Every year since 2007, when I first started My Women Stuff, I’d looked forward to the beginning of March. Each year brings with it a new revelation, and a new realization about how I wanted to move forward with my blog.
Each year brought optimism and a healthy dose of hope of what was to come, even as Year 12 arrived with a whole host of insecurities.
This year however, in what would be the 13th year of the blog’s existence, I realized that I’d forgotten about this milestone. If it wasn’t due to a fleeting thought that passed through my mind just before I fell asleep a few nights ago, I might have let this slip by.
What has changed?
I’ve lost the desire to consume mindlessly
A few days ago, it came to my knowledge that Hermes has made their range of lipsticks available here in Malaysia (retailing at RM315 if anyone’s interested – it’ll be the most affordable way to flaunt that orange Hermes bag 😛 ).
A few years ago, I would have monitored the release, and hotfooted it down to the counter, the minute I’d heard of their availability. Up to a year ago, I’d have felt that pull, that desire, to take a look and see what was so special about their lipsticks, and I would have shared photos and my brief thoughts on Instagram or the blog. I’d likely have bought one, “for the blog”.
This time however, I let it pass me by. I felt no desire to find out if they might be available in Malaysia. I felt no need to head out to the mall to swatch and feel these new releases. I let it wash over me, and I let it pass me by without even once acknowledging a tug at the heart or purse-strings.
It was at that moment that I realized that I have truly lost the desire to consume mindlessly.
This does not serve as a criticism towards anyone who still enjoys trying and buying new products or things. It merely explains why I felt apathetic towards this new launch and release.
I have been practising conscious spending for a while, and I think it’s all helped to temper my impulses. I haven’t bought any new beauty products online in the past 2 months, and I’ve avoided all the sales and discounts. I’ve realized that I haven’t missed very much at all!
It might simply be because I’m content!
RELATED READING: I’m content where I am. Are you? READ HERE
I feel that there’s too much pressure on consumers to accumulate
In 13 years of blogging, I’ve seen a dramatic and exponential accumulation of things and beauty products. This isn’t only by others, but also by me, and I’ve realized that it’s ridiculous.
I unabashedly love lipsticks and blush, and I find any reason to treat myself to one or the other. But there comes a time when enough is truly enough. When you just have to hit the pause button, and take stock of what you own.
I didn’t enjoy watching other people’s hauls, or tours of their makeup room. I didn’t enjoy seeing piles of product hidden away in drawers in the name of organization. I didn’t enjoy trying to organize my own mess!
I felt, and still feel, that bloggers, Youtubers and now, Instagram, have built up this culture of accumulation. People buy whole makeup collections, just to swatch, so they aren’t left out. People feel the need to own multiple items from every new makeup collection, so they fit in with the perceived norm of what makes a beauty blogger/influencer.
I feel it to be a vicious cycle, and one I intentionally decided to break with a couple of years ago. It was time to say enough is enough.
This is also why I deliberately did not seek to grow the blog and my presence all these years. I cannot justify telling people to consume and to buy, in the way that I should be doing.
I appreciate the products I receive from brands, and the fact that most of them do not place any pressure on me to talk about them. They let me deal with it as I choose, at my own pace, and I value this trust.
I wanted to be able to tell people what I enjoyed using, that they might too. Having access to new releases helped a lot. But I could not justify telling anyone to continuously splurge on luxury beauty products, especially in the current economic climate.
RELATED READING: I recently talked about people going into debt for expensive beauty products and it kills me to know people do such things! READ HERE
For this reason also, I slowed down on my blogging. Part of it was due to time, the other was due to my need to balance out the pushing of product and other more contemplative, discussive posts about life and everything else in between.
Is it the right time to retire from blogging?
To be honest, the thought of retirement did cross my mind.
I even said I should be handing over my beauty blogger badge, for not bothering about the new Hermes Rouge lipstick launch 😛
But I just know I couldn’t. Not because I want to cling on to any form of perceived self-worth. It’s because I can’t keep an opinion to myself LOL! 😛 I will eventually need an outlet, and social media is never the right place.
What I have thought about as well, is about representation.
While a hot topic overseas, it hasn’t been made an issue locally. The fact is that the beauty industry will always be dominated by the young and the beautiful. There is nothing that can be bottled, that will equate to the vitality, energy and radiance of youth.
Those of us who can but wistfully look back at this time of our lives, have other, different concerns. We have lives to lead, careers to build, skin dryness to battle, grey hair to intimidate us, and that ever expanding waistline that creeps up on you, if you so much as slack off on moving an inch.
Mid-life comes at you hard LOL! 😀
Yet if you embrace it all, it is also the best time you can have. Most of us would be financially stable at this time, and have time to ourselves. Or we would be embracing new challenges, new relationships or new goals.
I’d like to be a part of that. Being 45, it makes me a part of this group of women, and being visible the way I am, offers the outlet and space for me to say my piece, or share my thoughts and experiences.
I make no promises about the direction MWS will take. I will still focus on beauty and I will still try new products, and talk about beauty products. As before, trendy products and collections may pass me (and therefore, you) by. But there are many other outlets you can get those news from 🙂
What I can promise is that I’ll still be honest, firm and principled, as I have been all this time. All those have gotten me nowhere as far as fame and fortune is concerned, but it’s helped me sleep better at night, knowing I haven’t intentionally misled anyone into spending money on sub-par beauty products 🙂
Thank you for reading!
I’ve gained a ton of friends and kindred spirits in the past 13 years I’ve been blogging, and it has been the most satisfying part about this whole process.
I don’t have tens of thousands of followers on social media. I still struggle to apply makeup properly. I struggle with skin breakouts and pigmentation, just like everyone else. I am imperfect, as I have admitted before this.
But I am grateful for everyone who’s stuck by all this time, and who has told me at any point, that they’ve enjoyed reading my blog.
Thank you, there is no better reason to continue blogging 🙂