I'm not really into fashion blogging. I follow a few lifestyle bloggers who regularly publish sponsored (and non-sponsored!) outfit posts and I love them, but I've never been invested in straight style blogging or style bloggers. Maybe it's because, despite the range of style bloggers, I couldn't find one whose body looks like mine. Maybe it's because, despite the range of style bloggers, I couldn't find one whose office dress code mirrored my own. Maybe it's because, despite the range of style bloggers, I couldn't find one whose way of mixing high and low budget pieces matched my financial reality. Whatever the reason, I just haven't followed fashion bloggers' blogs.
I have followed some style bloggers on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, though, which has opened my eyes again and again to how phenomenally naive I am about the ways that blogging - and bloggers themselves - can be monetized. I remember being shocked when I realized that the majority of the pins I clicked on were affiliate links. I was confused by Liketoknow.it at first, and then, once I understood how it worked, disappointed by the blatant commerciality as it completely removes any personal interaction between blogger as advisor and reader as student (for lack of a better word). The straw on this camel's back, though, when it comes to style blogging, was when I clicked on a link in an otherwise innocuous tweet that, based on the language used, I thought would lead me to a blog post and therefore a personal story from the blogger.
Nope. The link was a bit.ly address disguising an rstyle link that led me to an affiliate-tagged shopping website, put cookies on my browser, and made me feel totally used by the tweeter/blogger. And - pardon my French - I thought, "This is bullshit."
I've written about this before, most specifically here and here, but I hate being manipulated by bloggers. There is almost nothing on the internet that make me as angry as when I realize that someone with whom I thought I'd built a relationship is mostly interested in the clicks I give her and the cookies she gives me.
Don't get me wrong; I'm all for bloggers earning an income from something about which they're passionate, but I don't want to be tricked into a commercial transaction with someone who is, essentially, selling herself as a brand.
Am I overreacting, dear readers? Is this just the way it is and always shall be, world without end amen? I hope not, because I do get style ideas from these women - and, shockingly enough, I do sometimes buy things they recommend and I am happy for them to get commissions from those purchases! But if this is the relationship they want... well, count me out.