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?
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.
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.
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.