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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh No You Didn't, Mr. Satoralist

I follow, on Tumblr,  a lovey lady named Allyson from Decoding Dress- Why We Wear What We Wear and today she had a fantastic post in response to the Sartorialist. I wanted to share the post and give a link back to her blog for anyone intersted in leaving her a comment about this great post.

Here it is...
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Dear Sartorialist, Let’s Chat About Fashion Blogs

Dear Mr. Sartorialist,

I’ve always respected your stuff — really. From both a creative perspective and an anthropological one, you’ve done some pretty interesting work. I might even say important work. (Well, there was that whole “sturdy legs” thing, but we’ll let that fade into the broader body of your work for now.) The interview you did the other day with Style.com, however, makes me wonder if it’s all gone to your head a bit.  I’m thinking in particular of your comments about my friends and I:
I’m not really a fan of personal style blogs—you know, the ones [on which] these girls just shoot their outfits and all this stuff. I haven’t seen one that I really like or that draws my attention every day. The good and bad of that is that most these girls only have a limited wardrobe; they don’t have many clothes to shoot and I don’t think most of them have come up with looks that are that interesting, that draw me.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Mr. Sartorialist, but it’s not really all about you.

I don’t blog my outfits for you. I blog my outfits for me, unapologetically. I do it because it’s fun and because it’s helping liberate me from the oppressive “opinions” of self-important, self-appointed “authorities” and “experts” who have been telling me what to wear my whole life. Putting myself out there on this blog gives me the courage to be myself, to embrace the creativity that The Industry has been subtly working to squish out of me ever since the first time I got corrected for wearing polka dots with plaid back in kindergarten. I blog because after years of self-loathing brought on by The Industry’s insistence that acceptability means dressing like the Cool Kids, I’m finally getting comfortable with what I see in the mirror every day and I like the way that feels. I blog because I’m just altruistic enough to want others to feel that way too.

And I’m not “just shooting my outfits,” you know? Seriously, dont you ever stop to read our blogs, or are you just looking at the pictures? You and I both know that women are accustomed to being looked at this way, ogled, and particularly by men with cameras, but seriously, Sartorialist, my brains are up here, you know? I don’t write all these words to provide some nice padding for my pictures. How about a little conversation?

Were I a cynic, I might accuse you of objectifying your subjects with your work. I blog my outfits because I refuse to submit to that kind of objectification. My posts are a protest against the kind of style reporting that preaches, “You are what you wear.” My friends and I are so much more than the sum total of our wardrobes. We’re not mannequins, Sartorialist. I mean, isn’t that what makes your photos interesting — the people? Think how boring your stuff would be if all those cool outfits you shoot were on mannequins. (Hint: very.)

That’s why it doesn’t really matter that I have a “limited wardrobe,” as you say. You’re right, of course; I don’t have hundreds of pieces to choose from each day or the money to refresh my collection each season like I’d like to. So yeah, I don’t “have many clothes to shoot.” But I’m not really shooting my clothes, right? I’m shooting me, and there are a lot of things that make me interesting beyond the clothes I wear.

If you’d take a moment to look beyond the pictures, you’d see that. Or maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you wouldn’t find anything about my friends or I that “draws you.” But honestly, if all you’re interested in is my body and what I’m hanging on it, then you’re probably not the kind of person we’d want to hang out with anyway. And that’s okay, because my fashion blogging friends and I are having lots of fun and sharing lots of fascinating conversations (and also, by the way, wearing lots of interesting outfits) and we’re doing all that completely independent of you and your camera.

So I think you’ve kind of missed the point when it comes to blogs like ours, which makes me wonder if you’re also missing the point when it comes to bigger things like Fashion and Journalism. In the end, when they’re at their best they’re not really about the clothes, not anymore. They’re about the people. You remember people, right? We’re the ones who keep bumping into you on the street while you’re fixating on your viewfinder.
Maybe you should try shooting us once in a while instead of just shooting clothes.  Think about it.

Most sincerely,

Allyson
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My Comment To The Post:"This is one of the best pieces that I have read (in awhile) and I agree with you totally. I wish that I had a leaflet to hand out to each person who finds out I have a blog and then looks at me like I am some self-obsessed woman. I am not selfish, in fact I am self-less and that is why I take a little piece of each day for ME and me alone to find joy in who I am.

I am going to reblog your post. More people need to read this! Especially those in the main stream industry who think that they are the one's making all the decisions now. Someone needs to send them a wake up call for them to take a bit of notice in the impact the blogging world is having on fashion and style.

Sincerely and with thanks,

Julie"