I used to follow influencers like a certain Song of fashion, style Toast, or the Italian Barbie salad religiously. They used to show such a great sense of personal style through their interpretation of runway trends with their limited resource – read: before they were paid or lent clothes right off the runway but lived on a normal budget. Aimee Song in particular had such a unique way of mixing feminine looks with a strong masculine touch. I loved getting ideas from her and would often purchase items from attainable sources such as Zara or H&M after she would feature them. Remember when she had an interior design job and blogging was her side-gig?

Now, major influencers like Aimee only don the latest looks on-loan from fashion house. The same goes with Chiara who has become a self-made celebrity. Rumi Neely, the godmother of fashion blogger how started it all, has morphed into a hipbone-jutting slim-spiration model where each Instagram (IG) post is a ridiculous game of how many bones can she expose without being fully naked. Skim through a few of the top fashion IG's and you will see the same it items on every girl: a teddy coat, Balenciaga dad sneakers & sweater, Dior saddlebag, Ganni sweater, Chloe bag, Ancient Greek Sandals, Realisation Par dresses, Zimmermann–and so on.

"These ladies and the spawns that they have created do not present a realistic nor sustainable lifestyle." 

For some readers, these influencers can come to represent success (read: happiness) in the modern age; millions of Instagram followers (popularity) and the illusion of an unlimited income (professional success) to travel and shop. In a world where we are told that if we only work hard enough we can achieve anything, this is problematic. Because we all have bills to pay. If you were to imitate their lifestyle you will fall into crushing debt. A single glance at how often one of these women travel in a month, staying at five-star hotels and dressed in designer duds, can cost upwards of $15,000 with a night at the Ritz in Paris starting at $1,108 and a Chanel dress around $8,150 (pictured). Influencers and fashion bloggers, alike, encourage inconspicuous spending without letting their readers in on the secret; that those outfits were on loan for the day, the hotel was paid for with a sponsorship, that they were gift that bag in return for posting, or they aren't naturally slim because they drink that tea. And that Fyre Festival was actually a bad idea. Let's ask these bloggers the real questions that matter: How do they plan to save for retirement? How will they put their kids through college? Do they plan to influence forever? How will they build their net worth and plan for the long term as they settle down, buy a home and start a family?

The fashion blogosphere, once a source of inspiration based on unique personal style, is now filled with a dull sense of sameness that it has become an extension of the consumerist capitalist machine full of fake followers and bots, artificially boosting follower count. Unfortunately, not everyone has what it takes to become a fashion/travel blogger. But for some reason I see girls on Instagram with full time jobs stepping out in the exact same $$$ outfits as these bloggers. Why waste your hard earn cash to look like someone else? What happened to looking at trends with a critical eye and making them your own, instead of being lemmings to what is popular?

Even the bloggers themselves are getting sick of the facade. Aimee has repeatedly mentioned wanting to talk about things outside of fashion and speaks openly about seeing a therapist on her Youtube channel. Could it be that a life peddling images of sponsored hopes and dreams leads to unhappiness? This is not a critique on Aimee as a person since I do not know her, but a critique on her blogger persona and the messages it sends and its many contradictions. These influencers have curated a very specific image of themselves that they almost cannot get out of. And we all know that no one looks that perfect all the time, yet these people will try their best to present that as exhausting as it can get.

My hope is that in 2019 readers will see past the sparkly brand names and choose to take themselves out of the running to keep up with the bloggers and unsubscribe. My hope is that we yearn for and encourage realistic authenticity that is attainable and sustainable. For our own well being, I hope we stop following fashion bloggers and follow our own dreams. For bloggers to follow who I admire for authenticity, see this post.