The other side of vain...

By Tina A. - April 13, 2013

I've typed and hit "back space" one too many times already, and the impact of a good opening sentence is not at all important this time (if it ever really is). What does matter, though, is that I'm finally writing a post that I've been consciously avoiding to write for a long time now, for a number of reasons.

So what changed, you might wonder, why now? Well, for one, I don't think I can continue beating around the bush and keep on blogging without addressing the nasty side of it and I also feel I should be 100% open and honest, both as a blogger, and as a person. Because, realistically, it's the person that makes the blog, and not the other way round.

Let's start at the beginning. Unless you were involved with the beauty community when it first started buzzing (before all the drama kicked in), or read my archives, you probably don't know that I started this blog at the end of March, 2009. That's over 4 long years ago, making it, to my knowledge, the oldest beauty blog in my country (Greece), despite me writing in English. When I first started, there was no such thing as professional blogging, freebies, PR involvement, or terms like "affiliate", "sponsored", "disclosure", "FTC" or "media kit". Hell, I didn't even own a camera back then, which is why I had to wait a few weeks before I could afford one, in order to start blogging the way I wanted. And why did I start? For me, back then, it was part outlet, part hobby/fun, part wanting to improve my skin/looks/appearance, and part contribution: my first beauty post was about real and fake MAC brushes and how to not fall for the latter.

Seeing what the beauty community has turned into or has become all about lately, has created quite a sour taste in my mouth, and the more I see, the more I feel that I don't belong/have anything in common with it. The vast majority of the newer blogs I come across these days are driven by a false sense of ambition and entitlement, which make me want to run for the hills. Especially when their content is half-assed - it seems that writing your actual opinion about a product and telling us in the end if you like it or not, if it works for you or not, is only an added bonus to the main focus, which is none other than a favorable presentation. I understand that I'm generalizing right now, and that generalizations are unfair, and yes, there are still people that respect what they do, but I simply do not have enough time to discover new gems in a sea of opportunism.

So, being around long enough and seeing more than I cared to, has somewhat destroyed my happy, creative and colorful virtual happy place. More often than not, when I log on to blogger, twitter and facebook, there some sort of crap going on, that makes me second-guess why I logged in in the first place. For me, it used to be fun and it used to help me escape from the turbulence of everyday life, not something that I have to prepare myself for in some way or another.

As if one doesn't have enough problems as it is, dealing with the energy-sucking toxic assholes they have to deal with on an everyday basis. You know the kind I'm talking about, you've met them: the fair-weathered friends, the experts in backhanded complimenting, the voluntary critics, everyone and anyone that spreads advice and opinions when it's not asked for, and only when it's easy and of course, above and beyond them. Some of you might argue that it's only human nature to judge, and that everyone does it, to some extent or another, and I'll agree with you. I'm no different, even though I try to be, however, I do carefully select the words I use when I'm talking to someone. If you can't help, just listen for as long as you may have to, if you can't listen, then, at the very least don't make matters worse, because at the end of the day, everyone has their own shit that they're dealing with.

I'm not going to get into what monumentally ridiculous things I had to hear recently from acquaintances and friends, on top of dealing with a broken finger and other personal matters, but I'll give you two very real examples of situations that made me go "wtf" lately. Example no 1: guy self harms to such an extreme that it can only be viewed as suicide attempt and his girlfriend complains about their lack of sex life. Example no 2: severely anorexic woman gets served with a "quit milking it for attention"attitude. Now, yes, both of these examples are extreme and in both circumstances there is a pathological factor that comes into play, but it only goes to show how easily people can make their insensitive remarks, coating them even, occasionally with what they consider as "altruism".

So you got the real shit on one hand and the internet shit on the other - it's only natural that sometimes you have to drop a few things. And, for me, my blog and my co-run beauty website were among those things, I just didn't have the energy to perform as I used to and as I'd like. I am still here though, and I don't intend to put things I enjoy on hold for any longer, especially for all the wrong reasons.

So, with all that in the open, I feel I should end this ramble with 2 different thank you's:
1. Thank you to those of you that are still reading and subscribing to this blog, despite it's somewhat stale content - that's the kind of motivation one needs to keep going,  and
2. Thank you to those that put me down - you tempted me to start handing out middle-fingers, but no; you gave me the chance to explore my weaknesses, and most importantly to discover new strengths, so, in the end, the biggest gain, was mine. ;)





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24 comments

  1. Amen sister! Well said! I relate to everything you have written! But somehow I think you knew that already ;)

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    1. @Cel: I think that similar thoughts happen more often than we care to admit or express - but, in hindsight, I regret not making this post a LOT sooner, it was actually cathartic in a sense! xxx

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  2. This post made me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because I can completely understand where you're coming from, but happy because you'll be back soon :)

    I kind of had a nostalgic moment myself a few weeks ago when I realized how much beauty blogging has changed over the years, and I haven't even been blogging as long as you have.

    Anyway, glad you'll be back. I hope your finger feels better and is healing well. I've missed you and your blog! <3

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    1. @Tiffany: I know, it's changed immensely over the past 2 years, and while I enjoy the fresh, modern, editorial take on it (as opposed to the "public diary" style which was the norm at first), there's now a lot more "grey areas" to be careful of... Thank you SO much for the support, and hope that you stick around for the upcoming posts! :)

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  3. Support you all the way. Thanks for being true and blogging in English, I wouldn't have benefited that much from you otherwise!
    Cheers,
    Jacq

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    1. @Jacq H: Writing in English was a decision I never regretted and that has proved to be beneficial in a vast number of ways. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. xx

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  4. Wow, FINALLY someone who feels like I do! I started my blog in February 2009 and it makes me sad to see how the community is now - it's always competition, nobody helps the other anymore, and blahblahblah. It makes me so sick and it makes me miss the old days, and the "real" bloggers!

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    1. @Gaby Fauchon: Yes, it's like the motives of a blog (or a post, even!) aren't that clear anymore. It used to be a lot more straight-forward and there used to be a lot more original voices back then - these days it's just pointless copying of one another...!

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  5. Every point rings true. The problem with the world today is that information sharing and internet popularity has become one of society's most dangerous obsessions that the real essence of maintaining an online presence has long gone. Nowadays, it's all about who can make a selfie of themselves (whether written or in photos) that can have the most impact and influence on other people, regardless if their content makes any sense or not.

    :-( I hope this does not discourage you from continuing with your blog.

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    1. @Parker: Thank you for your well articulated comment. I agree, it seems that "exposure" these days, is much more important than having an honest and true voice, with a unique point of view. I am not discouraged when it comes to keep blogging, I can only continue whilst staying true to my style, even if it isn't considered to be very "popular".

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  6. I wish I was as optimistic as you. Because, in spite, of all the shit, you are still optimistic and I admire and respect that about you (amongst other things). We are lucky to have you back. And as for the "energy-sucking toxic assholes" and the "false sense of ambition and entitlement"...I am hoping that ,in the long run, the ambition will fade and the arseholes will get back to their ordinary lives and let us do what we love and loved long before it was just a "publicity stunt".

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    1. @Athina: It's not so much an optimistic point of view, rather than me refusing to bow down just because the majority is rotten. I too, think, that the disillusioned bubble will pop eventually, or at least decrease in size, so perhaps there will be more room for individuality and true talent. Remains to be seen! xxxx

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  7. Well said doll! I read carefully each one of your paragraphs and I couldn't agree more! Glad you made this kind of post :) x x

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    1. @fashion written with a lipstick: Glad I made it too, some things had to be said! I would strongly encourage anyone to speak their minds, my only regret is not writing this sooner! xx

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  8. I also get momentarily dissenhartened and pissed off, but, I try to keep on, do my thing the way I like, the way it makes me happy and I do love to read what other people write, when they actually have something to say. The rest is plain noise, I don't bother. Come on girl, birds are singing and flowers are blooming, how about sharing with us your spring favorites?

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    1. @ScrapgalGR: Very well said, that's exactly what they are: NOISE!!! Which kinda makes someone worth listening too a bit difficult, especially when they're not as loud and big as the rest. That said, I agree that we cant or shouldnt give up! As for spring favourites, might be a little too late for those, but rest assured, there are other posts coming up ahead! xx

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  9. Σε διαβάζω πολύ καιρό πριν ξεκινήσω το δικό μου blog, ήσουν και είσαι στα πολύ αγαπημένα μου, ειδικά μετά από αυτό. Δεν ξέρω βέβαια πως νιώθω ακριβώς διαβάζοντας την ανάρτησή σου.. χαρά, λύπη ίσως και λίγο ενοχή.. Πάντα προσωπικά μένω με το άγχος να μη χάσω τον εαυτό μου και να δώσω αυτό που θέλουν οι άλλοι και οι ισορροπίες είναι λεπτές..και δυστυχώς όπως λες αν και στην Ελλάδα το blog παραμένει χόμπι (εδώ δεν έχουμε κανονικές δουλειές πια..) το κλίμα πολλές φορές (στο παρασκήνιο) ξεφεύγει και αυτό είναι και παράξενο(ποιο το όφελος) και με στενοχωρεί.
    Η γνώμη μου είναι ότι ό,τι δε σε εκφράζει απλά το προσπερνάς, σίγουρα δεν το ακολουθείς και σίγουρα δεν το αφήνεις να σε εμποδίσει. Κρατάω μια κουβέντα που μου είπαν όταν ξεκίνησα.."να περνάς πάντα καλά μέσω του blog" και αυτό το έχω πάντα μαζί μου. Όχι επιφανειακά αλλά ουσιαστικά. Όταν σταματήσεις να περνάς καλά, ίσως είναι η στιγμή να σταματήσεις για όσο χρειαστεί.

    Είμαι εδώ και είμαι σε αυτές που περιμένουν την επόμενη σου ανάρτηση με χαρά.. ;-)

    Φιλιά πολλά πολλά

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    1. @beautyincrisis: Δυστυχως, αν και ακομα εδω ειναι χομπι το blogging οπως λες, παρατηρουνται μερικα απο τα χειροτερα φαινομενα που συναντα κανεις μονο σε επαγγελματικα περιβαλλοντα! Οφελος μπορει να υπαρχει, αλλα ειναι σιγουρα κακως εννοουμενο. Μακαρι ολες να το αντιμετωπιζαν οπως κ εσυ, δλδ "κανω αυτο που μου αρεσει", φοβαμαι οτι μια μεγαλη πλειοψηφια ενεργει πολυ μεθοδικα και υπολογιστικα. Ας ειναι ομως, αλλωστε οποιος εχει ματια, βλεπει... και κρινει αναλογα! xx

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  10. Great post, I've felt the same way for a long time now. Which is probably why my blog has been neglected.

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    1. @Uknown: Never to late to start again and do what you enjoy! :)

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  11. Well said. I like your honest reflection and opinion on the current state of beauty blogging. I do like your blog and your style of writing quite a lot, and I hope you do not feel too dishearten or feel the need to pander to 'the latest trends'. Keep on doing what you like and be true to yourself.

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    1. @Linda Olsen: Thank you so much for your kind words, as well as reading my somewhat sparse posts. I do plan to keep going, in the only way I know how, which is to stay true to my own blogging style.

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  12. What matters most is that you are still able to express yourself and share your lovely posts despite the disillusionment caused by others. It's true that being an online persona causes most people to "overshare". But don't let those kind of people get you down. Stay as bright as you always are. :)

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    1. @Megan P.: It's not only the "oversharing" part, it's more the self-branding or the marketing aspect, when it's devoid of an actual unique point of view to back it, if that makes any sense! It gets tiring to see the same thing countless times, just signed by a different person! That said, thank you so much for your kind comment.

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