One thing that I really REALLY don’t understand is the whole world of social media and its reality v expectations. And this particular topic of social media shaming is one I wanted to speak about before I went to fashion week. I have always been aware and involved in the ‘little’ bubble that is where cameras are present. Since the age of 13 I have been studying fashion. I have been blogging and taking blog photos since the age of 16. Next week I will be going to another fashion week. We also live in a world where over 8 billion Instagram accounts exist. Everyone is at least aware of social media, and everything it entails. However there are still so many judgemental thoughts/actions that lead to this stigma of social media shaming.
Enter subject A. This past week I was outside a local museum taking *these* blog photos with my friend Lauren. Lauren takes a large proportion of my blog photos (thank you so much Lauren) and we have not got a collated amount of tales of the times I have been ‘victim’ of social media shaming. This weeks ordeal included a van, full of what looked like male builders, beeping their horn as they looked out the window and drove past. I would love to say this is the first time but its really not. I have a list of people asking their dogs to pose with me, to people jumping in my shot. Yes – the dog one is true and it was a pug but still.
But it is the same as those ‘boyfriends of Instagram’ Instagram accounts that gained a fair bit of popularity during the summer. You know, those ones that shame and mock boyfriends getting all those angle for their girlfriends. Essentially, those Instagram accounts are taking the piss out of people like me, or other influencers and bloggers just trying to make a living. Yeah, it can be funny. bBut lets be honest, I wouldn’t shame someone for being a builder, banker or anything else. So why do it when it comes to social media?
What I find funny though is when the shoe is on the other foot. If you haven’t seen Cole Sprouse’s second Instagram account (@camera_duals) then he basically takes photos of other people taking photos of him. I think it is pure GOLD. The faces of people when they realise they are being filmed is just hilarious. Like as Sophie Milner said in a blog post she wrote about social media shaming ‘Funny when the tables turn, hun’.
There are no laws in the UK about photography. You can take photos because if you are in a public space you can photograph it. However there does seem to be a distinct lack of common decency when it comes to seeing people take photos. I am pretty sure everyone has a phone, with a camera on, and most likely they have taken photos before. Whether its on holiday, of their food, or a selfie with a loved one. And its not a rare thing to have a camera. So then why, OH WHY, when people see others taking photos in public do they act like its an alien thing to be doing?
I understand a lot of people don’t understand or agree with people taking photos and posting it on the internet for a living. Like how dare we claim we aren’t narcissistic and self-obsessed… (please sense my sarcasm and exaggerated eye roll with that sentence). But I bet you that those builders who drove past me on Tuesday and repeatedly beeped their horns have got photos of themselves posing in front of a sunset on holiday. I would even put money on it. Or those middle aged women who walk past and make the most obvious dirty look probably are the ones tagging each other in comments on Facebook saying ‘Ahhh Sharon you looked lovely today babes, send my love to Paul and the family!! Xxxxx’. Yes you know the ones.
So I am talking about all of this in my eyes as a blogger. But I wouldn’t go up to someone on the street and just randomly take photos. Nor would I go up to a shop assistant and take the mick out of them doing their jobs. No-one would day go up to a waiter and go ‘Pfffttt hope you drop those plates mate’. People take photos everyday, of their pets, their parents, their children in the park. So at what point is there any difference of me taking a photo of my outfit? Why does that condemn me to be scrutinised in public?
I get it. Social media is a ‘new’ thing. However we are in a selfie-obsessed world that as long as you have a phone with a camera and can attempt editing photos you can become an influencer. Recently I have discovered @geoffreywalk on Instagram where him and his wife Pauline Walker post videos of their day. Honestly it melts my heart, totally into a little puddle of love. Geoffrey and Pauline are in their late 80s, but they have over 200K followers on Instagram. It really goes to show that ANYONE can post anything on social media and have a substantial influence.
But its not just aimed at those hating influencers. I reckon absolutely anyone will walk through London and point at someone in the middle of Oxford street and go ‘Ahhh doing it for the gram’. However what I have found is that every time I witness social media shaming its by a man. Its always men who approach me and make some comment, wolf-whistle or beep their horns. And its creepy right? I can guarantee though if I whipped my camera out and started taking photos of them, calling them names then they would be questioning my morals.
I know that people think that I should just get over it because I know the industry that I am working in. However I don’t see why anyone just trying to make some money to pay their bills should be judged. Okay, I shouldn’t let it get to me. Sometimes I actually just find it funny how people can just be so damn shallow to be that judgmental. If you are going to go and have a laugh out of judging and taking the piss out of someone it shows more about you than me babes. I will be here living my life, posing at Paris Fashion Week, but you do you mate.
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