Not surprisingly there are hundred of thousands of bloggers out there. They write about politics, science, art, religion, fashion, literature, animals, travel, cooking…. You name it, there is definitely at least a hundred blogs on that topic. I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger. At times that means picking apart the latest trend, experimenting with my own style and looking out for the next big thing. A lot of that is accomplished through the reading of other fashion blogs.

While every blog takes on its own voice and focus, I’ve noticed a number lately, especially in the fashion blog category, that seem completely dedicated to highlighting the negative. The writers offer pictures and graphic examples of fashion disasters walking the street, or the celebrity red carpet flop. They make fun of other bloggers and the things they chose to highlight or the interviews they have done. Rarely are they constructive in their criticism. Usually they are just snarky and mean. (Take the People of Walmart for example.)

This trend is so intriguing to me. There is something in the human psyche that loves to see a train wreck. We gawk on the highway to see who is getting pulled over or the results of a collision. We stare and make comments about others as they walk by. Why is that? What is it about these sad situations that have us staring and comparing? Why can’t we look away? And whatever happened to loving our neighbor? 

So maybe the lady down the block doesn’t have the best sense of fashion. Maybe she still wears things from the 80’s or can’t match her clothes to save her life. What gives her nearest fashion blogger the right to secretly photograph her and then display those pictures for all viewing internet public? I’ve talked to a couple of those bloggers about these ‘what not to wear’ features and their argument is ‘if you chose to walk out of the house in that, you opened yourself up to be seen by others, to be judged. You put yourself out in the public so you presented yourself to the camera.’

But my argument against that is two fold:

1. Who knows the story behind why she is dressed that way. Maybe her house burned down that morning and she is surviving on only what was sitting in her car. Or maybe she is colorblind. Or maybe no one ever talked to her about clothing that flatters. Maybe her mother just died or a loved one was rushed to the hospital. There are a million reasons behind a perceived fashion disaster. Why aren’t bloggers, who usually love the community that builds around the blog and love the support given by their readers, more willing to offer that same affection and support to the stranger?

2. Showcasing the negative still doesn’t teach the lesson the blogger is trying to get across – how to dress properly. It would be much more helpful to show someone how to wear that same style skirt in a stylish way. It would be constructive to teach readers ways to make something old new again.

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Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...