Every single day, thousands of people click on a random blog just to submit a hateful and cruel comment; choosing to spread negativity like a plague from the ancient times. I don’t know why; maybe they’ve had a really bad day, maybe they are truly unhappy with their lives or perhaps they are just jealous. In most cases, I guess it’s a combination of these three things; but I always wonder - what’s the point?
In general; blogging (particularly fashion and style blogging) is perceived as a very negative form of expressing yourself, especially here in Norway. You are not a real, praiseworthy or valuable blogger if you write about style: that’s just unheard of! Whenever I get an anonymous negative comment, which isn’t constructive that is; I know that the person behind it most likely is Norwegian. Sometimes I can see it in the way the words are aligned in an effort to create a sentence built on a false sense of authority or just their choice of words in general. To you guys: don’t mistake my interest in style for stupidity, because I am not stupid. In most cases; the harsh comments on our blogs actually come from someone we know. It could be someone from our past. Someone we met on the streets. A neighbor. A sibling. Even your best friend. People are jealous; and though it may seem like a cliché - your success do remind them of their own inadequacies.
A good explanation for this “generation of haters” is as simple as the Scandinavian “Law of Jante”. It’s a really old “law” based on a Danish fairytale-version of the Ten Commandments, but it pretty much explains why there is a negative pattern of group behavior towards individuals within our community, particularly the Scandinavian community, and the whole blogsphere for that matter.
1. You shall not believe that you are somebody. 2. You shall not believe that you are as worthy as us. 3. You shall not believe that you are any wiser than us. 4. You shall not imagine that you are any better than us. 5. You shall not believe that you know anything more than us. 6. You shall not believe that you are more than us. 7. You shall not believe that you are good at anything. 8. You shall not laugh at us. 9. You shall not believe that anyone cares about you! 10. You shall not believe that you can teach us anything!
- Aksel Sandemose 1899—1965 (Danish writer)
There are, as you see, ten different rules in the law as defined by Sandemos; but they all express variations of one simple mantra/message – do not think you are anyone special or that you are better than us. We [the Scandinavians] grow up thinking it’s OK to criticizes others success and achievements; that they in fact are unworthy and inappropriate because of their success. We are all so unbelievably consumed by ourselves; we can’t see how wrong that is. Unfortunately, this is not only restricted to the Scandinavian community - but more of a global phenomenon. We hate others for their success. And if their success is based on something as “shallow as fashion”; damn them!
Fashion bloggers in general are considered shallow and stupid. Fashion can indeed seem shallow, but it’s never stupid. We all wear clothes, don’t we? How many hours do you think it took to make that shirt you’re wearing right now? Where do you think the original design came from? Do you know why you are wearing that color in particular? What we are wearing right now probably started out as a simple strain of thoughts; many years ago - somewhere in the world. The only difference is that we are now able to share our thoughts instantly; through blogging!
Clothes are based on dreams, thoughts, creativity; and whether you like it or not - the world of fashion has a huge influence on life. How boring wouldn’t it be if we were all republicans’ dressed in blue suits? We are all alike; but that doesn’t mean we should always emphasize on the collective, and punish those who stand out as achievers. We are all achievers, and alike: just in different ways!
Blogging for me is so much more than just the simple picture of what I wore. It’s more than the subject of style, fashion or even those amazing shoes I love so much. It’s a dream. Hope. And it makes me happy. Some people choose to express themselves through the art of writing, the aspects of politics, education, making money, becoming a mother or a father, creating films or taking really good care of their health: while blogging about it! I choose to express myself through my personal style. Why is it a problem? Am I stupid because I care how I look; what I wear? If so; why? Am I not allowed to use personal style as a way of learning, exploring and expressing myself? We are who we are. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. We can’t all like each other at all times; it’s impossible - but that doesn’t give anyone the right to be mean, vicious and hateful on my home base; anonymously. If you have something to say; at least have the dignity to show your name and be constructive. Don’t just drop a random line saying; “you suck. everyone hates you”. If you want discussion; create discussion. And I do not mean that you should revise your comment and say: “everyone hates you because you suck”. That’s not a reason. That’s not even true. I’m gay you know! My point is: don’t just type and run. You have to stay for the interesting part.
However, there is something about us fashion and style bloggers that just attracts bullies. Because we choose to blog about what we do, we are expected to accept any kind of shit anyone can throw our way. We should anticipate crude judgment and harsh criticism; haters, bullies and whatever “they” see fit – but the problem is that I don’t remember signing a consent form anywhere. Did you? Was it stated it the “Terms and conditions” when I created my blog? Speak your mind; by all means – just keep it civil. I don’t go around smashing my keyboard into your face, do I? (I wish I could sometimes, though. Verbally kick someone’s ass. It sounds rewarding.)
Whether you blog about your life in general or music, sports or fashion – I think you should always remember that on the other side of your screen there is a person. Just like you. We’ve all loved and lost. We’re all just getting by. Odds are that your blogger of choice actually got out of bed in the morning, just like you; went to the bathroom, ate a dry piece of bread for breakfast, walked out of the door, stood on a crowded bus, played nice for eight hours, went to the grocery store to buy dinner, took the bus back home, ate whatever they bought and then just sat in the couch for hours. You should really consider that the next time you choose to leave your hateful fingerprint and piss all over someone else’s life. We are just like you. We all have a history and a day behind us. No one would ever go up to a person in the streets and tell them to go kill themselves because they are wearing a Metallica t-shirt or because they were talking aloud about last night amazing win for their home-team. Just because we smile in our pictures and have pretty clothes on, it doesn’t make us super-human. Or stupid.
So, why am I writing all this?
There are several reasons. The obvious one is that I won’t tolerate bullying. I’m a big girl now, and I really should stand up for myself. I just recently discovered that I could do that; and it feels rather good. One of the reasons I chose to write my blog in English is because of this exact topic. I have personally been a "victim" of bullying, haters, backstabbers and ignorant individuals all my life; but through blogging I’ve created a new life for myself. By sharing my little pictures and writing it all in English I have found what I would call a loop-hole within the Norwegian atmosphere of Negativity; where my childhood ghosts couldn’t and can’t reach me. And it’s really great! It’s in fact liberating. But, the problem is that I shouldn’t have to worry about bullies and haters. I’m a grown woman. So, I decided to care more: or care less – which ever suits the situation best. Take a step. Open up a little. Share some thoughts and opinions; because you won’t know me unless I let you.
Also; Norwegian style and fashion bloggers have been getting a lot of criticism here in Norway because of last week’s blog awards: but everyone seems to have missed the whole point about Vixen Magazine and minMote.no being fashion related publications. Of course there is more to Norway than “just fashion bloggers”, but this was a fashion blog award. Nothing to get all worked up about.
With this novel of a post finally published; I must state the obvious. I’m so unbelievably privileged because I have wonderful, wonderful readers –not everyone is that lucky! Thank you for that; and for being you – for commenting and reading my little style diary. I’m gay. I’m weird. I’m a style blogger. And just to clarify my choice of title: I poop too!