31 August 2013

My Two Cents on This: “Fashion Bloggers Are Not Journalists?”

I don’t usually rant nor post personal info here because it’s a blog dedicated entirely to designer handbags, their missteps and their fabulousness, but I saw something that irked me terribly, that I just had to write this post, so please bear with me on this one. After all, it really isn’t often that I do this.


A few days ago, someone (I shan’t say who) posted a tweet on Twitter. I won’t quote the exact tweet to you but, in short, the person was downright unhappy with the fact that bloggers were invited along on a press trip because they’re not journalists. And if you’re wondering, no, I wasn’t on that trip because it’s a Beauty-related event, so it wasn’t really up my alley anyway.

Seeing that tweet ruffled my feathers quite a bit. It’s true that bloggers (whether fashion bloggers or bloggers from another field) aren’t journalists, I really don’t deny that. But has it ever occurred to people out there in the media industry that bloggers DON’T want to be journalists? I mean, I’m quite certain that I’m not only speaking for myself when I say this, but I enjoy being “just a blogger” and “not a journalist or fashion writer in a magazine” because as bloggers, WE get to choose what, to write about (and when) and cover what WE want, instead of being coerced into writing about something that we don’t like or aren’t even passionate about, simply because our advertising budgets depend on it. Plus, we can say how we truly feel towards whatever it is that we’re writing about. If you are coming from a standpoint of journalistic integrity founded on the principles of fact-checking and not making fraudulent claims, the point is that most of us don’t and wouldn’t, because, just like fashion journalists, we work together with brands and get the same press releases that you get. The only difference is that it would be up on our blogs before magazines go to print.

Yes, bloggers these days (and this is especially prevalent in the fashion industry) do collaborate with brands regardless of whether on a large or small scale. I’m open to that too, and have done some in the past. But the only reason I collaborate (and most bloggers in general, too) with the brands that we do, is because genuinely like the brand or bag, or whatever it is that the collab is about, and not because our survival depends on it. As bloggers, we are also the editors and are hence responsible for what is being published on the web. It is, after all, a personal space, and as such, should really be representative and indicative of the person behind the blog and our personal values and preferences. A blog is not “just a publishing space”, but also our very own brand that we have built.

The fashion industry is (and has always been) an elite and insular establishment. But things have, slowly but surely, started to change. I mean, since 2006, Fashion Week – an exclusive trade event meant only for fashion stylists, buyers, retailers and of course, fashion journalists and editors –  invites have been extended to fashion bloggers, and more and more bloggers have been “accepted” as part of the audience at runway presentations ever since. If the industry itself is able to broaden their mindset and welcome bloggers into the glamorous hermetically sealed world, why is it so difficult for some fashion journalists and fashion writers to accept us? Sure, fashion bloggers are getting more clout for what we do because we usually “tell it as it is”, giving our unbiased opinions, and not jumping at the opportunity, nor are we obliged to write about something on our blogs just because certain promises have been made or freebies have been thrown our way. Yes, we have amassed a following, that, thanks to social media, has evolved into a community and not just a dialogue but a conversation between the blogger and his/her audience. And we are all appreciative of the support we get from our readers because without you, we won’t have come as far as we have today.

So, fashion journalists out there reading this, believe me when I say this: We do NOT want your jobs, and it’s okay that we’re not journalists, because we don’t ever want to be! 😉

Stylicious Fashionista


And Happy Independence Day Malaysia!! Happy 56th Birthday!