20/09/2016
A fashion blogger ponders.

Words by

Alyce Cowell

I was a uni student in the dark ages of 2008, which meant it took me forever to get into my corset every morning and there was no such thing as a blog. 

Well, there was, but it was brown and my teacher made me do it and all my entries were about the lecture I just sat through. It was lame and so boring I once fell asleep looking at it, but I became an expert at coding and my Myspace page never looked so good.

As the years changed, so did my platforms. I jumped from Myspace to Facebook and eventually realised I could start a blog as an online portfolio for my writing.  

I wrote about how to sell things on eBay and predicted scrunchies were making a comeback. I picked new layout themes and added widgets so people (my mum) could follow me on Bloglovin’. It was an innocent time, when we all wore our own clothes and actually took notes at a fashion show so we could ‘report’ on the trends the following day.

Then, all of a sudden, the blogging world took the little blue pill out of Limitless and everything went bananas. 

We were introduced to the likes of blogger-bots such as Fashion Toast and Tuula Vintage, who didn’t need a full-time job and spent most of their time in sunflower fields with a professional photographer. Websites looked like glossy magazines, fashion editors were pushed to the second (or third) row, and bloggers stalked around in intimidating packs, or worse, actual twins. It was blogging on steroids; a new era of media that we’re still complaining about many years later. 

The average person – who’ll be played by me in this rendition of Fashion Blogger, A Story – caught on. It was no longer acceptable for me to sit in my pink terry-towelling bathrobe and eat Nutella out of the jar while I spoke about what we’ll be wearing next season (or at least when Sportsgirl design their own version). I had to get out there! The world of fashion was waiting! 

So, I started a new blog. One with two other blogger friends this time, so we could A) hang out all the time and B) didn’t have to go to launch parties on our own. We had regular shoots to photograph our “content”, searched for the perfect “backdrops” and matched our outfits in a way no one actually dresses “IRL”. 

I’m not gonna lie: it was damn fun. I mean, who would ever get sick of dressing up in pretty clothes, taking photos with their friends, drinking free champagne and rummaging through goodie bags?

Well as it turns out, me actually, and I assume everyone else, too. After all, all good things must come to an end – even free perfume samples.

The issue of the “dying influencer” has been an argument for quite some time now. Sponsored posts are becoming more and more obvious, brands are looking to work with more “natural” ambassadors, and even my non-fashion friends can point out the gifted product in their feeds. 

But on the other side of the coin, at what point does it all change for the influencer? At what point do bloggers not want to be bloggers anymore?

Maybe it’s our age – priorities change, people advance in their career or have kids, they just don’t have the time anymore or generally get bored by the whole thing.  

For some, it could be popularity. So many bloggers started with the hope of becoming the next Margaret Zhang, but when you’re slogging it out after work and on weekends and not getting the exposure to match, a free dress every now and then might not cut it anymore.

Funnily enough, saturation is a thing now too. Back in 2008, my brown blog and I didn’t have much competition, but in 2016, there are millions of bloggers who originally wanted to show their individual style, but just ended up wearing the same twin set as all the other bloggers – that they all chose from the same lookbook.

It could be any or all of the above… or maybe, just maybe, we’ve all overstayed our welcome. 

Illustration by Twylamae who made this kewl Elaine Benes tee that we love.

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