Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blogging: Still Something to Smile About

[Edit: Based on some of the comments that I have received, I am editing to clarify the spirit of my original post. I want to emphasize that I don't feel that bloggers who are talking about monetization or who are calling for reform in the blogging-PR business exchange are shallow, greedy, unjustified or wrong. I wasn't calling anyone out or leading an attack or a covert jibe, and I apologize if anyone interpreted my post that way. I just figured that I didn't have much to add to that conversation, and honestly, I didn't want to wade into that particular war. All I wanted to say was that I appreciated the spirit of racial, gender and cultural tolerance that seems to thrive in the online beauty community, without seeming to trivialize other blogging concerns.

That being said, though, now that I'm here, I will address that issue. I think everyone is entitled to their piece of the Internet, and the blogging business model problems that smart people are addressing are not inconsequential. They will also not be resolved if the majority of us seek to remain indifferent, and that's a problem, too. I don't have the particular passion for these issues, (and that's absolutely not a result of judgment, just a result of exercising my prerogative to have my own priorities) but many bloggers do, and I think it is part of my dues to a community that I take pride in, to add my voice. So, those of you arguing for transparency and mutual respect in this community, I'm with you.]

The mood in the beauty blogging community, like in any other large network of people, seems to have its ups and downs. We all have our personal reasons for blogging, and how those goals manifest into our blogs differs, as well. Lately, I feel like a lot of the focus has been on issues of transparency, monetization, motivation, etc., and I'm glad we have those conversations, but that hasn't really been foremost in my mind.

I live in a large U.S. city that has one of the highest rates of crime, gun violence, and racial tension - emphasis on that last point. Race and cultural clashes, even within one country, have recently seemed to come to a head in a big way, and this is a topic of interest to many, even if we're not having those conversations out loud. I live in a place where, despite repeated denials by many - in racial majorities and minorities - crimes are committed because of race - because people don't understand each other, or won't, and because racial identity is embedded in stereotypes and prejudice and all sorts of negativity.

My day to day life isn't one of horror, though. Generally, people are nice. But we're careful. And we're always aware of the underlying tension in the city.

And I wanted to say, that I am proud to be part of an online international community that seems to tackle these issues with much more practiced ease. As readers, we embrace blogs from around the world, written by women, men, transgender people, from many ethnic backgrounds and many cultures (of course, my sad self is limited to those written in English). As a community, we make the demand for foundations in a wider spectrum of color, we laud beauty in all of its faces and forms, we can appreciate eyebrows on fleek (dude, am I a cool kid, or what) on any gender, and dammit, that should bring a smile to your face, if nothing else about blogging does.

I know the situations aren't the same, and that people who have the time to blog most likely represent a certain type of social class in the world, but hey, we're still building bridges and understanding cultural differences. Learning about another culture's standards of even just aesthetic beauty gives us insight onto more of that culture's contemporary mindset and history, and I really appreciate the chance for that kind of interaction on an individual and everyday level. So, thanks to everyone I've connected with and learned from, around the world.

Just filling your glass. Cheers to us.