Authenticity

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Dress: JollyChic; Boots: Sam Edelman (similar here and here); Jacket: Zara (similar here and here)

Warning: this post is going to get personal and rant-y. A few days back, my friend Camilla sent myself and Didier an article on Bloomberg. In it, one of its authors conducts an experiment and works with a marketing agency to rise to social media stardom. Much to our chagrin, here was yet another article calling into question the authenticity of influencers.

I encourage you to read it yourself, but in essence, it paints a picture whereby it’s totally possible to rise to social media stardom by spending some quick cash. This involves buying stock images from photographers (latte art, avocado toast, etc), buying followers, and buying likes. As the author correctly pointed out, it is possible to gain a following through these means. However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s how the industry works!

I am so tired of people putting bloggers down. I’m so tired of hearing how trivial our work is. I’m so tired of hearing how easy it is, because you know what – it’s not. Just to give you an idea, here is a small list of the things we do on a regular basis, and none of it involves us spending money:

  • The world doesn’t stop because of daylight savings time. So if the lighting isn’t right, we have to spend the entire day trying to get the perfect picture. One of my gift guides took 5 hours to style and shoot.
  • A lot of my friends juggle blogging with their full-time jobs. That means that because of DST, they have to spend their entire weekends shooting pictures, which means they get no weekend at all.
  • Understanding SEO is no picnic. It’s time-consuming and frustrating.
  • Yesterday, I had to venture out into the freezing cold to shoot an outfit. This entailed shedding my scarf and coat, and pretending to look like my face wasn’t about to fall off from the biting wind.
  • When I went to Thailand on vacation, I had to wake up at sunrise every single day to ensure I had enough time to photograph the hotel grounds as a part of my contract before heading out to explore.
  • Warm food? Such a thing exists?
  • Editing photos is not a walk in the park.

The bottom line is that in order for us to stay at the top of our game, we work incredibly hard to create fresh and interesting content. Content that has to catch the attention of a generation that wants their information at a hyper-accelerated rate. Of course it’s possible to get there with shortcuts (like in so many other professions), but that doesn’t mean that the entire industry is a farce. Nor does it mean that every influencer out there uses these means.

Now, to address the superficiality issue: a picture of avocado toast or a latte may seem incredibly trivial, but it’s not. It’s called personalized recommendation and is what’s keeping a lot of restaurants and cafes afloat. A flatlay may seem stupid, but it’s how brands get the word out about a new product.

Whether it’s Vogue or Bloomberg questioning the validity of blogging as a profession, at the end of the day it comes down to the same supermodel vs. Kendall and Gigi debate. This ‘elite’ industry has become a democracy. You no longer need to have qualifications or connections or 5+ years of experience to make it in the industry – you can make a career for yourself.

What upsets me is that I truly believe traditional publications and bloggers can work in tandem. There is a place in the world for both. And just because blogging is democratized doesn’t make it any less authentic. Bloggers still work just as hard as people in publishing – believe me, I’ve done both. I think it’s time to stop putting each other down, live and let leave, and move the fuck on.

Photography by Erin Leydon

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67 Comments

  1. December 4, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    OMG ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ thank you! I’m the blogger that works a full-time job and runs a full time blog. And I’m so tired ๐Ÿ˜ฉ Thank you for bringing this up! What bothers me the most is when publications start bashing bloggers about paid content… it’s like, hold the phone… how much content in a magazine is paid??? Also, I think it’s an older generation not being adaptable to change and not realizing that blogging/influencers are the new magazine. โœŒ๐Ÿป๏ธ

  2. December 4, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    Thank you for voicing your thoughts! I feel like some people just. don’t. get. it. Ps. these shots of you are amazing! Looking chic as always. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. December 4, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    I don’t know why people feel the need to discredit bloggers efforts and work. Absolute nonsense! I definitely agree with you and you look so gorgeous. Great ensemble!

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

  4. December 4, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    Hahaha yes, you are so damn right! Hard life the blogger life. Love your necklace!
    xx dasynka
    http://dasynka.com/

  5. December 4, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Thanks so much for your honest words! I also am in the industry as a blogger and appreciate your realness.

    P.S. I love your style and aesthetic! Your flat lays are inspiring me to update my home decor ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Miri
    December 4, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Thank you for being so honest. I totally agree that sometimes I wonder how it is possible that some bloggers grow so fast! Social media is no walk in a park and you have to work a lot. I also work 80%, have a 7-months-old daughter and a husband who wants my attention from time to time as well. So yes, blogging is a work. Hard job but I still love it.

    Big hugs and thank you for such an amazing article!
    X
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

  7. December 5, 2016 / 1:11 am

    you speak the truth! I’ve only been blogging for less than a month and I know how incredibly dificult it is! And it’s really reallyy hard to understand SEO and Analytics not to mention that there’s a big learning curve + a 9-5 job.
    BTW you look stunning, as always!
    xo| Cindy
    http://www.boringclothes.com

  8. December 5, 2016 / 2:07 am

    Absolutely loved this post babe! Your words could not be truer – I juggle full time work and spend my entire weekend working on “blog stuff”, I can’t remember the last time I had a weekend! But hey, in the end, we all know who is legitimate and the hard workers and we are all here to support each other and watch each other grow. So proud of YOU! And this outfit is insane, you absolute MINX!

    Ashleigh x
    http://www.ashleighdmello.com

  9. December 5, 2016 / 2:36 am

    Well said! There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work we as fashion bloggers do that those on the outside don’t get to see.

    Also your outfit is super chic!

  10. December 5, 2016 / 3:05 am

    OH how I love this blog post, and you for writing it. There are so many people that think blogging is easy, so much so that some with a full time job and no interest/passion in starting one… have started one as they see that I am now able to afford the things that I couldn’t do before. They think it’s super easy, all they have to do is post a couple of pics on Instagram and call it a day. I wish!! Blogging is incredibly un-glamorous but I love it, and that’s what gets me up at 6am every morning to finish my list of jobs.

    Filipa xxx
    PlayingWithApparel.com | Instagram

  11. December 5, 2016 / 7:11 am

    Blogging is by no means an easy task. There is so much effort, time and thought process that goes in it all. We are our own agents, writers, models, makeup and hair artists, director and editor. We are an entire industry contained into one person. What we do is work. The fact that some people go ahead and trivialize it all is beyond insulting. Thank you so much for voicing your opinion and outrage on the subject. Thats one of the main reason I love you!

    -Didier
    http://www.didieryhc.com

  12. December 5, 2016 / 10:45 am

    I agree with you. There’s so much effort, I’m always studying new thing, I’m always try new thing.
    I work a full time job, but I spend every free minutes working on my blog, so at the end of the day i’m always working, and people don’t understand, but I don’t care because I know what I’m doing, and i’m happy with that.
    Amazing post!
    Have a great week
    http://www.ericavoyage.com

  13. December 5, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    You seriously make AMAZING points. I have been blogging for a little over a year now and thank goodness I LOVE it because otherwise I definitely wouldn’t be willing to put in all my free time taking photos, editing photos, researching SEO, affiliate programs, social media, etc. I think people should try to understand it a little more before rushing to judgment!

    http://www.rosyoutlookblog.com

  14. December 5, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    I totally agree with you, dear. To be totally honest, i’m tired of people bringing bloggers down. The only thing i can think of when i read or listen bad things about bloggers is to challenge that people to become bloggers for one month. I’m sure they would not be able to handle it.
    So, thank’s for your words, they made me feel like i’m not alone.
    Have a great week.
    lefashionaire.com

  15. December 5, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    Great post, I totally agree. Also love your outfit a lot. Hope you are having a lovely start to your week.

    Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

  16. December 5, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    Well said Siffat! I love that you are not afraid to speak your mind! Personally I don’t give a shit what people say about bloggers because at the end of the day al lot of companies need us to spread their message and reach their target. I find this kind of article about blogger very hypocrite and immature. It’s a bit like the old battle between cinema and tv. You need to evolve with your time and right it feels like it’s going toward more videos and live stories…
    You’re looking so hot in this outfit. Don’t know how you can stand outside with this cold!
    Love,
    Aurelie | http://www.surface85.com

  17. December 5, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    Such a great post and I couldn’t agree more with you! Blogging is a job, is not just taking photos of a glam life and be all good about it, it’s so much more than that. It’s writing, it’s content planning, it’s photographing, it’s editing, SEO, marketing, networking and the list just goes on and on. Of course one could fake the way to stardom by buying followers/likes etc, but the majority of us are actually spending all those extra hours on genuine marketing and trying to get our name out there. Hands down to you for bringing this subject up, so important! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  18. December 5, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    I like your blog, its really dope.
    Do you want to follow each other?
    If you want, than follow me, and let me know in comments, so I can follow you back with pleasure.
    We can follow each other on Instagram @andjela.dujovic, let me know in the comments so I can follow you back.

    http://www.bekleveer.com
    xoxo

  19. December 5, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    The sleeves on that dress is amazing! Great look dear! XO, Ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

  20. December 5, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Love this post! So many people judge bloggers without having any idea how much time and work it takes! Yesterday I took photos of a summer shirt in -2 degrees, and that’s just one of the many difficulties bloggers face. Blogging is a real job, and growing a following is not easy. I agree with everything you wrote!

    The outfit is stunning, I love this black and white combo! The jacket is gorgeous, and I love the way you styled it with the OTK boots! Have a great week!

    xo, Esther

    http://bubblesther.com

  21. December 5, 2016 / 9:38 pm

    First of all this outfit is sooo chic , 2nd you are so right! It frustrates me to no end and still after so many years in this industry some brands still dont take us seriously… xx

  22. December 5, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    I really love that you wrote about this. Whether or not blogging is one’s full time job, people put so much time, effort, skill, and research into it (SEO, man) that it really shouldn’t be something people write off. It’s definitely interesting to hear more about this issue, so thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Kathryn โ€ข simplykk.com

  23. December 6, 2016 / 12:47 am

    Great post!! Blogging takes a lot of work and commitment. It’s definitely not as easy as it looks.
    You look amazing, btw! I love the boot and dress. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. December 6, 2016 / 2:57 am

    Amazing look and obessed with your otk boots darling. Great styling as always.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Much love, Len
    http://www.lenparent.com

  25. December 6, 2016 / 9:00 am

    You got the best look in this outfit…your dressing selection is too good and no more words for your fashion..looking so beautiful..have a great time..

  26. December 6, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    I totally relate myself to what your saying! A lot of people is judging this blogging while they doesn’t know anything about the “behind the scenes”…

    http://violettedaily.com

  27. December 6, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    1. I love your outfit and 2. I swear you do not know how many people sit there and tell me what we do is easy and we are so lucky! What the heck you mean easy? I work full time and I blog all the time. Even at work I have to find time to answer emails get, back to peoples comments and questions. There is soo much to do no one believes it. Everyone just thinks lets grab a few pics – EVEN AN INSTAGRAM PHOTO HAS TO BE PERFECTION (which I still have yet to figure out) Oh I get so frustrated lol

    Life is just Rosie
    Instagram

  28. Jessi Malay
    December 6, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Love this post babe..thank you so much for sharing this ๐Ÿ™‚ It takes a lot to always be on top of our game and create new and unique content for our viewers..so many people don’t understand this, so I completely agree with your opinions !!

    XO, Jessi
    http://www.mywhitet.com/holiday-gift-guides-him-her/

  29. December 6, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    I could not agree with everything you said more! Blogging is a lot of work, especially when working full time. I’m not a professional blogger, but I can only fathom how much more work goes into it making sure you fulfill contracts for partnerships. I would much rather take advice or find products from influencers like fellow bloggers than some celebrity endorsement. It’s so much more genuine and feels more real <3
    Green Fashionista

  30. December 6, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    Powerfully spoken and to the point. Blogging is hell lot of work and not just about pretty pictures but even if it was, noone has the right to judge! I am so glad you voiced your opinion.. It sure echoes all of our thoughts.. Have a wonderful day ๐Ÿ™‚

    Monika | http://www.palateforstyle.com

  31. December 6, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I appreciate your rant! We do work incredibly hard and it’s not an easy path for sure. You look incredible in this look Siffat! Those boots paired with this dress are fierce!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

  32. Sahra
    December 6, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    yesss! It’s crazy how some people are so quick to judge when they’ve never been in anothers shoes!

    Happy Holidays!
    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

  33. December 6, 2016 / 11:57 pm

    Beautifully written and SO relevant babe. I’ve been blogging for 6+ years now and I have NEVER EVER bought likes/ followers/ images… truth is I never knew such a thing existed since I started so long ago!

    I know, it’s quite ignorant but the fact is, there are basic bloggers out there who do ALL of the above so of course the media will catch on and jump right in to put our entire community down. It takes MOUNTAINS of work to post one perfect shot which is why I LOVE to support all artists and bloggers alike.

    Thank you so much for such an insightful post- can’t wait to read more from you!
    AND Thank you for the blog visit babe, hope to see you back soon!

    Xx- Julie | Haute Khuuture Blog

  34. December 7, 2016 / 1:09 am

    You look so so chic! I love the thigh high boots! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  35. December 7, 2016 / 2:01 am

    I couldn’t have said it any better – spot on! It’s unfortunate people will never wholesomely understand.
    You look great nonetheless; hope you’re having a great week.

    Funmi x
    http://www.funmialabi.co.uk

  36. December 7, 2016 / 4:28 am

    Wow… thank you for sharing. I do have a full time job that is the main bread maker in my life; and I do not spent that much time on blogging really. specially the whole thing about getting prep and photo-shot… maybe that’s why my photos sux … hahaha… but I am happy to put it out there… :)))
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com
    IG @grace_njio

  37. Amy Arnold
    December 7, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    I agree. Every blogger I have had the pleasure of meeting is authentic and hard working. This isn’t an easy industry. You look amazing babe!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  38. December 7, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Kudos to you for still taking outside location pics at this time of year, here in Berlin I refuse to do it…I’m on the whole, ‘How much exactly do I need to suffer for my art, woe is me’ tip, I’m hoping to be rejuvinated next year! As for the blogging vs traditional tug of war…its funny I’m not in blogging full-time/or in the scene so I don’t see/get to hear how its looked down upon. Its only from reading your article and a video interview done by Song of Style that I get to hear the Tea…I guess in some way no matter how hard you work in an industry or profession, people respect more and are willing to pay more for fields/specialities that require yeeears of training. The elements of blogging are super hard but a lot of them can be learnt on YouTube etc which makes the professional almost too accessible. But then with professions like medicine or law, even with nepotism/money on your side you have to go through the phases…
    I don’t agree with this but sadly its the way the world works for now. But you know what blogging is ‘battling’ with professions that have gone on for centuries. I am sure in time that people’s perceptions will shift especially as the digital marketing elements in the professions increase…( :
    Ps love your rant! ( ; I plan on doing one soon this month!

  39. December 7, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    I just do my own thing and try not too care too much about what others say about bloggers. Love the sleeve detail of your dress!

    ANOUK

  40. December 7, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    First off, you look absolutely amazing, girl! I love the entire look, perfectly styled from head-to-toe! As for the article, I haven’t read it, but based on what you’ve shared it seems to have much of the same tone as the VOGUE article. What I think is happening is that journalists and industry professionals who have always had a leg up in the industry are becoming somewhat jealous and upset at the fact that us bloggers are becoming the go-to source for everything these days, leaving them with not much of a voice. The reason I say this is because there was a PR company I used to work with in NYC, who has been slowly shutting their doors and told me that that editors are being let go left and right and are not given as much priority as influencers, so I think they’re using their platforms to fire back. Would you believe one PR girl told me that she wished she had my life to just hang out all day!? What!??? What serious influencer just hangs out all day? I think it’s all unnecessary because like you’ve said, there’s room for both and both can and should work well together and supporting one another. Anyway, I don’t want my comment to be longer than your post, haha, but you’ve brought up a topic that I of course connect with. Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great rest of the week!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  41. December 7, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    I agree, blogging is hard work and it’s definitely under-rated because most people who don’t do it don’t understand the effort a beautiful photo and read worthy content can take. I also think it’s part of the game though, to make blogs look effortless……..it’s a no win situation

    Love your chic all black outfit!

    Hope you are having a wonderful week!
    Carly at A Modern Mom Blog

  42. December 7, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    The details of your selves are gorgeous. I agree with what you said, blogging shouldn’t be taken as lightly.

    xo
    http://www.carinavardie.com

  43. December 9, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I fully agree with you! I started blogging for fun and quickly discovered how much work is involved! In fact, you have to be stylist, photographer, model, accountant, technical manager and so much more!!
    I love your outfit, on another note, especially those boots!
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com

  44. December 10, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    I always love how real you are about the whole blogging world. You are so authentic, so real, and that’s the key. Andd btw, I always love your outfits and this is no exception!
    Obsessed Fashion Blog