I’ve had this blog post written in my head for quite some time. It’s sat in the ‘drafts’ section of my brain, building momentum and becoming almost complete without a word ever being typed. I’d put off writing it for several reasons and subsequently it changed direction once or twice too. But I’ve been unable to shake it – which is always a sign to myself that I need to do something about it.
As a blogger, an Instagrammer, a YouTuber, a content creator…an anything online ‘er’ I often feel this subliminal pull from within the industry to tick a box. To qualify for my place. So much gets said about inclusivity and exclusivity in the blogging world, it’s not exactly new news is it? But I’ve always rested fairly on these matters, or so I like to think. Rightly or wrongly, like any industry, when it comes to partnerships and collaborations there are going to be requirements on the people involved. For example, to look a certain way and be a certain size, shape or style. I know some people really struggle with this and try and fight the mold and shout out for change a lot. The truth is that brands absolutely should be more open eyed with regards to variation in the bloggers and influencers they work with. But the other side of the coin is that if they’re paying to work with someone, surely that buys them the right to chose? It’s a fine line and one I see both sides of.
I’m 31. I have two children and I don’t live in London. All of which I feel as a beauty blogger can be to my detriment. I’ve built my brand up to become my source of income and I’m incredibly proud of that. But that said, I’m still thirty-one. I have wrinkles and eye bags and more cellulite than I like to think about. My body is the shape of someone who has given birth to two humans – it’s not perfectly proportioned. My cute waist and bum ratio is no longer in sync and doesn’t look the way it did 10 years ago. Neither do my legs with my calf muscles being wider than I’ve ever remembered. Honestly brutal over here right now, okay? I might be small (ish) framed but not how I used to be. And my weight can go between a size 10 and a size 14 in a matter of months depending on stress levels too.
But despite all this I’ve built a brand and a blogging space I’m proud of – seriously, bar having my children I think my blog is my biggest accomplishment. So I like to think that the brand partnerships I’ve had have always been based on built relationships, a good rapport and my professional attitude. Basically, I like to think that being a nice person has been a driving force in a lot of my work. And that’s where I want to be – I want to work with brands I have relationships with – the ones whose products I believe in and the ones who believe in me in return. Not just the ones who want to tick a box with their campaigns.
Like most bloggers, I have been drawn into many conversations where I ended up feeling inadequate as a content creator. I don’t get to London enough, I don’t look a certain way etc. And it made me feel rubbish and like I wasn’t good enough at times. But maybe it’s my age, or a bit more life experience, or the fact that I’m genuinely happy with myself as a person: but I’ve accepted I’m never going to be THAT blogger. I’m never going to be the blogger who gets booked for swish, slick trendy campaigns – because I don’t fit that bill. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
As a beauty blogger I like to create content that’s everyday – the stuff women and girls of all ages and styles can enjoy. I create what I know, what I’m comfortable with and what I like. I used to look at the Instagrammers who were uber tanned, made up like they were going on a night out all the time and never showing a bare face. But that’s just not me. I’m not THAT blogger. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that by the way.) I love make up and skincare -and basically anything beauty related, but maybe not in that traditional ‘Instagram’ way. I love a deep smokey eye and a red lip, I play with colours and experiment plenty but I’m never going to be dolled up to the nines every second of the day, without a hair out of place, lashes for miles and a face so heavy I can’t crack a smile. I love fake tanning, false lashes and lots of make up – but there’s a limit for me. And maybe I’m just not Instagram-style level enough…
As a beauty blogger I’m about real-life make up styles: the stuff we can all do and enjoy. The relateable style that isn’t only for those who apply make up like a trained MUA. I used to get down when I saw others working with brands or being at events that were so ridiculously cool that my 15 year old self felt like an outsider all over again. But now I’m genuinely really happy with not being involved in those sorts of things all the time – I couldn’t do them justice anyway because I’m not THAT blogger. I’m about products that can be used everyday by everyday people and brands that want to reach the audience I talk to: the everyday girls and women. While that might mean I’ll never be photographed leaning on fancy cars in my underwear and getting paid for it, I’m okay with that. Because I’m happy with my style and happy with my style of content.
I think in this industry it’s far too easy to get sucked in and fall down a rabbit hole of thinking you should look, be or behave a certain way. If you want to be THAT blogger that’s great – I’m not criticising against it, but merely saying that’s not for me. In a community of people always so eager to pull others down for the slightest thing, I think we all NEED to be the people we truly are, and that goes for our content as well. There’s too much against bloggers these days that if you dress yourself up (proverbially speaking) to be a ‘fake’ version of yourself then at some point you’re in for some heartache. You need to be made of tough stuff in this industry and there’s no way of enduring it when you’re pretending to be someone else.
I’m okay with being the everyday beauty blogger.
Read more of my lifestyle posts here.