I didn't consider myself a blogger until very recently. You may laugh now and ask what I had been doing with more than five years of my life then, and probably a couple months ago, I would have shrugged, avoided your eyes and mumbled something about studying, work, being a housewife, and liking to read books in my free time; at which point I suppose anyone I'd talked to came to the conclusion that I generally lack any interesting hobbies, initative or passion in life - in short, that I'm a terrible bore.
And somehow that was (sometimes still is) preferrable to looking people in the eye and saying 'I'm a beauty blogger. I have a website where I review make-up and skincare products'. When I started this blog, I opted for a nickname and kept it a secret from all my friends and family, with the exclusion of my husband. I only blogged at home, alone, and avoided asking anyone for help with photos or website design, even when I really needed it. Looking back on it, I should have joined a 'Bloggers Anonymous' support group, who'd meet after dark at abandonded cementaries, chanting 'We love blogging, we love blogging' in a trance to the sound of rhytmic typing.
I'm not sure why I should feel so bad for being a beauty blogger. When trying to dissect my feels, I did find true what Gummy and Larie have recently written about society (mostly of the female kind) putting other make-up wearing women down for being vain, selfish, or obsessed with their looks. I don't want to be regarded as superficial; I've always been the best student, the ambitious, the brainiac - I don't want to disappoint! What if my family and friends knew and thought beauty blogging was silly, and a waste of time? Wouldn't that be so much worse than them just not knowing altogether?
But as life would have it, the cat got out of the bag soon enough; in an inspired, touchy-feely moment I spilled the beans to my brother, who then spilled them some further to my parents and even some cousins, therefore completely removing the 'going public' decision from my control. And you know what, the reaction really was not something I expected: my parents were impressed that my posts looked so professional, one cousin suggested I could earn some money from monetizing the blog, and another admitted that it's very interesting and that she, too, enjoys girly beauty stuff and even dreams of becoming a hair stylist and opening her own salon.
These days I can honestly say that my immediate family and close friends are incredibly supportive. My Polish dad routinely asks how my blog is doing and reads my machine-translated posts through Google. My English-speaking brother reads my posts and follows me on Instagram, and he's of the opinion that my writing is good enough for me to become a journalist. On a recent vacation in Morocco, my mom visited not only an argan oil expeller to score me a bottle of the genuine stuff, but also a Moroccan pharmacy, where she inquired about Rhassoul clay and different types of soaps and oils, so she could bring me all the deets from the very source. My best friend once spent an entire afternoon at work going through my old posts, and often checks the blog to see what's currently rocking my boat.
So I'm not enirely sure why, even when people around me have long accepted the fact that I'm a beauty blogger, I should still struggle so much to admit it. I have now realized that the biggest part of it is that I don't feel good enough a blogger to actually call myself one - because you know, it's not like I make my living from it, or have thousands of readers. Like maybe I'd like to be a beauty blogger, but for now I'm just a wannabe.
I have now come to the conclusion however that there IS truth in this simple piece of advice: 'Want to become a writer? Then write'. Because I'm already doing it: I blog every week, sometimes every day. When I'm not blogging, I'm gathering ideas, planning my posts, shooting and editing photos, testing products, or networking on social media; I breathe the blogging stuff. I currently have the luxury of just being a housewife, and blogging takes up most of my free time, which is substantial. So why shouldn't I call myself a beauty blogger, a writer, a photographer, if that's truly what I do? Does it matter if I make money from it? Does it matter if people love it or hate it? I give it my best - shouldn't it be all that matters?
It's hard work, but I'm now trying to allow myself the privilege of being called a beauty blogger. I even recently told some new girlfriends that I had this beauty website, and some of the things I'd been posting on it, and the challenges I'd been facing. And... they said it was awesome, and at least *looked* interested! I haven't quite delivered on the promise of sending them my link though - I'm a work in progress, you guys. I'm trying.
So please, tell me - do you call yourself a beauty blogger? Have you told your friends and family about your blog? Do they read it? Do you mention it when people ask about things you enjoy doing in your free time? Or are we beauty bloggers all just a bunch of weird, introverted, embarassed online fanatics in denial of our passion? Or is it just me? TELL ME.