The cover of Maria Soxbo's book about fashion blogs in Sweden.
In Sweden, the debate about young women who blog about fashion is seemingly endless. When I was preparing for this post I discovered that the recent outrage about “dangerous” beauty ideals had been copied – often with the exact same protagonists – from 2009.
It isn’t exactly true to say that the girls the debate focuses on (in 2009, Blondinbella, this time, Kissie) blog about fashion. They blog about their glamourous lifestyle, going to parties and premieres, doing lots of shopping, dieting, having plastic surgery.
The “real” fashion bloggers – people like Karolina Skande and Agnes Braunerhielm, Elin Kling, Sofi and Frida Fahrman (yes they are sisters) – have grown a bit tired of being put in the same category as the lifestyle bloggers just because they are all women.
In the recent leg of the debate, blog star Kissie, has been accused of promoting “sick” ideals, mainly because of her writing about her breast augmentation, lip surgery and dieting with baby food. To understand Kissie, you should know that her real name is Alexandra Nilsson and that Kissie is somewhat of a character whose intention it is to be provocative and shameless – that’s why the blog attracts around a million visits each week.
Kissie participated in the debate program Debatt on SVT and the aftermath followed the almost exact pattern with blogger and writer Alex Schulman criticising Blondinbella/Kissie, followed by women journalists and bloggers criticising Alex Schulman.
In these matters there always seems to be two points that people want to make. One side thinks these young glamourous bloggers are a problem. The other side might not sympathise with what they are saying but see it as important that young women and their interests are becoming part of the public discussion and arena.
Last year fashion journalist Maria Soxbo published the book Dagens outfit (Today’s oufit) about the phenomenon of fashion blogs. It is telling that she didn’t feature any male fashion blogger. This is a girl’s world.
In many ways this echoes a feeling in fashion in general. Women are no longer content in just being consumers of fashion, these days they want to be commentators and producers. They are taking charge and since they actually wear the clothes they have a certain advantage.
But there is also the sheer joy of actually talking about fashion, about showing what you bought to the world. We’re supposed to feel bad about our shopping habits for so many reasons. Now girls can talk about what they dream of, what they are actually wearing and what bargains they’ve just found. Why is that so provocative?