As you may have noticed (or not, that’s okay haha) I took a break from blogging for a little over two months. Partially, this was because I gave up social media / blogging for Lent, but part of it was also because of tensions I was feeling in the realm of fashion blogging.
When you build a platform like a blog, you brand yourself. The type of content you share becomes a major part of how readers see you (or so it feels). And that, to me, is one of the strangest and most difficult parts about blogging. When I started A Happy Shade of Blue back in the summer of 2015 I had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted to share. I just had this gut feeling that I should do it, that I loved writing and wanted to try this new form of expression. Even now, almost 3 years later, I am not completely sure what I want to blog about.
Sometimes my voice, even in terms of what I enjoy writing about, gets lost in the influence of other bloggers. I’ve especially noticed this with fashion blogging – it got to the point where I would open Instagram and would feel swarmed by photo after photo of clothes, beauty items, promotions, advertisements. To me this felt empty. What’s the real point of it all?
Some people love fashion because it’s a means of expression, an art form, or maybe just because it makes them feel comfortable + confident. To me, I’m honestly unsure of my thoughts on it. And that has never been more true that these past few weeks.
For a little bit of background, I’ve always enjoyed shopping (we grew up consumer culture after all) and looking my best. During high school I participated in Nordstrom’s BP Fashion Board for a few years (thankfully I had a friend to join me on that weird experience, hi missy if you’re reading this! ) I’ve worked in retail, done a few collaborations with brands, and dabbled with fashion blogging.
Something about purely blogging about fashion all the time never quite sat right with me though. I don’t know if it’s the constant pressure to buy more, wear more, photograph more, then buy some more or just the inevitable materialistic nature of it, or maybe that it’s just not the best area of blogging for me.
This spring I’m taking a communications / political science course in which I was introduced (formally) to the world of fast fashion. Unbeknownst to me, this is the world that both you and I are living in. What this means is that fashion trends come and go like never before. Clothes are also cheaper than ever before (think Forever 21 or H&M). There’s more emphasis placed on quantity of clothes rather than quality of clothes. We dispose of the old and acquire the new before the physical lifespan of the clothes is up. In other words, the economic life of clothing is now much, much shorter than its physical life.
I highly recommend the documentary “The True Cost.” It’s available on Netflix and explains fast fashion and its effects much better than I can! In short, this film depicts what our consumption of clothes really cost, far beyond the price tag. The 2 big costs that we often aren’t aware of are the environmental and human costs: the waste and pollution created as a byproduct of the production and our tossing of our clothes as well as the deplorable conditions of many of the workers who produce our clothes. What we forget or are unaware of are these true, major, devastating costs. Our excesses of consumption do not exist in a bubble, they are negatively affecting the environment and people of the world.
I’m guilty of not recognizing the true costs of my consumption and of not questioning where, by who, and how my clothes came to be at my favorite store or at my doorstep.
At times I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a fashion blogger, but I know now that that just isn’t who I am. Maybe it’s a part of me and my interests, but learning about fast fashion and how it harms the environment and human lives confirmed my doubts about only / mainly sharing content that encouraged consumption.
So, that’s where I’m at with blogging. I feel like I’ve recently lost sight of why I created A Happy Shade of Blue in the first place and have instead became wrapped up in wanting to be like the other bloggers, whose content I constantly see on social media.
I’m not condemning fashion or fashion bloggers. I just am realizing that I want this to be more of a lifestyle blog because that’s where my heart is. That being said, it’s so important to realize that our consumption of clothes, which is nowadays so strongly influenced by fashion blogging, is pushing ethical, environmental, and human limits.
These tensions having been stirring in my mind and have made me question this blog. That’s much of the reason that I’ve taken a break from blogging.
Thank you for reading this (if you made it this far haha)! This post is kinda weird, different from my usual posts so I hesitated to share it, but feel that it needs to be said so that I can move forward.
Hope you are having a wonderful week!