By Stephanie Huang ‘16 Fashion Columnist
While it may be easy to envy the lives of bloggers through digital-SLR pictures taken by doting boyfriend-photographers, the fact that many bloggers have become walking advertisements and corrupt businesswomen is hard to deny. As a personal-style blogger myself, I can only say that there are many among us who unfortunately, don’t blog for the right reasons.
Before we delve into the details, I’ll explain the logistics. After a certain threshold of credibility is reached, and bloggers have built both a reputation and a sizable fan base, they begin to acquire business offers to collaborate for sponsored items and even money to feature particular brands in their posts. While this is a great way for bloggers to introduce their readers to new brands and get inspired to style new items in their closet, some tend to take advantage of this practice.
As 18-year-old blogger Gloria Sanchez said, “What has been bothering most in the blogosphere has been the disconnection between bloggers and their followers—it’s not a secret that there are bloggers out there who are blatantly blogging for the whole reason of gaining sponsors.” Having worked before at a company that sponsored bloggers, I can vouch for the number of bloggers who sent incoherent, and sometimes laughable, emails with content along the lines of, “You send me free stuff?”
It is not easy to discern righteous bloggers from questionable ones, which is why I hope that readers will be able to at least have a sense of when they are being manipulated. Often, readers invest trust in bloggers, and look to them for inspiration. “The fact that readers are very impressionable to what their favorite bloggers have to say is a huge reason why if a blogger is not dedicated to fashion and [does not have] a true passion for blogging and inspiring readers, they should think twice about what they are really doing,” said Sanchez.
Obviously, there is not a clear answer to alleviate this problem, but luckily, readers still have the power to support the bloggers that are deserving of support. 17-year-old Jennifer Wang, blogger from “Art in Our Blood,” said that if we want to see change in the blogosphere and on platforms like Lookbook, “then the change has to start with you, and what looks you hype, and similarly, which blogs you will support with your readership.”
For more reflections on fashion by Stephanie, check out her block “High-Stitched Voice” at highstitchedvoice.blogspot.com