The Awkwardness of Explaining That You’re A Blogger
Hi! It’s so nice to meet you! I’m Sophie. I like cats. And cheese. I really enjoy shopping for clothes. The 1975 are my fave band (a bit emo I know) apart from Oasis of course. I live in London. Oh? You asked my job? Sorry. Well I, er, I’m a fashion blogger. So yeah, yeah, I put photos of myself on the internet. Wearing clothes – obviously wearing clothes! Ha, I’m not a porn star. Brands sometimes pay me to do it. And I write about my life. Yeah yeah I know what you’re thinking “what a narcissist!” Hahahahaha lol. Please. Don’t. Judge. Me.
Ugh. This conversation happens so often my brain simply autopilots to repeat the above like a rehearsed monologue of self-justification, self-deprecation, and downright awkwardness. But when you see the look in people’s faces when you tell them what you do for a living and you might as well have said you fart Britney Spear’s Fantasy perfume exclusively on Fridays.
And then sometimes, just sometimes it gets worse, when they misunderstand and ask
Oh so you’re a model.
And I’m like
No, no I’m not a model. But you wanna be a model yeah? No, no, I don’t want to be a model.
Ah ok…. *awkward shuffle* But you wanna be famous though yeah? Oh for fuck sake.
And I get it. Blogging is a job that didn’t really exist so long ago. Yes you had Susie Bubble and Chiara from the Blonde Salad as the generation of bloggers that paved the path for success in a totally new domain, but the past four years has really given rise to the era of the ~influencer~ – a seemingly vague and elusive term we all tag onto anyone with 10k+ Instagram followers. And with the rise of people making a living by blogging, YouTubing, or solely of Instagramming, it’s an entirely new territory that people don’t know very much about.
So of course, it’s interesting. It’s a job you can perform solely from in your pyjamas. It has a tendency to be glamorous – thank you Instagram filters and expert self-taught curation techniques. It’s something not everybody knows about. Look at it this way, if someone told you they were a stripper, body farm caretaker, or dolphin trainer, you’d be full of questions to ask them because it’s not your standard desk-based job. People don’t see the behind the scenes of blogging with all of the analytic tracking, self-taught photography, honed social media skills, hours of writing, content research and brain-storming, not to mention photoshop wizzardry. They see brunches and hear about gifted clothes (which tbh is all that we put on Instagram anyway because nobody wants to see the boring stuff)
But it can get a little weird and judgy. The sentence “I’m a blogger” is met with the same look your mum gives you when you tell her you want to do a media studies A Level. Or join the circus. You can literally feel the people you meet at parties trying to dissect you like a little frog in science class, attempting to work out what’s so special about you that people follow and read about your life on the internet. They ask how you got so many followers when what they really mean is why you? What’s so good about you? And I wanna be like it’s only because I have managed to dupe everyone by mastering the art of internet wizardry to make me look way more cooler and more interesting than I really am (#realtalk)
You get the social media cynics who start a character assassination calling it (and you, as you are your job and your job is you) fake, inauthentic, vacuous, narcissistic (these guys also usually think that you have no education because you don’t need a degree to set up a blog) and seal the deal with a “oh yah well I don’t use social media as I don’t believe in it”. Not only are us bloggers heralding the death of style (cheers Vogue), but we’re killing off modern culture, selfie by selfie (every time we use a hashtag, a struggling independent artist signs on the dole). And the conversation takes a dark turn when they start to ask about your relationship with your parents.
But fuck them, quite frankly. Next time you’re probed on it, 9 times out of 10 it’ll just be the curiosity getting the better of people, so humour them with a little BTS info on what a blogger really does – writing in your pyjamas in bed, planning your Instagram feed, borrowing your friends designer bag for a shoot, or taking 20 photos at a glamorous event to stagger through the week because content.
And if that fails and they’re a bit of a dick about it, just tell them you’re a model and enjoy their facial expression as they try hide their shock and disbelief. That’s always fun.