Since I started blogging, I've begun dreading the inevitable "What do you do?" question when meeting new people. I used to write for video games magazines, so when asked what I did for a living, the answer was always a simple one and no further questions were asked. People were generally satisfied by my answer and promptly filed me away in the "journalist" box. Even though I never studied journalism: I have an MA in Film Studies, one of those degrees that mostly makes you a great guest at dinner parties.
Four years ago, I started my blog MademoiselleRobot.com as a personal project. It rapidly turned into a full time job and is now my main source of income. So when people ask me what I do, I am forced to reply " I am a fashion blogger" - cue assumptions that I am a 20 year old fashion student with ambitions to work for Vogue (I am not, and if you want to know more, I invite you to Google me). Sometimes I feel that if I bluntly replied I worked as a high class escort, I would get less of a reaction. We know what escorts do. Despite being well-accepted, bloggers remain a mystery. Who are these people? Where do they come from? What is their background?
Just the other day, I was attending an event, and a friendly and I think genuinely interested Fashion Editor asked me about my background and how I ended up as a blogger. Had she not been that pleasant, I would have given the usual "we come from Mars where we were made in a big machine". Instead, I gave her a brief summary of the past 10 years of my life. It seemed to answer her question, but it made me feel uneasy, like I had to justify myself.
Knowing about my background will not tell her much about blogging as a phenomenon as every blogger is different. Some of us are journalists, some are students, some are designers, some simply are passionate about fashion, some might actually be from Mars. I guess the common denominator is that we are all independent writers, photographers or stylists with various degrees of amateurism/professionalism.
I feel more fulfilled and I am more successful now than I could ever have imagined when I was working for magazines (and I was doing fairly well then for a twenty-two year old if I may say so myself). I like being free and not having to answer to anyone. I like being able to write about anything that inspires me, be it puppies or Prada. I like being an outsider. I often question myself and I never take anything for granted. I can't be lazy, I can't rely on anyone else but I love every minute of it. I don't know where I will be in a few years, I don't know where blogging will go and where it will take me. What I do know is that Fashion blogging is offering a different perspective on an industry that has often been seen as elitist or snobby by the general public. It has forced the industry to open up to outsiders and to show its human side. You can follow Fashion Editors on Twitter and realise they are not goddesses on pedestals but regular women who don't always know what to wear, get bad hangovers and (shocker) are sometimes over a size 8. The internet is blurring boundaries between fashion insiders and outsiders and it gives readers the ability to pick and mix where they get their information from and what kind of information they want.