Tuesday, July 2, 2013

025 : That "perfect" Myth.

I was over at a regular read today, Wish, Wish, Wish, and she said, "Sounds a bit silly, but I almost feel the need to point out that I don’t spend every weekend prancing around galleries and scoffing macarons...I like to think it’s obvious that when I get home I jump into a pair of PJs and do boring things like hoovering, but it doesn’t hurt to say it now and then". She then goes on to link Delightfully Tacky who says, "...and I was reminded how weird the internet is, from the outside looking in. Like... it's weird to me that we have to clarify that our lives aren't perfect." Delightfully Tacky went on to link an article about "perfect" Instagram lives and an article in defense of "perfect" Instagram lives.

Quite frankly, I found the first three linked posts SUPREMELY annoying and thought there was only some truth in the final post.

Here is the thing about "perfect" bloggers, YOU ARE LYING TO ALL OF YOUR READERS. Yeah, you are.

When you don't write about your bad days, then you're lying. Do you have to post pictures of you in your pjs? Obviously not, and that's a really stupid analogy. Everyone knows you get to wear pjs more than us, because you make your money from blogging. We get it, you write your blog posts in your pjs, with your fave tv show on Netflix, while eating junk food. No one needs to be told about that. What we need to know is your ACTUAL life, including the down days. We need to know if you have a friendship that doesn't seem to fit and you don't know where to go. We need to know if you've gone on a string of bad dates, or whatever it is you and your Other might argue about. We need to know when you feel sad for no reason, when you tried for something and failed, when life just seems to be off. We need to know when you put down your favorite family pet, or if you hate your boss, or if you turned off anonymous comments because you got anonymous haters. (And yeah, we really need to hear you call out GOMI.)

If what you're posting is only pretty clothes and sunshiney days and cute recipes and whatever, then YOU'RE A LIAR. You're lying via content. You're lying by omission. You're presenting a facade of what your life looks like when it doesn't actually look like that at all.

Do we need to know about every bad mood? No. But maybe set some fucking goals and let us know how you're doing on them, if you're struggling with accomplishing them, if you're dreaming about something you don't currently have, what it took to get where you are, and if you just had a big fight with your mom. We need to know this because we're actual people with actual lives and what you're selling is...it's fucking Barbie, honestly. Maybe you're not selling a ridiculously impossible body type, but you're selling a ridiculously impossible lifestyle, and that fucking sucks!

About Instagram : that's a bad analogy for "perfect" blogging, because Instagram is supposed to be pretty shit, and everyone knows that. But some people do manage to post when their cats or children get up to mischief, and we all have a laugh about LIFE.

But that "Perfect Blogger Myth," well you're perpetuating it, so stop writing stupid posts like it's a surprise that no one knows who the real you is, and just write a post about your actual life. Believe it or not, your readers probably want to hear how you struggle, because they want to learn how you overcame them...you know, and not just learn about how you mix prints.


Edited to add : You can see a better representation of what these bloggers are (were) like if you go to the beginning of their blogs. It's not such a pretty, fake picture then. Wish, Wish, Wish Delightfully Tacky

8 comments:

  1. I read all the articles you linked, and the last one is definitely the only one I can relate to. I don't think I've ever been truly jealous of someone because of a social media post, and have definitely never hated someone for that. My thoughts are usually along the lines of "that looks like so much fun! Take me with yoooou!" I dunno, maybe I'm just a happy, well-adjusted person?

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  2. @Minimeg : Well, I'm not for positive on this, but I would venture to say that you don't read lifestyle blogs on the regular. So, you're not really my audience for this post. Suffice to say, there are definitely young women reading these blogs on the regular, who are mislead to believe that the lives portrayed in the blogs are actual lives...and they're not actual lives.

    Anyway, maybe you're right and you're just well-adjusted...and smart enough to see through fakery!

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  3. Where do I even start?
    I feel like bloggers have this need to paint the perfect lives because they think that's what people WANT to see and hear. I get irritated with fake bloggers because my goal with blogging is to meet new people & make new friends BUT I would argue that the more popular bloggers (think A Beautiful Mess) have to sound peachy and cheery because they're a company. I don't even think of those types of people/bloggers as people. I think of them as a company. They're trying to sell you a certain sort of lifestyle the same as any magazine would. They aren't trying to make friends.
    What's sad, though, is that when girls (especially the younger bloggers) start up their blogs, they look to blogs like ABM for inspiration! They see the success and the influx of comments and they think that if they want people to read them and connect with them, they HAVE to be that way. I know I was that way when I first started my blog! I thought I HAD to post every day (and I would get extremely upset if I didn't) and everything HAD to be beautiful, charming, whimsical, and so on.

    We're fed this sort of crap ALL the time, though. It isn't just bloggers selling us lies and perfect lives. It's companies, it's TV sitcoms, it's crappy romantic comedy movies. Everyone is shilling this garbage to us and making us think that we don't have enough of this or do enough of that and we can't be happy unless we do these things. I think the fact that bloggers do it hurts a little more because you know deep down there is a person on the other side of that screen who probably started a blog with the same intentions that you did. They loved to write or wanted to connect... The big bloggers found the money in blogging and stuck to it, the rest of us are just trying to figure out how to make people like us, so we copy the people we see as successful.

    As for the instagram stuff, I don't mind that. It is a place for pretty photos, after all. I really doubt you want photos of people crying, and honestly, who whips out the phone to snap a photo when they're depressed, munching on chocolates, and sitting around in PJs?

    Sorry for the novel ;)
    xo

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    1. I agree that lifestyle bloggers who paint the impossible life (and who also write posts about "how to blog") are creating a false standard for blogging for young women. I think that is definitely a part of the problem for sure. Although, if ABM is a business, and if they are blogging from that standpoint, and if they aren't writing posts about supposed myths, then I don't have fault for them.

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  4. I want to preface this by saying that I am not a blogger reader by nature. I only read the blogs of people I know so I may be slightly biased or wholly uneducated on the subject.
    With this being said, if someone is getting paid to write something, they have to write for their audience or they dont get paid. No content that people wasn't to read, no money. If people didn't want to read super cheery sun-shiny blogs (however untrue, I agree) then there would be no reason to write them.
    With anything like this, I do blame the consumer. It may sound victim blaming, but if you (not you personally, but society as a whole) dont want something in your life, or believe it to be untrue, unjust or wrong, dont read it, give it money, time or effort.
    The fact that these blogs are making money, sadly I admit, is that they are filling some niche that people enjoy.

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    1. Actually, the fact that these bloggers are making money is an even bigger problem. They don't make money because people enjoy them, they make money because they show that they receive many hits...and because companies have hundreds of thousands to spend on advertising, and a little sponsorship to a blog is such a tiny amount of that budget. But it's only hits, not audience enjoyment that earns them the sponsorship. I could show my blog stats and probably get some sponsors too. It's not that hard to utilize social media properly to boost blog views.

      Furthermore, unless we speak out about this bullshit, then girls aren't going to see through it. The lying is happening everywhere, and it's a sneaky little fantasy they're portraying. But my beef isn't even that they are creating a myth with their blogging...my beef is the ridiculous posts they write, acting like it's all a big surprise.

      They need to get hip to their own bullshit, or just be a fucking brand, but the in between and the whining and the faux surprise...ridiculously idiotic crap.

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  5. I was just clicking around your blog for fun and I don't know how but I found this post (which I remember reading, but I never commented on it -- we probably emailed). I think it's funny that bloggers feel the need to say "my life isn't perfect" because duh, I know that, no one's is -- the point is that we want to SEE that imperfection, like you said. And instead of saying "my life isn't perfect" they need to actually show it.

    Believe it or not, I bookmarked a post at DT today that very nearly almost got to a personal point, and I was happy for her for getting so damn close.

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    1. Link me the post in e-mail!

      Yeah...we need to know that bloggers have imperfections and we need to see them. Definitely. Even just an occasional bad hair day or admitting to a bad habit, you know? But usually, I've found the personal posts come when, like, there was a flood or a bike stolen...so now it's all tragic, which still isn't the same as you know, a nail biting habit!

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