Last week I read a really interesting piece by Big Fashionista about the age of bloggers. The post discussed the idea that bloggers fall into a certain age category, and anyone outside that neat little box is considered ‘too old’ to blog. It really got me thinking, and I considered writing my own thoughts on the topic here on Little Bird.
And then, later in the week, I got an anonymous comment that suggested I was ‘too old’ (and fat, but that’s by the by) to wear Disco Pants. Comments about weight or appearance don’t bother me much, but being told you are too old can really hit a nerve, especially if you’re a teensy bit sensitive about your age to begin with. So let’s discuss – are we too old to blog?
The simple answer, of course, is no – no one is ‘too old’ to do anything as long as they’re physically able. But the notion of being too old for something is a cultural one – we’re ‘too old’ to wear our favourite My Little Pony t-shirt at 12 (and it still cuts like a knife), ‘too old’ to read Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging at 18 (but Proust is so dull). And two of the most viciously ageist industries are fashion and the media.
The young and the beautiful will often succeed in a visually-led industry. Fashion blogging relies heavily on imagery – sure, the words are important, but a pretty young face will always catch the eye. Many of today’s biggest bloggers are more like models, gaining lucrative contracts with fashion houses because of their looks. And the look fashion has always favoured is one that’s fresh and youthful, no matter how hard brands like Dove work to change that.
I am 26. Not old by any stretch of the imagination. But at fashion blogger events, I am often one of the oldest in the room. With its focus on unique, individual looks and fast fashion, blogging has attracted a crowd of young, stylish people, often still in education. A difference of 5 years in the fash blog pack can feel more like 20.
Ageism is a prevalent problem in industries across the world. As digital technology moves forward at a lightning place, older skills are squeezed out in favour of a faster, online solution. Our newspapers and magazines are filled with young, unlined faces and size 6 figures and even though male actors and presenters can seemingly work until they fall into the grave, there’s a distinct lack of older females on our TV and cinema screens. This is where blogging should be different – we are an alternative to the mainstream. There’s no size requirement or maximum age when signing up to Blogger. The internet is a big place and there’s room for us all – from the young and restless like Tavi to the gracefully aged Advanced Style.
Have you ever felt too old to blog? What are your thoughts on blogging and age – is it really just a number?