I don’t often blog-about-blogging here (except when I do), but some recent chat on twitter has got me thinking, and here seemed the ideal place to have a little ponder and a word based wander on the theme – as much as I adore me some twitter time, when you’re as verbose as me, sometimes you need to break out of the 140 characters and have a wee ramble. I will still use gifs in this post though, because they are my love language…
The current discussion seems to want to divide the blogging community into two clear camps.
Camp one is the ‘relatable’ bloggers – like a ‘celebrities, they’re just like us’ page come to life. All human life is here, complete with burned suppers, creased clothes, period cramps, late night worries and budget tricks. Camp two is the ‘aspirational’ bloggers – they have it all, from the hangbag du jour to the eyebrows on fleek. Like the Regina Georges of the scene (without the being-evil-geniuses part) these are the bloggers we want to be, whose lives we are meant to covet.
I’m not sure the dichotomy holds. I don’t think that bloggers have to be either/or, in much the same way that humans aren’t either relatable or aspirational. I think most people writing in the community are both. As social media becomes ever more pervasive, with Snapchat, Periscope, Insta Stories and Facebook Live all adding a new realness, or at least a new verisimilitude to proceedings, we know more and more about the people we follow and whose blogs we read, and for most bloggers this is blurring the lines between relatable and aspirational more and more.
Some of the most relatable bloggers I know are also aspirational.
Take Little Miss Katy – girl is relatable as hell (I’m lucky enough to know her in real life and from junk food stories to ridiculous giggles she’s a real, vibrant, fun girl), but plenty about her and her blog is hella aspirational – the swoon-worthy instagram, the gorgeous outfits, the fabulous invites. Or Zarina over at Page to Stage Reviews. She’s a bright, funny, lovely girl who also has a covetable TBR pile and seems to know everyone in the publishing world! Or Emma at Adventures of a London Kiwi – I love her wit, her humour and her realness…while still finding her passion for travel and the awesome places she visits and her writing ability totally aspirational!
Similarly, some of the most aspirational bloggers on the scene are so relatable.
Take SilverSpoon London – her blog is a laundry list of chic places to eat, to visit, to enjoy and is clearly aspirational, but Angie is also a warm and kind presence on twitter and when commenting on blogs (also, so funny in person). Or Heroine in Heels, whose blog and instagram are full of travel, fashion, exciting opportunities: in person Laura is such a giggle and is so nice and down-to-earth. In The Frow is an utter babe and her blog is full of beautiful things; her Snapchat shows her more relatable, fun side and her advice posts are real and open. London Beauty Queen is right at the heart of the beauty blogging scene and her blog is a glossy melange of aspirational content, but through comments, tweets, opinion posts and meeting her on occasion throught the Thirty Plus collective I also know that she’s relatable as heck, with plenty to say.
I’ve always thought of myself as a relatable blogger (totes real, y’all) but while thinking this through it’s dawned on me that I too sit in the space between relatable and aspirational. There are parts of this blog that are very real and ‘normal’ (not least the fact that I’m typing this in my PJs), but there are also aspirational elements – I get to travel and do some awesome things, and spend time with some amazing people. Some of the content here is relatable, some more aspirational. Just as all the bloggers I know and all my IRL friends are both relatable and aspirational…
Well, that’s quite enough rambling for now. What’s your feeling on the whole relatable vs. aspirational debate – are you an either/or, or both?
PS I wrote this yesterday for today’s post and this morning found Gwennan’s fun post on the same theme (thanks, twitter!) – you can read her views here.