Friday, 3 February 2012

Narcissism and blogging...

I should warn you now, before you start that this will be a wordy and somewhat confused post as I try and make sense of a question that has been buzzing around my head for weeks: Does blogging make you more narcissistic? I touched on this when I wrote my post asking 'Why do you blog?' but it is something that has been bugging me for a while now...

Surely, the immediate answer would be yes. You take photos of yourself, what you wear, where you go and post them on the internet (only after choosing the best ones of course) where strangers comment how great you look/how fun it was when you did X, Y, Z. Isn't this the height of narcissism? 



nar·cis·sism/ˈnärsəˌsizəm/

Noun:
  1. Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance.
  2. Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration.


I know that some people will only ever post flattering photos of themselves and to some extent, I am the same. There's a reason why certain posts or outfits don't make it to the blog! I think we all know, once something is out there on the internet, there is no way of deleting  it permanently and who wants to be reminded of when they looked like this? *shudder* 


Yes, I clearly am Superman.
Saying that though, I try and include regular outtakes because, as anyone who knows me in real life will testify, I am clumsy and I do look like an enthusiastic sheep most of the time! The reason why the blog is called Frills 'n' Spills is because it is about the ups and downs of  life and fashion (as trite as that sounds!) those times when you spill something down your favourite top or get it really wrong when styling something. 


I lost the shorts but kept the polo neck...
Since  I started blogging I have been more creative and inspired with how I dress and although I still like the approval of nice comments on an outfit post, if  I like it, I will wear it (see polo-neck) Some people will never get why I blog, or think it is self obsessed but I prefer to think of it as self-confidence rather than narcissism that allows me to try new things and feel good in what I am wearing. The wonderful Bangs wrote a post on confidence vs ego and I really think that sums it up. As long as you aren't bragging in people's faces about your blog then it's fine. This blog is hard work and I don't even do it for a living, I applaud anyone who can do that as it is even more tough. 




Surely, in times where infighting and body hatred  seems to be the norm [MJ's post about the use of 'real women' is fantastic] blogs should be celebrated. I read blogs to be inspired, it might not all be attainable inspiration but my favourite blogs are those who are more than just a pretty face. They give me the inspiration to try leather trousers or orange flares and I keep this blog as an honest record of my life. I include the ups and downs and I plan to look back at it and have a good laugh when I am older.  I have made many friends through blogging and they have been there for the good times and the bad and I can't really ask for much more than that!


Yes, I just used a literal picture of me walking along a path. So sue me. 
I used to be scared of everything and everyone and I always felt like I wasn't good enough. Now I know that that just isn't true. I am more than good enough in all parts of my life and although things may not always go to plan, I am getting there and this blog will document my journey...


Do you think blogging is narcissistic? Why do you blog? 

17 comments:

Laura loop said...

This is such a lovely post, showing such great personality. I have become a loyal reader of yours, and after reading this, I will definitely continue to be.

Have to say, I looove the superman pic :)

dinoprincesschar said...

I guess to a certain extent the whole idea of blogging is narcissistic. As you say, posting photos of your outfits and talking about yourself, but I think there is a feel of community, which is one of the things I like about it. I don't think that the people I read come across as show-offy with their posts, those who do I'd probably choose not to follow, likewise with those who are more bitchy, as I know that some are (but that's true of anything).
I've always liked the idea of my own little corner, not a popularity contest, and I try to keep my own blog that way - full of what I like. I think that as long as you don't become sucked in and swayed into posting PR posts about things you really aren't that interested in, or stray from your 'path', then it's a healthy narcissism. xx

Rai said...

Love this post! Very well written and thought-provoking. I think there's a degree of narcissism but personally I had such low self-confidence before I started blogging and meeting so many lovely blogging ladies has made me much happier. That said I don't like the popularity side and bitchy side of blogging about yourself.

Emily Divine. said...

Really interesting post Maria! I guess it is narcissistic to some degree, but if it is, I can deal with that. Blogging really helps my confidence and makes me try new things!

Emily xx

Jazzy E (Hivenn) said...

Such a great post. x hivenn

Gem said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. Some of my frends love my blog and are really supportive, some just don't get it at all! I suppose it is rather odd, telling poeple you don't really know about your life and what you wear. I blog because I like to document what I have done, I also have a scrapbook and photo albums so I suppose I do it the old fashioned way too
xx

Alexandra said...

interesting post! there are definitely some elements of narcissism in blogging, but I know I started blogging to try and improve my very low confidence and self-esteem rather than indulge my ego, as it were! I also liked the idea of being able to communicate with like-minded people as well as maybe looking for some form of acceptance, which I suppose you could argue as a tendency towards narcissism, but I think most of us are just looking for an outlet for personal expression. That's my take on it anyway!

sheseverybodyelsesgirl.blogspot.com
xxx

daisychain said...

Reason #5438 why you are my wifey and I adore you.

Ella said...

this post is just brilliant! I completely agree that people on the outside of bogging don't really understand it. I see blogging as a hobby and I am sure most people would deem hobbys as a little selfish or even full of narcism. I'm sure some people view shopping or maybe even baking as the same sort of thing. As long as blogging continues to make me happy then I don't mind too much! x
Ella @ Belle Vintage

My Passport To Style said...

Hi Maria, just found your blog, I love this piece, I must confess I had a little tear well up reading your beautiful words, soppy I know!Your profile pic is the sweetest I have ever seen your so photogenic,also great moving shot of you in your pale blue sweater! Sharon Sahara (uk)

www.mypassporttostyle.blogspot.com

Helen said...

I think that blogging has made me more confident and comfortable in my skin in a weird way. I used to think 'oh gosh I can't post a photo of me without make up on' but now I do anyway. No one comments on it, I wouldn't comment on it either, I'm much more comfortable in my own skin thanks to blogging. It isn't ego, it's confidence. We need to be more American and shout out our achievements and great things more! I think it's a very British thing to be so humble and go 'oh this is a rubbish photo of me, I'm so ugly'. I just wanna shake people who say that sometimes and go 'No! You are beautiful! No one cares if it's a bad angle!'

Kat said...

Great post- I have to agree, sometimes I post pictures of what I did at the weekend and wonder if the whole blogging thing is just a shout out to cyber space saying 'look at me!!' but equally blogging has pushed my confidence in ways I never could have imagined. A double edged sword, but a rewarding one :)

xx

Lizzy Lips said...

I prefer the term self-indulgent! Great post Maria. I think the reason blogs are so popular is because they are 'real' and not all glossy like the magazines. Offer insite and inspiration into how other people style something from the high street to express their personality. Blogging is as much a service for the readers as it is for the writter. So in that was don't think it is narcissistic.

Harriet said...

The main reason I blog is to connect with like minded (fellow narcisists?!) people.

I love that there are loads of people I've met through blogging and twitter that I can *talk* about clothes with, possibly endlessly! I'm interested in looking at their outfit photos, and they are interested in mine.

It kind of irritates me when people look down on fashion or blogging as being vain and overly narcisistic because if we're all enjoying it what does it matter if they *get* it or not? I don't understand the point of football, or bird watching, but I'm not going to call someone stupid because they enjoy it!

Chess said...

I really enjoyed this post! I am still very new to the world of blogging, but I love being creative, I'm enjoying writing and also reading and discovering other blogs. I don't think blogs are narcissistic, they are just real and great promoters of creativity and originality.

claire (jazzpad.) said...

I meant to comment on this when I first saw it but then promptly forgot, but this is a brilliant post Maria. It's weird because my housemate and I were having a similar discussion about narcissism in blogging he other day and basically our opinions differed because I would defend us bloggers whereas she very much thought lots of us must have massive egos - which is NOT true for the majority. If blogging is an outlet and a source of a pick-me-up through the bad times, then it's a wonderful wonderful thing and I'm so glad I've found your blog because YOU, my darling, are a source of inspiration to me! ♥ Claire @ Jazzpad ps. 10th March, me and Kate are gonna be in Brum! x

Clazzerati said...

Maria, what a lovely and thought-provoking piece. For me, blogging is a real community, a place to share ideas, information. Sometimes it's easier to be more open with people you don't really know, but i've always found the blogging community so supportive. My 'real-life' friends are really supportive of the blog. My sister on the otherhand thinks i'm completely narcistic, totally obsessed and in love with myself. What she doesn't see is that actually, I can be quite shy. You're right, we often only post the good images and the positive stuff. If i'm feeling shit I probably won't post (who wants to read about me having a really crappy day). What I love about personal style blogs though is seeing how real women (with real bank accounts) put together such interesting and inspiring outfits. Oh god, i could go on for days. But I really just wanted to say thank you for putting it out there! xx

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