Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. Wise words from Coco Chanel, or so I thought. Every person within the fashion industry must have come across or uttered these words at least once in their lives, but looking around me, the message doesn’t quite seem to have sunk in.
In an industry that is as overly-saturated as the blogging industry, it is common knowledge that in order to progress and be successful you must be different from the rest. Quite simply put, you need to be yourself. What makes you stand out from other people in the crowd? What makes you and your content different? Why would an audience want to engage with you if there are 10 other people doing the same thing? These are all questions we should all be asking, in order to become the best possible versions of ourselves. Not only is this important in the online world, but also offline. Let’s say you walk into a room and two things catch your eye:
- a group of girls dressed to the nines, highlighter so bright you can see it from space and the same variation of a high street bag all sticking to their clique
- a girl in the corner with a quirky sense of style, making an effort to mingle with everyone and not caring that her hair might be a little more “bedhead” than the tousled wave look she was going for
Who would you be most drawn to? If you’re answer is the former, maybe it’s best to stop reading here. But if it’s the latter, then let’s continue.
Time and time again in the blogging industry, I have seen girls only befriend those with a specific follower count, a certain aesthetic or who have developed a reputable relationship with brands they could only aspire to work with. What’s wrong with that you might ask? Well, to me these people are a prime example of trying to climb the ladder to success too quickly. Now I’m not saying that you don’t genuinely share the same interests as these people, but are you creating these relationships authentically or to benefit yourself in the long run? But let me stop while I’m ahead, as this fake friends saga is a story for another day.
Going back to my first point, there is nothing more important than staying true to yourself. Recently, there has been a lot of talk of plagiarism and being #authentic. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but if a person is mimicking your every word and your every move – it’s no longer flattery, but outright theft. Think about the fact that what people see on social media is only 10% of your life, right? You are carefully selecting and editing the best parts of your life for people to learn from, aspire to, engage with etc. but if that 10% isn’t even the slightest bit authentic – how do people really know the true you? Your life on social media might come across as glamourous – but in all honesty, if you’re taking someone’s work and passing it off as your own, there’s no beauty in that. It’s all well and good to take inspiration from other sources, because hey, that’s what makes the creative industry so exciting, but originality needs to come into play.
If you’re still struggling to understand, then here are my 5 tips to give you some guidance on being true to who you are:
1. Have the courage to be open-minded and be brave enough to lay your cards on the table
2. Discover things that are truly important to you and define your own characteristics
3. Do not let others define rules or dictate decisions that you alone should make
4. Focus on you, your personal growth and forget about the ‘competition’
5. Establish your own identity and remain true to yourself
What sets you apart from other people is the ability to be whoever you want to be, without conforming to what society tells you to be and being able to stretch yourself to the limits. Of course, it might be easier to do what she’s doing, or wear what he’s wearing; and yes, staying true to who you are might be a challenge, but what’s life without a little struggle? This is why the importance of being yourself is such a valuable lesson.
Lastly, if you’ve been wondering as you’re reading this post – no I don’t have a weird obsession with creating my own #hashtags, but I have been listening to a podcast which has inspired me to write this post called Hashtag Authentic. I would one hundred percent recommend you check it out!
Love, Aysh x