I read this article today from Bitch magazine called “Better Homes and Bloggers: Are lifestyle blogs a new way for women to compare themselves and come up short?“. I found it totally fascinating and it really got me to thinking about blogs and why I’m a “blogger” (as if! Seriously, I can’t come to call myself by that moniker yet when I’m really just an odd little bird with a computer and too much free time!).
I really see now that blogs can be an extension of the Social Media culture we live in in which everyone is trying to “brand” or market themselves. Admit it, you’ve taken photos before just for the purpose of posting them on FB so everyone can see what interesting/beautiful/cool/fun things you are doing. Yeah? Me too.
Before I started athayoganusasanam, now Lila, I never spent a lot of time on blogs. I would read EJ sometimes and occasionally peruse the internet looking at a blog or two if someone recommended a link on Facebook, but that’s about it. To this day, I don’t “follow” any blogs with email subscriptions or twitter or anything like that.
But even so, when I started writing my own little blog I started getting sucked into a big wide world of yoga and lifestyle blogs all across the web. It’s really fun and I learn a lot…but I also waste a lot of time. I personally try to use blogs for the best of their advantage (for example – I haven’t opened a cookbook for 2 years because blogs offer me amazing culinary inspiration).
Here’s me being honest: I don’t read a lot of yoga-only blogs. I think many of them are quite boring and they don’t often pertain to me, or the posts are waaaay too long so I get distracted and move on. Occasionally I find one and dive in and read a bunch of posts but then I sort of forget to go back and keep checking up on it. There are a few I look at regularly like Confluence Countdown and Nobel’s blog and some of the other ones on my blogroll. But other than that I go for days without looking at yoga blogs.
Why? Well, I’m planning my wedding and honestly I would rather look at dreamy photos of chic, vintage weddings than read about how much your dropbacks hurt this morning or why you are giving up coffee. Because my dropbacks hurt too. Big deal.
Wedding blogs have been like a gateway drug for me into the world of “style” blogs. Then Pinterest took my addictions and obsessions to a new level. Wow – how amazing is Pinterest?! You can follow my boards! Hahaha~ No, seriously, I mean it, you really can…just click here.
Pinterest is like epic window-shopping mixed in with some voyeurism, fantasizing and lots of longing for a gorgeous, perfect, DIY-tastic life.
Looking at a lot of other blogs I find myself thinking at times superficial and negative thoughts like “wow, I hope my baby is that cute one day and that I look that damn good after giving birth”….”she has really great legs, I wish I had more reasons to dress up and look super cute like that.“….”she is such a great baker….how come the muffins I make always sink down!”…”her life looks so glam and picture-perfect, I wish I was more photogenic, I hate my skin right now”….”they look like they have lots of really cool friends, why aren’t we more social?” (oh yea, I practice Ashtanga, I don’t drink and my partner is an introverted yogi-philosopher Hare Krishna – duh!)….”her food photographs are so much better than mine, why do mine look so yucky?”….. blah blah blah…you get the idea, right? Exactly what that article says – women love looking at other women’s lives and comparing themselves! (They never told me that high school doesn’t end after graduation! aaaaah!!!!)
Anyways, I’m rambling. Just read the article. It brings up some totally spot-on points about the whole movement of new DIY and nostalgic, stylized domesticity and how that relates to previous feminist movements.
After thinking about all this all day, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never be a darling and perfect lifestyle blogger. At least I can’t imagine that happening as that would require me to develop loads of new skills and much more sunny attitude. Sometimes people say things on my Facebook albums like “I want your life!” and it sort of makes me cringe. I’m way too much of a cynic to present my life as a precious Feist song.
My life was always a bit too “Running with Scissors” and “Franny and Zooey” for me to now offer myself up as an exemplar of positive affirmations and domestic bliss. So, I may post recipes, DIY ideas and pictures of my weekends with my tattooed punk boyfriend, but I can’t imagine that Lila will ever be a site for girls to look at and covet something they can’t have (gosh I hope not!).
I don’t fold my clothes and you should see the state of my laundry room! Atrocious. I break my food rules and I can’t follow a recipe to save my life. I can’t do anything interesting with my hair and I totally blow at painting my nails – an 8 year old could do them better than I. I don’t wear lots of cute high heels or headbands or change my jewelry everyday and wear “statement pieces”.
No, not at all and that’s okay. Because as I look around at my spacious and clean apartment which is so tidy only because I grew up in a household that was always so freakin’ perfect that I’ve been conditioned now that if my place starts to get messy I will have a panic attack (thanks Mum! Hopefully one day I’ll be able to afford a cleaning lady 5 days a week too, but for now, I’ll just keep the visible places tidy and allow the cabinets and closets to go to seed), I count my blessings.
I have a lot to be grateful for. I’m young, debt-free, mostly self-employed, healthy, and well-educated. I have an awesome partner who cleans up the messes I make in the kitchen and is appreciative of every dish I prepare him (whether it looks pretty or not). I am supported by his love and his presence as we practice Ashtanga every morning together and meditate every evening side by side. I’m privileged enough to have the flexibility to work jobs of my choosing, with an open flexible schedule that allow me to travel and explore.
So, who am I kidding? There’s no reason I should harbor any jealousy to the picture-perfect lifestyle bloggers out there, because I’m the lucky one. Thank you very much!
Moral of the story: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Instagram!
To reward you for getting to the bottom of this ramble, here’s a link to a blog – Barbarazzi – that precisely captures everything one can make fun of in the yoga scene today (and yet at the core of their writing you can tell they love and honor the power and practice of yoga). Check it out! I lost my FY to this site for a full day. He literally sat in front of his computer and laughed and laughed all afternoon.