Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Golden Rule of Blogging (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Blog)

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There are inherent issues with having an internet presence, no matter how small.  Any part of your personality that you choose to exhibit on social media will be either ignored, applauded, or abused.  The internet is not the first place we go to find balanced opinions voiced by tactful people.  So it can be scary to display any semblance of your true self in a space where people, especially women, are habitually harassed for being themselves.  It's so easy to curl up and share tidbits about yourself, vague snippets that really aren't all that indicative of who you are as a person.  (I've had this blog for almost 4 years now, and I am guilty of this many times over.  It took me forever just to share my name.)

In light of these feelings, I have now instituted a blogging rule for myself.  I'm saying right now, I'm going to break it at some point, no doubt.  But this plan is being put in motion to make myself stretch further, share more, and show more of myself.

Sabrina's Golden Rule of Blogging:
You Don't Need a Reason

I recently read a quote from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, where she mentioned how "women are taught shame."  The easiest way that humans exert power over one another is by dictating appearance.  While there are standards in each culture and society about what is proper and modest, women are often held to a higher set of standards.  Taking away our ability to present ourselves as we want can strip us of our own autonomy and independence.  When we share an image of ourselves that isn't subscribing to the norm or isn't what others see as beautiful, we're shamed.  Women are being told constantly, whether directly or (usually) indirectly, that whatever we are as women, it isn't enough; there's always someone prettier or smarter or happier that we need to aspire to imitate.  That's why, at the end of this long-winded diatribe, I present to you the hero of our story that brought me to this realization: the selfie.

People have been drawing pictures of themselves forever.  Some of the first photographs were turned around on the photographer.  Self-portraits give women power.  They can show us be weak, or strong, or girlish, or hard, or sad, or happy, or whimsical.  Photographs are not just worth words; they are worth stories.  In the same light, authors are advised to write the story they want to read, and not just whatever people want.  So take the photos you want to see.  Dress up, act up, be yourself or become someone else entirely.  Social media has put this power in our hands to create a visual representation of who we are inside.  We can tell our own stories the way we want.  All of us are unique, and our uniqueness isn't worth much if we can't share at least a little of it with others.

So my blogging rule exists to remind me that I don't need a reason to be myself, and I don't need a reason to share that with others.   I don't need a reason to speak up sometimes when I feel pretty or remarkable.  I'm just me, and that should be enough.


 
What about you?  Any personal blogging manifesto that keeps you motivated?  Talk about it below.

5 comments:

  1. What a terrific rule and reminder to us all! I recently vowed to stop apologizing so much, and this is a great extension of that same impulse. I hear myself, and women around me, overexplaining all the time. Thank you for reminding me that I don't need a reason to do whatever it is that I do.

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    1. Thanks so much, I'm so glad you liked the post! Keep doing whatever it is you love, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. :)

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  3. There you go again... Inspiring me !!! <3

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