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Blogging | On Creative Licence and Being Responsible

Things have been a little agreeable over here lately, haven’t they? Responsible, some may argue. Although there’s nothing I love more than sitting down to write about great beauty products and happy things, occasionally a little controversy rears its head and I feel compelled to share my opinions. The last thing I want to do is use this little space of mine as a place to vent –  circa 2013 Tumblr style. However, following a series of events, I’d like to discuss blogging and question whatever happened to creative license?

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The Consumer

Before I began blogging myself, I was a consumer and an admirer of the industry and those who filled it. I loved nosying into both glamorous and mundane aspects of the lives of  my favourite Youtubers and Bloggers. As more and more people entered this online world, I admired the relatable and creative in equal measure. In fact, to this day, I think that a combination of the two makes for the most enjoyable content. What I personally value above anything else are honest, helpful and well-written opinions and experiences. I consume a variety of content from reviews of accessible high-street products to luxury fashion and travel. I know the difference between what’s relevant to me on a daily basis and what’s aspirational or only really helpful to me on occasion. This, I fully accept as my own responsibility and appreciate that different people live very different realities.


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The Content

With the rise of blogging, isn’t there more need than ever for creators to actually be allowed creative licence? In my opinion, it’s necessary to utilise it to showcase individuality and to differentiate ourselves. Whether bloggers should be responsible for not portraying unrealistic situations has been a hot topic recently. My answer, in short, is no.

In my opinion, integrity and honesty are both traits of a great content creator, but that’s not all it takes. Whether rightly or wrongly, many of us judge a book by its cover. Like magazines, a majority of blogs rely on quality imagery to entice readers; although I accept that this varies with niche. There’s something about blog images which provide more depth, the content becomes more interesting and also much more relatable. I’d argue that these factors require a certain allowance of creative license.


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On Being Responsible

One of the best things about social media is that everybody is able to control what others see. We’re on a more equal footing than in real life to make ourselves appear however we like; within reason, I’m not trying to justify cat-fishing here. I’ve been up-close and personal with the issues surrounding social media acting as a catalyst for comparing ourselves to others. However, I feel as though there’s nothing wrong with building ourselves up as long as we’re not also tearing each other down. As long as we’re each acting in a fairly responsible manner.

I lived through my school years before Instagram existed and remember feeling as though I wasn’t good enough and wishing I was more like someone else. Cruel children with even worse parents caused me more confidence issues than social media ever has, the difference is I wasn’t able to log out. Although social media opens us up to more people and more of their lives to compare our own to, it’s certainly not the root of all issues.

… and Having Morals

Falsely promoting, or promoting something which leads people to question your moral compass is obviously ill-advised and not responsible. However I’m not talking about integrity here, I’m talking about having a play around with imagery and using fun props in photographs. It’s madness to me that doing so could cause so much offence that virtual mobs are formed. Now I’m not a parent so maybe I don’t yet have the right to an opinion on this, but I fail to see how an image featuring balloons in a bedroom (shock horror) will harm any child in any way. Most children are consumers of tv, movies, video games and magazines, all of which feature much more harmful content. What I think it comes down to sometimes, is a combination jealousy and having an easy target. It’s all too easy to tweet a young girl about how toxic she is instead of battling the larger (actual) problems of society.


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  • Reply Everything Eden

    Such an interesting post, really agree with all of your points! You look stunning as well, such gorgeous photos xx

    October 18, 2018 at 9:22 pm
  • Reply Deborah Kos

    I enjoyed reading your post. I believe you have to be true to yourself ,no matter what. Don’t compromise your morals and values. You should be authentically you!

    October 19, 2018 at 3:43 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad and totally agree with you! x

      October 19, 2018 at 11:52 am
  • Reply Sophie Wentworth

    I love every word of this! It’s so true. I don’t get what the fuss was around that photo either. And I’m absolutely certain young girls growing up with Instagram know all too well that it isn’t real life. I think the real issue there (this could offend people and I could be totally wrong) is more parents not understanding how people use the platform and not really knowing what their kids are growing up with. Creating your own identity online is so important. There’s way too many of us for us all to be doing the same thing. It would be so boring! Great post x


    October 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Aw thanks Sophie! I completely agree with you, I mean my parents have no idea about anything to do with this world and I’m sure there are a lot of similar people out there, some of them just don’t like what they don’t understand! x

      October 20, 2018 at 5:51 pm
  • Reply Nina

    Interesting post and I agree with it. I personally couldn’t be anything other than me, wherever I was portraying myself as I wouldn’t feel I was being truthful. And I love your autumn pictures – they look fab.
    Nina x

    October 19, 2018 at 8:59 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thanks Nina, I’m glad you appreciate where I’m coming from on this x

      October 20, 2018 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply Honestly Holly

    Don’t let the Mumsnet keyboard warriors get to you! Just let your energy be yours and put your positive vibes into the world
    Holly |

    October 19, 2018 at 9:10 pm
  • Reply Sahara

    Before blogging myself, I also just watched YouTubers & read blogs before thinking to myself to write my own thoughts down & start a blog. I also agree that the first thing that catches my eye is the photography paired with each blog post. Yes, the content is important, but the photography is what we first see – and it’s what breaks up the text too! Lovely photos by the way – all autumn vibes!

    That’s one thing that’s great about social media – we control what we see & if we don’t like something then all we have to do is unsubscribe/unfollow.

    I think since we have the power to unfollow/unsubscribe from someone that if we don’t necessarily like what a person is posting then the easy thing to do is unfollow, not send hateful messages to said person.

    Great post!!


    October 19, 2018 at 9:12 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m glad that you think on the same wavelength as me, in some ways it is a shame that so much of the post always relies on the photography but it’s also ver understandable. I totally agree that the way forward if there’s an issue is just to respectfully unfollow! x

      October 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Amie Cadwallader

    It’s so important to be open and honest when it coms to writing, but like you said ti is so important to promote things should you wish to do that on your platform that you would honestly use which is one of the reasons that I can be very selective with who I work with!

    This is an amazing post my darling!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    October 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally agree, I’m so glad that you think so, thanks Amie x

      October 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Hanna Rose

    Super post, very eloquently put.

    I think that as much as you can control what you put out there, you can’t control how some people are going to perceive it.

    I think creative license is undoubtedly something that most people can and do use very responsibly. It may be that the actions of a select few can give others a bad name on occasion. Ultimately, I think creativity is a complex process that involves taking risks. Being misunderstood is a risk that creative folk often have to take in order to flourish.

    I enjoy seeing people utilising their unique gifts and flourishing! I wouldn’t want to stifle anybodies creativity providing their acting with integrity.

    Cliche time but honestly, you can’t please everybody all of the time!

    Hanna x | Bloglovin <3

    October 19, 2018 at 10:20 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you Hanna. I totally agree with you that you can’t please everyone and it doesn’t matter as long as you’re working within the industry with integrity x

      October 20, 2018 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    You bring up a really good point. Honesty is the key because it takes a lot more to keep up a lie. At the same time, people rely on us for the truth to help steer their direction. Creativity is important but not to the point where it shows unrealistic truth. I felt the same as you – I thought I wasn’t as good but at the end of the day, everyone is different. We live our own lives and need to take advantage of it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this.

    Nancy ♥

    October 20, 2018 at 4:40 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thanks Nancy, I’m glad you think so! x

      October 20, 2018 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Tuva Zetterdahl

    Such a great post, I really agree with everything. Especially about that we all have a responsibility to “behave” on social media, what we share will effect others and we can always choose what want other people to hear or read. I can’t understand how especially big YouTube profiles don’t feel a responsibility to be more accurate and not only inappropriate on their platforms. There’s so much kids looking up to those big youtubers and learn from them. That actually makes me kinda sad of today’s society. My opinion is that if you have such a big audience (have the power that many people will be listening) it would be a waste to not try to do some kind of difference, like – talk about bullying or self esteem or whatever.

    October 20, 2018 at 9:58 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thanks Tuva, I’m so glad that you think on the same lines as me on this! x

      October 20, 2018 at 4:41 pm
  • Reply Kara

    Very well said and I agree with a lot of your points! It’s on bloggers and content creators to be completely honest at all times, but there is nothing wrong with creating beautiful imagery that isn’t the most realistic. I personally find people photoshopping themselves to be more harmful than having fun with props.

    x Kara |

    October 23, 2018 at 2:20 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I totally agree, yep and that itself is a lie and possibly unattainable which is way more harmful than a pretty photo prop! x

      October 23, 2018 at 12:12 pm
  • Reply Yiota

    Great post and yes, everyone needs to be honest about what they are posting but there is no harm in creating beautiful images and scenery and putting our best selves out there!!!


    October 23, 2018 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply Rums the Reader

    You raise some really important points about transparency and being up front in the blogging world. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing a nice image now and then but it’s also good to keep it real sometimes ? thanks for sharing!

    October 24, 2018 at 8:24 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you, I’m glad you think so x

      October 24, 2018 at 9:34 pm
  • Reply Gary

    Interesting post, I think honesty in blogging should be at the top of everyone’s agenda. But as the industry gets more saturated there are more biased paid reviews popping up everywhere. I go to blogs for my travel research so make sure the author is someone I can trust to write clear honest content. Be interesting to see what direction it all goes in the future!

    October 24, 2018 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thanks Gary. I totally agree and rely on other bloggers for a whole range of things too. It definitely will be interesting.

      October 24, 2018 at 9:39 pm
  • Reply Jasmine Burke

    I have read a lot of pieces on the controversy of the last month and the props etc. and I have to say, this may just be my favourite one. It’s so eloquent and well written without really arguing but very clearly getting your point across! I completely agree with what you were saying throughout, and I’m glad that I also didn’t have to do the majority of my school years with Instagram being a big thing.

    Jas xx |

    October 24, 2018 at 8:29 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Aw thanks Jas, that’s made my day! I’m glad that you relate and get where I’m coming from x

      October 24, 2018 at 9:42 pm
  • Reply Bexa

    I always love reading your thoughts on blogging topics Soph, they are always so interesting, well written and thought provoking. I think as bloggers we should have creative licence, that is what makes it interesting. If we were all the same, it would be really boring. Bloggers bring photos and words to life with their own personality and individuality. Obviously, we shouldn’t go too far and make things unrealistic, dishonest, and misleading but a bit of creativity is what makes each blogger unique and keeps things fun too. Great post and gorgeous photos too! Thank you for sharing lovely <3 xx

    Bexa |

    October 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Aw thank you Bexa. I couldn’t agree with you more about individuality and creativity, I’m so glad you agree with some of the points and enjoyed the post x

      October 24, 2018 at 9:49 pm
  • Reply Michelle Blackadar

    lovely post, and a very intriguing read. I completely agree that you should always be yourself and be honest. People are going to be able to tell when you’re faking it, even if it’s just through words. I think it’s really hard to be so fake and come off as genuine, so people will see through it. really enjoyed this and love your photos you’re stunning xxx

    mich //

    October 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thanks Michelle, I’m glad you relate and enjoyed the post! x

      October 24, 2018 at 10:08 pm
  • Reply Jess

    This was such an interesting read although I don’t know about what photo caused any drama and now I’m intrigued! I totally agree that when I was in school we didn’t have Instagram and I still never felt good enough so I dread to think how teenagers today feel!!

    Jess //

    October 24, 2018 at 8:58 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you, it had to do with Scarlett London (you’ll be able to google it and read more). I’m so glad you relate x

      October 24, 2018 at 10:03 pm
  • Reply Asher Downer

    A really important post! Well done!

    October 24, 2018 at 9:12 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    Such an interesting post! I make sure I stay true to myself and genuine. Your photographs are lovely. Thank you for sharing!

    October 24, 2018 at 9:21 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thanks Lauren, that’s so good to hear x

      October 24, 2018 at 9:55 pm
  • Reply Rachael Hope

    This was an interesting read / perception. I think this links into the wider free speech debate. People are addicted to outrage and are losing any concept of reasoning. It’s now spreading to the blogging world. This is a creative pursuit, it requires creative freedom!

    October 25, 2018 at 7:13 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you, I totally agree with that and I think that often people don’t think of the consequences of what they say and how their words might affect others x

      October 25, 2018 at 7:46 pm
  • Reply Sheena Gonzales

    Very well said and I can so totally relate. Always stay true to yourself and remember why you started blogging in the first place!

    October 25, 2018 at 8:53 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad you can and I totally agree, thanks Sheena x

      October 25, 2018 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Saida - She talks Glam

    I finally had the time to have a nosey around your blog and loving it all, Sophie! This post covers something that has been in our minds for a while, and I totally agree with you on the fact that bloggers and youtubers rely on beautiful imagery to sell their brand and there is nothing wrong with making it as beautiful as possible! But I think it’s important to remind the audience (particularly those who grew up wihin the IG bubble) that not all of it is real, much like the pictures you see in magazines or on TV… Great post and great fall look, gal! Xx

    Saida | She talks Glam

    October 27, 2018 at 2:36 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you Saida, that means so much! I’m so glad that you think so and I completely agree that keeping it real is important too. Thanks for stopping by! x

      October 27, 2018 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Madiha Bashir

    This is such an interesting post. I love how real you kept it!

    November 9, 2018 at 4:45 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it x

      November 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm

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