Photography by JKG | jkgphotography.co.uk
We can't shy away from the fact that the 2017 version of a blogger is somewhat, not entirely relatable. Although I don't think that's necessarily always a bad thing, I do however think, that there is an incredible amount of pressure for all bloggers to look and act a certain way. In my recent post on diversity which you can read here, I mentioned that the most successful bloggers are pretty much the same person. So for other people that don't look/act/talk like that i.e *ME ME ME ME*, the blogosphere can be quite disheartening.
I started blogging in 2011 and yes things were a lot different back then, but I think I've moved with the times quite well. I recognise that this is now a booming industry with magazine like blog layouts and teams of people helping a blogger to create insane, production company style videos.
It's great, it can be inspiring and my god is it elevating this industry which is obviously a good thing.
But what happens when the new generation blogger just isn't you, no matter how hard you try?
They say comparison is the thief of the joy, but when you're a blogger its pretty damn hard not to compare yourself. Although I'm really secure in who I am, I often fall short in thinking "maybe I'm not good enough" and its usually because I've compared my life to someone else's. If we're being totally honest, it might not even be the comparison of lifestyle. It can be opportunities, blog design, an instagram feed and their new house that they just bought in the richest borough of London lol.
When your career is based on numbers, influence and validation, and this industry becoming so consumed by the same type of person, its inevitable that some of us may end up feeling lost and discouraged. Although I'm incredibly thankful of the success I have and the things I've accomplished, I'm aware I don't fit the 'cookie cutter life is always great' image, that unfortunately the 2017 blogger ideal has become.
When blogging went boom in 2015 I started to overthink my content. Although I was enjoying being a full-time blogger, by the beginning of 2017, the pressure had turned sour and I was pretty much done with being a blogger. It pains me to even admit this, but up until about April this year, I forgot my purpose within the blogosphere. I lost it trying to play the part of someone I wasn't and someone I was n e v e r going to be. From crying (NOT EVEN JOKING) because I didn't have a pretty, curated Instagram feed, to lacking majorly in being consistent with Youtube because I thought I needed a series, a perfect thumbnail and a million other things too. I got so caught up with what everyone else was doing that I lost my way and in hindsight it was pretty obvious. I was growing as Grace, and I guess I didn't know how to fuse the new me into my content and before I knew it, I was stressed, unmotivated and incredibly bitter towards the industry I used to love.
However, most recently, something inside of me snapped! I was so over being drained and unhappy with the blogosphere. I realised the importance of slaying in your own lane and being so involved with what you're doing, that you don't have time to look/think/talk about anyone else. I decided that I was going to make content that I wanted to make, not what I thought people wanted me to make. I also fell back in love with fashion because I started dressing for me and not for Instagram with the hopes of RewardStyle or ASOS regramming me lol lol lol!
Yes, its so important to take pride in your work, but when you begin to obsess over every little thing, that's when creating content becomes tedious. I'm now trying incredibly hard to let go of this pressure for perfectionism and the pressure to be the new generation of blogger that tbqh, I don't even want to be. I want to post photos on Instagram without the anxiety of 'ffs this doesn't match my feed' & to film videos that don't take 3 days to edit because that's how vloggers are now apparently supposed to be. That's just not me.
I am a plus size WOC who is fighting for mental health issues, whilst breaking boundaries around how women should look.
That's who I fucking am!
I won't be allowing the fast paced, ever growing industry to change me into something I'm not. And I think we all need to really take a close look at what it means to be a blogger. For me, it doesn't mean press trips, a pretty Instagram feed or a marble themed apartment. But what it does mean is connecting, inspiring and uplifting women who are trying to find their way in this world - just like me. So, I'm redefining blogging not only for myself but also for other bloggers who feel like they have no place in this industry. Brands and algorithms may like a certain type of blogger, but that doesn't mean the ones who aren't that are any less worthy. Success, substance and integrity will always shine through eventually and as long as I remain true to myself, I'm doing just fine.