I had the privilege of interviewing several fashion bloggers over the past few weeks for a university assignment. However, for anonymity I won’t mention any names here. There were several questions in regards to Instagram, and it made me think about how everything requires balance. I appreciate all these beautiful women for sharing their experiences with me. There was a particular blogger who styles thrifted pieces on her blog, and I absolutely love that as someone who strives to buy mainly secondhand clothing. What resonated with me, was when she told me she could look like a million bucks with a five dollar outfit. What I love about thrifting, is the ability to find rare pieces and clothing that really cater to your personal style.
There was a common view of seeing Instagram as a benefit, in terms of connecting, interacting and communicating with different bloggers online. It’s an online fashion community with different niches, and an ability to have conversations and find connections. It’s a platform for one’s creative outlet, and to share a snippet of their lifestyle. There were common mentions of algorithm, and how it can be based too much off popularity, as the photos are no longer in the order of when they’re posted. There were individuals who had interest in makeup, baking or design before stepping into fashion blogging. It shows that you don’t necessarily have to have a background in fashion to be a fashion blogger.
Instagram only shows a small portion of someone’s life, and this is important to remember, as we often only see the highlight reel. For fashion lovers, it can be a great platform to discover new styles and bloggers. Practice what you preach was also an ethos among many fashion bloggers, as in the age of sponsorship, it’s important to support and showcase brands you enjoy using. It’s a great platform for creating a space of inspiration, but the frequent changes were noted as a disadvantage for some, as well as the struggle for small businesses with smaller budgets to grow on Instagram. Several bloggers mentioned the film “True Cost” which I highly recommend watching if you haven’t already!
It was wonderful to see the awareness of mindful consumption, and supporting brands that are ethical and transparent. There were negatives in terms of how Instagram can become too much about popularity, likes and #goals. But, several bloggers mentioned the importance of growing organically, being authentic and sharing real conversations with others. It was interesting to hear from some of the bloggers, that there are Instagram accounts that are purchasing followers in order to appear more popular. It then becomes too much of a numbers games. There’s an emphasis on the importance of the quality of content, and the engagement with followers.
It’s a great platform for those who are looking to share and promote a positive message. There is also a sense of responsibility for bloggers, as they can influence to a degree what people may choose to consume. A blogger mentioned that the uncomfortable truth is that unfortunately there are accounts that use their clothes and content to sell their lifestyle and to make money off their followers. I truly appreciated the honesty of all those that participated. There were mentions of how Instagram can often be a place for people to feel a sense of self-validation, but for some bloggers, they use it for their own creative process and design images. I like that, because then it becomes a place to express your creativity.
What are your thoughts on Instagram?