… and so I was done.
Urgh, blogging. So over, isn’t it? Let’s face it, when bloggers started rebranding as Instagram “influencers”, and the quality of the writing started being ignored (by both brands and audiences) in favour of amiable skinny poppets with blandly pretty faces, who recycle press releases instead of having actual opinions, then my place in the “blogosphere” (do not even get me started on that one) was always going to get more and more and more um … niche. My appeal, as they say, was getting more selective.
And hoorah for that! The market for short, tubby, somewhat shouty forty-something plastic scousers who have never let a lack of knowledge stop them having an opinion, or who have a tendency toward writing an entire blog post around the punchline to a dirty joke they thought up (and disguising it as a beauty review, at the same time) was always going to be a small one. I knew my place on the internet, and I quite liked it. Up until the point I didn’t, that is.
A while ago, I found I had to stop reading beauty blogs completely (with a couple of notable exceptions) because I found that the very vast majority of them had stopped targeting their content towards their hard-won audience of beauty-obsessed readers, and had repositioned themselves to appeal to two other markets instead: brands, and other bloggers. Which is all fine and dandy, if what you want is other bloggers to talk about you, and brands to pay you, of course. Good lord, if my ramblings on the internet were capable of paying my rent, I’d have leapt at the chance bloody years ago! Fair play to those who have turned what I consider my hobby into their living. Truly.
What it has led to though, and I mourn this incredibly deeply, is the loss of genuinely independent opinions about things that has occurred as a result. The loss of the desire by bloggers to reliably inform, and to entertain their readers whilst doing it; that impulse which was shared by so many of the first wave of beauty bloggers in the UK, is a sad one. Genuine passion for the subject has faded from beauty blogs (which is ironic because they are now far more powerful than they ever were before) simply because so many influencers now depend on the largesse of beauty brands to pay their bills.
The desire not to bite the hand that feeds is a powerful one – who amongst us has not bitten their tongue at work simply in order not to get fired? Personally, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve simply said something bland in order to keep the peace, and continue to get paid. So, whilst influencers rely more and more on brands for paid content, it inevitably leads to the smoothing out of … spikier, spicier, interesting content.
Another problem with letting brands dictate who covers them, I’ve realised, is that means that many target markets are being left out. Oh yes, there’s a lot being done in the name of diversity at the moment, and I applaud that, but there’s still a huge number of people being left out:
Middle-aged women. we remain largely invisible.
Yes, yes, there are actually lots of nice, great, funny and incredibly interesting blogs being hosted by older women, but the brands continually throw their money, campaigns and coverage to the gorgeous bright young things with the big numbers. Where is the brand support, or ad campaigns talking to the average-looking averaged-sized woman who can afford a Tom Ford palette /Chanel Exclusif/Louboutin lip varnish without wincing, but might also be thinking about trying on their first pair of varifocal lenses, for example?
It might exist, but it’s rarer than dried unicorn poop. DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON
JHGLIUGHIUEGIFHYILUETGHLBLKBLKB UNICORNS, or rainbow food, or activated charcoal ANYTHING come to that. But I’m digressing. Sorry.
Not sorry. But, er, yeah. TLDR: I finally got varifocals, and blogs I used to enjoy stopped appealing to me specifically. Big whoop, Lippie!
So bleeding what, I hear you cry. Well, I think I’m in a place now where I finally want to start writing again. Properly writing again. Only, I don’t want to write about just beauty. This current phase of beauty blogging is boring to me, and I’m a bit bored of being bored by what I’m reading, so whilst beauty will always have a place here – and fragrance in particular – it won’t always be beauty, going forward.
However, Get Lippie was never about “my life as a blogger”, and because “lifestyle blogs” bore the ever-loving tits off me – no one is ever going to want to “steal my style”, interior or exterior, and I’m not particularly interested in what other people wear or how they decorate either, come to that – the non-beauty posts here probably won’t have a theme. It might just be me sounding off about stuff, or expounding about a book I’m reading, or wanting to chat about my finally having caught up on TV shows three years after everyone else stopped talking about them. I might even write serious pieces about the work I’m doing. That kind of thing.
Or not, I don’t actually know at the moment to be honest. But I’m currently in the middle of a box set of Columbo and LOVING it, so consider this fair warning …