Beauty blogging probably seems like a charmed endeavour to the vast majority of people. After all, who wouldn't want to spend their days talking about beauty products and doing makeup? It seems fun, easy, and something anyone can do. While I agree that anyone can blog, I think identifying as a blogger takes a little bit more than just posting on the internet and hoping someone reads it. Beauty blogging is a conscious activity that takes time, effort and thought.
So, I find it very infuriating to run into various assumptions about blogging. A blogger? I must have loads of free time to be able to do that. It must be easy. I must have lots of money to be able to afford all those products to talk about. And of course, I must be a pretty shallow person.
These assumptions are a bit disheartening! I can't think of anything less true about those three assumptions in relation to me, and most bloggers I know. Let's take these assumptions apart.
I don't have loads of free time. Most bloggers I know don't have loads of free time. I'm taking a full timetable like most other first-years. I have time to blog because I have carved it out of my schedule. If I could, I'd make "blogging time" appear out of thin air, but I can't. I'm as busy as the next person, and yes, I have a social life. I don't just sit here typing all day, even though part of me would like to. I'm studying something totally unrelated to beauty and blogging as well. So, I have to research the posts I create. I don't automatically know how to promote myself. I had to learn, and that took time. I don't watch TV. I work on my blog.
Beauty blogging is not necessarily cheap, though I'm managing to do it on a very tight budget. My camera is second hand, and I rarely buy products for the sake of reviewing them. At the moment, I'm not getting sent samples to review. Many of my products were gifts! There are literally thousands of beauty bloggers all fighting for what is essentially the same audience and samples. There are a lot of products out there, but there are more beauty bloggers than PR samples. The products I review are my own: I've either purchased them myself, or received them as a gift. If they're not, I'll mark it in a post. Yet let it be known: I do not have hundreds of dollars to spend on products. I'm a college student just like the next kid-- basically broke.
The most frustrating assumption I've come across recently about beauty bloggers is that we all must be shallow people. After all, we dedicate significant chunks of time to talking about how to look pretty. We are the least feminist beings on the planet, because we're too busy acting pretty and living charmed lives. There isn't depth to our character because we are overly focused on the exterior.
So much about this makes me mad. But first of all-- I'm sure most women spend lots of time thinking about beauty. Society has always and will always value exterior beauty. You can read my post about the differences between Eastern and Western beauty here, but the point is that valuing beauty is cross-cultural. Writing about beauty hardly makes me a shallow person, considering we all think about it. Additionally, to be remotely competitive with other bloggers, I have had to improve my photo-taking, social networking, and writing skills. I hardly think these are shallow endeavours in this 21st century world.
Someone told me that blogging is actually one of the hardest things you can do, because it turns you into a one-woman business and show. You have to keep everyone entertained, balance your checkbook, sell your product, and keep sane. While I personally think there are things far harder than blogging (like writing analytical essays), I understand her point. Beauty blogging is not easy.
That's why I love it.