INSPIRATION, LIFE

Personal – The blogger Life

20 January 2015

I am undeniably a late bloomer when it comes to blogging!
Okay, I’d heard of and read a few blogs here and there during my last years of University, but at the time all this was VERY far from anything I’d ever considered for myself – even as a hobby!
I was more about getting an MBA and becoming a successful business woman, than playing dress up or posting clichés of my obsessive shoe and clothing collection.

That was back in 2009, second Master’s Degree in hand and stepping into my first day of Forensic Auditing.
Six years later, I may have changed fields, but my personal and professional ambitions have remained intact.

Okay, so right about now you’re probably thinking I’m “snobbing” the rest of the world or bragging about my life, but bear with me, there’s a serious message behind all this, blahblahblah if you’re willing to hear me through.

After a few years of privately documenting my travels from South Africa to Paris, and compiling mini food galleries and look books on Facebook, I eventually gave into my boyfriend’s nagging and started my blog in late December 2013 with absolutely NO IDEA what a fashion blog was nor how all this blogger stuff worked.
Fortunately, my IT savvy hero had it figured out, as he often surprisingly does, and the transition to “side-line-blogger” happened almost naturally.

I knew getting myself out there and appreciated by the masses for my signature “overly frank” but witty and artistic approach to fashion and life in general, would not be easy.
But ultimately, over and above the hard realities and challenges of being a blogger (keeping up with trends, engaging with a public and renewing its fidelity), the hardest part of this whole game was and is still accepting that more often than not, regardless how inventive, talented or just “goddam-good-at-it” you are, there are and will always be a million other wannabes like you, often with LITTLE to no talent, being applauded and idolized like some big shot superstars, just because!
Oops, there goes my legendary, over honest tongue – again! Lol!

With this said, as much as I encourage outfit inspiration, sharing bargain shopping deals and an occasional “selfie” on our best days , I feel most bloggers almost only exist (and subsequently rank as “cyber phenomena”) because they have “material” or “physical talent” in comparison to the average Mr and Mrs, or because they sell themselves as being the overly loving and unnaturally sweet girl or boy next door.

But what baffles me most is how the apostles go from “being inspired” to “infatuated” and basically worshipping just about anything and everything posted by this new era of “cyber champions”, literally rusting the like button – I guess either out of guilt for fear of being perceived as a “hater” in some cases, or out of pure hypocrisy, in others. Either way, it’s rather dismaying.

And seriously, what do we really know about our cyber idols?
Can a witty yet auto-congratulating caption accompanied by a perfectly taken cliché really serve as Curriculum Vitae into someone’s life?
As with our family, real life friends and acquaintances, can we objectively concur that they are all genuinely nice, talented and good or even authentic people, based on a shoefie of their 5th 800$ pair of Saint Laurent or their 100th coffee and donut fix this week?

I think it’s fabulous that for some people today blogging can be considered a serious lifestyle or career perspective, making the once “very small and elitist world” seem more accessible to the average fashionista, and even lucrative for a lucky few. But I maintain that a lot of people are doing it for A LOT of WRONG reasons and a lot of people emulating them for the WRONG reasons.

When you’re still up at 2 am fondling your smartphone screen and enviously cussing away at the content on your feed, or spending 2/3 of your day posting, liking, AND responding to every single comment and content from people you don’t even know and will probably never meet, there is CLEARLY something missing in your real life that you’re obviously getting from your virtual one.

Many bloggers consciously (or not!) feed off virtual attention and fame like their existence depends on it – pun intended!
Even more mind boggling is the ridiculous number of hours spent cultivating this “instafame”posting #F4F, #L4L or participating in the religiously popular and oh so EXCLUSIVE #SFS marathons.
Ah, the famous Shout-out for Shout-out.
Objectively speaking, the concept appears harmless, but a more critical analysis reveals just how “fame-thirsty” some of the players really are.
In a nutshell – if someone is better than YOU, and will probably gain more benefit (fame & recognition!) out of it than YOU, they are definitely not making YOUR shortlist of strategic SFS buddies. If however, they are average, or on the upside, a little more out of your league, BUT have a mouth-watering, oscar-worthy, SOLID following, sacrificing some self-love by featuring their least fabulous post in an overly glossy manner on your feed, is a relatively small price to pay in exchange for a handful of THIER faithful soldiers – especially if you consider that most of them would have otherwise probably never given you a second thought without the candy-coated bribery!

Another aspect of blogging I’ve touched on provocatively on my Instagram is the obsession around the number of Instagram followers one has versus likes per content. I’ve even seen self-proclaimed marketing data specialist rank and congratulate bloggers based on the so-called impressive growth of their follow-to-like ratio and social media popularity.
Excuse me for appearing like a sore-loser, but if you honestly look at me in 2D and make up your mind based solely on what you see or my follower and like count, then you my friend, have totally missed the point.

I’ve turned these questions inside out, six ways to Sunday and still fail to understand how it all got to this.
The struggle is real though and I honestly think in the long run, for a large majority of bloggers, it generates more frustration than satisfaction, creates more unnecessary wants than needs and breeds a generation of superficial, 2-dimensional and unconsciously self-absorbed individuals.

So, question one : am I going to be the next big thing to hit social media? Lol, probably not, especially if I continually fail to abide to its simple rules!
Question two : have I failed in my attempts at being a blogger? Lol, no, I can’t say I’ve failed, I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work…for me.

So, with this mouthful said, I wish you all a fabulous 2015!

May you be enlightened, and not corrupted, amused but not abused.
May you learn to accept your flaws as perfect imperfections and refrain from spreading make belief fairy tales about a life you wish you had for a public who rarely ever truly cares, in a desperate attempt to magnify a less spectacular existence!
May you truly feel the empowerment and humility that comes from being well educated, building a career and being a real life role-model for the younger generations.
And finally, may you find refuge and solace in the power of real values and savor the sweet taste of authenticity.

Love always,

Teekay

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Comments

  1. ElleCooper

    20 January 2015 at 2:50 PM Reply

    So honest, yet so deep. Sometimes it’s best to focus on the things that are working well in our lives. You attention to detail is immaculate, You have so many creative ideas and you think outside the box always! I often look at some ‘flatlays’ on IG & think #fashionpastry would have done it better. To me, you are the Queen of flatlays amongst others things & the master of your craft. You may have not received the best recognition but you are not defeated for everything you do, you do it very well. You are such an inspiration to me personally. Bless you Teekay

  2. Yvonne

    20 January 2015 at 4:10 PM Reply

    Great post! You should add writer to your resume/CV 😉 I agree with your thoughts as you know and I think it can be frustrating for some bloggers I can imagine especially when I see some with good content not getting the support or response and those with little content or just showing their boob job getting so much feedback. I just think if one chooses to blog, to do it for the right reasons (for me it’s a fun hobby for now and anything else is a plus), and not be distracted with all the mess that’s out there but stay focused although difficult at times. Wish you an amazing 2015 Teekay!!

  3. blogmoninstant

    20 January 2015 at 7:40 PM Reply

    Hi love !

    You already know how much I understand you. I think that you did well by being true and speaking up your mind – now you got it off of you, (as would sing Taylor Swift : “Shake it off !”). I mean, it will probably not change a lot, but at the very least, you showed tons of people that you can be a blogger and be genuine, be authentic, be honest and not “sweet-talk” in order to be praised or have people following you. That you can actually get a real feedback from people who care about what you do, show them that you can be connecting with people, that you can do a work that will be loved for what it is !

    I also think that you actually gave a good example, by showing that being a blogger does not mean that we have to please everyone. We are human beings, it’s okay if not everyone agrees with us, it’s okay if we have different opinions on some things. Of course we try to be as kind, open-minded and “universal” as possible, but if we were like that all the time, about everything, then where would we, as individuals, stand ? What need would there be for someone if we all had to say the same thing ? What’s interesting is to be you so you can gather people who will like the way you are or be intriguided by it, and if some don’t like it then there should be someone different who’d be perfect for them. End of the story.

    So at the end of the day, it’s best not to have “everyone” following you. ‘Cause who cares about having a number of ghost, seriously ?

    Anyway, you did great ! Let go of the pseudo-pressure they put on blogger. Be you. Do “you”. ‘Cause you do it so well. ♥

  4. vivian | t w o w a r d

    21 January 2015 at 11:19 AM Reply

    Hi Teekay, you may already know this, but I truly admire you! In this post you’ve shared your honest thoughts with us and I can still remember that we’ve talked about this topic before when I was in Paris last year. I have to be honest with you too, sometimes I do feel a bit upset about how the blogosphere goes…If you’re famous, people will like you anyway even though you post something which is totally nonsense. If you’re not ‘famous’, people won’t even take the time to look at your work. However, I’m glad that I have met you and that you stayed true to yourself! Because that’s the most important thing of being a blogger! 😉 Love ya babe! xo Vivian

  5. moonstone34

    22 January 2015 at 2:02 AM Reply

    Great post! It’s refreshing and honest. I think you’ve touched on a point a lot of bloggers feel..frustration of people being rewarded for just being famous. I’ve always been of the mind set that blogging should be something you love and do for yourself first and foremost… but thats just me. For example, I see some post on Instagram and just shake my head. I don’t know how some people have the time to post several times thru out the day everyday. I just don’t have that kind of time, I’ve got a life (family, work & friends ) that’s separate from my blogging life…but to each their own. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love your blog and your sense of style; so glad I found you thru Instagram. Wishing you nothing but the best this year!
    xo, Jackie
    http://www.stylemydreams.wordpress.com

  6. Colleen

    22 January 2015 at 11:10 PM Reply

    Here I am: I finally managed to sit down at my PC and do something that didn’t actually involve work. Unfortunately, not being a professional blogger myself, finding opportunities to just sit down and read blogs, let alone write blogs, is a luxury for me, but when I do it’s a pleasure, especially posts like this. It’s such an inspirational and thought-provoking post. I’m still confused by it all – blogging/social media. I understand why I blog – because I like having my own little webspace to have fun and be creative and it forces me to do things that I might not otherwise do, but I still don’t get why I Instagram…….some might say you hardly have any followers or get any likes so why do you bother and do you know Teekay, I’m still asking that question and until I find the answer I guess I’ll still keep posting photos – perhaps it’s because I’m not out to impress anyone but myself. I can totally get why people with many followers/likers do Instagram; there is no denying that a wave of satisfaction and acceptance comes over you when you get that comment or like, and when you’re getting paid to market services/products, well, that’s just the icing on the cake and of course it’s great to promote your business, but I tend to find Twitter more beneficial for that.

    Anyway Teekay, I admire your passion, generosity, genuineness, creativity, beauty, honesty and the effort you put in to all you do. You are an inspiration and you are blowing so many other bloggers out of the water with these traits – I mean, generally anyone can post a picture with a little caption and emoticon, right? But not everyone can do YOU xx

  7. Shante Gumede

    5 September 2015 at 2:06 PM Reply

    Hi Teekay. I just found you today on my Instagram! I think this post is great. I wrote something similar about 2 weeks ago ( http://www.brownkisses.com/so-you-want-to-be-a-blogger/ ) . You’ve highlighted everything I’ve been thinking. This haunts me so much I often feel like I should stop blogging simply because of the people in the industry. The lack of honest and genuine people. The sucking up.. I CANT HANDLE IT. I could talk about this for days! thank you for being another voice. xxx

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