With more bloggers getting brand deals with the likes of Anastasia Beverly Hills and Aquazzura by the day, one topic is on everyone’s lips: are bloggers still relatable? That’s what this business was built on, after all. Fed up with the unrealistic lifestyles and fashion that they saw in magazines, girls looked to the internet to find people who were just like them. Instead of seeing page after page of airbrushed models wearing unattainable designer clothing, they could see regular girls styling H&M and Topshop.
But in the last few years, the blogging game has changed slightly. Primark has been replaced by Prada, and drugstore foundation has made way for Dior. It’s a surprise to stumble onto a “big” blogger’s Instagram and NOT see a Gucci belt or Chanel espadrilles. Bloggers are earning more money; bigger brands are approaching them; and 25k followers seems to be the golden ticket to an all-expenses paid holiday in Santorini.
But does that make them unrelatable? A lot of people think so. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if your readers can’t buy what you’re selling, you’re out of touch. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that because someone’s lifestyle or wardrobe is unattainable, they’re unrelatable.
Take the dress I’m wearing in these pictures. It was specially made for a friend of mine. The shoes I’m wearing were bought about a year ago. Therefore both of them are unattainable to you. But I’d like to think I’m still pretty relatable. I often wear thrifted items too. Those were sold 10 or 20 years ago. Again, does the fact that you can’t go out and get the exact pieces I’m wearing make me less relatable? Of course not. And the situation doesn’t suddenly change when the clothes get more expensive.
Why does cheap = relatable and expensive = out of touch, when items have the same level of unattainability?
Yes, there are a lot of bloggers who ARE completely out of touch. They write blog posts about “easy ways” to save for travelling, like putting aside $1000 dollars of your income every month. Easy when you’re earning 6 figures. Not so much when you’re earning minimum wage. Items in their “get the look for less” posts still cost upwards of $100. And those “budget friendly” gift guides? Who drops $50 on a keyring??
But my issue with that is their approach to the situation rather than the content itself. If it was just a post saying how they save for holidays, or showing off an outfit they like, or what they bought their family for Christmas, I’d be fine with it. I have no issue with people who’ve worked hard spoiling themselves with their money. You’ve hustled to get a million page views a month? You buy that Dionysus bag, girl. A brand wants to send you to the Maldives? I’ll help you pack. Just remember that you’re fortunate enough to live a very different life to most people, and don’t act like that’s the way people should be living.
To me, how relatable a blogger is has very little – if anything – to do with what she wears.
If someone has a blog where they only show their clothes and tell you wear they come from, I’m not going to relate to them, whether the clothes come from Mr Price or Max Mara. For me, it’s more about how much they share of themselves, and what they share. I’ll relate more to someone talking about her struggles with anxiety while wearing Chanel than I’ll relate to someone who shops at Primark but talks about the adversity she encounters because she’s wheelchair-bound.
Instead of crying that you can’t afford the exact outfit a blogger is wearing, steal some of her styling hacks. Look at HOW she wears clothes, rather than just what she wears. Even if you can’t take a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, you can be inspired by her killer poses. You may not have a Canon 5D, but if you compose your pictures well, you can still look good on an iPhone camera. And Lovisa rings work just as well in a flatlay as Pandora ones.
Those girls that started out taking pictures in Primark dresses against their wardrobes never intended for you to copy them. They just wanted to remind you that you could look good no matter how much you could afford to spend on clothing. You got to learn that lesson from them. Now take that lesson and apply it. Find high street alternatives to designer pieces, or better yet, make your own!
There’s nothing wrong with not liking blogs with designer handbags. There’s also nothing wrong with thinking some bloggers are out of touch. But there is a problem with equating the two.
But that’s just my opinion – and a controversial one at that – so I’d love to hear what you think about all this!
If you liked this post, you might enjoy FRIENDLY REMINDER: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE and MAYBE FASHION BLOGGERS REALLY ARE HERALDING THE DEATH OF PERSONAL STYLE?