I never ever want to patronise you – you’re smart, I know that – but sometimes I do worry that maybe even the extreme obvious isn’t being said. You’ve seen the title of this post and probably thought – okay, well obviously Zoe – but let me elaborate. You know back when blogging started to become more of a thing than just a livejournal diary of the people that upset you at school, and more of a business, I felt a lot of pressure to keep up with the latest stuff. When you’ve got people – richer than you – constantly talking about this amazing new thing that’s changed their life, I mean, I wanted it. I always wanted to keep on top of it. It sometimes felt like if you wanted to be a pro blogger, you had to have the latest blog stuff. I know that over the years this has dripped down to consumers and made them also think that they too need the latest blogging thing. I dunno if it’s really really obvious, but i’m just here to remind you that you don’t *need* anything you see online.
By now you’re thinking, okay Zoe aren’t you just massively contradicting what you do for a job? No, i’m not. I’m just here to remind you that while we are often lucky enough to get these amazing things and to show them to you, every single thing is marketed at different people. I don’t expect everyone following me to buy every single thing I recommend. Of course not. Most of you – hopefully – will just passively enjoy watching the content and draw your own ideas and inspiration from it. Then hopefully, if you see something you do like, you’ll remember seeing that I enjoyed it and it may help you make your own decision on whether to purchase or not. I also really consider how many affiliate links i’m sharing, as well as how many new products I share. I really do try and make a conscious decision to show as much of my actual normal life as I do when I’m lucky to have a new product available, or an affiliate link to the top i’m wearing. If you’re following people using their stories only for affiliate links, maybe re-evaluate if those people make you happy or not. I would much rather only have the people follow who I can help to make happier, than those who don’t. I’m sure any good blogger worth their salt would, too.
Now the reason I write this post today is because I totally feel it too. I often see bloggers with the same thing, or constantly showing product, and it makes me think I need it too. And I have so much already! I am so lucky to have enough to honestly start a small drugstore side business! It’s so rough when you’re on both sides of the argument because from my point of view I need to show a certain amount of things to keep my business afloat with the brand sponsors I work with, and then on the other side I know what it’s like to be constantly sold at. It can also be really tough when you’re having a difficult month, and while it’s such good escapism it can actually make you feel worse. I particularly get it with holidays, i’m already so fortunate to go on so many holidays, but when you’re scrolling through stories and maybe you get four or five people in a row, living their own separate lives, but still all on holiday – deep down it makes you feel like everyone else is apart from you. Right now we spend more time than ever on social media and these things do tend to dwell deep into our psyche without us even really realising. I know this – because, as I said earlier – I feel it too.
I don’t think we have to change anything about how we follow influencers at all, but I do think it’s great to remind yourself of the lovely things you do have. I often think I need the latest thing, or the hyped item of the moment, but if I didn’t want it to begin with… then deep down I didn’t really want it. If you wanted it from the start, you go out and get it girl that’s your choice. But what I mean is, often that insatiable desire to keep up with what you see online isn’t always deep down what you want. Take it from somebody who has a house full of things – none of these things enrich me as much as the love of my friends, family, travel and of enjoying life. I think you should own every thing you want to own in life, but just remember that if someones showing you another cleanser lets say, but you already have one, you don’t then also need to bankrupt yourself purchasing that cleanser too. Maybe just think about trying it if that’s what you want when your other one is run out. I’m sorry if this honestly seems like the most basic information, but you know sometimes when you just need someone to spell it out? I wish those huge influencers I follow in Los Angeles and contemplate shipping over the things they have were able to remind me this too… so that’s why it’s good to remind yourself. Also remember that influencers get sent a lot, and so aren’t even buying the clothes or makeup to begin with. I hear from a lot of people my age wondering how some seem to have so much money – they seem so rich and look so well off, well, often most of it is sent. Please don’t compare your life to that. I get so worried about the impression left on some teenagers or young 20-somethings, looking up and thinking they are failing because they can’t keep up. Also and as politely bluntly as it can possibly be – while it seems like there’s new makeup every five minutes, a purple eyeshadow is a purple eyeshadow. If you see a new purple eyeshadow that everyone is hyping, but you don’t have it – but you have an older purple eyeshadow, use the influencer looks as inspiration but use what you have. Actually in a way it’s much more fulfilling to get those cool new results with something you already owned. You see it in a new light and in a new way. These make for really great videos and blog posts too – shopping your stash. Being inventive and creative with product you’ve used the same way a thousand times is so fulfilling, and you’ll get more from it than you would buying the new purple eyeshadow too. Must remind myself of this a lot..
Anyway look. You’re all really smart and wonderful people. You’re beautiful, you’re creative, you’re fun and you know this. I know you do! But I am constantly conscious of my online footprint, and I would like to make sure that where we can, we set a precedent for younger people. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be, navigating your way through college but deep down thinking if you didn’t have the latest beauty or fashion item that maybe you were failing. Painfully untrue but often the case. College is tough enough let alone with the added pressure of social media weighing on you every evening as you scroll through. I would never want someone to bankrupt themselves worrying about not having the item bloggers are sharing. What you gotta remember is, cherrypick and choose the things you see that work for you, and remember it’s all a business at the end of the day, no different to the emails ASOS bombard you with. If it’s not for you, read it and move on. Don’t stress about not owning it. I’m not here to shade my own industry at all, just here to remind you that we’re not all out to just sell you things – some of us are just excited and want to share the excitement with you! I know you all love your makeup and clothes as much as me and being able to share that with you is so so awesome. Just don’t ever run yourself into debt keeping up – you’re so beautiful as you are!
Photography: Charlotte Hole
Location: Byredo, Soho London (a store I can’t afford and desperately want to because of instagram, the perfect metaphor)
Outfit: Top – Nasty Gal*, Dress – Motel Rocks*, Belt – ASOS, Boots – Koi*, Hat – Missguided, Necklace – Thomas Sabo*, Ring – The Great Frog