I feel like I need to start this with every disclaimer in the book. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but this is one of those things I feel like chatting about. So here goes: I love blogging – honestly. I think the community is full of so many great people who make incredible content. Like, everyone works so hard on their blogs and it’s amazing to see everyone discover new talents as they progress on their blogging journey. I truly admire how much work bloggers put into everything they do.
But I feel like some of us are as filtered as our Instagram photos. Sorryyyy
Like, so many bloggers are so… glossy and taking all white photos and use little pet names and say the same little motivational blogging phrases – It’s not about numbers. I blog for the love of it. Be unique. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. These things in themselves aren’t bad. I’m not saying that at all. Again, I’m not saying these things are wrong.
But when I see it over and over and over again, it’s like… what’s going on?
How is it all these chats and hashtags are filled with these same cookie cut platitudes and standards? There are so many bloggers, but why am I seeing that same behaviors, remarks, and attitudes across the board?
I don’t mean any of this to be criticism of the behaviors themselves. I personally feel like there’s some peer pressure in the community to act this way. I feel like we, as the blogging community, have this vision of a blogger we’re all silently trying to be in one way or another.
She dresses right, wears perfect makeup, has a skincare routine, never a hair out of place, bakes cakes/cookies/cupcakes, cooks perfect meals with glamorous plating presentation, travels all over the world, is well read on the latest popular books and poetry, has witty tweets that show how clever and charming she is, photography game that is fire, a fun blogging voice, an Instagram grid like no other, consistent brand collaborations, incredible intelligence, accomplishments beyond the blogging world, all the quirks you can think of, and is still down to earth with an aura of cool that makes her SO RELATE-ABLE.
There is so much more to her I can’t even list.
If I had to condense her, I’d say she’s the girl next door made of your Pinterest boards. Everything she does is right and perfect. She excels in all the right ways, and the blogging community has adopted this vision of a girl as our role model. We find her in big bloggers we follow, and we find her in smaller bloggers we perceive as on the rise. We find her every time someone emulates her better than we do.
Maybe this isn’t the blogger all of us are trying to be, but you can’t tell me she doesn’t sound… familiar? Even a little bit?
None of these qualities or elements are wrong, and I’m not saying we’re all trying to be like this. But when bloggers with a mix match of these attributes get comments on their posts, their posts retweeted with praise, direct tweets about how wonderful they are…
Are every single one of us going to lie and say we aren’t a bit influenced by it?
I mean, really?
Come on. Yeah, we blog for the love of it and it isn’t about the numbers, but we all clearly have something we want to say. Don’t you want your voice to be heard?
And then it feels good when your Instagram photos gets more likes than normal because you used a marble background. And your post gets a few more comments because you blogged about ABC this time instead XYZ. And then, and then, and then.
You get the picture.
When bloggers who emulate this Pinterest Girl Blogger persona are the ones getting success in blogging, it puts a silent pressure on all bloggers. It establishes a standard of what a blogger is supposed to be regardless of if that standard fits every blogger. You might jeer at it, but then the few times you try it yourself and get success, well… maybe one more time. And then, and then, and then.
I’m not gonna sit here and jerk myself off by saying blehhhh I’m not like this. Stop being so mainstream everyone else. No. I’m just as susceptible to the influence of the Pinterest Girl Blogger as the rest of the community. I mean, my entire first blog was me trying to be this douchebag that wanted to have all the answers to everyone’s problems. I filtered myself on Twitter so instead of talking like me I was acting like some generic store brand knock-off of the Pinterest Girl Blogger. I was sooo not authentic or me because I fell into this trap of wanting people to like me for something I just wasn’t.
I have no holier-than-thou high ground on anyone, and I’m not looking down my nose at everyone else when I’m saying any of this.
I’ve played the game. Not very well, but I’ve played it.
This was a whole lot for me to build up to such a generic point, but here goes: your blog is for you. Yeah, we all go on and on about this point in chats and whatnot, but it’s a point that needs to be made. Please, don’t do what everyone else is doing just because you think it’ll make you more popular or get you more followers. It’s so much work to be something you’re not. Your blogging experience will be better if you do you, fam, and don’t follow the trends.
Do what you want. If what you want overlaps with qualities of the Pinterest Girl Blogger, that’s okay. Being like the Pinterest Girl Blogger is only wrong if you see her as better than you. If you feel like you need to be her to do well at what you love – food blogging, fashion blogging, book blogging, lifestyle blogging, underwater basket weaving blogging – that’s when you’re wrong. When your blog stops being you and starts being her, you’ve lost your authenticity.
When you run into the Pinterest Girl Blogger, say hi, drop her a comment, maybe follow if you want, and move on. You have blogging to do.