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Judge Me Not June 24, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Rants.
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*WARNING! This is, I am afraid, going to be a rant. A rant that has been building inside me for a good few weeks now, and which, like a pressure cooker over-heating, is about to explode and cover the ceiling with over-cooked rice. Yum*

gavell judge

I write about fashion. I like fashion. I have a habit of buying shoes, and wearing them. I voted Labour. I think I prefer cats over dogs, but this opinion changes day to day. I could read books on China and Japan until the cows came home. I enjoy dodgy sci-fi. My favourite films range from Die hard to Fightclub with American Beauty in-between. I don’t have a driving license, because I failed twice. I prefer the sun to the cold. I have an obsession with herbology and ancient humanity. My specialist subject in pub quizzes is Science & Nature. I am afraid of wasps and bees. I love social media and think it is amazing! My favourite car is probably a 2007 Ford Mustang GT. I am political and opinionated.

As you may be able to tell, I am a whole host of likes, dislikes and abilities. I am a complex person, as I think we all are, and I like to think I am relatively intelligent. This is why I get so incredibly fed up with people who insist on judging me based on one tiny aspect of my multi-faceted character. The people who look at the fact that I write about fashion, and immediately assume me to be a stupid, idiotic and shallow person. Never mind that the psychology of fashion is fascinating, or that I do actually do other stuff with my life. No, because I own lots of clothes and like to write about them I am neatly labelled and judged.

This, unsurprisingly, pisses me off. Excuse the French, but there is nothing worse than making a snap judgement. We all do it, I know that, but the key is being aware when our minds make those automatic snap judgements, and managing to rein them in before you assume and misjudge. To have people run with those opinions with no intention of revising them is infuriating and narrow-minded, and it makes me pretty fed up with society.

The thing is, you see, that I like fashion because it lets me express whatever side of myself I want to. There are areas of the industry that annoy me, of course, but I also feel that many of the fashion people I know are incredibly astute and intelligent women, with strong opinions and a wealth of knowledge. They, like me, are not vacuous wastes of space at all. I do buy a lot of clothes, that I cannot deny, but whilst people mock and judge for it they forget that actually I can afford to buy this, if I want to, because it is my own money. I save, I budget, and I spend some of my left-over disposable income on fashion – and largely in the format of cheap secondhand bargains. Most people spend money on something, my habit just happens to mean that I own a lot of different outfits.

NEVER EVER assume that I am a fool. Judge not, that you may not be judged.

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Comments»

1. Louise - June 24, 2010

I totally hear you on this one. I don’t even write what I would class as a fashion blog, but I do love fashion and shoes and all those other things that some members of society deem to be frivolous (but I do not) and as such there have been people I have known who have focussed only on this as if I am Cher from Clueless forgetting that actually I’m a pretty intelligent woman (even if I do say so myself). I’ve got to the stage in my life now though where I just leave them to think whatever they like… sometimes you just won’t change their views and it can be too time consuming and irrititating to try to. Don’t let the b*&574^ds get you down! x

2. Amber - June 24, 2010

*STANDS UP AND APPLAUDS*

I totally hear you on this. I almost deleted my blog last week because I am SO SICK of having to read people’s opinions about my personality, which they think they’re qualifed to advise and judge me on purely because they’ve read a couple of posts on a BLOG – a blog that reflects only a tiny, tiny part of my life.

Also, the people who think that if they speak to me, they HAVE to mention shoes, as if that’s the only thing I can related to, or am interested in. Like, I’ll say, “Oh, it’s a nice day today,” and a million people will go, “OOh, bet you’re wondering which SHOES to wear!” or I’ll wonder what to eat for dinner and people will say, “It’s a shame you can’t just eat SHOES!” I know they mean well and are just trying to be friendly, but for God’s sake, you CAN talk to me about other things! Sure, I like shoes and I talk about them a lot, but they’re not the ONLY thing in my life, and the fact that I have a shoe blog isn’t evidence to the contrary, it’s evidence that I’m a business owner who has to specialise in SOMETHING in order to make a living. If I was speaking to an accountant, I wouldn’t try to make every comment relate to numbers.

Sorry, I think that rant has been welling up in me for a long time, too :)

I’m not sure what the answer is. I think the internet, by its very nature, forces us to focus on certain things, and it’s hard to get past that. I love books, for instance, but I don’t write about them on my blogs because I figure there are enough book blogs out there, and probably no one cares about my opinion. Terry and I talk about politics a lot but, again, it’s not something I write about because so many people do it better than me (and I prefer to avoid the aggression that tends to go with political discussions). Even on my personal blog, I tell only those stories I think people may find interesting/amusing, and leave out all the rest, and so people think the things I’ve written about are the sum total of my personality. Depressing, but as I said, I don’t know quite what to do about it.

3. Roisin - June 24, 2010

I second what Louise and Amber have written – much more eloquently than I could! Like Amber, I considered deleting my blog recently because while I have met some wonderful people (both in real life and over the internet – for instance I consider both Louise and Amber to be friends and obviously you know I’m all about the Lauren-loving!) I have also encountered lots of negativity. It isn’t as open as what Amber has experienced, but that’s nearly worse – I know that people out there have been judging me based on what I write about, and making snide comments to others and even writing about me in a veiled way elsewhere! And like all of you, my blog is only about a small part of my life. I write honestly about what’s on my mind but it’s not all there is to me.

Anyway obviously I decided not to delete my blog because the positive things I’ve got out of it far outweigh the negativity. And I know it sounds trite but it’s true – the people that feel moved to call you shallow or whatever, well they feel that way about themselves and they’re projecting that on to you because it’s easier than facing up to the things that they don’t like about themselves. It takes someone with a strong sense of self to be able to write about the frivolous things, to not feel the need to impress on everyone how intelligent or serious or grown-up they are all the live long day. Amber- this is why I love reading all of your blogs, because your intelligence and wit shine through in whatever you write, and it’s the same with you, Lauren and Louise and all of the bloggers whose writing inspires me and makes me laugh.

Don’t give house room to the haters! x

4. Caroline - June 25, 2010

I’ve never really thought about it before, but now that I put my mind to it I can be pretty defensive about my blog. When people ask me what it’s about I say it’s a personal blog and that I put up a daily outfit shot – and follow that up very quickly with “It’s an enormous online community – tons of people do it every day – and I’ve made some really great friends through it” as though I’m immediately having to justify myself. I suppose I don’t really count myself as a fashion blog though – more personal jabber with a bit of wardrobe remix thrown in for measure.

I certainly don’t worry about being considered unintelligent as a result of the content – there’s some serious skill, (ahem) not only in being able to style outfits in a way that appeals to a wider audience but also in being able to write about fashion in an engaging way. I personally feel, as I do with all of your blogs too, that our intelligence shines through our prose. Taking an every day occurence and being able to retell it with Amber’s humour, for example, is a sign of a really great writer.

Negativity towards fashion blogging – or any blogging for that matter – is a sign that people are reading you. We often say that the paparazzi are part of the celebrity package – and unfortunately the haters are part of blogging. As you say, Roisin, the lovers far outweigh the haters for me – you gals could make up for a hundred haters any day!

Damn the man, save the Empire! :D xx

5. Alysa - June 25, 2010

Hear hear everyone! Anyone who takes the time to read your blog (and everyone else’s who’s commented) should realise how thoughtful a person you are. Don’t change a thing ! xxx


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