Personality-Based Design/Arts/Fashion Blogging - new trend?
August 20, 2008 12:02 AM   Subscribe

Is there a specific term/genre that defines bloggers such as Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet, Queen Gilda, Doe Deere, This is Star, and Agent Lover? Has anyone tracked this?

I've noticed a few of those sort of blogs recently, sharing similar things in terms of aesthetics and content:

* Young female, using a glamorous pen name
* A mix between personal life, recommendations of products/people, and how-tos based on everyday life (such as How To Be Fabulous)
* Plenty on design, fashion, style, culture, trends
* Blogger likely to be an artist or other creative person
* Promotes the blogger itself as a brand
* "Things I Love Tuesday" (possibly started by one of those bloggers)
* Similar layouts

A few of these blogs cross-link to each other, but other than that I don't see anything that suggests they're part of a collective or tight group of friends. Rather, it seems to be a growing sub-trend of blogging, and I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this and/or done some research on these blogs.

They're like camgirls in the sense that there's quite a bit of voyeurism into their personal lives, but it's not constant. They're seen as icons and inspiration, and have enough followers to even sell products with their branding (AFAIK Gala Darling lives on Adsense income). When I was a teen, random-content-heavy personal sites, often with vector illustrations, were the Big Thing; this seems like an outgrowth of that.

Is there a name for this? Does anyone else fit this aesthetic?
posted by divabat to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I have described them to people who haven't run across them as lifestyle/personal fashion bloggers, and would tend to see them as an offshoot of fashion blogging (combined with a sort of teen girl magazine gone individual and megalomaniac), but I'm not sure about the origins. It definitely does feel related to both cams and those personal sites, and as someone about the same age as a bunch of them, I doubt they could have escaped the influence of that.

I'd add a legion of hardcore fans who won't see a word said against them to your list of common factors. This fascinates me as a non-participating occasional reader (ok, maybe voyeur), so I am intrigued at what everyone else suggests. I find the whole phenomenon a bit egotistical and often consumerist, but on the other hand, articulate ambitious women who write and photograph beats the hell out of the camgirl phenomenon. It deserves serious study, if none's been done already.
posted by carbide at 1:35 AM on August 20, 2008

I don't know. But I guess this sort of site has been around for a while - for example here is a link to Magdelena Donea's site "Moments" (on webarchive) from about 1997. Female protagonist, diary based style, links to friends sites - all there in a protean form. One of her sites (Water) won "Cool site of the year" in the "Personal" section around about this time.
posted by rongorongo at 1:38 AM on August 20, 2008

Gala Darling started 'Things I love Thursday', from what I understand.

These are online, usually single writer girl magazines, like Seventeen or Allure. Gala got her start using her experience with the colourful side of goth fashion, but she tends to stick to talking about eating raw and mood boosting tips, I think because she got a bit burned out. The other girls are more art oriented, and for Nubby Twiglet I believe her blog is also promoting her graphic design.

These are closely related to the fashion blogging world, but encourage interacting with your appearance and your art. Most of the fashion blogs, which a very avid young female blogger called Julie linked up through Coutorture are more product oriented.

I'm sort of their target demographic (vaguely artistic, young, female, vain, attracted to bight colours) and it seems like for many of the fans this also serves as lifestyle porn. These women are often sporting very fringe looks, are bridging the gap between the scary fringe that young women like me aren't quite cool enough to want to carry off, and the sort of mainstream stuff that's slightly too humdrum for me.
posted by Phalene at 5:58 AM on August 20, 2008

Almost a Manic Pixie Dream Girl vibe, huh?
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:19 AM on August 20, 2008


"A few of these blogs cross-link to each other, but other than that I don't see anything that suggests they're part of a collective or tight group of friends. Rather, it seems to be a growing sub-trend of blogging, and I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this and/or done some research on these blogs."

I don't think it's so much of a self-realized subgenre of blogging as a bunch of motivated, aesthetic/creative women with their own individual blog-based projects in confluence with each other. As a close friend of Star's and a casual internet acquaintance of Gala's, I know that Gala, Nubby, and Star are good friends in real life as well.

It's interesting to see that this is one way someone would perceive it from the outside, though.
posted by damsorrow at 3:20 PM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: MrMoonPie: Your remark inspired me to register Manic Pixie Dream Girl as a domain name. I feel like starting a metablog of those blogs now.

damsorrow: Ha! I figured a few of them would know each other (I read Gala's blog occasionally and she refers Star and Nubby tons) but I've also seen others do something very similar and wondered if there's a trend in the making here. Doe Deere in particular has a layout that is strikingly similar to Gala's (I could call it a copy, even) and I predict that this would be the "new wave" of personal blogging, at least with the younger set.
posted by divabat at 9:42 PM on August 21, 2008

Best answer: The girls have noticed, and despite some defensive posturing brought about by a lack of understanding of MeFi and AskMe, they answer most of your questions...
posted by benzo8 at 3:51 AM on August 22, 2008

Response by poster: Ha! Thanks for that. I didn't realize that everyone I linked to actually knew each other (though the similarities are still uncanny - then again, I don't blog like my friends :P).

I find the comments from some of their friends a bit catty though. I was just curious; I didn't mean to demean or devalue anyone by asking. :|
posted by divabat at 3:19 AM on August 23, 2008

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