Gals, I know it’s been a while since I blogged, but I have a 45-minute window and an axe to grind. Get comfortable.
Have you read this month’s issue of U Magazine? I thumbed through a few pages while trying not to buy M&Ms in Tesco.
Like a lot of fashion magazines, it opens with some snappy news; a rundown of cool events, product recommendations and trend pieces. Ciara Allen’s first book, How to Succeed in the Business Industry, is listed as one of the most exciting September launches. I’m not challenging this, it is an absolute fact. Ciara is one of the best make-up artists in the country. Her book, an in-depth guide for aspiring artists and creatives, has been roundly praised by those lucky enough to get their hands on a pre-launch copy.
The issue is with U Magazine’s phrasing of their recommendation.
“Sick of influencers, bloggers and YouTubers talking rubbish? Yeah, us too, which is why we’re all about Ciara Allen’s new book…”
Reader, I bought the bloody M&Ms.
Whatever about one editor’s thoughts, this anti-blogger attitude is prevalent in print media circles, and that’s what I want to chat about.
It’s always struck me as strange. I mean, our roles are pretty similar, we do similar things, we’ve got similar skills. We really should be uniting to disparage the real enemy – people who are good at maths.
When I asked around, the general consensus seems to be that journalists with anti-blogger attitudes are simply fearful. They worry that bloggers are undermining their industry, and that leads them to lash out.
While I think this is true for many blog bashers, it’s too generous to blame the bulk of blogger hate on insecurity alone. In my experience, anti-blogger sentiments are usually rooted in simple snobbery. And that puts me in a much less forgiving mood.
Yep. Get ready for it, it’s THE CLASS CARD.
See, there are a number of barriers to working-class people who want to work in media. Accessing third-level education and completing unpaid internships – prerequisites for a buttload of media jobs – can be impossible if you’re on a low income. Even if you make your way through college and can cope on a salary of zero eurobux for six months, the industry is notoriously cliquey.
Blogging is much more accessible. It’s one of the few creative pursuits that can be done on the cheap. You don’t need to have an aunt at RTÉ, you don’t need a small loan from your dad, you’re set if you’ve got a smartphone and some talent.
Further, if you really want to work in print media, blogging is a brilliant way to show that you can write, source imagery and curate content. That’s especially useful if you didn’t get to stay in education or couldn’t get work experience. Creating a blog is a way of carving your own path when opportunities haven’t landed in your lap.
I think that is what is getting under the nose of some print journalists. The overwhelmingly middle-class industry is suddenly populated by girls who did not go to your school and don’t live on your leafy road.
When I started blogging, I was embarrassed about my income and class. I tried to talk about luxury makeup with the nonchalance of the print beauty editors I followed. As I made friends in the community, I realised that I wasn’t the only one. I met so many girls and women who felt like impostors at press events. We felt like we didn’t fit in and hadn’t earned our invitations.
I would love to give my 17-year-old self a pep talk. I’d tell her to stop mumbling when people ask what publication she works with. I’d tell her not to sabotage opportunities because of insecurity. She was so sure she’d ruin everything eventually that she decided it was better for everyone if she just stopped engaging. Above all, I’d implore her to be proud of everything she accomplished.
As time-travel is out of the question, that pep talk is up for grabs. If you’re a blogger who feels like you’re not as good as your print peers, take it.
If you’re a blogger who is just here for the craic but cringes when your blog is brought up, it’s yours.
And if you’re part of a group that looks down their nose at women who are embracing their talents and getting ahead, get f*cked.