time flies when you're having fun... last week was extremely busy in addition to being hot and humid. i had loads of work, suffered and tried to recuperate from a summer cold, saw madonna and had several visitors in town. therefore, i'm running a little behind with my postings.
way back last wednesday i had lunch with anna at the four seasons. in addition to exchanging greetings and keeping up with latest news we also shared some thoughts on blogging. part of our meta-discussion touched on the topic of blog writing as a narcissistic endeavor – surely a topic most bloggers are familiar with either through feedback from anonymous comments or friends+fam. we both agreed that having a style centered blog is definitely somewhat self-satisfied, but ultimately saw very little wrong with it.
obviously one could always say that posting any number of your thoughts for others to read and comment is always quite egotistical. add the fact that you remain as your own editor-in-chief and master censor the project starts to look slightly more so; thinking your ideas are worthy of publishing without submitting them to any outside evaluation may be a tad on the smug side. generally (published) writers of all kind snicker at researchers, poets and novelists who self-publish because it is regarded as a sign of desperation and non-existent self-criticism. the former applies to all bloggers: we're just a conceited lot of suckers who ignore publishing authorities.
the addition of photos of yourself to the lot heightens the certainty of self-satisfaction: "hello, it's me and i look fab, dontcha think?" needless to say, i hardly consider myself a full-blown style blogger because i want to retain variety in my topics, and admit i definitely felt iffy about the entire project at first. nevertheless, i have started to enjoy its revelatory results. the struggle with taking acceptable photos continues (my sony cybershot is the crappiest gadget purchase ever made...), but i have overcome my personal hesitations with self-exposure. it's all good fun, really.
thus, there's narcissism and narcissism. the innocent type comes down to being easily excitable and cheerful about one's life. many style bloggers, such as sugar kane, seek style enlightenment and self-knowledge through their postings. for example, i am continuously surprised by my own photos and the way my own eyes distort my perception in the mirror. after seeing my images i have been forced to contest certain body image issues. realizations that unveil while writing your thoughts down apply also to self-images; via explicit handling both one's ideas and one's style become more cognizant.
the malicious kind of narcissism exploits and manipulates. seeking admiration from strangers through posts is usually innocent enough, but surely the blogosphere consists of some style bloggers who seek personal (usually financial) advantage through blogging – nothing wrong with being ambitious or rewarded for being popular, per se, i think, and i salute bloggers who actually make a living from their writing – but sometimes the methods seem suspiciously pious, such as "suggesting" one receive discounts at stores in exchange for blog exposure.
bloggers' egocentrism is also challenged by the sociability of posting. a significant part of enjoying the blogosphere comes from communicating with others. linking sources of inspiration is both courteous and informative, and while it is undoubtedly an essential feature of blog-encounters that the major part of visitors refrain from commenting, most writers (myself included) enjoy feedback. i'm sure you can relate to the idea that the silence of a few hundred daily visitors feels slightly creepy and actually creates some self-conscious paranoia: "why aren't they saying anything..." a self-inflicted paradox between knowingly going public and the desire to be acknowledged verbally for being just that conceited...
nonetheless, most style bloggers seem harmlessly self-centered. the few that i have talked to seem actually only averagely interested in mere surface, but are distinctly verbal about their thoughts on style. additionally, self-ridicule and -irony are plentiful as is pretty tough skin. don't get me wrong, no-one likes bashers or needlessly harsh evaluation, but according to my meagre empirical experiences they're a pretty level-headed lot by comparison to many fashion or looks interested people.
as partial proof, i offer you today's contribution to the altar of narcissus: my outfit for our luncheon. another simple black dress with folds down the front and back that create a slight egg shape below an empire waist. the length of the dress combined with ankle covering shoes creates trunk-like legs, but... well, whatever. i felt quite allright kankling away on my shapeless limbs.
click to enlarge, if you wish. dress by zara, sandal boots by office, bag by vivienne westwood world's end, bracelets by bless.
since you're out there, reading... well, wanna contribute? do you think blogging is a sign of smugness? are we just uncritical buffoons thinking too high and mightily about ourselves?