I have a morning routine–After I go to the gym (when I make it there…), I sit with a cup of coffee and my laptop for 15-20 minutes before getting in the shower. That time is when I totally surrender to my guilty pleasure–fashion blogs. I scroll and scroll through all the pretty outfits, pinning and pining for this dress and that pair of shoes and that lipstick. Oh yes, because along with fashion blogs goes my addiction to Pinterest–the two shan’t be separated. Anytime I see something I like, I pin it, whether it be a recipe, a workout, a foundation, or a bag.
One of my favorite things to pin, though, are outfits. I like to think that my “Good Looks” board is a pretty accurate representation of my personal style–ideas that inspire me and looks that I genuinely like. But recently, during a conversation with a friend who shares my interest in fashion blogs, I realized that maybe I wasn’t pinning because I was inspired–maybe I was pinning because I wanted to be thin.
Of course, this isn’t overt or conscious. I usually shudder at those Pinterest boards that feature images of bikini-clad women super-imposed with quotes like “Food never tastes as good as skinny feels,” or other such pro-ana garbage. True, I do have a “Work It” board that features some similar scantily-clad women with enviable bodies, but I honestly just need workout tips, some of which I actually use! Pinterest, by its very nature, is an aspirational website. It’s meant to be a place where you keep track of ideas that inspire or motivate you. And if one of those things is motivation to be thin, well, you go ahead. But that’s not how I was intending to use Pinterest. I don’t need or want a daily catalog of my body insecurities, but I had somehow unwittingly created one.
And I’m not the only one. My Tumblr, RSS feeds, and Pinterest boards I follow are filled with images of skinny women in the same outfits everyone else is wearing. What’s inspirational about yet another tall, thin, blond woman in jeans, a t-shirt, and heels? How does that connect with my own personal style in my daily life? It doesn’t. But yet, I’m drawn to these images time and time again. Why is that?
If you scroll through the most popular Pinterest posts, you’ll see instance after instance of this. I am trying my best, of late, to not buy into this trap, but it’s tough to avoid, given that most popular fashion bloggers happen to be gorgeous, super-human models of the modern age. They may have started out as regular women all those years ago when they first embarked on fashion blogging, but now they’ve got partnerships with designers, photographers, and makeup companies, and they’re still portrayed as “every women,” trying to pretend like they’re just like us. But they’re not!
My friend told me she’s stopped looking at most blogs for these reasons, and because she wanted to stop feeling bad about herself. Well, I want to stop feeling bad about myself too, and I wish looking through fashion blogs didn’t make me feel this way, but sometimes, it does. But I can’t seem to stop! No matter what the occasional emotional toll, I still get inspiration from these images, and I still enjoy looking at them. Of course, looking at fashion blogs isn’t all too different from walking down the street every day in New York City–it’s not as though I’m not surrounded by gorgeous, thin women in ultra-stylish (and expensive) clothing who actually ARE flesh and blood people, proving that these bloggers are real too. I’ve even seen a few of my favorites around the city.
So why stop looking, why make myself feel bad for enjoying images of thin, pretty women in too-expensive clothing and impossible-to-actually-walk-in heels? I suppose there are many reasons–chief among them my self-esteem and productivity, but maybe that’s just the price I’m willing to pay for my guilty pleasure morning routine. At least I’ve started drinking my coffee black.