Slower Fashion

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic?

Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic? Fake Fabulous

Oh.... this is a great question, isn't it?

The other day I received a DM on social media from a woman who made handbags.
She was complimenting me on my appearance (and blog) and I thanked her and asked her to send me an email.
I assumed she wanted to promote her business and had a collaboration proposal.

{I NEVER do business via DMs on Insatgram/Twitter/ Facebook. Only via email.}

Anyway.
She did email me.... and my jaw dropped.

Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic? Fake Fabulous

Her email was entitled "Narcissist."

Hmmm.
Not a great start eh?
I was (initially) confused.

I opened the email and, to cut a long story short, the gist was:

"I don't know why on earth you wanted me to email you.
Sure, I think you're pretty and I like your blog BUT you obviously just need the attention and have some issues.
Anyway, here I am." 

Say WHAT!?

{There was more...hmmm... but I'll spare you the details.}

Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic? Fake Fabulous

Yeah.
That left me pondering for a moment.

I had a whole host of knee-jerk responses ranging from common-as-muck swear words to sarcasm.
But I didn't do either of those things.

Despite this aggressive title and hurtful, judgemental content I replied with:


"I'm so sorry there was some confusion here.
I assumed you wanted to promote your handbag business and was looking to collaborate.
I don't do business via social media.
I normally charge for sponsored content but would normally be happy to help promote a small business free of charge.
Sorry for the confusion and your wasted time.
Have a great week!"


My tongue was held.
I felt like I'd kept my dignity (just).

However, inside I felt a little rattled.
Did I feel hurt?
I'm not sure.
Offended?
Maybe a little.

I certainly felt judged.
I know that we all judge (and are judged ourselves) everyday BUT it felt weird seeing it in (passive-aggressive) print.

{Needless to say, she didn't reply.}

Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic? Fake Fabulous

This person knows NOTHING about me yet decided that because I have a blog that I must think I'm beautiful and brilliant and the world revolves around me.
Why?

After a little thought, I realised that this opinion of me actually has no reflection on who I am.
It felt pretty personal but it's not personal at all.
The accuser is the one with the problem.
The 'issue' is theirs.

They were trying to reflect their problems onto me.
They made me think a little but ultimately they failed.

Maybe some bloggers are slightly weird?
I know I am in plenty of different ways!

Maybe some even need the attention a blog brings?
Maybe online love gives a few that sense of validation and belonging?
I don't know.
More importantly, I don't care!
It doesn't matter a jot what motivates my favourite bloggers.
All I know, or care about, is that I like their content.
That's all.

Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic? Fake Fabulous

Personally, I don't share my family or my social life online.
I DO like to get up close and personal with my girl chat on my blog BUT you won't get an in-depth tour of my house/closet.

So, you might ask ...

"Why on earth do you post pictures of yourself on the internet and share images of your outfits?" 
"Do you love looking at pictures of yourself?"
"Do you think you're a beautiful woman?"
"Do you consider yourself Super-Stylish?"

The answers are easy.

First of all, I KNOW I'm not any more (or less) beautiful than the next woman.
I think we're all on a par there!
Women are amazing.

I'm also not particularly stylish.
I like my own style (obviously!) but I don't think I'm more stylish than the next blogger you visit.

(In fact, I know I've worn some clangers...but I've loved them anyway!)

I don't particularly like pictures of myself either.
90% of my photos involve me in a ridiculous pose or with a disastrous facial expression.

(That's why I need about 200 photos taken per outfit, just to get ONE where I'm not looking like a super-goofball!)

I'm also well aware of my flaws and I embrace them.

There is no name you can call me, or flaw you point out, that I haven't thought of myself or heard before.

(Apart from the word narcissist. That came as a surprise!!)

I'm grateful for my (able) body.
I'm grateful that I have confidence in my personal style.
I'm grateful that I'm comfortable with my ageing face.

I don't consider myself a narcissist...

Narcissist:
a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. 
"narcissists who think the world revolves around them"

I know for a fact the world does not revolve around me.

(Sometimes it feels like it revolves around my kids though... can you relate?)

The reason I share photos of myself in outfits (and my thoughts on certain topics) is because in the past I was online searching for inspiration.
I was looking for women like me.
Women who looked like me and I could relate to.
I wanted to see more outfits on more women over 40!
With less-than-model proportioned bodies and faces.
There weren't enough images out there so instead of getting frustrated, I decided to be part of the solution.
I decided to share MY style.
Just in case there was another woman out there looking for inspiration from another average looking woman...

Just like me.

I'm getting more and more uncomfortable with full-on consumerism.
I'm on a mission not to buy anything unless it is replacing something worn-out.

The need to have NEW all of the time really upsets me.
I don't want to be constantly buying buying buying.
It's sickening.
Online style inspiration is a great way to reuse and re-wear pieces you already have.
The more women online, sharing their looks, the better as far as I'm concerned!

It turns out that my passive-aggressive insulting bag-lady (ahem...she made bags!) taught me a lesson.

(Every day is a school day so they say.)


  • I didn't think I could be offended but it turns out that I CAN. The best part? I quite liked it. I enjoyed the feeling. How strange is that?!


Is Fashion Blogging Vain, Shallow and Narcissistic? Fake Fabulous

Why do you blog?
Would you consider starting a blog to share your passion and personal style?
Do you think fashion bloggers are up themselves and probably all narcissists?

What about being judged or offended?
Has anyone ever surprised you with a judgemental or nasty comment?

Let me know your opinion on this.
I'd love to hear it!

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19 comments

  1. My mouth just fell open! What is that for a kind of person that writes something like that. But how good of you how you handle it. I never thought of myself as a narcissist. What is wrong with sharing our passion right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly Nancy!!
      I'm glad you (and women like you) share because it inspires me...
      XXX

      Delete
  2. I think that some people are purposefully hurtful and offensive. I do not think you are narcissistic at all but doing your best to share your outfits with your readers. Your blog has helped me be more comfortable with wearing what I like and what's comfortable, no matter what my age is. What I am tired of are influencers (the word makes me cringe) who constantly seem to be pushing the next new thing to buy. But I just don't pay attention and move on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Loree... what a kind comment.
      I laughed out loud at you cringing at the word influencer!
      I agree but I think the word has been unfairly linked to excessive consumerism which is unfortunate.
      "Hauls" leave a bad taste in my mouth.
      The truth is that we all influence someone, even if it's just a friend who admires your nail poiish and pops out to buy it.
      Bloggers with BIG numbers of followers (especially those who are followed by young girls) have a real responsibility to be careful what they are promoting.
      They should IMO be mindful of the message they share.
      Sadly many are on the sell, sell sell.
      I MUST do a post sharing some of my favourite eco-minded bloggers!!
      Thank you for the inspiration.
      XXX

      Delete
  3. I enjoy your blog because your friendly approach appears genuine, you don't push your readers to buy buy buy, and your styling is thoughtful and interesting. I like that you shop your closet and items appear more than once, differently styled, sometimes months apart. I like that you love color as much as I do!
    Keep doing You!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much for this lovely comment!
      I'm chuffed as nuts with it :o)
      Everything you say here is EXACTLY how I imagine (and hope) I come across to you so this means a lot.
      XXX

      Delete
  4. Wow, that email from her really does say volumes about her, doesn't it, Samantha? You're right, it's not about you - she doesn't know you, or why you do this! She probably has some deep insecurities about herself, or ideas about what "older women" should wear that she doesn't challenge.

    I'm sure there are the narcissists out there - but they aren't blogging, they're all on Instagram, getting those immediate likes. Bloggers are all different, we're complex and we do what we do because we love it. I do like to buy, but that's part of how I pass on my clothes, and my knowledge about fashion and style, to the women in my life. It's how I support my local charities and second-hand consignment brick and mortar stores in my downtown. It's how I express myself and how I feel - it's my art!

    And yes, I do have a touch of narcissism (don't we all, really? doesn't your world revolve around you?), and I do have a desire to be liked (it's very human!). But I also have a desire to connect and inspire other women.

    I feel sad for this person, because she is missing out on what a rich thing this can be. She's seeing only the superficial.

    Thanks for a very thought-provoking post, my dear! Brava!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sheila.... what a fab comment!
      I agree about personal style being an artistic expression.
      Perfectly put.
      I'm not sure I agree about thinking the world revolves around me (in fact I know it doesn't... even my own world!) ... I don't think I'm that bothered about being liked either...hmmm... maybe that's NOT a good thing?!
      Hahahaha.
      (We all have our own issues don't we?)
      However, I DO agree with you about connecting and inspiring!
      In fact, if someone tells me they feel inspired by something I've done/ wore/ said I feel an overwhelming sense of joy! hahahaha.... maybe that's a desire in itself. Not to be liked per say but to be valued?
      This comment has been like a mini therapy Sheila!!!
      Thank you :o)
      XXX

      Delete
  5. I am completely appalled by the woman's behaviour. I'm confused as to why she bothered DMing you in the first place. Even if there were some sort of miscommunication, to title an email "Narcissist"? Dear oh dear. At the end of the day her email to you says more about what kind of a person she is, and has nothing to do with you. Your reply to her was so nice, and shows what kind of a person YOU are. It's one the reasons I am a loyal reader of your blog because honestly, the fact that you have a genuinely a good kind heart shines through your pictures and words.

    Oh Samantha, your post here describes EXACTLY why I blog myself - almost word for word! I wish I wrote this post myself!

    There is a whole bunch of people who do not understand why fashion/style bloggers blog (and I'm pretty sure they're the same bunch who completely despise the word "influencer" too). I usually don't let them bother me, because I benefit nothing from it. I think that's why it's wonderful that there is a lot of love in the blogging community itself, because we tend to support each as there's an understanding about why we do what we do. The "why" might differ from blogger to blogger but we just understand and accept it.

    And if we're lucky, we get readers who have no interest in blogging but is happy to be part of the community anyway! And I have no doubt you have plenty of those, Samantha. Always keep your head high, as you always do <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. woww, I'm shocked that somebody could misunderstood you in such a stupid way, but it's not new for me (not new at all) that random people could think that blogging is a selfish activity. However I agree totally that blogging is a way to express your own style and share what you wear and your Real Life. I do love some Real Life inspiration!.
    And I also started to blog because I missed to see some style created by Real Women in their forty-something, women with different shapes and styles, women who don't dress Designer's Clothes, women who buy second hand and look for a bargain, women like Me!.
    Your post totally nailed it!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Monica!
      I'm delighted that you agree.
      You are such a HUGE inspiration, especially with colour combining, it would be a CRIME if you kept that to yourself!! :o)
      XXX

      Delete
  7. Wow! My jaw literally dropped when I read that email excerpt. What an awful person! (And obviously clueless re: marketing options for her own small business.) Honestly, I love bloggers. I don't find sharing your interests with other people with similar interests narcissistic in the slightest. I know that a lot of people who are outside of the fashion or small business community think that bloggers and influencers are stupid and pointless, but those people are just ignorant. Of course there are vacuous bloggers, but if they don't resonate with you, move on. Spreading hate around the internet is just a pointless activity. If you think you can do something better, than go for it - just don't email strangers with your rude thoughts. I'm glad you saw that her words in no way reflected you or your output in the world, but rather her own issues.

    xoKaelen | https://darlingmarcelle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Kaelen!
      I felt a little upset at first, then I went into self-analysis mode.....realising that I am more self-deprecating than narcissistic.
      That's not a good thing either but it is what it is.
      I think my grandpa put it well....
      "If you've got nowt nice to say keep your trap shut!"
      :o)
      XXX

      Delete
  8. This woman baited you and got more than she bargained for. Based on the fact that she didn't respond, I'm very hopeful that she learned something. Even if you inspired her to ponder her OWN behavior I think that's a move in the right direction.
    I'm not at all surprised by your reaction Sam. You have common sense, emotional maturity, humanity and a great sense of humor. She lucked out when she discovered these qualities instead of the narcissist she thought she'd taunted.
    I wish we in the US were LESS familiar with the damage that can be done by a REAL NARCISSIST in our Oval Office. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jude, you always make me think a little more... a little deeper.
      Thank you for that!
      I hadn't considered baiting behaviour before but it makes sense now.
      You are TOO kind (and very generous) with your comments.
      I feel sad for people that feel they need to respond in that way.
      I honestly had considered helping her with her business regardless of the fact that the bags were not to my taste.
      I thought someone else might find them interesting and it's always a good idea to support small businesses.
      She was so awful I wouldn't do it now for all the tea in China!
      We live, we learn.
      XXX


      Delete
  9. The lady did jump to conclusion a bit there and she seems a bit judgmental for sure. I can understand that perhaps she didn't get why you asked her to email her but titling the email narcissist and telling you that you think the world evolves around you seems a tad too much. It is a bit confusing behaviour. First she tells you she loves your blog and thinks you're pretty but then she tells you that you are a narcissist for telling her to write you an email. On other hand, you don't know her side of the story. I remember how one lady that makes bags told me how bloggers ask her for free stuff all the time so maybe she had some bad experience in the past and ended up assuming the worst (not that I'm justifying her actions, it's just you never know). You answer was perfectly mature and reasonable so it's really not your problem anymore. Now it is her turn to clear things up if she wants to. Anyway, it's not your fault for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your reply Sam but I'm honestly perplexed as to why this person bothered to dm you in the first place. How bizarre is that, given her obvious disgust at your gallery to respond? Lol I got nuthin' people are strange alright. Love you though 😘

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sam, brilliant post! In the beginning of my blog, I struggled so much with the idea that people would think me vain and narcissistic. The idea of taking and sharing photos of myself was absolutely mortifying to me. So I did it to conquer my own fear and my own self image issues. And like you, I was always searching for women like myself who share the same passion I have for quirky style and fashion. I am a complete oddball in pretty much every aspect of my life and I always felt alone in that. I figured that by sharing my oddities, maybe it would also help some other odd girl feel not so alone and isolated! Judgments are a terrible thing. And I know that as humans, they creep in, but my God, keep that nonsense to yourself! I cannot understand that anyone would take the time to say such nasty things, let alone actually type them out. I had a woman recently leave some awful remarks on my IG in such a way that I guess my outfit absolutely offended her to the point that she had to verbalize how horribly ugly my style was. I simply replied with a sad face emoji and #SpreadTheKindness. I never heard another word from her. I seriously will never understand some people. You are fabulous, my friend! Keep shining your light!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    ReplyDelete

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