I’m writing this blog with a question, or something that keeps me thinking. So it’s personal, but apparently I want to share it with others anyway.
And that is the thing, where I’m thinking about. This paradox. Why are people ‘blogging’? Is a blog simply an online diary? I don’t think so. Of course, they have some functionalities in common like self-expression and creating order out of chaos. But in my opinion blogging is nowadays more about self-presentation.
This becomes clear when you look at the millions of fashion blogs written by girls. The pictures seem to say: ‘look, this is what I’m wearing, THIS IS ME’! However, is this a real image? Girls at their best, beautiful-looking with gorgeous clothes, smiling at the camera? I think that many bloggers are showing an improved version of themselves. And this is the main difference with a diary, where you can actually write about doubts, weaknesses, fears and insecurities. The private-public separation means probably a real-unreal separation.
But why are it girls/women who are mainly blogging (at least the blogs in which self-presentation is central)? And why do they all seem to look so similar? I have absolutely nothing against the fashion blog itself. It can be a way to express creativity, showing the world unique work and to inspire others. Some of them do this particularly well! But I think that this self-presentative fashion-blogging is for a lot of girls more a kind of search for identity. The fact that many fashion blogs look like each other and that these self-presentations are far from real, shows that this identity is maybe hard to find. A new kind of idealized image seems to prevail on the internet, where boys/men do not seem to suffer that much from. And many girls seem thereby to be trapped in this fashion-blog-culture.
You are right that many of the fashion bloggers do look the same and strive for the similar look. I think this can be because maybe they are searching for their real identity or because this kind of way of dressing and behaving is admirable and gives the girls a lot of compliments and affirmation.
I think this is just a phase that girls grow out of and if the same blogger continues to blog her blog matures with her. Why there are so much teenage girls blogging is because they are searching for acceptance trying to find them self.
An article that might be of interest in relation to this can be found here: http://obs.obercom.pt/index.php/obs/article/view/294/354
I wrote it a couple of years ago, so it isn’t that recent.
There is also another one, that I haven’t been able to read since Åbo Akademi isn’t subscribing to the journal, but the abstract seems interesting. Maybe your university are subscribing? Here is the link: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berg/jdbc/2011/00000015/00000004/art00002