Monday, 14 August 2017

Bloggers Vs The Insta Girl

You've only got to look at my Instagram profile to know that I just don't get it.

I don't get the phenomenon of photographing every single aspect of your beautifully filtered life.

I love it for the simple fact that I like to have a nose into other people's lives to the point where I feel incredibly miserable about my own, standard. I like that instant hit of inspiration I feel from a single photo, it feeds my need for creativity and pretty things. That pang of happiness that fills up inside of me when a photo of mine has done particularly well, admittedly it's usually a photo of the dog but it’s undeniably slightly addictive. 

I like scrolling through my favourite bloggers profiles, finding out what they’re wearing, what they’re buying and where they’re going. It's also a slight kick in the teeth because unless I remortgage my parents house I am probably never going to get even a taste of that lifestyle. And yeah I prob wouldn't say no to a Mulberry handbag and a weekend in Paris, ya know?  

And I hate it because isn't it just something we all love to hate.

The jealousy, the scrutiny and the feeling that maybe we aren't good enough.

Define Blogger and Google will tell you a blogger is 'anyone who writes regularly for their blog', ask a brand and they'll prob roll their eyes and state that nowadays Bloggers go by the name of 'influencers'.

Brands don’t want Bloggers, they want the picture perfect Insta Girl. 

An insta girl should be every girl. The curvy, the slim, the petite and the tall. Instead she is this complete goddess of a woman, she is effortlessly cool and flawlessly tanned. She sits down on the edge of the pool without her thunder thighs slapping together. She doesn’t have to worry about the gap between her two front teeth or her painfully awkward smile the moment a camera is pointed at her.

In fact she probably wouldn't know because she's far too busy staring aimlessly into the distance whilst some poor sod chases after her for the perfect candid shot.

Eurgh, I kinda despise her.

I also know that she's worked for it. She owns it and she is quite literally the girl boss we all wanna be. She doesn't have thunder thighs because she's in the gym five days a week and she is strong not only in body but in mind. She has every right to have become so successful without being judged by the likes of me. I don’t blame the insta girl for any of this, I blame the brands. 

Because where is the diversity in that? Where is the representation for the women of colour, the women who are plus size, the women who are stunning in their own right. Where is their sponsored content and their chance to shine? That's not bitterness, it's the truth. We have a right to question who defines what is right and what is not when it comes to influencers and bloggers and who a brand chooses to work with. Maybe it can't be changed, maybe it is the way it is because double chins don't sell the way skinny does.

I've been told directly by a brand that my instagram isn't developed enough for me to be considered for a collaboration. I'm about 5"3 and am the first to admit I am not the most photogenic person on the planet. I don't wanna be prancing around in my primark bikini on southend beach stepping over dog shit pretending I'm in Hawaii whilst my friend chases after me with a camera. I don’t want to have to change myself or feel bad because I don’t look like the million other influencers out there and I don’t want to have to work so hard shooting images that are probably just a bit of a lie.

I obviously understand why brands are so incredibly fussy and selective when it comes to choosing bloggers to work with, the industry is SO huge that they can be as selective as they want. I worked in PR for a short while myself so I know how attractive a large following, a pretty insta feed and clear crisp photos can be when you're a junior account assistant and you've got targets to hit. Anything less than perfect is possibly a bit of a risk so if the shoe doesn't fit then you'll probably be disregarded and pushed to the side or at least laughed at if you expect any kind of payment.

From a PR’s perspective I can understand, I don’t agree but I do get it. From a bloggers perspective I think something needs to change. Laying on a sun lounger, walking around in a designer two piece and drinking Peach Bellini's over lunch on a Tuesday just don’t relate to me. It’s what I see on every ‘big’ influencers profile every single day and we need to bring back a slightly more realistic approach to blogging, we need the everyday girl to have her chance too.

We shouldn't need to spend our nights awake in bed scrolling through our outfit shots, using every filter under the sun until we find the one that hides as many of our flaws as possible. Sometimes we aren't as skinny or as pretty as a brand would like and therefore they don't want and possibly never will want to work with us. It's the harsh truth and the bitter reality of a once pretty laid back and open minded industry. We don't need to focus on moulding ourselves into this perfect 'insta girl' to please brands, we need to focus on being who we are and being happy with that regardless of whether or not that makes us successful. Success is not measured by photos, beauty or how many instagram followers we have, it's measured by self worth.

I think sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that it is just an app - and blogging is so much more than that.