Relatable or Aspirational? Let’s be both

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.


  1. LaaLaa Monroe
    7th September 2016 / 7:24 am

    I think you can be both, I try be both but I'm not so on the whole social media front besides snapchat regularly. To be honest, I just do what I want lol x

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 7:37 am

      Haha, love it! I often say the same – I write what I like 🙂

  2. Emma Copland
    7th September 2016 / 7:53 am

    I have a post drafted about about how I am a blogging inbetweener because I am don't fit into either aspirational or inspirational but I think you are right the blogs I find most engaging are the ones that are both.

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 7:57 am

      Here's to being inbetweeners then my lovely – happy to be in the middle with cool chicks like you!

  3. Stella Olojola
    7th September 2016 / 8:49 am

    Relatable is relative. I find most bloggers relatable.

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 10:58 am

      Seems we agree, in that case 🙂

  4. Dannii Martin
    7th September 2016 / 10:04 am

    I think it is so important to be both. My IG is a lot about health and fitness, but I still post pizza too, as it is real life!

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 10:58 am

      Yay! I think that's it though, isn't it, all about balance.

  5. Amanda
    7th September 2016 / 11:55 am

    Totally agree with all these! xx

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 4:10 pm

      Glad to hear it – your blog manages to be both quite beautifully 🙂

  6. Zoe Lester
    7th September 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Totally agree with this. I don't post my whole life out there as I struggle but still.

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 4:11 pm

      I think that's another valid point – it's up to us what we share and how much we choose to reveal.

  7. Jessica Ayun
    7th September 2016 / 1:21 pm

    Most are relatable, I should say. I can't still decide which I belong.

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 4:12 pm

      You'll probably find a balance somewhere, looking forward to reading more.

  8. Liz Mays
    7th September 2016 / 1:27 pm

    I'm thinking that it's all interpretive. What might seem aspirational to some may very well be relatable to others. Just a thought!

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 4:12 pm

      Such a good point! That's part of what I love about blogging – we are all sharing our realities – but they can be quite different points of view.

  9. Melanie Ed
    7th September 2016 / 1:36 pm

    I think most are relatable. Great post by the way you have included some great bloggers there.

    • Claire
      7th September 2016 / 4:13 pm

      Thanks, Melanie – there are some absolutely super bloggers out there.

  10. Melissa Zia
    7th September 2016 / 1:40 pm

    I like to post about both, I blog about so many things from fitness to cake 🙂

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:02 am

      I think that's the key for most of us, really – a bit of balance 🙂

  11. beautyqueenuk
    7th September 2016 / 1:45 pm

    I post about my interests basically – makeup, beauty, cats, handbags and shoes, sometimes there might be something in my inbox which pricks my attention and I cover that too x

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:02 am

      There will never be enough cat posts. I love them.

  12. Angie Silver
    7th September 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Thanks for mentioning me lovely! I think 'relatability' is totally subjective as I love all sorts of blogs including those from people older, younger, in another country, mummies, inspirational / aspirational all of the above.For me the important thing is 'relating' to your readers, how you tell your personal stories and engaging on your blog and on social. It's a really interesting topic!

  13. Angie Silver
    7th September 2016 / 1:50 pm

    Thanks for mentioning me lovely! I think 'relatability' is totally subjective as I love all sorts of blogs including those from people older, younger, in another country, mummies, inspirational / aspirational all of the above.For me the important thing is 'relating' to your readers, how you tell your personal stories and engaging on your blog and on social. It's a really interesting topic!

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:02 am

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! Totally agree with your points 🙂

  14. Hannah Heartss
    7th September 2016 / 2:07 pm

    I just post about whatever I love and want to talk about it X

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:04 am

      Hurrah for that! I'm much the same – the joy of a blog is you have your own little space!

  15. We're going on an adventure
    7th September 2016 / 2:21 pm

    Yep I've definitely got a foot in both camps – of course when I make a video or take a photo I try to make sure that it looks the best it can, but I'm not about to tell people my kitchen is always spotless and that I never leave the house without a full face of make up. That's just not life.

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:04 am

      Precisely – I like to share and be honest…but I like things to look pretty, too!

  16. Squibb Vicious
    7th September 2016 / 4:13 pm

    Love this post 🙂 You're defo both bbz.Haydy x Squibb Vicious

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:04 am

      Thanks gorgeous 🙂

  17. Milly Youngman
    7th September 2016 / 4:27 pm

    I definitely think bloggers can be both – in fact, I think a lot more are than they think! <3

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:05 am

      Haha, true – for me most are a mix of the two!

  18. Amelia Larsen
    7th September 2016 / 5:22 pm

    I try to be both, I prefer to read blogs that are relatable but I enjoy reading about all the fancier things also!Amelia | ameliamaryx

    • Claire
      8th September 2016 / 9:06 am

      Love a bit of luxe!

  19. Emma Julia
    9th September 2016 / 7:16 pm

    You know what, you're absolutely right. #downwiththelabelsThank you for the kind words lovely, I'm not worthy! x

  20. charlienin
    12th September 2016 / 12:20 pm

    I think there's almost a turning point where people are aspiring to be relatable (yep, I'm mixing things up like THAT), but authenticity ultimately always shines through. Also, thanks for introducing me to the word 'verisimilitude'. Maybe one day you can teach me how to pronounce it. CxCharlie, Distracted

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