I am fairly open about Diversions these days. While I don't give out my URL to friends and family unless prompted, most everybody who knows me, knows of Diversions.
My parents are an exception to this, they were my first readers. We live so far apart it's reassuring that they can see what I am up to between phone calls, visual proof that I am doing well. But co-workers, friends and the rest of my family didn't know me to be a blogger until years later. I feared my pastime would appear narcissistic in nature, present me as a vain and vapid shell of a woman.
When I first posted in 2009, I had recently decided not to make my camera my bread earner.. for now. Instead I was going to take an office job and pursue personally meaningful photography projects in my sparetime. Only I didn't pursue any projects at all. I'd stare out my camera of an evening, compelled to pick it up but somehow.. found myself unable.
Really I started the blog as a distraction, a Diversion ;)
I hoped that it would, and it did and still does provide a way to feel closer to my parents, get out into the fresh air more frequently, and a reason to keep snapping photos without the weight of the word "meaningful" hanging over me like a Damocles sword.
Personal style bloggng in particular appealed to me because I do enjoy clothes, but find fashion magazines deeply depressing. Full of beautiful imagery sure, but populated with the heavily manipulated, interchangeable porcelain faces of emaciated, young girls, not quite yet women. Not that I don't find the odd size zero teen beautiful, but if you are here right now I know you enjoy a little bit of variety in that department too :)
Bloggers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. We don't just wear the outfits in our images for five minutes. What readers see is, largely - and I'll get to that later - real.
When it comes to fashion, well darn it, we're a breath of fresh air and a valuable alternative to what's available in the conventional media. And while individually we might not count for much, as a group we're pretty darn influential. I think there's every reason to be proud to be part of this community of free spirits with bulky wardrobes.
And don't get me started on guilt over enjoying fashion in the first place. Everybody has a hobby. Or well, they sure as hell should have. Hobbies don't cure world hunger, but they provide us with a counterbalance to whatever else we've got going on in our lives. The merit is in the pleasure it provides. And that's that.
So, if you haven't yet:
Out there, in the real world, tell a friend about your blog. I am pretty certain you're going to be positively surprised by their reaction.
There is another topic I read about just as often as blogger shame: And that's the notion that bloggers lead perfect little lives. Now, I am dead certain you all know I am no Miss Perfect, but frankly, I never thought any of us were. Perfection is a theoretical concept. Unachievable. And having the unachievable rubbed in your face, presented as if it were in the realm of possibility, well, it's kinda discouraging, just like those magazines I used to buy despite myself.
Well, like I say, I reckon it's obvious I am no Miss Perfect, but I hear a lot of other bloggers speak about the notion. When I started my blog I knew instinctively that I wanted to filter what I share with you guys. In fact, for a long time it was really difficult for me to share personal stories at all. Over time this became easier, but seeing as this blog is available to anyone who cares to read it and is easily found by potential employers and identity thieves alike, I can assure you: I'll carry right on filtering. But that's not the only reason why I pick and choose what I share with you about my life.
From the very beginning it was crucial to me that Diversions be a positive space. Neither did I want to dwell on day to day downers, nor did I want to share them with you guys. Not that I don't think you would be supportive if I ever felt the need, it's just that I want a visit to my blog to be a pleasant experience. So when I write a post after I've had a bad day I take the time to think back and find something positive to write about and more often than not that cheers me up too.
It's a classic case of splitting. This is not necessarily a negative thing but it can provide readers with a skewed view of our lives. For instance, I've got quite a temper, but why tell you guys about inappropriate rages I am not proud of? I considered owning up to a shouting match with an equally aggressive stranger in the bread aisle (he touched every single bagel, the cheeky sod). There clearly were funny elements to the story, but at the time I was just too deeply embarrassed by my choleric tendencies. Stef smash. Another example played out two summers ago, when I as good as stopped posting outfits for a while. I blamed it solely on the miserable weather, but really it was a muscular injury that left me unable to so much as lift my tripod that held me back. Instead I started making miniatures for my doll house and posted about tiny little biscuits and books. The whole affair was enough of a downer as it was, I didn't want to mar my happy spot with tales of it to boot.
So, I guess it is because I pick and choose what I share myself, that I automatically assume you all do this too. This is why, when my style icons tell me that they are battling social anxiety or confide (to the world at large) that they have the odd stonking row with their other halves, I am not so very surprised.
Blogging is a great means to encourage yourself to view even spells of bad luck as opportunities, to put things in perspective and reinforce your positive outlook. But don't let that fool you that there's all that's to them. To us. We're not magazine spreads. We're the girls taking or directing hundreds of photos of ourselves. Of which we choose five. Reality is relative. But we're as close as fashion gets.
Please share your two cents about blogger shame and filtering with me - I'd love to hear your experiences and opinions regarding these subjects and I know you all have something to say about this one :)
sweater: etsy (CapriciousTraveler)
bracelets: etsy (vozclothingandart)
skirt: etsy (CovetedVintage)
clogs: online store
*I hid a couple of marks on my fingers with my partner in crime photoshop.
Those nails were chipped in the blink of an eye..