The other side of vain...
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. ;)