Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Ideal Beauty Blogger

I recently received a comment on my ATB BB series that got me thinking.

The commenter while congratulating me for weight loss spoke about how earlier she did not trust my opinion as a beauty blogger because I did not look a certain way – in other words, because I was fat and therefore not good looking, she thought that I should not preach about beauty.

To be honest I really don’t have any grudges against her for voicing her opinion. I actually am happy that she was honest enough to admit that the way a blogger looks does impact her opinion of the blog itself. There are probably silent readers like her out there who do feel this way but don’t express it as it sounds politically incorrect. As much as we deny it, there is a lot of thin privilege that operates in society.

There are lots of undercurrents to this thought. If I were to extrapolate it, it would also imply that only those people who can walk the ramp (aka have the dimensions/beauty of let’s say Tyra Banks) can credibly run fashion or style blogs, those who run movie / music review blogs should themselves have a background in media having either created a movie or some music themselves, and for food blogs, they better have been participants in shows like Masterchef. How else will I know if their food recipes taste any good?


The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to disagree with the sentiment of that comment. Yes, as readers we all do have the freedom to choose who we wish to follow & read. But I don't want that sentiment to deter anyone who wishes to blog. 

As a follower & avid reader of a number of blogs myself, I feel that most bloggers do not position themselves as experts on a topic. Blogs are mostly a collection of opinions, thoughts, ideas that we have as end consumers about certain products (be it makeup, style or movies). Bloggers share with readers the lessons they have learnt as they have experimented with styles, thereby shortening our learning curves, so that we can learn from their mistakes. 

There are exceptions, some bloggers do want to be seen as experts in their field, and therefore like any other profession they should be judged on their competence. If that means how they look is an important aspect for you, then so be it.

However the genesis of most beauty blogging lies in some rather vocal consumers taking to the internet to voice their experience with a product. To say that their opinion has lesser value because they don’t fit a certain individual ideal of beauty doesn't really sound logically to me. There are some beauty bloggers that I follow that don’t fall into my idea of beauty & neither does their look of the day (LOTD) makeup appeal to me – because I have a very different style aesthetic – however I really value their opinion of products because I know that they are honest and forthright with their thoughts. When I pose questions to them in their comment section, I see it as having a discussion with a friend who is equally passionate about makeup and will share their thoughts with me honestly enabling me to make a decision. I definitely don’t treat their word as the final & last word in beauty.

Besides if I were to start judging beauty & fashion bloggers basis their physicality that would mean that I have to stop following some of my favorite bloggers – including http://manfattan.com/ - a very confident & stylish fashion blogger.  


As readers & bloggers, what do you think? Does the way a person looks become a defining factor in whether one should be a beauty or fashion blogger?

17 comments:

  1. Oh wow - this is a shock. I agree with your opinion. Blogs are like open diaries - peoples' thoughts that they would like to share. Bloggers aren't always looking for followers. Their primary motive is to spread share their experience about things that excite them.

    Opinions come from the mind, and mind is independent from the physical appearance. Your tastes don't change based on your body size. Since I know you personally, I say this with utmost confidence that even when you were 'heavier' I would consult you about make-up looks and products and follow your advise blindly. That has not changed for me even after you have lost the weight - I do not suddenly value you opinion more than before. When I read blogs, it more to learn about the techniques and get different outlooks. I always adapt the final look to my style.

    If I were to follow the reader's comment, I suppose I could only talk about the financial economy, designers could talk fashion, movie critics write reviews and politicians have an opinion on the policies of our country. What about diversity of opinions? Freedom of expression? Fresh perspectives?

    I think the amount of admiration and followers you have and the laurels you have received from the likes of Cosmo and Femina to name a few show that the so-called 'experts' too value your opinion. You have a rocking blog!!!

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  2. Honestly, I do not find this comment to be particularly shocking,because I have always noticed the fact that the most popular blogs are always people who are something or training to be something in the beauty/fashion field or at least look like movie-stars.people are always more willing to take advice from somebody who "looks" like what they wished they looked like or lives a life which they would like to live.I actually admit the fact that I have spend hours just drooling over pretty bloggers like Mr.JovitaGeorge,Aayushi Dangur, and Cynthia from IVC or even watching videos of people like Michelle Phan and Elle Fowler. I guess we just cant help it.

    But,no matter what ,it is not right to say that X person does not have the write or express their views on the internet.It is their personal space and there is always the option of not reading a person's blog or website if you don't want to.But more often than not,the normal folks give the more believable and honest opinions about products and experiences because they are not thinking in a PR/monetory mindset. They talk about matters like affordability and value for money. They talk about how much they hate their favorite products finishing upon them and they can't buy it till they get their next paycheck or the grief of buying something with their hard-earned money and being disappointed by it.For me,that is what blogs should be like-Personal and genuine rather than too professional and polished.This is the reason Why I keep coming back to your blog again and again,time after time..

    XOXO,
    Fathima Abdul Kader
    www.http://brittu00present.blogspot.in

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  3. Superb Post.. completely agree with you..

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  4. The commenter while congratulating me for weight loss spoke about how earlier she did not trust my opinion as a beauty blogger because I did not look a certain way – in other words, because I was fat and therefore not good looking, she thought that I should not preach about beauty.

    dafuq? pardon my french, but I really hope, for the sake of this person, she is about 14 years old because that's what her mental age seems like.

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  5. I am very much with agreed with Shivani's point of view...wth!

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  6. and if you don't mind me saying, my opinion of you as a beauty blogger is not much (I'd rather pay more importance to someone like temptalia who reviews like 10000 products a year when it comes to purchases). I read your blog because you are an honest, genuine person and dare I say, a blogger friend. I have known you since i started blogging and always thought you were genuine and had a lot of dignity (and still do). You don't even blog about products specifically, but rather the behind the scenes information so for me, as a reader, your looks would not have mattered either way. However, I have always thought you were beautiful and I never paid attention to your weight back then. So if someone is going to be sooo picky about your looks, to hell with them. Its not as if they are supermodels themselves. And its not people with "movie star looks" that should be allowed to enjoy and hold opinions about makeup. Sorry, I had to write this - people are sooo stupid these days, its not even funny.

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  7. I've been through this Tanveer.. This is a very sensitive topic.. I've always wondered how insensitive and judgmental people are these days.. Years back, once at a shop, I was trying to help few girls (out of my way) who were struggling to choose the right shade of lipstick and all I got in return was a strange 'you-are-fat-so-you-cant-speak-about-beauty' look followed by some sarcastic giggles and comments!! That was pretty harsh and I just walked my way home with a heavy heart! Now that I've lost few pounds and the way the world looks at me now is different, I can never forget how I was treated that day and I am sure there are many many girls out their who still suffer & get bullied just because of their physique.

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  8. wow shallow much!!!! I don't think being fat or thin has got anything to do with being a beauty blogger, its about makeup and skin care and that has got nothing to do with size.

    As it is if she did not like it she was free not to visit the blog and subject herself to your not so trustworthy opinions.

    BTW agree with Shivani about the mental age :)

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  9. WTH? That is so stupid, I have always admired you, and now with the weight loss that has increased! How you look has nothing to do with your opinion on make up.Like Shivani said it must be some crazy teenager

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  10. Hi Tanveer, I would like to make an observation, as much as I admire you on your weight loss, I admire you even more for actually taking into consideration what other readers say about you. Sometimes as a reader, I feel like pointing out to the writer of the blog, small stuff like all of I's are in smaller case or the sari is not draped properly, things, that as a content editor, I notice and would like to pass on, such emails/comments are ignored. I thank you for genuinely listening to your readers. It makes me want to come back here more and more.

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  11. Have you ever thought of someone who s incredibly thin..I m thirty years old mother of two babies and weigh forty five kg. I always get sarcastic comments from my husband and his family for not looking healthy and fat. I m from kerala where modt of the people are heavy

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  12. you should look up musingsofamuse.com. Girl, fat or no fat - everyone can use make up! Screw people who think otherwise.

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  13. Interesting post! I don't see how there should be any correlation between how a person looks and how credible their opinions are about makeup, or how willing a reader is to trust in their opinion or derive value from it. But like anything, it's all subjective. We can't please everyone, and that shouldn't be the aim either. In my eyes, beauty blogging should foremost be about authenticity - then somewhat connected to that, relatability. If I feel that someone else's experience is honest, down to earth and that I could benefit from them sharing their experience (whether I have personally had the same experience), then I would value their content and thoughts more than a blogger who looked more conventionally beautiful and that raved about the majority of products they reviewed, only because I'd be more inclined to think that they either value presenting themselves in the best light possible foremost (above authenticity), or they're beautiful enough in terms of adhering to Western ideals/conventions of physical attractiveness that they need less 'help' with cosmetics regardless.

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  14. All I want to say is I congratulate on your accomplishments weight wise and blog wise. This is a part and parcel of life. It is great that you are above all this!

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  15. Look at Ambika Pillai. She looks her age, sports her natural and unruly curls and looks like the mother of a grown up girll which she is. She doesn't look like a supermodel, she looks very, very real but is one of the first choices of supermodels and celebrities! Looks work only for first impressions, after that it's your work which counts.

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  16. Just saw this post ...Hmm
    While i havent got a similar comment, i have got comments about how my eye makeup looks are always the same, so i shouldnt even be writing about beauty because i dont know anything about it. I think what people forget is two things- we are not makeup artists or movie stars themselves..we are normal girls who have happened to try and test out products and taken a more than normal interest in beauty....It doesnt matter who we are, how we look or how we do our makeup... as long as we are sharing honest and genuine feedback about products we test out..

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  17. I belive to be in positon to comment something or to preach other people one should possess that quality equally. If I am reading a beauty blog I would want the blogger to have good skin in order to follow her guidance and the same way if I am reading a fashion blogger I would not want to see some fat aunty talking about skirts and shorts while I clearly see her cellulite. So yes as a viewer and as a reader I would always see the outlook of the blogger and then only be her follower. :-)

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