As much as I’d like to tell you that the beauty blogging community is friendly and welcoming and that we sit round a campfire, holding hands and singing kumbaya (some of which is true) the truth is, there is also ugliness behind it all that I think is worth talking about. Be warned and all that.
No one will talk about it. It’s always about how much fun it is. But then, you’ve come to expect this of me, haven’t you?
I’ve experienced them all at one point or another, so I’m not talking through my hat. Almost 7 years of blogging brings you a wealth of experience that isn’t always wonderful. Yet, I can say that it has been educational for me to observe social behaviour and to see that stereotypical or not, having a group of women together isn’t always a good thing.
So, you could be a new blogger or you could be an experienced “old-timer” but I’m sure you will, at some point have thought about, or noticed or experienced one of these ugliness in beauty blogging. So, share if you will, or don’t if you’d prefer not to. Just don’t kid yourself that it isn’t happening
Jealousy and Envy
2 sides of the same coin. Sometimes, that feeling of jealousy or envy could be felt by you as you see other bloggers’ meteoric rise while you stagnate. Or it could be the other way around. You may be the target of others’ jealousy and envy because you have something they did not. This is the ugliest side of beauty blogging I’ve had the privilege to see, and it is truly the root of all ugliness. Every other negative experience will come down to this. But it’s a fact so let’s deal with it.
How do you deal with it? If jealousy is felt by you, stamp on it. Grasp it by its horns and headbutt it because it will only hold you back. Instead of feeling envious and jealous, do something about it. Improve yourself, recognise your strengths and play on those. If you are the butt of others’ jealousy, there’s nothing you can do but just go on being awesome
Cattiness / Bitchiness
Fact is the beauty blogging industry is dominated by women. Put a bunch of women together and be prepared to face cattiness and bitchiness. Feeling a little holier than thou? Don’t. No one is a saint, and admit it, at one point or another, you too would have been catty and bitchy. Perhaps someone else got an opportunity you wanted, or they were at an event you weren’t invited to, or they have more followers/fans/groupies than you do. Catfights abound, if you look for it.
How do you deal with it? Can you keep up? Are you able to appear at every event, to churn out a blog post immediately after the event, to show yourself having So. Much. Fun? If you can do all that, do it. Get yourself out there instead of being catty and whiny and bitchy. If you can’t, do what you can within your capabilities. Oh and don’t follow people who make you feel inadequate and unhappy If you have friends you can talk to, do. It helps to get it out of the system. Oh and don’t start a catfight. You bring yourself down to the lowest level and no one respects it at all. Till today, when I see a certain someone, all I can think of is the catfight she started, rallying her “followers” to support her cause. Big blogger now, but in my eyes, always the smallest and lowest of the low.
Feeling ostracized or that you don’t fit in
If you try to fit in, whether online or in a real life event, and then feel like you stand out like a sore thumb, join the club. Sometimes, I feel almost too old to be joining in the frivolities and being talked down to because bloggers are perceived to be young and pretty 20-somethings doesn’t help. Sometimes (and this is the truth) people ostracize others purpose to suit their nefarious means. It’s a fact of life, it happens everywhere whether you are a blogger or not.
How do you deal with it? People naturally gravitate towards like minds. That’s how I view it. So, find someone with a like mind. At the end of the day, if you are thrust into a social setting with other bloggers who you don’t feel comfortable with, treat it as a job. Be pleasant, be polite, do your job and get out. You don’t have to be friends with everyone if you don’t want to. Fact.
Pressure to conform
Look around and it almost feels like being a beauty blogger means you are predisposed to like pink, pastels, artistic arrangements of beauty products on instagram, “Face Of The Day” looks and blabbing about beauty at every opportunity. It feels like you have to be part of a network or a group. Ever feel that pressure to conform? Nope, you aren’t alone. At some point, I had doubts – should I infuse my site with baby blue and powder pink? Should I at least try to Tweet SOMETHING about beauty? But you know what? It wasn’t me. I hate pink. I hate pastels. I guess, I’m just not your day-to-day beauty blogger. Cute things turn me off. Practical ones turn me on. The pressure to conform is always there and you don’t have to dye your hair blonde to buck the trend (Oh wait, that’s just conforming. NOT dyeing your hair – now that’s bucking the trend!) but you can always stand out as an individual.
How do you deal with it? Don’t do it. This is the reason I keep my Twitter and Instagram accounts personal. Paris B is me. My Women Stuff is my blog. So, Twitter and IG are me and this allows me to not conform, and to be an individual, so say and do things as me, myself and I. It allows me a lot more leeway than I ever thought possible and for that, I’m glad I never merged them all into my blog. Joining a network can be beneficial, but be sure you aren’t being taken advantaged of. Most networks out there have an ulterior motive, so if you have to blog something for a CHANCE at a prize, it’s for their benefit, not yours.
Selfishness and One-upmanship
People are selfish. Again, it’s a fact. If they can keep everything to themselves, they would and that includes information. Quite an irony considering that blogging is a social activity. Locally, I do see this a lot. No one seems to share anything in this community, be it a ReTweet on Twitter or Facebook share. If it’s info they want, they’ll just take it and blog about it like it was theirs all along (see next point). The international community is a little more caring in this respect. I see more camaraderie, warmth and generosity (not always, but it is a little more developed). It might boil down to the concept of one-upmanship or what locally, we have a term for – kiasu. Kiasu-ism (lit. fear of dying) would dictate people take and not give or someone might be more favoured. Learn and not share lest someone else get ahead. Do a giveaway? I’ll do one too – bigger and better. Write a product review? I’ll do one too – with more photos, more editing, I’ll look better! Bah.
How do you deal with it? Find your niche. I like to tell myself that blogging has no geographical boundaries. Sure, being noticed locally is a nice thing, but at this stage, I’d much rather have the camaraderie of a community. If I can’t get it here, I’ll just have to look elsewhere. Being eyed up competitively, or not having information or releases shared with you, or just not being appreciated will hurt, and it frustrates, especially if you want to see the community grow. But if you’ve done all you can and yet people choose to pit themselves against you, holding back, being selfish and kiasu, there’s nothing more you can do. Blogging isn’t a competition! Share! Everyone benefits.
There are obvious copycats who steal photographs and plagiarise, and there are the subtle copycats. The ones who do something similar to you, buy something after you, source something when you mention it, style their blog after you. Some people have perfected it to such a subtle art, you find it hard to catch them at it. Sometimes you think “Darn, I am just sensitive” but when a friend points it out, that’s when it grates. You’re not just being sensitive, you are being copied. I’ve seen it in 2 different blogs that are so similar, targeting such similar niches that sometimes I do a double take.
How do you deal with it? If it is outright plagiarism or a photograph that’s stolen, take it up directly with the person or report it. If it is the latter, more subtle copycat then you can’t do anything about it without looking like a sensitive git. So, take it as a challenge to level up, to move ahead and forward. Imitation is never the best form of flattery, but if you have no other choice, then be flattered someone thought highly enough of you to be a Single White Female
Unpleasant and rude people and comments
Oh yes. Unpleasant/rude people are out there. I don’t mean people who may feel uncomfortable or gauche. Heaven knows, I’m often the same. I mean those who don’t even know you but will twist themselves into a pretzel so they don’t have to sit facing you. Oh yeah. Amused me to no end. I wasn’t the uncomfortable one there! As for comments, it also happens. I just got one recently calling me an idiot. Limited vocabulary, that one.
How do you deal with it? With comments, read this. I just hit the delete button. With people, I accept that not everyone will like you for whatever reason they may have, and similarly, I don’t like everyone either. To say I do is to lie through my teeth. If the other person is rude, then get out of the situation. There’s no need to stand for it. Or be like me and smile bemusedly at the human pretzel.
Have you experienced the ugly side of beauty blogging, or blogging in general?
The truth is that it is out there. The ugliness, the fakery, the feeling like you’re back in high school. How you deal with it separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the professionals from the amateurs. So yes, ugliness is out there, but so is a lot of beauty. Friendships are made on Twitter, through our blogs and there are times when we DO sit around singing Kumbaya. That makes it worth the while. Welcome to the real world of blogging
Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.