I'm 38,000 feet in the air and came to unrecognizable clarity. Planes and lack of real oxygen do that to me.
This clarity comes from a very unearthed space. I can hardly give advice from an expert level nor can I tell you what I'm about to say will provide you the subsistence you need for your life. However, maybe my advice can you bring you clarity- of something you may of been missing.
Blogging has become more and more the survival of the "most commercial." Think I'm wrong? Try me. Look around at your blogroll, I guarantee the majority of the bloggers you follow are commercial- similar in taste, style & engagement. Bloggers partnering with brands that need them/you/us/me to be the perfect model/role model/puppet to represent the brand. As a blogger, I know making a buck is important. But at what cost? Let me give you an example.
I was offered a generous/substantial amount of money to vlog about this brand as long as I didn't curse, involve sexual references, need to wear the brand in the video, speak only in good nature and provide a representation of a "commercial me". These words come straight from the email. Yeah. I know. Now, most of these requests aren't outlandish. In fact, most are suitable for a brand. Most brands. HOWEVER, I'm not shy when it comes to representing my true, honest self. Yup, I curse. Yup, I throw in a sexual reference here and there. I most definitely wear what I want, from no make-up to gym clothes to a jazzy sequin dress. I talk a lot of shit, normally revolving around my life and constantly strive to represent myself in the best light possible. That light being the HONEST, PASSIONATE human I am. For a brand to ask of me to COMPLETELY alter who I AM, is shameful. A brand should have come to my site, saw that I AM this uncensored person and realize I don't change, NO MATTER what brand I work with. The request should have never been made. The problem is: Bloggers are changing & altering who they are for money and exposure.
What's it all worth? Did Tina Fey, Sara Bareilles, Mindy Kaling, DailyGrace, Ellen DeGeneres, and the many others, decide to fall in line with their competitors to be part of a uniform community? Although most of us don't live in that playing field, it's so relative. All these women have made something of themselves because they stood up for what they believe in. They haven't altered who they are to get ahead in the rat race. You shouldn't even want to be a part of the rat race. FUCK the rat race. [P.S. I can almost guarantee that comment alone will get me no retweets from companies/brands/bloggers who may believe what I'm saying but refuse to tweet a post revolving CURSE WORDS. It's not a shocker. Trust me.]
There's just something about creating a false identity of yourself to represent a brand. It's inauthentic and damaging to the small world we involve ourselves in. Brands will think it's okay to trample over us because we don't have a "rulebook", we don't have "managers", MOST of us don't use agents and a majority of the time, we're making decisions based on our own ideals- not an adviser or business manager guidance. When one blogger decides to sacrifice who they are for money or exposure, it damages the community we're trying to build as independent women and men who develop our own content with no guidelines of which to follow for a brand or company.
I KNOW I won't reach commercial level- with a million followers & hundreds of thousands of views because I'm just not what everyone wants to read/see/watch. I reach who I want to- those who understand my satire, my style and my purpose. I want to make people laugh, I want to motivate people and encourage women to be strong, independent, self-sufficient women. I want my readers to come and see a woman who won't conform to someone's standards or pressures. I'll make it my own way. I'm writing in hopes you'll do the same. Shit- whether you're a blogger or not, don't conform to what the WORLD wants you to be. Be confident in your choices and maintain focus on your ultimate goals. I'll be damned if I alter who I am for money, exposure, shitttt- a man, for that matter.
So what do I hope you get out of this?
Have the courage to walk away from the imperfect things for you. Because on the horizon, is the most perfect opportunity, paycheck, or man, for the perfect of you.
Love you guys. For realz, this time.
Photo by: Lydia Hudgens (post to come soon)