I would love to be the kind of blogger who can start off a travel diary by saying, “Earlier this year, I booked a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas!” and make it sound totally normal. Like I’m the whimsical kind of girl who does this sort of thing all the time. “It was completely spur of the moment, tickets were cheap, and I thought – hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!” “Hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!”
is not something I’ve ever said in my entire life. I was whimsical for about twenty minutes. The twenty minutes that it took for some woman on the phone to convince me that Vegas was all the rage. “Oh, you haven’t been to Vegas?!”
She asked in a tone that suggested ‘but eeeeeveryone’s been to Vegas!!!’
. (But, like, in a nice way? I don’t know. It was weird.)
The woman calling me worked for the hotel chain that I frequently use when traveling for business trips (therefore they assumed that I would have the money to, you know, travel). “Now is a GREAT time to come out to Las Vegas.”
She said – (as if she would have called me to say, ‘You know, maybe now is not such a great time’) – “We just opened up a BRAND NEW hotel on the strip...
There are two kinds of bloggers out there: the kind who have goals and a media kit - and the other kind, the kind who have to Google "what is a media kit?" when someone reaches out to them for a sponsored post and -- well, actually, first they have to head on over to the blogging forum and ask, "Hey guys, how do I handle a sponsored post? So-and-so is reaching out to me and I don't know what to do", and someone says, "send them your media kit".
I still don't really understand what a media kit is. But that's okay, because it sounds a little more "professional" than what I am currently set up for.
Around the middle of October, I was playing around with this new blogger site that I found called Canva (game changer, by the way) that allows you to make graphics and banners and all of the professional-looking-images that you see the professional-looking-bloggers have.
I got really excited. I felt like I'd stumbled into "the big secret" that all of the professional bloggers already know. I found a fancy graphic site that is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING...
My parents sent me a stun gun as part of a care package in college.
I figured I should open with that, so that when I say, “I found my stun gun in a shoe box in the back of my closet over the weekend” – ya’ll don’t think I’m the kind of girl who:
A) knows where to buy a stun gun, and -
B) keeps it in a shoe box in the back of her closet. Nestled next to a scarf and a pair of high heels.
Because that’s where it was. Who knows why. Who packed that box when I was moving?
Me. I packed it. I packed all of my boxes. And when I ran across that stun gun, I was probably like, “Well, I don’t have a box marked ‘Weapons’ …. sooo let’s just put it in this shoe box. That should be fine.”
That makes about as much sense me having a stun gun in the first place...
If I had to define my personal style, I would call it: "Target Women's Section".
Do you know what I mean? When you see a woman walking down the street and think to yourself, "She totally bought that at Target".
Yea, that's me. I'm the woman. 2/3 of my closet is made up of the women's section from the store. (I mean, they're RIGHT THERE. In the front of the store. As soon as you walk in.)
Notice how the men's section is always squeezed into a back corner? But not the women's section. Oh, NO. Let's put that right next to the entrance, so that all of the women who think they're only coming in here for groceries and toilet paper will walk by and say, "Oh THAT'S cute.... well, I mean, while I'm in here... it doesn't hurt to LOOK at the clothes..."
Well, it DOESN'T hurt to look, right?
I wouldn't say that I have "anxiety" about wearing Spanx (and honestly, no one SHOULD have anxiety about wearing a brand of sucky-in-y underwear - because that's essentially all they are) but I HAVE noticed that when I'm wearing a tight dress, along with - what is essentially a modern day girdle - I feel, a little.... well, anxious. Stiff. Uncomfortable. There's a tightness in my chest.../abdomen.
I mean, most of that is the sucky-in-y part of the underwear that I paid $50 to literally wedge myself into so that I could look good in a dress for a few hours, but you know what I mean. I worry. The Spanx alter blood circulation to my brain (probably, I don't know. You'd think they've got to be cutting off some circulation around my torso. Otherwise, are they even doing their job?) My inner fat girl that needed the Spanx in the first place starts sending paranoid, worried signals to my brain.
"What if people can tell?" I think. "Can people tell that I'm wearing a girdle?"
I honestly do not know how anyone would ever be able to "tell", unless they came over and lifted up my dress and said, "Hey I see you're wearing some funny underwear under there." And if someone ever does that to you, I can PROMISE you that the the highlight of that story will not be "I was wearing Spanx", it will be "A stranger lifted up my dress. It was weird."
I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, "Do not fall in love with a man who doesn't make you feel like the most awesome, incredible, baddest bitch on the block."... those of course weren't his exact words, but the sentiment was the same. You know what else can make you feel that way? A leather jacket.
Seriously. I can be wearing sweatpants, and still feel like a stylish badass biker babe if I've got a leather jacket on. (I have never been on a bike - and by "bike", I of course mean motorcycle - so I don't know what that really feels like, but this is the only way I can know how to describe it.) It's like magic. While sweatpants in public say, "I can't get my life together", a leather jacket says, "This is OBVIOUSLY a style choice. And if you don't get it, then you're not as cool as I am."
Oh, Instagram. It took me forever to figure out that it wasn't Facebook. I mean, I obviously KNEW the difference - but you know what I mean. If someone Friend requests me on Facebook without annnnny sort of mutual connections ("Did we at least go to high school together? Grow up in the same town? Are you a friend of my mom's?"), I immediately feel violated. "How did they FIND me?", I think. Like I just caught them with a telescope peeping through my bedroom window. (Sometimes even if there is a mutual connection, I think to myself: "Why are they adding me? Do I KNOW them? Did we meet once and I forgot?") But Instagram? Haha. That's totally fine. Follow me. Ask your friends to follow me. Encourage random strangers to follow me. FOLLOW ME. I NEED MORE FOLLOWERS.
If you're a fashion blogger, you're probably already on the 'gram, and you probably already have more followers than I do. (Maybe because I just referred to it as "the 'gram".) Anyway - my goal right now I'm trying to break 300.
Not 300k. Not 300 million --- (haha, does ANYONE have 300 million?) I have THREE. HUNDRED. followers. Well - actually, no I don't, I'm trying to GET 300 followers. I've been batting around 287-295 all summer. I don't know if I can even call myself a 'blogger' at this point, even people who set their accounts to private and only follow friends and family have more followers than I do. When I hit 300, I should buy balloons and throw myself a party. You know, like the real bloggers do after they've hit substantial numbers.
Fashion bloggers consider Instagram to be a faucet of their business. They have a fashion blog on the Internet - they post pictures of themselves wearing a bunch of different outfits, what better way to advertise that than Insta? It probably helps them to get a ton of new followers. I say "probably" because they have thousands, and I have - ALMOST - 300. But I also don't post as many #ootds. Mostly because my "photographer" is my boyfriend and it is a special occasion when I can get him to take a picture of me. I purposely try to look extra fashion-y when we go out, so that I can pull him aside as we're leaving a restaurant and say "Hey, can I be weird for a second? Will you take a picture of me looking out into traffic?" And he says "Ugh." and then gives me two minutes to be weird, because he loves me.