Saturday, 25 January 2014

Goodbye Boffism, fashion blogger.

The worst kind of posts are those that are endlessly postponed: you write and re-write them in your head multiple times but at the end of the day they're just thoughts in your head and you would have never delivered them to your audience. Amongst the many entries I have shelved multiple times - the post about my hair routine, for instance - is this post: my most difficult and honest one to date.

I don't like beating about the bush so here goes. I decided to take a break from Boffism. I have been mulling over this for weeks now and I have finally opened my blogger account and come to terms with the fact that I really need to do this. This might come as a surprise to most of you, so I am going to skim through the reasons behind my decision.

Well, you can start by reading yesterday's post about the most annoying things about being Boffism. The entry was meant to be a humourous one - even though I hope that the ones who inspired the post got the message behind it! - but the things I mentioned are issues that I have been trying to deal with in a more serious manner.

I also feel like when I started my blog, I erratically labelled myself as a 'fashion blogger'. Not quite sure whether it was such a mistake at the time, but it certainly is now. Back in 2011, the fashion blogging environment was completely different and uncharted locally, so I was free to do what I wanted without too many expectations. Now, however, times have changed and I feel like the whole 'fashion blogging' role comes with a series of expectations I am not interested or motivated to fulfill. Reviews, for instance, couldn't matter less to me at this point in time. I feel like there's nothing creative behind them, and one of the reasons why I enjoyed my Boffism Journey was that I was able to create things along the way. Unfortunately, I feel like, during this almost 3 year trip, I was slowly losing the reasons why I started the venture one by one and now I cannot relate to the whole concept of 'fashion blogging' in itself.

In addition, I am aware that I function in an industry which I can't say I am in love with anymore. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been someone deeply attracted to anything vaguely sartorial, so for me, it was more than natural to want to be part of that world when I grew up. The fashion industry has been my long time crush, something like my 'first love'. But now I kinda grew up and got to know my crush well, and after more than 2 years of passionate love scenes, I started seeing all the flaws and incompatibilities between us. I don't like following trends and I don't feel like I have to just because I am a 'fashion blogger'. I don't want to do or believe things just because 'fashion bloggers' are expected to do so.

I have been extremely lucky to have done so much in such a short span of time. When I started out, back in April 2011, I was alone in this but I was so fortunate to find people who spotted me locally and internationally. I have worked with so many companies in Malta, had the opportunity to shoot some seriously fun photos, got to attend so many exclusive events and so many readers had kind words for me. I was even invited to London Fashion Week last year and I wrote for countless publications in the international sphere. Having achieved so much so quickly can be a limitation though. I feel like I have achieved all my aims and unluckily enough, when that happens, things start satisfying you less and less. I don't get a kick out of most of the things I used to do back in the day because I get that 'same old' feeling now. Been there, done that. Too many times, as well. I feel stuck in a circle. I do not want to keep myself in a situation which disallows me learn new things just because I'm used to the 'comfort zone'. I need to grow, achieve more, acquire new skills and try out different things whilst experimenting with and reinventing existing ones. I am selfish enough to only enjoy activities that make me grow.

I want to do things that I truly enjoy. I don't want to drag things further if they don't give me that adrenaline they gave me before. I need to redefine what Boffism is and who I am inside the whole process. There needs to be more time away from the cameras and the main stage. I want to read, learn how to write better, maybe try out different jobs and roles within the industry, until I am ready to say, ' this is who I am and what I do truly defines my happiness.' I want to do things for myself until I truly learn to deal with who I have become.

Thanks so much for everything each of you has done for me. This is a 'see you soon'. I will be back, eventually, even though I don't know when. I promise you that I will use this time 'off' to work on myself and return stronger and better than ever before. There is this 'new me' inside that can't come out if I keep running around in this neverending, unsatisfactory circle. I need time I always trust my gut feeling, and something inside tells me that this is the right time to step back and embrace who I can become. That's it, I'm trading who I am for the person I can truly become.

Mature people know when to let go. It's time to go on 'sabbatical'.

This is not the last you have seen of me.

Goodbye, dear readers.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Most Annoying Things About Being Boffism

I find it of particular enjoyment to just sit here and write about things that annoy me. I've done it about people in the fashion industry as well as about the worst people you can meet during the sales in the past, but today I decided to deal with something that is much closer to my heart: being Boffism.

One of the hundred reasons (slightly exaggerated...) why I am doing this entry is because a lot of people, both online and in the real life, think that being Boffism (as well as being a fashion blogger, I guess) is as easy as ABC. It's all about the perks, they think.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let's spill the beans. Here are the most annoying things about 'Being Boffism'. In no particular order.

You think you have a lot of friends, but you don't.

Big, fat misconception over there. Friendship isn't measured by the number of emails and messages I get asking me for advice, or passing me compliments on my latest outfit post. These 'friends' are the kind of individuals who do the aforementioned and pretend they are your best buddies on Facebook, then they literally pretend they don't recognise you out on the street (or at that event, cough cough). Hello, hanini, I don't look any different from the way I look in my display photo. 

Similarly, I also have 'friends' who enjoy meeting me every once in a while but continuously (and rather nauseatingly) insist on me vlogging the entire activity. Oh, and mind you, it wouldn't be such a wise idea to record all of the happenings, considering that most of their conversations would consist of bitching sessions. People that meet you to bitch about a whole bunch of other people - which they regularly spend time with - hoping I'd fall into the trap myself. If they do it about others, I'm pretty sure they do it about me. And about you too. Yes, they bitched about you too.

Let's just summarise these 'friends' as people who are hungry for those 15 minutes of fame or a little bit of exposure. I happen to be much less stupid thank you think I am.

Dealing with the 'big heads'.

Well, once we kind of touched the exposure issue, we might as well address the big heads. These come in all shapes and sizes and include, amongst others, event organisers, designers, and other so-called 'leading' figures of the fashion industry. These people are the ones who see your marketing potential and decide to use (and abuse) it. Not only don't they share your post, or even deign themselves to give it a read, they even snob you when you meet them face to face once the deed is done. I see, so that's how it works, we're just 'colleagues' behind the keyboard and the screen. Smooth.

Then, obviously there are the self-proclaimed big heads. Those that, after some strange bump on the head or following too much time adoring their reflection in front of the mirror, decide they became 'someone'. Yep, that's right. They are the most amusing. Not only do they ask you to write a post about them (or rather almost ORDERING you to write about them), they also go as far as sending you a pre-written paragraph with despicable grammar and language to make them sound like they are God's gift to humanity.

Those damned emails!

Let's put this out there. I'm very lucky to receive some great correspondence from my readers with words of encouragement, constructive criticism and some very valid queries. But then again, I also receive mail that is much desirable. Usually, it arrives when I have really bad days, you know, just in time to be the cherry on the cake. My inbox is flooded with emails from, for instance, people who expect me to sit at my computer all day so as to answer their 'what do I wear to this wedding?' email after 15 minutes. Mind you, some of them even got offensive and told me 'what else do you have to do? Can't you answer me today?'. Listen, dearest diva, what were YOU doing before waking up from your sleep and deciding you need to match shoes to that dress? You sent me an email 2 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING. What kept YOU from sending the email before?

My favourite one had to be the email from Person X telling me I shouldn't wear this and that because it is (I quote) 'my duty to teach the Maltese how to get dressed'. Erm, no. LOL. I do what I want. It's a PERSONAL STYLE blog, remember?

Let's not even go into detail about those emails asking me how much I earn from blogging and the like. Do not get me started on those, please.

The raping of my content.

I do not understand why in the age of pinterest and tumblr, people still feel the need to steal graphics, entire pictures and sometimes even ENTIRE LINES from my blog. Like seriously? From balls, to banners, to sidebar details: GUYS, I KNOW WHERE YOU GOT IT FROM. The worst thing is that it happens locally, where it is so easy and evident to see. Yes, it's very flattering. But then again, it kind of restricts the circle of local bloggers I actually follow for their 'originality'. We are all so original but we copy each other. At least, find your sources abroad. I shall not continue on this as I might need an inhaler.

There are no 'off' days.

You do not go out without looking good because that's the day you meet a reader out in the street. People don't really understand that you need a break every once in a while, too. Missed a post or two lately? People complain about it. Blogging and being Boffism is a 24 hours thing. You wake up thinking about posts, you look through tumblr for post inspiration and you decide which nailpolish to paint your nails with according to which one makes a better blog entry. It gets tiring after a while.

In the same way, your life is entirely public and there to be judged by the average Joe who might not know what you were or are going through. Having some time 'alone' is almost impossible, you are in the limelight most of the time.

I don't want to make it sound like it's all so bad, but well, let's admit that this Boffism thing has changed a lot and I always like being honest with everyone. Also, stay tuned for a very important and life-changing post coming up tomorrow (or maybe even tonight if I finish it off before), you're in for a surprise.
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