Fashion bloggers poop too!

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!

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25 comments:

  1. heeyy i loooove your blog it's sooooo good!
    http://beyondglasses.blogspot.com

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  2. It's always sad when people leave negative comments! My rule is that if I don't have anything nice to say I don't say it. On purpose trying to hurt someone is something that seems so odd to me but still seems to be a part of so many peoples their day. I'm sad for them.
    IF you look at your blog and what you gained from it you can definitely be proud! I really love your blog and your style and I hope you will continue for at least as long as I do! :)

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  3. in Poland its very common that people leave not nice comments. I understand when someone writes that he doesn't like this or that. but many comments on our Polish blogs are just simply rude. And i mean really rude.

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  4. As a blogger and as a friend I say do not let the bad energy invading your body. The work you do is amazing and beautiful!! and I'm glad to have the privilege to follow you. I love your photos and all your post.
    With love from Spain: Onyxay

    http://onyxay.blogspot.com

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  5. This is an amazing, a little sad, but very strong post. I don't know if it will change any of the haters (haters will be haters, as they say, it is not about me or you, they will have to leave hell alone) but I do think is very important you wrote this for those who support you and love you.
    You share in this post the fiber you are made of (this is a translation from a portuguese expression, i don't know if it makes sense in english!), it is a beautiful manifesto of liberty and identity.

    I could never imagine someone mistreating you, it is not an offense to you that is an offense to the world,'cause your are beautiful (in more than the physical sense). There is a south african saying "ubuntu" that means when you treat me wrong and hate me that tells more about yourself than about me. I understand what you say about Norway, I'm from a small country, Portugal, but I have got to say that, unfortunely is a worldwide thing. I do hope, children nowdays don't grow up to be haters. And you help them in that, you say you can be anyone you really are with no fear (because hate is just fear). You open possibilities and shouldn't have to justify yourself. I don't really understand how people see fashion as a shallow thing. It is self expression! Is what the humanity has fight for in second world war for example: the right to be, your sexuality, your style, your religion, whatever. We cannot make concessions to narrow minds!

    I am sad that some of my favorite bloggers and inspiring persons on the web world have to even spend energy with those kind of people.
    YOU ARE AMAZING, and you make a great difference in the world when you express yourself. Most of us your readers are silent, may I say now what we who read and don't talk feel (at least I do!):
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, photos and beautiful inspiring self with us.

    It makes the difference in the world.

    You are brave, strong and inspiring.

    Thank you,

    Rita

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  6. If anyone can get themselves to say that you're stupid after this post, I'd like to know who they are. Well written, well said, and just amazing.

    Every one has a right to their opinion, but no one has the right to trash all over someone else. Even if we all have freedom of speech (and I do hate it when bullies uses this as an excuse or reason for what they are saying/writing) doesn't mean that every one knows how to use it the right way. You, however, just did. Splendid!

    (and I believe this to be my first comment on your blog, but I've been following for a while. I really love your blog -you are so talented in many ways!)

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  7. If anyone can get themselves to say that you're stupid after this post, I'd like to know who they are. Well written, well said, and just amazing.

    Every one has a right to their opinion, but no one has the right to trash all over someone else. Even if we all have freedom of speech (and I do hate it when bullies uses this as an excuse or reason for what they are saying/writing) doesn't mean that every one knows how to use it the right way. You, however, just did. Splendid!

    (and I believe this to be my first comment on your blog, but I've been following for a while. I really love your blog -you are so talented in many ways!)

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  8. hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!!
    xx

    www.ilovenystyle.blogspot.com

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  9. I really enjoyed reading this post - you expressed your thoughts so eloquently, and I really agree with what you said. Somehow, being interested in clothes makes you stupid/shallow/vapid, according to some people. I take real issue with this - I have a fashion and style blog. I'm also predicted top marks in all my exams at school, and some of my loves alongside fashion are literature, philosophy and history. However, just because I like fashion, does that make me less of a person? I'd like to think not. Some people just feel the need to belittle others because they are different, or because they have a different set of interests and morals to the criticizer.

    I remember reading an article in the Guardian (a British newspaper, usually my read of choice), entitled 'Why I hate fashion'. The writer, Tanya Gold, seemed to hold the same view that one can not be both stylish and intellectual. However, by stating something like that, you are being incredibly close minded and judgmental. Also, wearing a nice dress doesn't automatically mean you are a shameless individual who is adding to an unscrupulous society of consumerism. I buy most of my clothes second hand - meaning that my love of fashion has led to much more ethical purchases, than someone who buys things on the high street because they don't care about what they wear.
    I can understand that some people might not see the point in spending a loye of money on clothes, but Would you say the same about someone who would one belittle someone who buys football tickets, expensive wine or cars?
    I thought that the Scandinavian idea of the Law of Jante sounds fascinating!

    http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

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  10. Oh and on a slightly fluffier note, I love your latest outfit post - it reminded me of Coco Chanel reinterpreted for 2011!

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  11. Beautifully stated! <3
    You are a huge inspiration; much more above them all.
    This, is why we love you! :D

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  12. I really like this post. Some people are just miserable. That is all they will ever be. You a strong, creative, and intelligent woman. I'm glad you are standing up to cyber bullies. I was unaware of those Norwegian sayings. In the United States there is a lot of jealously, and hate. It sounds pretty bad in Norway.
    My Heart Blogged

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  13. This was beautiful! I have had a few very negative comments come across my blog and it can be crippling. I love how you expressed how a lot of bloggers are feeling. Thank you! I have had the same insecurity of feeling like people think I am stupid because I love fashion. Thank you again for this post! I hope you don't mind, but I am going to share your link on my blog so that more people can read your words.


    http://projecttrophywife.blogspot.com

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  14. I can't think of anyone that deserves all of this awesome things that have happened to you lately, and all the attention you get, more than you, Barbro. I'm so proud of you, and for all that you're achieved, and that you're still work hard on reaching.

    When we first met, for loads of years ago, around that time when dinosaurs lived, we were two different people. And we've grown so much, and we'd dared to stand up for ourselves, and I'm so proud of us standing where we are today.

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  15. This is bloody fantastic. Really, really well-written post.

    I'm sorry to hear about this "Norwegian negativity". I suppose it's comparable to what we Filipinos call "crab mentality" where people pull each other down, not allowing anyone to climb to the top.

    But you know, it's true what they say: You can't please everybody. Haters will be haters. I think...they just can't help it. They will always find something wrong with you, your outfits, your blog -- everything. It's a sad reality, given that I've always operated under the assumption that the online fashion community started with (and thrives on) positivity and encouragement. We are all here to enforce individuality and self-expression after all, which is essentially the essence of blogging -- fashion or otherwise.

    So I choose to continue believing this, continue doing what I do, and be a positive force in the blogging world. I hope you do, too. You're fabulous; don't you forget. (:

    Haters be damned. xx

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  16. Ohh i love this ! I applaud you. If your community is negative, talking about it should be a wakeup call for them.
    Respect Humility and good manners is their problem.
    We all need love and should only give love.
    Whatever if gay, whatever religion, career...Ideas or Art. There is room in this world for everybody.
    I have to say also. You write for people who love you and appreciate your talents.
    XOXO

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  17. Great post! I applaud you for addressing this. I always think that people who leave hate comments are jealous in a way. Usually a person who hats someone, its more jealousy than anything if you think about it. Unless it is a certain situation.

    Love your blog! :)

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  18. This post is exactly why I'm in love with your blog and writing style.

    "Fashion bloggers in general are considered shallow and stupid."

    I feel this...often. I've thought it myself once. And some of them maybe; but just like any other stereotype, there are always exceptions. I suppose it's because fashion is perceived as a field that takes little to no intellect to be involved in (I think it does, but an argument can easily be made to state otherwise). I used to sort of give into this stereotype because that's what a fashion blog ought to be; but that isn't true. I shouldn't have to write "OMG LOOK WHAT I BOUGHT TODAY" to meet the standards of a "successful fashion blog" And I think most successful fashion bloggers are much more intellectual than they get credit for. (I think I'll stop here for this topic because I'm completely repeating everything you just said [FAIL])

    Also, I wanted to ask you how to handle the negative response to success by providing an example. I recently got my first sponsor and shared that information with my roommate...but, instead of helping me celebrate she sort of nodded it off and asked me to buy her something with the money I got. I've been that bitter person before. Are people innately bitter?

    Sorry this dragged on...

    Yasmeen

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  19. Thank you so much for this post. Although I don't blog I get a lot of enjoyment and inspiration from reading blogs such as yours. I live in New Zealand and I can really relate to your feelings about the attitude of Scandinavians as I find in New Zealand it is very similar. People here tend to live in a little bubble that revolves only around themselves and enjoy putting people down. Just today at my brothers high school 3 girls beat up a fellow student and hospitalized her. The attitude of so many was that these girls were 'legends' for brutally attacking someone and I can't believe that people like this exist. It disgusts me that in this country violence and bullying gets praised and goes unpunished. I think we all need to stick up for ourselves and think about the person behind the face or persona or blog. So thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, I think you are an amazing person and blogger and I am so thankful I am able to connect with people like you who live halfway across the world form me.
    Natasha.

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  20. I LOVED what you said! So true!

    I think it's a good time to remind you that you are my favorite blogger ever! And I LOVE that you poop too! ;)

    Love,
    nádia

    http://myfashioninsider.blogspot.com/

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  21. If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all. Thumper Rabbit in "Bambi"

    There is another version of "The law of Jante", a more modern and positive version You'll find it on my blog at this adress http://karavanseraiet.no/?page_id=247 I'm sorry it is in Norwegian, cause I blog in my native tongue.
    The essence is "Believe in your self".

    There is only one way to handle rude comments, delete them and ignore or at best block the nick/adress that posts these negative wibes.

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  22. Great post, you've stood up for yourself in a really articulate and well reasoned way. It's a shame it's necessary, but sadly there are too many people who attempt to make themselves feel better by trying to put others down.
    I don't blog anymore due to time & not really being commited enough(!), but when I was blogging, the reaction from some of my close friends was far from positive - which was a bit of a shock. For me it was an experiment in expressing myself, yet I feel people who should know me better percieved it as meaning I'd become vain or shallow (or interpretted it as meaing I was now suddenly in love with myself, instead of shy & insecure, which they may have preferred...) It's funny the way growing as person yourself can reveal so much about others.
    Your blog is beautiful, and your outfits are inspired, so keep it up & don't let anyone stop you from being everything you can, and deserve to be!

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  23. This was a really good post. I am Finnish and follow the Finnish blogosphere very closely and in my opinion they seem to get much more mean and intentionally hurtful comments than some international bloggers (or they just delete them). I haven't experienced this yes as my blog is very unknown but I am always surprised by the people's rudeness when I come across these comments on someone else's comments. Then the anonymous commenters usually say that the blogger has to be able to take criticism but most of the time it is not criticism. There is a significant difference between rudeness and criticism.

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  24. This is a very well written post about the intolerance of cyber bullying and you handled it with maturity and intelligence. You made many good points and I'm sure we can't change every hater's mind, but you at least showed us not to let people bring you down. I'm lucky enough to have never had one negative comment yet; even where I grew up & currently live, people are very accepting and kind to each other so it always seriously baffles and bewilders me when people are so cruel. I can't imagine anyone having a good reason to say anything negative about you... for every hater out there, there's 100 friends who have your back. :) Thanks for taking the time to write this post!

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