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Friday, April 22, 2011

Personal(ity)



I've been contemplating the idea for this post for days now -- perhaps even weeks. I didn't know what I was waiting for. I had a jumble of thoughts in my head, unfinished sentences that floated to the front of my mind and then faded. I couldn't get myself to sit down and write, and that's not something that happens often.

After reading Vahni's post about the loss of a close relative, I knew it was time.

She, Kristy, Brooke and Bella were the first fashion bloggers I truly came to know when I began THE-LOUDMOUTH. Not only did they have killer style, but they weren't afraid to reveal true parts of themselves -- and they wanted to know more about me, too. They weren't just pictures on a screen; they were people.









These four women let their personalities shine through their blog entries. They didn't write about every hard day at work or every horrible fight with a boyfriend or every time they had explosive diarrhea, and that was just fine with me. There's a balance, friends. But after a few entries, I knew what their names were, and where they were from, and what they did outside of the blogosphere. I knew they were people. I knew they weren't perfect. I knew they were much like me.

My circle of blogger friends has since grew, and continues to stay open for others. But these four women, whom I've never met face-to-face, have allowed me to know them better than people who have been in my life for five or ten years!

The point is, it doesn't matter how pretty you look in photographs -- if you don't have a soul you're willing to share behind that smile, then I won't stick around your blog for long. I need to feel a connection with both your style and your lifestyle. Even Kendi and Keiko, who each have over 6,500 followers, speak to us as if they would a friend. That's important to me. That keeps me intrigued, and keeps me coming back for more posts, more letters from faraway places.

37 comments:

  1. I agree with you. Bella, V and Kristy seem so busy with their own lives but they still always find a way to visit blogs and comment. They share just enough of their own lives to make me intrigued with out getting too much information on them (hence, your explosive diarrhea reference! lol)

    Glad to see that you too have made connections. And I feel the same way about connecting with bloggers more so than people I've known since grade school.

    xoxo!

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  2. Wow, Steph, thank you SO much for this beautiful post! I am honored to be included, and am so glad that our collective "realness" is apparent to others, especially those we haven't met. And I appreciate the fact that you recognize that we are guarded with our private lives, sharing on the blog only the things that are relevant or perhaps inspirational.

    It is particularly important to me that bloggers realize that I am indeed a real person—approachable and vulnerable—because I think there is a serious disconnect between superbloggers and their readers. They are actually imitating the fashion industry's propensity to think there is fashion (US) then there is everyone else not privy to it (YOU). I don't like the one-way convo, which is why I stay connected to my fellow bloggers in one way or another. And as you read it my last post, it is far more rewarding (to me at least) to have friends in the blogosphere, not just fans. I treasure all the personalities and perspectives, even when I don't necessarily agree.

    Anyway, thank you again. Off to tweet this, love!

    Happy weekend. And oh, before I go. Your comment on that last post of mine. I know the feeling all too well. When I moved to Sydney, it was as if I had dropped off the face of the earth. Moving really enables you to discover who really cares about you, and who doesn't. People back home who haven't moved will never understand how challenging it is to move to a new place and try to create a new life there. You are so isolated at first, and sadly, that's when you need your homies the most! I lost more than a couple friends in my Oz move. I'm back in my hometown now, and wow, have I learned a lot about people, as I'm sure you have. As I wrote in my post, I'm grateful for my online friendships. They sustain me many a day. So glad you have found this network of support too.

    I'm always here if you need me!

    xo

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  3. Well said! I have been thinking about the same thing lately ... It is the soul behind the pictures and words that make people connect and not just fancy clothes and pictures! :) Great feature. First time here, following you on Bloglovin' now! :) Have a good weekend.

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

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  4. it's not all about the pics! i totally agree. i don't post pics of myself usually but i choose to let my personality shine through.

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  5. Beautiful post, Steph!! Those four lovely ladies are amazing people. Wanna know a secret, though? You are amazing too.

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  6. i feel the exaxt same way. if youre willing to share your outfits every day, after a certain point people are going to want to know more about you personally and you have to be willing to share just a little bit. bc as much as i love clothes, its the person behind the clothes that makes it all interesting!

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

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  7. This is such a beautiful and very passionate post Stephanie! Indeed, they are pretty incredible ladies! Every blogger new or old should take the time (if they have not yet) to get to know these women through their blog. I'm still getting to know more bloggers & so far the community has been amazing! -xxoo

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  8. So lovely.... and I agree that allowing us in as readers is essential. I think that is also part of what I like about your blog (and it keeps me coming back!!!!). Thanks for reminding all of us the importance of being human....

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  9. Wow Steph! This post means so much to me. Thank you so much for including me amongst these phenomenal ladies. I connected with you immediately because I could feel your realness, your passion and your heart in every post and in every comment. I really got a feel for who you were without all the extra unnecessary details. Boundaries people ha! It was evident immediately on your blog that there was a real, funny, passionate, loving, thoughtful, motivated and smart woman behind all the smokin' hot snaps. I was like, "WOW!" Now there's a girl I'd love to meet and be friends with. Even though we've never met I feel like I could call you and we could talk for hours like old friends.

    I've been a bit more absent lately because of things going on in my "real-life" and my biggest fear is that people will start to think I don't care anymore and that the friendships I've formed will dwindle. My only hope is that when I am around my posts and comments are reflective of who I am so people get a feel for the real person that I am and what I stand for. Because of those fears and because I really cherish your friendship, this post means the absolute world to me. Thanks Steph! You are one mind blowing woman!! xoxo

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  10. Girl! I love you! I got to know you and Brooke thru Kristy- and am so grateful for hers and Vahni's sense of sharing and community. We are now both a tight knit and open hearted bunch. I truly count you, Brooke kristy and Vahni's in my list of loved ones and am so lucky to have found ya'all. You honor me to include me in that sexy crew o'ladies cuz when you mentioned some weren't perfect I knew which one you meant, ha ha (it ain't Brooke) mad love at ya! - Bella Q

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  11. steph!! what a beautiful post and thank you SO MUCH for the lovely things you said. gosh i can't even begin to express how much i wish more bloggers thought like you and cared like you. personality is HUGE. that's really what it's all about. connecting with people and having a dialogue, beyond the blog even, is so important to me. i am so thankful to "know" people like you, bella, vahni and brooke and quite a few other bloggers at this point, who have really engaged, shared with me and i feel like are there for me. bloggers who i'll always be there for as well. it's a beautiful thing, and posts like this just prove it.

    thanks for making me super smile today! =) you rock my world.

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  12. Steph > Vahni and Kristy were the first 2 "friends" I made as well. Both of them are so fantastic. Bella is super sweet and supportive. I can count on her for a smile at LEAST once a day. Brooke is a good girl too although I don't know her as well as the others.
    I AM really glad to say you and I have met face to face and had the chance to hang out. You and Bryn are super fun!
    I always enjoy your posts and you bring up such great thought-provoking topics.

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  13. very sweet and well said. Without personal connections we are nothing.

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  14. I am very moved reading your post darling Stephanie, how absolutely wonderful that you don`t just say hallelujah, you DO hallelujah. I wholeheartedly agree with each word you write about these wonderful women, who have impacted my life so. I love you to bits sweets, and I am so happy to be a part of your community!

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  15. This is so true. If you are just a pretty picture I don't really get anything from that. If you let me in, and let me see your life I'm interested. I love Bella. She was a great blogger to meet online in the beginning. She always cranks out amazing content, and knows her blogging voice.
    My Heart Blogged

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  16. Bravo! First, I'm crazy about each one of these gals and it's so good to see them getting more love because they deserve...just the world, really. Adore them. And secondly, I agree with the message of this post so much more than I can even say. If I find a blog with aspects I like - be it design, photography, blogger's style - but they don't take that effort to show their personality I won't stay. I won't interact with a brick wall when there are so many real bloggers out there who would openly appreciate my time and who would make my world a bit brighter, a bit richer for knowing them. More than ever I'm discovering that blogging isn't really something everyone can do successfully. Creating the right balance of personal commentary and engaging, useful content is really a talent. I'm learning from fellow bloggers, and those four are at the top of the list!

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  17. I LOVE this post and the bloggers that you featured....some of my very favs!! So so true hunnie.....blogs are far more than just titles....we have come to love the people behind them...thanks for an awesome post!
    Love you girl!

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  18. Wow, you hit the nail on the head of my heart.
    Such wise and true words. I love Vahni and Bella, and definitly I am going to have a closer look to the other two ladies.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  19. One of the first things I had an argument with my mother about when I started the blog was how it was too much 'me' and not enough business.. truth me told, I wanted it to me as much me as the business, I think its worked out ok so far and I enjoy putting bits of me in to it. Hurray for personality!! (great choices as well, Vahni and Kristy are my blogging heros)

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  20. Well said, bravo!!
    So true what you said about having a soul behind the smile. I can't tell you how many blogs I've admired at first, only to find myself uninterested after a time for lack of soul. There's a fine line between TMI and just enough though and sometimes it difficult to decide but luckily so far, I haven't regretted anything personal I've decided to share. We all suffer, have doubts, go through rough patches - it makes us relate-able and human. This community is so amazing & supportive sometimes I feel guilty for not sharing!
    P.S. Found you through a Twitter #FF, so lovely to 'meet' you. Looking forward to keeping up!

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  21. I totally agree! I just started blogging about a month ago and it is hard to put yourself out there, so I really admire bloggers who do it so fearlessly. And I love YOUR blog a lot. I'm proud to now be your 143rd follower! I hope you'll check mine out and consider following me too.
    xoxo Lauren
     http://happylifeinnyc.blogspot.com/

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  22. Lovely lovely post. I 1005 agree with you. Personality is worth so much more than just pretty pictures. I love that the fashion blogging world has so many real people who you can connect with, and form friendships with even with thousands of miles between us, because when we let go and open up- beautiful things can happen- friendships and true connections can form, as corny as it sounds. And I love all 4 of the bloggers you featured here- they're definitely all fabulous at connecting! (And I like Kendi and Keiko too so this post totally resonated with me.) It's nice to see people respond and interact even with busy lives and popular blogs.

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  23. This is so spot-on! Personality is what makes a blogger great, and these four ladies have heaps of it. I feel like I've struggled a lot with this on my blog since I don't post photos of myself. I can just hope that my personality comes through in my writing and that people can understand who I am without seeing my face or my clothing. B of Beautifully Invisible manages to make readers feel like we know her remaining being completely anonymous, so it's definitely possible.

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  24. this is such a beautiful post...I would definitely agree with you that no matter how pretty you are but your personality stinks then no one will ever appreciate you....

    the photos just adds beauty in each post...but the interaction with other bloggers through their comments and tweets is totally different. I am so happy that I get to know awesome bloggers like you....

    Kisses
    sweet
    PensandLens
    @mistytewest

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  25. I feel like you were in my head, and pulled out everything I was feeling, and put it in this post hon! I am so glad you wrote this. Everything you said is so true. I feel like I know some bloggers better than I ever knew my (ex) very best friend of the past five years.

    If there is no personality behind a blogger, then it is really hard for me to stick around. I love getting to know the people behind the blog.

    It's like an artist. For some reason when you know about their lives, how they grew up,and what they are all about you just feel a stronger connection with that artist. When you know more about them you can appreciate their music so much more. The same rule applies to bloggers.

    Great post hon! I loved it :D

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  26. what a lovely post. i'm so happy you decided to write this. with so many fashion blogs on the net, it becomes difficult trying to really get to know other bloggers. but i do love making relationships with some long-time blogging buddies. it definitely makes me want to continue to read their blogs when i feel like we have a real connection.

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  27. I am officially nominating this for Link Love. This is such a beautiful post Steph!

    Vahni was one of the first people to reach out to me when I began blogging. I am not even sure how she came across my blog, but I remember being dumbfounded that someone who was clearly on her way to becoming a superstar would take the time to say hello, but she did! Kristy and I bonded shortly thereafter, and Bella and Brooke weren't far behind.

    All 4 of these ladies are beautiful inside and out. There is no denying that they put their hearts into their blogs. Not only that, but they blog for the right reasons (mainly, because they are passionate about it!) and community means more to them than anything else.

    When it comes to blogging, success, in my eyes, isn't measured by the number of followers you have or the number of sponsors and advertisers who work with you. It's measured by your authenticity. It's measured by your connectedness. It's measured by the respect that others have for you - respect you have EARNED. In that sense, these 4 ladies are the true epitome of success. With this post, it's clear that you belong right there with them.

    I also want to say thanks to Marissa for her lovely comment above. My heart smiles each time someone says something like that about me. My philosophy is: you don't have to visible to be real, you just have to be true to yourself.

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  28. That is a really great post! I feel honored that you commented on my blog after reading that you really value content and sincerity. :)
    Thank you for sharing your self with us!
    -Liz
    http://restonstyle.blogspot.com

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  29. love your blog!! <3 xoxo Follow me Via blogroll.. Add my blog [ My Face Hunter
    ] in your list..i will add yours!!! kisses!

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  30. Wow, I agree with you so much! I loved reading this, because I feel the same way. I hate to reference American Idol, and I hope its not a lost reference, but Pia was the most one with the most talented voice, yet she got voted off because she failed to show personality.
    Hopefully, readers don't begin voting... we are all allowed to have off days!

    Love the post, again! I'm visiting from LALM!

    matters of merrymaking

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  31. That is SUCH a fantastic point. I find myself getting really mechanical in my posts when I'm really struggling with life situations/emotional issues or whatever... but it IS different when you can really let your personality show through. It makes all the difference in the world! I find it hard to stick with blogs if I can't get a 'feel' for a person after a few posts.

    Great post!

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  32. I'm just getting to know the soul of blogging. When I see/read about these ladies, well it seems as if they found their "blog" identity without losing themselves. I'm still searching for the right balance to put out. And I so agree these ladies are more than just pics. Thank you for sharing.

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  33. I'm with you. If I want images without personality, I can flip through any magazine. What keeps me motivated are the connections I feel I'm making and developing with real people, (like you!)

    What a great topic, Steph. It's those connections that keep me going when I feel like giving up.
    xo, f
    The House in the Clouds

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  34. I so,so ,sooo agree with you and was really glad (ok, excited) when you popped by my little ole blog;)
    Whenever i post stuff from the heart, I usually lose a follower ;)
    Maybe you could give me some tips........
    I'm not a great writer and maybe i reveal too much sometimes, but we are all humans and seem to have a need to be artistic and have peeps appreciate it as well.
    (beyond our closets sometimes)
    xXx
    Reva

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