August 17, 2014

Fake it till you make it: the blogging world

A little Serious Sunday for you guys, something I think should come to light within the fashion and blogging world: the fakeness of some bloggers, in both their image and their follower base. Curious to hear your opinion!

If you follow a lot of blogs, especially the top of the blogging scene, you've probably noticed that some of them have a huge follower base. As a beginning blogger (which is still what I consider myself to be) it can be frustrating to see your instagram or facebook blog account gain only one or two followers a week, if not less. I always used to think that I would have to put hours of time into my blog and post amazing outfits and be extremely active on social media to gain popularity. Turns out: the only thing you need is money, because apparently you can just buy thousands of followers. I read GOMI (Get Off My Internets) from time to time, and I noticed a topic about several bloggers who gain hundreds of facebook or instagram followers in a very short time. When you check out these bloggers' followers on instagram for example, you will see a long list of generated and fake-looking accounts. 
This kind of cheating is one of the reasons I stopped following these "big" bloggers alltogether. If they fake their number of followers, how about the rest of their blog? Most of the so-called daily outfits are gifted by brands, and obviously just worn for the sake of blogging pictures. Put on free clothes, snap away, change outfit, repeat. And earn crazy money while doing so. 

Two bloggers who have been accused of buying followers: Damsel in Dior and What I wore. For one thing, it seems quite impossible to me that when you have 20k followers, your photos only get a few hundred likes. 

Another issue that has gotten more attention in the fashion world the last few years is photoshop. It's widely known that magazines and brands use photoshop to slim, enhance, retouch or even completely change the image of their models. In some way I can understand fashion magazines or online stores using photoshop: A high sales rate is their main goal, and if skinnier models will help sell more clothes, most brands won't shy away from a little retouching. But what concerns me, is that photoshop has now become very common with fashion bloggers too. Bloggers who already look great as they do are using photoshop to slim their legs, waist and enlarge their boobs. The perfect example is Danielle from We Wore What, who used to be one of my favourite bloggers. Yes, I too have looked at her bikini pictures and wished I had her abs or toned legs. I shouldn't have though, because although she already looks perfectly fine the way she is, she still feels the need to photoshop every single picture, not only on her blog but even on her instagram account (!) Compare:

Left: normally sized legs - right: unrealistically long, thin & muscle-less legs
notice how different the taxi looks between her legs? And where did the back of her coat go?

Defending yourself by saying #yesidideatthat doesn't count if you're just going to photoshop yourself 3 sizes smaller...

If you want to use photoshop, at least use it properly - don't make yourself translucent!

the poor kid on her right must have a terrible leg deformity! Oh wait...
Fashionisers has already dedicated a post to bloggers and celebrities using photoshop on instagram here, including Danielle Bernstein, Kristina Bazan (Kayture) and even Miranda Kerr. This is instagram we're talking about, people! Remember instagram, where you take a picture of yourself, add a filter and upload it? Nope, these days before you upload a selfie, you first have to spend an hour retouching it with photoshop, hoping no one will notice (or block the ones that do...) that the wall and floor behind you is suddenly going all boogie woogie:

I'm amazed by the fact that this kind of shameless use of photoshop hasn't gotten that much attention yet. Why these bloggers, who are followed and adored by thousands of teenage girls, feel the need to photoshop themselves and present a fake image to their fans is beyond me. What do they do when they meet fans in real life? Surely they must notice their favourite blogger doesn't have the "omg perfect legs" they saw on her instagram? Most bloggers even go as far as posting workout pictures - all photoshopped to the extreme of course - that get hundreds of comments about their "amazing body". Oh girls, you don't need to go work out at all, just a little photoshop will do the trick! That and never allowing anyone else to ever publish a non-edited picture of you. What a fun life that must be.

Fake it till you make it must be the blogging world's new slogan. The concept of daily outfit posts has completely vanished and transformed into this creation of an artificial image, complete with fake followers. I don't know about you, but this isn't what I'm looking for in a fashion blogger at all. I would never unfollow someone with a unique sense of style because her thighs aren't a size 0 or she has a little muffin top (don't we all?) I will unfollow the ones who block me for simply pointing out that maybe their legs aren't naturally ultra straight or their knees wrinkle-free. 

Have you noticed the increased fakeness of the blogging world? Do you think something can be done about it? Share your opinion!