A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Blogger/Influencer Debate: Relatable or Aspirational?

For some time now I have seen bloggers fall under massive scrutiny particularly for how relatable they have become. From negative comments on YouTube videos to Instagram photos, it seems that some bloggers/influencers are being examined closely under a magnify glass. To some extent I can see where some people are coming from and why the term 'relatable' is being questioned which has fuelled the topic of todays post. 

So why is it that bloggers are being scrutinised so heavily? Typically, bloggers have always been praised for their honesty and a relateability that makes you feel as though you know them when in fact you've never met them. A virtual best friend so to speak, whereby a glimpse into their life own life (via snapchat or Instagram stories) can mirror your own leaving you with a neck like one of those nodding dogs. Oh yeeeeesssss, as nodding Churchill would say. It's sometimes nice to know that you are not the only one sat in on a Thursday night with a face mask, watching another episode on Netflix because let's face it is life really as glamorous as an Instagram filter leads us to believe?!

With that said, for some blogging really has taken off so much so that they can call it their full time job and make a hell of a lot of money from doing so. By this, I don't mean the micro blogger like myself (if I can even call myself that) but the big dogs of the social media world. I'm talking Zoella, Tanya Burr, The Blonde Salad to name just a few. You only have to head to social media to see how much money some bloggers are earning; the lavish lifestyle, Instagrammable worthy holidays not to mention the dreamy designer wardrobes which let's face it would have you living off Sainsbury's basic baked beans for the rest of the month if you were thinking of 'investing'. So I therefore ask myself, how relatable have bloggers really become? 

I'd like to say I fall into the category of relatable. I'll openly confess that I still shop in Primark and also that I slightly resent paying £12 for a pair of pyjamas. I mean what happened to the days when a matching set only set you back £5 or openly admitting that your multipack lace knickers have very well fallen out of your Primark brown paper bag when you got drenched on the way to the bus stop?! Generally, nine times out of ten if you see an item featured on my blog or Instagram you can add it to your basket with little hesitation because I love high street fashion that's affordable. This is by no means a dig at other bloggers/influencers but it seems that if you don't possess a designer 'it' bag are you a bit of a nobody?! To be completely honest, if my blog were to really take off and I had enough money to afford a sea of designer handbags would I invest? Definitely! But to me a designer handbag is a luxury item that generally you save up to buy and from what I've observed so far, money changes people. Materialistic is a word that springs to mind. Am I right? I'd like to think that no matter how much money I came into, I'd still be relatable and not be scared to show that sometimes my life can be very ordinary. There really is no harm in admitting that either. In actual fact I much rather prefer content from bloggers that is of face value and something that I can relate to on a personal level. 

You may be thinking why exactly have I decided to write this post. Well in actual fact last week I was watching Tanya Burr's LA & Coachella vlog and it got me thinking how relatable have bloggers really become. What I concluded was that despite the lavish lifestyle that may be a far cry from your own ultimately it comes down to personality and how relatable you are. It's like charisma, that thing that your best friend has and you don't that leaves you with an eye roll because you want to be charismatic and charming. I'll use Tanya Burr as a prime example. Whilst she is clearly smashing it in every aspect of her life and one that you would aspire to have at that there is something about her that I can relate to. She's down to earth, funny and has that girl next door aura about her that can't make you feel envious, rather just want to be her friend and follow her amazing journey. I'd go as far to say she makes an amazing role model for many young girls, including myself and has an amazing relatable-aspirational balance. What I really like about Tanya is that whilst it is clear money has allowed her to buy a beautiful house and invest in some gorgeous designer pieces, she still openly admits to shopping at Topshop, ASOS and Primark which is refreshing because you feel slightly in sync with the lifestyle she leads. I mean it's not every day that I'm going to brunch at Granger & Co after my morning spin session or venture to whole foods to do my weekly food shop followed by an afternoon browsing the handbag section of Selfridges but then I guess social media is to blame for that. It sometimes feels as though we might be missing the bigger picture altogether. After all there's nothing wrong with being down to earth and staying humble and grounded. I don't know about you but I'd much rather be 100% relatable than 100% materialistic. 

Some of you may think I am a little off the mark but I think seeing a blogger as relatable also boils down to likability. If you like some one you can be genuinely happy for them. With that said, there are some bloggers that have less likability but I am still intrigued by their every day life which has me reluctantly watching their Instagram stories and feeling a little deflated that I'm not currently holidaying in the Maldives or able to add another Gucci Marmot handbag to my ever growing collection. SIGH.

Whilst it's common knowledge that there will always be high achievers in life, bloggers have always been praised for that girl (or boy) next door thing they've got going on which is why they are so appealing to others. Being honest has gained bloggers following and a respect that enables people to trust what they say and know that they actually mean what they say. Whilst some bloggers certainly have maintained every inch of credibility, it goes without saying that some have not. Those that have really have my upmost respect because it shows that they not only believe in themselves but also why they begun blogging in the first place. Passion and honesty speak volumes particularly when it's obvious someone is only doing something because they are being paid for it. We've all seen the off key #AD posts floating around as of late. Am I right or am I right?

I would love to know your take on today's post and whether you still follow or better still can relate to some of the bloggers you originally followed. 

Dress - Zara
Loafers - Ego
Bag - Joy London
Sunglasses - Ray Ban

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  1. You are spot on! So many of the 'big' bloggers I followed in the past just do not interest me anymore. They have become completely unrelatable in their style and lifestyle and I much prefer to follow bloggers that I can relate too (and the ones who wear clothes I can actually buy!)
    x Emily

  2. I feel the exact same way about Tanya, I've been watching her for years now and she's gone from relatable to now I really can't find any similarities between her and I, but at the same time she comes off so well and still seems like a really lovely person so I'm still watching her!

    For me I like following bloggers who I think are relatable because it's just really refreshing to read people's honest thoughts and unapologetic opinions on things. At the same time, I'll admit I still follow some bloggers who I cannot relate to at all and I'm not even particularly fond of them, I just find their content really inspirational!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode


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