1/07/2015

Resolute.

When I first started blogging (and spent way too much time worrying about the unrealistic pressure to perfect every post) my husband said these words to me:
 
 I have a tendency to be overly thoughtful to the point of paralysis and B was encouraging me to stop overthinking and just write. To him, he was just trying to push his stubborn wife to put. pen. to. paper.

But to me, those words were a blaring reminder to stop worrying and just be authentic. Simple as that.  

Be authentic.

 (Warning: Jerry Maguire moment ahead.)

The world of blogging is changing. It’s becoming staged and scripted. Airbrushed and sculpted. Bought and paid for. Style blogging has always been a little bit of a fantasy. I mean, I’m not blogging about my fears and worries. I’m not even blogging about my everyday reality (if I did, there would be a lot more posts involving sweatpants). I am blogging about fashion. Sometimes unattainable fashion. It’s creative and fun and beautiful. And yes, sometimes a little bit staged. And like all social media, in blogging, we get to pick and choose what we share with the world, leading to this false image that we constantly have our shit together.

While I always try and remain authentic - in both my writing and my style - I like to believe that my readers are aware that this blog is only a tiny portion of my reality. My everyday stress and struggles, for the most part, remain off the screen and reserved for my real, non-digitized, life.

And although beautifully curated, I can't help but wonder if this constantly idealized imagery is leading to the loss of authenticity in the world of blogging? And where is the line between inspiration and insincerity?

Today, blogs are looking less like individual expressions of style and more like advertisements. Especially with affiliate marketing and paid sponsorships, all these blogs (even ones that I love) are starting to look remarkably similar. And I get it. It’s how you make money and how many are able to quit their jobs and live the dream as a full time blogger.

But where is the line?

If you are constantly getting paid to promote, how do you maintain your authenticity?

And without authenticity, what’s the point?

Seriously?

To me, without authenticity there is no point. And I am not saying you cannot make money on your blog and remain authentic. You definitely can. But it can be a slippery slope and one that for me personally, is not currently worth the time and moral energy it takes.

So what does that mean?

It means turning down affiliate marketing, ads, and paid posts. If I recommend a product it means I genuinely love it. If I team up with a shop for a giveaway or to style an item, it means I believe in that shop. If I link to an article of clothing I am wearing and you decide to buy it, it means I'm not making a commission off of that item.

It means weekly posts full of inspiration and free of insincerity. It means fashion fantasy merged with daily reality. It means full disclosure. 

For now, building my audience, finding my voice, and developing this little blog trumps the risk of selling myself out. And if that ever changes, you'll be the first to know.

But what does this all really mean?

It means I get to be authentic.

And, of course, that I get to use my voice. Not apologize. Be honest. And have fucking fun.