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Fashion Bloggers vs. the World.

I've stressed before that I find communication, especially in the form of writing, integral to blogging about anything in general. But if fashion bloggers do produce some written content, why is fashion blogging, as opposed to, say, technology blogging or literary blogging, considered to be reserved for the shallow, vapid, and uneducated?

I know this sounds harsh,  but it is an extension of the (paraphrased) adage: if you behave like an idiot, you will be treated as such. Now, I'm not at all saying that fashion bloggers can be anything short of vibrant, intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken. It just so happens that collectively, we do not present ourselves that way. Instead of giving our readers something to think about, we tend to give them "what I wore today" and "OMG guyz I totes love this new top" content. And while there is inherently nothing wrong with that, all we do is drive our readers to consume. Believe it or not, spurring consumerism should not be the main goal of fashion blogging. Most of us seem to aspire to generate more traffic so we can be more eligible for collaborations with top brands. Rarely has any top blogger, or medium-sized blogger, or blogger in general, felt the need to address pressing issues in fashion, other than what it's "trendy to discuss." Right now, we're all over the discussion of sustainability in fashion, with diversity in fashion being all the rage last week and cultural appropriation the big argument last month. While these issues deserve the exposure they get, and we are making significant strides, few people seem to have noticed that beyond the specifics, there is little to no variation in topic discussion. And from a group of people who took the world wide web by storm just a few years back and are still going strong, it is extremely disappointing to see.

Most people go to top blogs for inspiration, for aspiration, for admiration, etc. Top bloggers go to a new country every month. They are big names, they are modeling material, they are beautiful, and they are skilled in the art of personal styling. But while we all sit here and try to defend ourselves and our hobby  against persecution, few of us realize that the rest of the world may have made a valid observation that's harder for us to perceive. That observation is that "inspiring people to buy" without providing them with any kind of information as to why they should purchase something (from ethics, to fabric choice, to practicality/durability or the lack thereof, etc.), while useful to companies, is in fact, detrimental to the way fashion blogging is viewed. Being "inspired" to buy something just because a blogger endorses it doesn't come across to anyone outside of the fashion bubble as admirable. You appear to be a mindless follower, and your favorite blogger reads as a glorified advertisement with too much influence for his or her own good.

For example: is it that surprising that a great number of companies use sweatshop labor? Short answer: in this mass-produced world, it's inevitable. But the inability of most "fashionistas" to say anything about how to improve the way Nike and, most recently Zara, treat their workers, short of "oh no that's awful" or "GET RID OF ALL SWEATSHOPS" is a testament to the lack of time a majority of us take to thoroughly study all aspects of our craft, from concept to execution (though I am aware that educated mass action does aid in taking some products off the market). And because we don't take ourselves seriously enough to scrutinize every single aspect of the world we claim to be a part of, there's no point whatsoever in trying to make a case for ourselves for one simple reason: no one else has a reason to take us seriously. 

Inducting yourself into any great industry in our liberal free market society requires you to be a global citizen, regardless of profession. The number of international brands you work with and countries you go to do not, under any circumstances, make you a global citizen. You become a global citizen when you take time to look at your world and how it interacts with other industries and social groups from an objective point of view, when you take time to truly research issues independent of that one incendiary article everyone else read, when you aim to use the clout you have or wish to have to impact the world in a positive way. Just because you are a fashion blogger in law school, or med school, or any school, with a degree, doesn't mean that you are automatically more of an expert on fashion than someone without formal training. I want us all to understand that it is what you present to and for the world that matters, and it's time we start taking ourselves and our work, no matter your level of dedication to it, very, very seriously. Because whether you realize it or not, the world is watching, and it is our job to be both ambassadors of global awareness and to redeem our title as "fashion blogger" from the negative, though warranted, responses it elicits.