If you didn’t see the blogger drama of late, where have you been? Social media lit up with people more than happy attack the lovely Scarlett London over a seemingly harmless Instagram post depicting her not so typical morning routine. A ridiculous amount of people got involved in such a small amount of time and we started debating whether the ‘aspirational blogger’ was something to be frowned upon. There were quite a few opinions flying around, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring and share with you my opinion.
Aspirational: Having or characterised by aspirations to achieve social prestige and material success.Oxford Dictionary Online
If you’ve seen my Instagram feed at all, it’s unlikely you would categorise me as an aspirational blogger. I don’t go on holidays to create mind blowing content every few weeks. I don’t have ANY designer clothes or bags. And I don’t tend to have my shit together, (not very often at least.) However, if you’ve seen the likes of Lydia Millen or perhaps Em Sheldon, you might be lead to believe they do. They are they type of blogger I would class as ‘aspirational’ – they showcase a well put together life with material goods and a few very luxurious looking trips abroad. And for me that’s okay!
I think all the drama stemmed from the fact that no one likes the idea of bloggers/influencers being able to advertise to you in such staged ways. Okay, a girl sat on a bed with pancakes and a bottle of Listerine mouthwash in the background isn’t a likely everyday routine, I for one am barely able to function until a few hours after I wake up. But, it’s an advert and who says they always have to be true to reality? The people who find themselves offended by such marketing must also be annoyed with TV advertising: the meerkats who go to the movies: obvs not real, the cartoon koala who loves loo roll: well duh and the constant shaving of hair free legs: hardly realistic at all! You rarely see anyone bat an eyelid about these things because they’re on TV, and everyone seems to understand TV advertising.
Times are changing people of the internet. You might not like the idea that you can be advertised to while browsing Instagram but it’s happening. And if someone is being paid to advertise something, as long as they declare the ad, why shouldn’t they create a fictitious image? Are you more likely to pay attention to someone spitting out mouthwash in a sink, or of a pretty blonde girl’s ‘morning routine’ which as the caption stated: was not her real morning routine – I know which my money is on. I spend more time looking at images that are beautifully curated than those that aren’t, that’s just personal preference. Advertising agencies know what works best, in fact congratulations for everyone who created controversy; Listerine got more coverage from this image than they ever could have anticipated.
Anyway, back to the ‘aspirational blogger’. I often find myself perplexed by such a description, as for some, these so called ‘aspirational bloggers’ lives must be relatable. If you are in a position to spend as they do, and own material goods in a similar way, then these bloggers have a pretty similar reality. To others, like myself, they are aspirational; I would love to travel the world, and in a way, these bloggers make me want to work as hard as I can to achieve these things myself. If anything, the aspirational side to their content is helpful for me as it enables me to set myself goals.
Of course, I am able to see when this trend becomes harmful. A lot of people say seeing such perfection on social media makes them feel down, and it’s true: social media usually shows the best bits of people’s lives, (except perhaps Twitter, there’s a lot of raw emotion going on there, oh and tweet copying.) The rose tinted goggles we all put on when we access social media don’t necessarily need extra recognition, we just need to use it differently. It’s your account, you ARE allowed to mute and unfollow accounts that make you feel bad, you are also allowed to follow accounts that aren’t perfectly curated and show the good, the bad and the ugly. You are free to use social media however you want. You should never feel obliged to look at things that affect your mindset in a less than positive way.
Our likes and dislikes are what define us, so while I like the ‘aspirational blogger’, you may hate them, but as I said above; that’s absolutely fine, you don’t have to follow them. It’s quite a divided topic I believe, but I’m glad the conversation has opened up. I’ll say it again, I’m by no means your typical aspirational blogger – just look at the photo I’m using above, no makeup on my face and an empty variety pack box of CocoPops behind me #notspon – but perhaps to some I could be. I own a MacBook and I can afford the occasional treat for myself (Spectrum Brushes I’m talking to you.) The classification of ‘aspirational’ is totally subjective and one person’s aspirations are another’s reality.
I’m aware this post is likely to be a long stream of consciousness, hopefully I’ve managed to edit it down into a more structured piece. But I am intrigued, what are your thoughts on the subject? Be that the Instagram drama or the notion of ‘aspirational bloggers’.