just a few weeks ago I was looking through my bookshelf, and came across the book that actually got me into blogging. It's called Style Diaries, and it is basically a compilation of a bunch of different bloggers and their individual styles. Up until then I hadn't even heard of blogging. I had no idea what these websites under each person's name was! So I started exploring, and soon became completely captivated by the blogging world.
Finding this book made me realize why I fell in love with blogging in the first place. It was about inspiration. It was a way to express your style, voice, opinions, etc. through any sort of medium. I was OBSESSED with fashion blogging in the beginning. I was sick and tired of Utah's hipster/ preppy/UGG boots/ I don't even know style that was happening. I didn't feel like I meshed with any of it, and I had a hard time figuring out ways to express myself. Fashion blogs pushed me to be different. They gave me inspiration to thrift, and to figure out how different items in my closet could work. It gave me the confidence to be brave and creative with my style, and it really helped give me a sense of identity in high school.
Since then I have continued to participate in the blogging community, and up until a year ago I really was all in. But like a lot of people in this social media driven world, I began to compare and to want. I slowly found myself losing confidence in my voice as a blogger, and having no inspiration or want to continue. There are sooo many bloggers out their which is wonderful, but also hard. There is a very real pressure of not being good enough, or creative enough to be part of it. You are constantly bombarded with STUFF and THINGS that people are wearing, using, eating, buying, etc. Instead of actually reading the contact you find yourself wondering where they got their outfit, or where that rug in the corner is from. I started to feel like unless I had the stuff or the things what I said wouldn't matter.
So what have I taken from this? How am I going to escape the grasp of a society that tells us we need more? Well I decided to start in the place where I seem to get caught up into that wanting mentality the most... clothing. This has always been particularly hard for me. This is where I find myself actually spending money, and feeling like I need to keep consuming in order to be normal. However, I never really thought about where my clothes were coming from, or just why shirts at some very popular stores are so cheap (aka sweatshops). I think it was always one of those things that you constantly hear about, but I never allowed myself to really dwell on. And after reading Elizabeth's post about it I realized that I wasn't okay with it anymore. I'm not okay with the idea of women and/or children working for pennies a day to make my clothes, and the unethical and heartbreaking standards they are forced to work in. I do not feel okay putting money towards a system that mistreats human beings, so that I can wear cute clothes for a cheap price.
I have decided from now on do my best to only buy clothing that has is either second-hand, made in the USA, or ethical/ fair trade clothing. I know that this will be a lifelong challenge, and I am not saying that I won't make mistakes along the way, but I am making a commitment to make this change in my life. Will that mean not buying clothing as often? Definitely. The clothing is usually more expensive, and harder to find. However, I have been able to find plenty of awesome clothing company's that are ethical/sustainable/fair trade clothing, and was very happy to find out that one of my favorite places to buy clothes (Modcloth) has a few lines that meet ethical clothing guidelines as well as clothe made in the USA. I know that it will be more difficult, but to me it is worth it.
And I don't want this post to come off all high and mighty. I am not going to judge someone for buying a cute shirt at Forever 21 or H&M. That isn't what this is about. It is more about what led me to make this decision, and why it is important to me. That is the great thing about blogging. We are able to share our opinions, and get support from one another. We are able to teach each other, and talk about the things we feel are important. Some things will just go over our heads while others (for ex. Elizabeth's post) will change our lives and opinions forever. That is what I miss about blogging! Talking about the hard things, and having a place to talk about them in a safe and respectful way.
I think a lot of people, particularly women, have started to really speak up about how we compare our lives and our quality of life based on pictures we see on instagram/blogs/pinterest, and how they measure up. There is a wonderful hashtag going around called #imnotabigdeal that is all about this, and has a lot of very popular ladies coming out and telling the world that their REAL life is not the life you see in pictures. They are sharing little bits and pieces of what real life is like for them, and what goes on behind the scenes of the pictures we see on our feed. It really has been an inspiring thing to read through, and it is just another reminder that we all have our difficulties and hardships, and that no one has the "perfect" life. So lets all remember that the next time we find ourselves comparing our life to another persons.
What do you guys think? Is there anything about the blogging community you wish you could change? What do you love about the blogging community?